Christy Sherrill's Reviews > Candyfreak: A Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America

Candyfreak by Steve Almond
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's review
Jan 24, 2008

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Recommended for: Everyone

This book is sweet. The author explores why sugar makes him shallow. The redeeming fact to this sweet and shallow book is the author apologizes for this in the preface and then goes deep to find the history, facts, industry, theories and thoughts surrounding sugar. Some of my favorite quotes from the this exploration:

" So, the question: Given all this moral knowledge, how can I lead the life of a unbridled candyfreak?"

"I hate most vegetable.................I realize that I am going to hell."

" In the ideal world, moms and dads would have enough time and energy to fill their children with love, and brothers would take care of one another, and there would be lots of extended family members to pick up the slack. But as the developed world has become a cold, atomized place in which people are cut off from their internal lives and therefore subject to the most basic form of self-esteem extortion -materalism- which means that they have agreed to be judged by what they eat and wear and drive, by their fitness as capitalists, as opposed to say the content of their characters.
And it goes for children as well, who are, if anything, more apt to project their emotional life onto objets rather than people. Any parent whose child has favorite blankie or sippy cup will back me up on this. What folks in the board rooms at Madison Avenue sussed out a couple decades back is this: Manipulation of family dynamic= big bucks. Thus, the guilty dad will buy off his kid. And the deprived child will learn to seek love in the material form."

"We are, are furthermore, in the midst of what I would call a radical object disconnect. For the most of human history, people essentially knew where their stuff came from........ Watching the process by which products are made reconnects us to the wonders of production............ Candy companies are servants of late-model capitalism, just as surely as Exxon and Dow. They dehumanize workers, both here and abroad, and pump out pollution and provides an indulgence that is unconscionable, given that the great many people who are starving to death-which is all the more reason to lose oneself in the trance."

I was going to put the quote about Cameron Diaz's eyeball, but after I read it again I remembered how creepy it was and that I didn't like it as much an I thought. I started reading this book at the begin of the weekend. I was addicted and didn't put it down until I finished it. When I did finish it, I felt like I had binged and was sick to my stomach.
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