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4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  5,355 Ratings  ·  294 Reviews
"Candy is beside me, drenched in sweat. She's breathing gently, long slow breaths. I imagine her soul going in and out: wanting to leave, wanting to come back, wanting to leave, wanting to come back. The day will soon harden into what we need to do. But for now we have each other. . . ."

He met Candy amid a lush Sydney summer. Gorgeous, sexy, free-spirited Candy. They fell
Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 16th 1998 by Ballantine Books (first published 1997)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Opening Line: "There were good times and bad times, but in the beginning there were more good times."

Wow this was fantastic, in a watching a beautiful car crash sort of way. Following the day to day struggles, triumphs and ultimate decay of a heroin addict and his girlfriend. It was almost impossible to look away and put this book down even though it’s graphic, horrible, depressing and often pointless. Told in the first person with vividly poetic and just plain amazing writing there’s a surprisi
Oct 19, 2015 Ana rated it it was amazing
Feb 14, 2011 Quinn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Quinn by: Buggy
4.5 stars

I remember when the film Candy was released in 2006, receiving critical acclaim and rave reviews for the performances of the late, great Heath Ledger and Abbie Cornish in the leading roles. Despite my interest, for some reason I never got around to seeing it. And it wasn’t until recently reading my friend Buggy’s review here on GoodReads that I discovered the film was an adaptation of a novel.

My interest once again piqued, I promptly obtained both the book and the film, then did somethi
A well written book that reminded me that tragedy happens slowly. It is full of drugs, sex, and mishap. It shows that sometimes the glue that holds relationships together can be the worst for us.

I picked this list because I had a book already on it, which is this book, and I saw a lot of others on it that I wish to read in the future. The downside, and possibly an upside, is that the list keeps getting longer every time I look at it. It'll be great to eventua
Jonathan Ashleigh
Sep 04, 2016 Jonathan Ashleigh rated it really liked it
Shelves: recent
I don't know how you could write a book about heroine unless you lived it. I waited till I was finished to find out and always try to do that when a question concerning the authors life comes up while reading. This book takes on a long time period and I felt as though I was trying to drop heroine the whole time. My favorite quote was something that he said about football. I can't find it now because I left the book in a hut in Alaska, but it summed up the felling of caring about sports on TV.
Jun 19, 2008 Christina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary
Read it within 12 hours, I just could not put it down. Absolutely tragic read, but incredibly beautiful. You can't help but sympathize with the characters, wanting them to succeed, to move past their addiction and live the dreams they keep insisting will come tomorrow, the next week, within the next few months, if only they can kick the habit. You want to believe in them, you really do...
Nov 16, 2009 Nicola rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I have plenty of friends who I could never convince that reading a miserable book is enjoyable. However, I think that miserable books offer the chance to feel strong empathy, served up alongside pity and schadenfreude. It’s the book equivalent of sitting inside on a rainy day and watching through your window as people outside get soaked to the skin.

Candy, a gruelling ride through heroin addiction, has nary a light-hearted moment to be found. Even the very first chapter, where the narrator remini
Aug 19, 2008 Christopher rated it it was amazing
My life only a few years ago, thank god I've been clean for almost 5 years now.
Nov 08, 2012 Susan rated it really liked it
by Luke Davies

I've came to the conclusion if you are new in recovery from any sort of substance abuse this is definitely NOT the book to read for inspiration. In fact, in the beginning of the book, the first few chapters are what we addicts call the “Glory Days!” When drugs were fun, made everything okay, made life feel wonderful, new, exciting, peaceful. When everything from our past that hurt us could be covered up and ignored, as if it never happened. We felt joy in the company of our ne
Brandon Tietz
Oct 05, 2010 Brandon Tietz rated it it was amazing
When I pick up any book for the first time, I always open it to a random point in the middle and begin reading. I've done this for years, and it's always served as an accurate gauge to the level of writing the author is demonstrating. For the most part, every book is designed to begin with what's called a "hook," which is why most authors will always tell you in their workshops and seminars, "Always begin with action." The idea, if it's not obvious, is to suck the reader in to the point of purch ...more
Feb 16, 2016 Victoria rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written train wreck. I blew through this in just a couple hours, because I couldn't turn away, I HAD to stay along for this terrible terrible ride.
I've known many Candy's in my life, I've lost many friends to Heroin.
I NEVER understood the appeal of this death sentence lifestyle. I wanted to get inside the mind of an addict. Well, this novel certainly was the epitome of what I was searching for as far as resolution and closure. I am proud of myself for never sinking into this life
Greta is Erikasbuddy
Jun 21, 2011 Greta is Erikasbuddy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I honestly did not want this book to end!!

It was brilliant, haunting, utterly cruel and true love story. It wracks your brain, wrecks your heart, and leaves you wanting more. There were times when I couldn't put it down, times when I wanted it to end because I thought something really really bad was going to happen, and times when I fell so madly in love that I just didn't know how much more I could handle.

