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Candy

3.3 of 5 stars 3.30  ·  rating details  ·  842 ratings  ·  104 reviews
Banned upon its initial publication, the now-classic Candy is a romp of a story about the impossibly sweet Candy Christian, a wide-eyed, luscious, all-American girl. Candy –– a satire of Voltaire’s Candide –– chronicles her adventures with mystics, sexual analysts, and everyone she meets when she sets out to experience the world.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published February 9th 1996 by Grove Press (first published 1958)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,509)
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mark monday
if the difference in appeal between reading pornography and reading erotica is in the artistry of the language and the sophistication & depth of the emotions conveyed, then perhaps the difference between reading erotica and reading the erotic literary novel is in the richness of its thematic elements. right? Candy's depiction of a very horny 50s america is also a depiction of the various obsessions and bugaboos of that time period, and in that way it is somewhat interesting. thematically. so ...more
Chris
Few are the books which deliver on all possible levels and to all possible audiences, and Candy reigns supreme as their undisputed queen. There are those who might disagree with me, but there are also folk that don't believe dinosaurs existed since they aren't mentioned in the Bible. So don't be a hater; get up off your Candy(less)-ass, drum up a plan to finagle a copy of this book, and jump on the bandwagon of the winning team.

I have absolutely no doubts that my persuasive intro convinced you
...more
Evan
Acquired via interlibrary loan. Salacious comical odyssey of a young girl's carnal initiation. Written in 1958. This will be my entre into the world of Terry Southern (apart from films). If it's really good, I'll tackle "The Magic Christian" or "Blue Movie" next.

UPDATE:
Blazed through the first 73 pages on the bus and would have continued if not for pending family business. I actually laughed aloud on the bus when I came to this, spouted by the lascivious Aunt Liv: "I'm in the mood for cock and p
...more
Ben
Jul 10, 2012 Ben rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: erotica
One of my all-time favorite films is Barbarella, and that was where I first encountered Terry Southern's name, as one of its screenwriters. Now, while I was reading Candy I couldn't help but notice remarkable similarities: Candy Christian behaves more like a battery-operated talking fuckdoll than a human being, just like Barbarella. Candy is comprised of a series of disconnected events (and calling it a "plot" is something I have a lot of reservations about.) just like Barbarella... but Candy is ...more
L.  (I hate fake reviews)
Dec 20, 2011 L. (I hate fake reviews) rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Are you kidding me?
Shelves: books-i-hate
WTF? Seriously, WTF? What is this supposed to be? Satirical? Scandalous? Titillating? I'll tell you what it is - one big W.T.F. It's one wtf scene after another about Candy Christian (a walking/talking blonde moment who has Britney Spears' habit of somehow losing her underwear) and all the men who are trying to get into her "honeypot," her "jelly box," her "snapping turtle," her "fur pie," her "spice box," her "thermal pudding," her "lamb-pit" - yes, lamb pit. Because her "precious little honey- ...more
R.
Candy was way ahead of its time. Total litporn (which is the vogue these days). A two-hour read at most with some laughs ("Derek" the hunchback) and some shocks (the Buddha's nose). Typical early-1960s era Olympia Press traveler-wank trash. And if the youtube trailer is anything to go by, the movie is not faithful to the book - going for a Laugh-In vibe, an aren't-we-naughty-wink-wink all-star cast (Richard Burton?! Marlon Brando?! JOHN ASTIN?!!? RINGO STARR?!?), rather than, well, the surreal m ...more
Nikki
I read this book a few times the summer between the 6th and 7th grades.
Candy taught me to refer to grown-up lady-parts as honey pots and spice boxes.
I wish I had known at the time that this was supposed to be satire.
Elf M.
Candy by "Maxwell Canton" (a psuedonym for Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg) is a 1958 novel that is apparently fondly remembered by lots of its fans for its breathless descriptions of an excessively naive, manipulable and attractive young lady as she careens through one bizarre encounter after another while a rolling cast of late-50s stereotypical characters attempts to seduce her: her teacher Professor Mephesto, her Uncle Jack and his wife Livia (who apparently also swings wildly between co ...more
Ron Grunberg
This book gives one a quite sober look at the sexual mores of our times, and at the same time is a ridiculous romp of sexual improbability throughout the towns of Racine, Wisconsin, New York City, a mining town in Minnesota, somewhere in India, and Llasa, Tibet. This book is the rawest experience with sexual explicitness, I believe, one could possibly read. If one would guess which book of all books might have been banned, one would guess this one (and of course it was).

