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Candy Everybody Wants

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3.45  ·  Rating details ·  708 Ratings  ·  94 Reviews
From the critically acclaimed author of I Am Not Myself These Days comes the very odd adventures of a starry-eyed young man from the Midwest seeking fame and fortune in the flamboyant surreality of New York, Los Angeles . . . and everywhere in between.

Jayson Blocher is tired of worshiping pop culture; he wants to be part of it. So he's off, accompanied by an ever-changing
...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 13th 2008 by Harper Perennial (first published January 1st 2008)
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Beth
Aug 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing


I LOVED this book. Despite its many characters and constant changing scenarios, I simply couldn't put it down. I was impressed that for once I couldn't tell what would happen next and became deeply fond of all the characters.
Amy Adams
Apr 13, 2014 rated it did not like it
Sometimes you finish a book and you have to really do some justifying as to why you made yourself read it all the way through. For this one, I blame the beach and the bathroom. In both of these places, I had but one thing to read, and it was this book. Actually, even though I've resisted the allure for years, this book made me consider buying an e-reader because, I thought, if I'm reading a book just because it's there, why not go ahead and give myself some options, at least. In the end, I decid ...more
Annelise
Jun 01, 2009 rated it liked it
I'm not sure if I found this searching by genre for "humorous fiction" or if I just found it on the shelf because the cover's shiny. Either way, it's an entertaining coming of age novel about a selfish teenager from the midwest who's determined to be a star and the wacky people who support him and make him crazy. It's simultaneously hilarious and heart-wrenching and has an early 1980s pop culture backdrop.
Richard Derus
Jan 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
Rating: 2* of five

The Book Report: The author himself describes this as his childhood and coming-of-age as he'd've liked them to be. I can see no point in adding to that description.

My Review: Oh dear.
Jamie
Feb 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
I couldn't put this book down. I really liked this. I kept visualizing how it'd be on the big screen. Though all characters may not be likeable at all times, they are real and relatable. I definitely recommend this one.
Leta Blake
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I adored this book. After an admittedly rough first few pages--(I question the wisdom of starting out in the Dallasty! script)--the rest of the book was an over-the-top, ridiculous, awesome, hilarious, heartfelt, stirring, darling, dopey, dark-but-not, campy, surreal, unbelievable, wonderful, charming read that I happily suspended my disbelief for. I'm pretty sure that anyone who read and didn't love this book either didn't get it, has irredeemably snooty taste, or has no sense of humor. Because ...more
Chris
Jul 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
Author and columnist Josh Kilmer-Purcell delighted and shocked readers with his 2006 memoir, I Am Not Myself These Days, a comical, poignant, and ferociously entertaining account of his life as a drag queen in New York City and his harrowing relationship with a hustling drug addict.

Kilmer-Purcell’s latest work, Candy Everybody Wants, is his first novel. It’s about an adolescent Midwesterner, Jayson Blocher, who dreams one day of making it in Hollywood. The result is just as funny and engaging as
...more
Heather
Apr 02, 2010 rated it liked it
If there is a lesson in Candy Everybody Wants, it is to be careful what you wish for.


The story centers in Jayson (the Y is very important, it shows flair), a gay teenager living in Wisconsin in the early 80s. His mom is a "free spirit" artist, his brother has a developmental disability, his best friends are twins that live next door with their religious fundamentalist parents. Jayson has one overarching goal-to be famous, just like his celebrity crush, Devin Williamson. The summer before high s
...more
Bart Mesuere
Jun 20, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: english, library
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Roberta
Oct 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I toyed with giving this book 5 stars because I enjoyed it a lot more than that piece of crap The Catcher in the Rye which has become classic literature & required reading in every high school (except maybe a few really buttoned down places where everybody still reads it because it's on the banned books list) and I don't see where Jayson is any less a cultural icon than Holden Caulfield.

"The Coming of Age" and "The Quest" are the two themes. Jayson's coming of age is better than Holden Caul
...more
PaperMoon
This is first fiction piece I’ve read from one half of the fabulous Beekman Boys. And it was a very easy coming of age tale to get through. The pace is very fast, the scenarios wildly impossible and yet entertaining, the characters – wacky and strangely sympathetic.