This has to be one of the most real books I have read. I kind of wonder if it is real or n
Oct 02, 2012 David rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
I was wary at first of another doomed and romantic heroin memoir (Dope opera) and the style struck me as a bit flouncy and breezy at first. They are soooo in love. Her first hit of hammer is soooo fantastic. She is soooo beautiful. This is a literary area that I eye critically because it is well worn territory for me and I am suspicious of tourists. Then I see the author is using his hero's romantic heedlessness to plunge us headfirst into the horrors of gear. Its unflinching, very honest, and p ...more
Aug 08, 2007 Jenny rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who like junkie/underclass-type books AND great literature
this is an amazing book. it's sort of the "trainspotting" stereotypical heroin-addict book, but it's really an inside look. i feel like luke davies must have either been an addict once himself or done an inordinate amount of research to get this right. the is the finest book about love and addiction i've ever read. the two concepts are remarkably alike, and davies probes not just the love of and addiction to a drug, but the former and latter to a person, and that's what makes the book so incredi ...more
Grim but gripping true story of a pair of Aussie heroin addicts. I heard the author interviewed and just had to read it.

Sadly, it's all too believable and reminds me of In My Skin by Kate Holden, another all too real story of addiction by people you would assume would know better. Never assume.

Nov 03, 2011 Angela rated it did not like it
I was forced to read this for a module at university and I hated this book. The tutor for the module told the class after we read it that she was very good friends with the author. She took an immediate dislike to myself and a friend because we didn't go down the sychophantic route like everyone else in the class and told her we hated it.
If you want to read a good drugs book(by that, I mean a total headfuck of a book) then go read 'Naked Lunch' by William Burroughs.
Jul 11, 2017 Luke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely thoroughly stunning.
This is definitely a top five book of all time for me! Unbelievable.
Apr 05, 2016 Lyndi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Candy by Luke Davies Review
He met Candy amid a lush Sydney summer. Gorgeous, sexy, free-spirited Candy. They fell in love fast, lots of laughter and lust, the days melting warmly into each other. He never planned to give her a habit. But she wanted a taste. And wasn't love, after all, about sharing lives? Candy had a bit of money and in the beginning, everything was beautiful. Heady, heroin-hazed days, the world open and inviting. But when the money ran out, the craving remained, and th
Kaia James
Aug 03, 2012 Kaia James rated it it was amazing
Opening Line: "There were good times and bad times, but in the beginning there were more good times."

Wow this was fantastic, in a watching a beautiful car crash sort of way. Following the day to day struggles, triumphs and ultimate decay of a heroin addict and his girlfriend. It was almost impossible to look away and put this book down even though it’s graphic, horrible, depressing and often pointless. Told in the first person with vividly poetic and just plain amazing writing there’s a surprisi
Eva Leger
Feb 14, 2010 Eva Leger rated it liked it
3.5 - I'd say if you want a close, truthful look at what a heroin addicts world is like, read this. I have no doubt, no doubt in the world, that this man went through heroin addiction. If not I'd love to have a chat with him. But there is no 'if not' in my opinion. I don't care if his twin went through it or if he's studied the subject, in every manner possible, for his entire adult life, he'd never know the little things that he shows he knows.
He captures it powerfully here. I wish I could say
Apr 11, 2013 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Candy by Luke Davies was one of the very first books I EVER added to my to read list on goodreads. And after all the to read sweeps I made of the bookshelf, it always made it through the elimination. I've always been a lover of books about addiction, and I guess maybe just the fact that Heath Ledger was in the movie adaptation of this novel did I decide to keep it out of all the addiction novels that has made it's way to my to read shelf, but I am so glad that it did.

I didn't even love the book
Ok it's been a while since I read this & only have vague feelings and thoughts on it, feeling it was intense and tedious at the same time. Same old story of addiction and love gone wrong. Tonight I saw the film & like it or not was swayed by Heath Ledger's beautiful lips. Yeah yeah. Ok - I'm probably shallow. In the book I felt his character the typical junkie but the film portrayed his deep love for Candy, his fear, his conscience and his need to finally do the right thing an
Nadia (NadiaReads)
I think this book will stick with me for a while.. In my opinion it describes very accurately the life of a heroin drug-addict. It's very powerful and hopeful and hopeless at the same time.

I think that the book (and the movie) isn't as widely known as other books about drugs, like requiem for a dream, crank, fear and loathing in Las Vegas etc, but I think it deserves more popularity.