Yet the implausible scene
...more
Olga Kowalska
I would never have thought that I will be able to find erotic pastish that awesome as in works of Marquis de Sade! And "Candy" is just like that - as if Sade and Voltaire had written it together just for fun. Over the top, somewhere between philosophical tale and satire of the one, with freudian twist at the end.
Jack
I read this so long ago (1973) that I had to go to Wikipedia to see what it was about. All I remembered was that it was a mediocre book and that I had to go to the movie to see if I could make some sense of it. I found "The Magic Christian" to be one of Southern's better books, and even that wasn't that great for me.

You have to read these books with a sense of history, though. When this was written, the sexual revolution was in its infancy. People were still uptight about anything that was out o
...more
Allison
Eh. I was really intrigued by this book, but it got old quickly, to the tune of rinse, wring, repeat. Read a chapter or two and you have the general idea. Ever. So. Shocking. Maybe it would help if I'd read Candide, which this purportedly satirizes. I'm just sorry that I didn't read it in a public place, what with the lurid cover posing the question: is it a YA book? Is it porn? Is it--YA porn?!?

Wasted opportunity.
Lisa
Aug 24, 2008 Lisa rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Prison inmates.
This book can't hold a candle to Terry Southern's demented, roll-on-the-floor-hilarious "The Magic Christian", though I did laugh out loud, for the wrong reasons, at least once. Candy is an idiot, and an ultimately annoying, mundane character. The once-scandalous situations are simply corny, if not ludicrous.
Werebot
Oct 06, 2008 Werebot rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: horny dullards.
Goofy wack-off material posing as "satire". Southern wrote Dr. Strangelove, which I've always thought was overrated as well. This material is very dated, and if there's a point behind all this incest and mind-buggery, i don't know what it is. I'll toss it a couple of stars for including hunchback sex, though.
Nenia Campbell
You can read more reviews at my blog, The Armchair Librarian.


Candy is one of the worst books I have read this year. The fact that this book is shelved as literature boggles the mind, and I can only assume that this is because Candy is based (very loosely) on Candide.



Candy is a naive college student and also a virgin. She has an overprotective father. She has really big boobs. Remember this later, as it is very important.



She also gets molested a lot.



Her philosophy professor, Professor Mephisto, t
...more
Ryan
Aug 11, 2008 Ryan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Perverts and Prepubescent Literati
Breezy, episodic, comedic smut. Follow the adventures of Candy Christian's sweet honeypot from Racine to Lhasa, from avuncular pseudo-incest to real incest while being sodomized by the nose of Buddha. Everyone wants Candy!
Autumn
one of the banned books- a great movie made in the 60's with a star-studded cast. it's a great experience to watch richard burton and james coburn in their element
Xio
Nov 02, 2007 Xio rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: fun
F'n great, see the film!
Elizabeth B
First off let me say: if you don’t have a sense of humor or are sexually repressed then don’t read this book. You’ll be offended and that’s not fair to the author or you as a reader. I had surprisingly never heard of this book when I came across an ARC galley of it. Apparently it is being re-released and I can’t comment on whether the text of the 2011 copy is the same as the original and/or an altered edition. On to the review.

I laughed out loud at parts of this book. I just kept thinking over a
...more
Brooke Bove
Jan 07, 2013 Brooke Bove added it
Shelves: fiction, satire
Let me say that the story of "Candy" stands on its own. It's pretty good without knowing anything about "Candide" or Voltaire. I kept meaning to do a little research on Voltaire and his famous creation before reading Candy. But I always thought about it when I was not near a computer or when I didn't have time, etc. So the other night I just picked up Candy and started reading. Before I knew it, I was 100 pages in. I finished it two evenings later.

...