It's the only drug-book I know so far describing a couple "in love" and their life as heroin addicts. The highs, t
Feb 23, 2012 Melanie rated it liked it
Candy is Luke Davies putting his rhythmic poetics to prose in a study of love & addiction. Where heroin is a Goddess worshipped by lovers: Candy & Dan. It's a pretty desolate read. The characters are not likeable or sympathetic which the film by Neil Armfield corrects. We know very little about their life before addiction therefore they have never appeared innocent. The self destructive & repetitious patterns of use, use, use & the occasional attempt to get clean gets pretty mund ...more
Jul 16, 2012 Jeremy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary, edgy, australian
An engaging, darkly humourous and appropriately fragmented story that holds its own in the youth-drug-culture genre, but manages to do more. We get an account of humanity under the influence of forces that it cannot understand and deal with adequately. It makes some very flawed and bitter and beautiful observations about all of us, how we aspire and how we exist in ourselves and with others.

The weakest parts are the italicised 'truth' segments of prose poetry where you end up getting impatient
Jonathan Briggs
I liked this better when it was called "Trainspotting." But this Aussie spin on the addicted youth subgenre has its own disgusting charms. The narrator, an unnamed minor-league scam artist, and the beautiful but deranged Candy fall in love, more with smack than with each other. Love is grand, but not so grand as being high all the time. Candy supports both their habits, earning "bucketloads" as a high-class call girl coz everyone knows there's nothing sexier than a junkie twitching and scratchi ...more
Dec 23, 2013 Luke rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, read-again
Absolutely loved this novel. The fast pacing of the plot that dissolves into absolute heartbreak, the beautifully written prose that at times morphs into poetry, and most of all, the realism. The Devil's in the details: the way Davies describes the difference between normal syringes and syringes with detachable heads; the way the blood dries in the space between the plunger and the needle and how if you try squirting water through it too fast in order to clean it by pushing the plunger down too ...more
Jul 28, 2011 Allison rated it really liked it
this is not your typical novel about addiction. it's a true love story and not just about the love between heroin and the junkie. it's very well written and the characters are relatable and lovely and loving -- despite their desperation and the things they are forced to do to support their habit. the novel takes the reader through ten years of the relationship between two young people deeply in love -- following them from the time before Candy even tries heroin to the time she has become so undo ...more
Feb 27, 2015 Florencia rated it it was amazing
Excelente. Un libro duro y triste sobre la adicción a las drogas. Te hace reflexionar y te hace aprender a valorar las cosas que tienes, por muy pequeñas que te parezcan. Te hace ver hasta qué punto la vida de un adicto es una vida subreal, falsa en todos los sentidos. Cómo vive en una mentira constante, en un mundo oscuro, decadente y dependiente del que cree que va a salir cuando quiera aunque a la hora de la verdad se da cuenta que no puede. Cómo ese mundo afecta directamente a todas las pers ...more
Feb 03, 2012 Brittani rated it it was amazing
From the first page to the last page you will be filled with gut-wrenching sorrow. The emotion in the words on every page will hit you like a parade of freight trains. I want every word of this book written on my walls, on my body, buildings, streets, everywhere. One of my favorite books of all time. You truly become a heroin addict with them, and become involved in their relationship. You continually want things to get better, like the characters do. I want to commit every word of this book to ...more
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Luke Davies is an Australian writer of novels and poetry. He has published two novels, Isabelle the Navigator and the cult bestseller Candy, which was shortlisted for the NSW Premier's Literary Awards in 1998. A film version of Candy, starring Heath Ledger, was released in 2006 and won the AFI for Best Adapted Screenplay. His novel God of Speed, about the life of Howard Hughes, is due for release ...more
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“When you can stop you don't want to, and when you want to stop, you can't...” 186 likes
“Once upon a time, there was Candy and Dan. Things were very hot that year. All the wax was melting in the trees. He would climb balconies, climb everywhere, do anything for her, oh Danny boy. Thousands of birds, the tiniest birds, adorned her hair. Everything was gold. One night the bed caught fire. He was handsome and a very good criminal. We lived on sunlight and chocolate bars. It was the afternoon of extravagant delight. Danny the daredevil. Candy went missing. The days last rays of sunshine cruise like sharks. I want to try it your way this time. You came into my life really fast and I liked it. We squelched in the mud of our joy. I was wet-thighed with surrender. Then there was a gap in things and the whole earth tilted. This is the business. This, is what we're after. With you inside me comes the hatch of death. And perhaps I'll simply never sleep again. The monster in the pool. We are a proper family now with cats and chickens and runner beans. Everywhere I looked. And sometimes I hate you. Friday -- I didn't mean that, mother of the blueness. Angel of the storm. Remember me in my opaqueness. You pointed at the sky, that one called Sirius or dog star, but on here on earth. Fly away sun. Ha ha fucking ha you are so funny Dan. A vase of flowers by the bed. My bare blue knees at dawn. These ruffled sheets and you are gone and I am going to. I broke your head on the back of the bed but the baby he died in the morning. I gave him a name. His name was Thomas. Poor little god. His heart pounds like a voodoo drum.” 86 likes
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