To tell you any more of the plot would do n
...more
Blake
I found this book at a local library sale buried amongst a bunch of bland old bestsellers, and I went ahead and picked it up because it looked different and provocative enough to warrant the spending of my $1. Let me just point out that I can't find the edition with the cover my paperback has, and if I came across either of the covers Goodreads displays, I never would have glanced twice at this book. I'm actually glad for the fact that I wasn't turned away by a pseudo-romance cover, but I'm not ...more
Eija
Candy is searching for enlightenment but all she finds is sex. We're animals. I get it.

There are ridiculous slapstick comedy moments in this book, unfortunately, most of them happen when Candy is trying to say no to sex and a man is trying to force or trick her into saying yes. Or just being persistent in trying to grab her boobs, or stick it in her honeypot. At one point (what am I kidding, this happens a lot), a man does trick Candy into getting into her pants and two other men are mad they di
...more
Paul
First off, I had to search for a copy of this book that didn't have a cover that made me feel ashamed of holding it in my hand. I found a bookclub edition with a sort-of-post-Impressionist-painting cover that I could live with, and I completely avoided the edition that is pictured with this listing, which was apparently designed by a twelve year old with a "Lite-Brite" background, a yen to design for "Crumpled Tissue Productions", and access to the sluttiest high school student in the Tri-State ...more
Jose Moch
I didn't find the novel as hilarious as I thought it would be. What I like of it is the notion of a girl well cultivated in literature and art cinema although really dumb in everything else. It is common to find such girls in college. What I found funny though was the lingo of aunt Livia, interesting the musing of the kike doctor while facing racial slurs by Dr. Dunlap and his castrating mother that no wonder prompted him to write a book about jerking off. In the same vein is the one of the hunc ...more
Boris
Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg are masters of satire in this book. At least that is what I want to believe in this vulgar, funny, disturbing, and often times ridiculous book. It is a fairly quick read, though it may be easier for some than others. The key is to view it through a satirical lens, at which point it is ripe for analysis. Or perhaps it shouldn't be taken seriously. I can't decide.
Erik Graff
Jun 20, 2014 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: boys
Recommended to Erik by: Bruce Bennett
Shelves: literature
Having just reviewed Fanny Hill, my first pornographic novel, I am reminded of the second, Candy.

The story of this encounter resembles the previous. A friend's father, a college professor of English literature, has an "interesting" book in his study which my friend sneeks out of his library whilst my family is visiting his for their annual Christmas party. We read it furtively, not once, but on successive Christmasses.

Years later, I find the book in hardcover at a used bookstore and finally get
...more
Irene
I can't remember how many years it is since I read this book, or how many years since the friend to whom my copy was lent didn't return it . . . but I remember it as being great fun, and filled with a bit of lust, a fair dollop of naughtiness and more than one laugh-out-loud moment.

Overall, though, in spite of the subject matter, there was a kind of innocence about the heroine and her adventures, even when . . . oh no, that would be a spoiler!

The book comes from the days when the world was so mu
...more
Kent Winward
Here is one you won't hear very often: The book about the book (The Candy Men: The Rollicking Life & Times of the Notorious Novel Candy) is better than the book it is about.

For a salacious blast from the past, I was hoping for more. By 2013, this doesn't even feel satirical. I imagine that if 50 Shades had been written by a heroin addict and a Hollywood screenwriter and a book about it was written 40-50 years later, that the actual book 50 Shades wouldn't hold up very well either. Candy was
...more
Nancy Streife
Candy: buffoon, savior, confessor. Learns carnal knowledge to uplift souls. Provides reader with a stomach ache. But read on, you must. Southern wrote Dr Strangelove, so he must be on to something.
Neil Randall
Hilarious, irreverent satire on 60 attitudes towards sex, with a riotous array of insatiable characters trying to relieve sweet, innocent and earnest Candy Christian of her virginity, be they professors, doctors, her own uncle, Greenwich Village deviant hunchbacks and hippy commune gurus. Hugely entertaining read.
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Terry Southern was a highly influential American short story writer, novelist, essayist, screenwriter and university lecturer noted for his distinctive satirical style. He was part of the Paris postwar literary movement in the 1950s and a companion to Beat writers in Greenwich Village; he was at the center of Swinging London in the sixties and helped to change the style and substance of Hollywood ...more
More about Terry Southern...
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