Jayson (with a ‘y’) Blocher wants to be a TV star – making home-made episodes of Dynasty-Dallas spin-offs, crushing on his straight neighbour boy, helping a self-centred artistic bipolar-ish mother evade the child-protection authoriti
...more
Benjamin
Oct 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Jayson, with a Y for effect, declares himself gay at the age of five, while still at school he is filming his own soap, a cross between Dynasty and Dallas, with the next door twins, Tara and Trey, playing the roles Jayson himself is not. Jayson's family can at best be described as disfunctioanl, his neurotic mother has been married so many times he has no idea who his father is. His younger brother suffers with Prader-Willi syndrome, at it is Jayson who maintains some control over his eating.

But
...more
Edward
Mar 04, 2009 rated it it was ok
Josh Kilmer-Purcell revives the golden age of bad 70's/80's TV with the book Candy Everybody Wants. Jason Blocher, a confident gay highschooler, spends his summer filming Dallasty! , a blending of two of the hottest shows on television. Writing, directing and staring in this magnum opus takes it’s toll on Jason, and after blowing up the family garage while filming the season cliffhanger, he is shipped off to his heretofore unknown father in New York City.

Justin’s odyssey to NYC gets him involved
...more
Erin
Oct 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
As a child of the 80's, it was a walk down memory lane (although my prime-time soap opera of choice was Knots Landing - I wanted to be Nicollette Sheridan). As I was reading the book, I was thinking "This must be what Josh wished his biography was", so I wasn't surprised to see in his notes at the back of the book that this was his fantasy memoir! It reminded me of a completely implausible fantasy I had as a teenager: I grew up in a town of 5,000 people in the middle of nowhere in Nebraska. I ha ...more
Kristen
Jun 15, 2016 rated it liked it
This book is a bit ridiculous - in an okay way though. It has this weird madcap quality that toes the line between cute and absurd. I feel like anyone born 1990 and earlier will be able to appreciate the 80's nostalgia the author was going for, and any one born after might get a kick out of how desperate this kid is for fame, since we live in type of society right now. The plot takes odd twists and turns that can sometimes pull the reader out of the story. I often found my self going "Wait,what? ...more
Leah
Feb 19, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
The cover of this book suggests it's a riot, a hilarious walk through the 80s. Personally, I didn't really see what was funny about this story. It's about this kid who discovers he's gay while watching Phil Donahue, make s movie starring his best friends, kisses this guy who he's crushing on who is straight, and is embarrassed in front of his high school when he is outed. His psychopath mother, who is confused about her sexual orientation and has been married 12 times (literally), send him off t ...more
Susan
Oct 05, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction-adult
The nearest comparison I can think of for this book is Marc Acito's How I Paid for College: A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship and Musical Theater, with maybe (oddly) a touch of Olivia Goldsmith thrown in-- and luckily Acito's title is long enough to give you a pretty good gist or what to expect here.

"Candy" is a good word for this because there's definitely something about this that feels a little frivolous, transient and not completely satisfying-- I could see this being a decent beach read, b
...more
Victoria
Dec 13, 2012 rated it liked it
I got this book because of watching Josh on The Beekman Boys. When I found out he had written books I put them on my "to read" list.

I thought this book would also be about Josh and some what biographical. Turns out this is his first try at fiction.

Set in the early 80's, Jayson, with a "Y" for flair, his twin friends Tara & Trey and his mother Toni have wild adventures. Jayson wants more than anything to be discovered and swept away to the perfect sitcom TV family. Along the way he meets up w
...more
Roxanne
Jun 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2009
I got this because i just loved Josh Kilmer-Purcell memoir, so i didn't really know what to take from this book i just knew i wanted to read it.

It's such a funny book you are laughing like nearly every other page, the characters are sweet if not a little annoying but thats what makes them really.

I will say that maybe this book tries to hard to fit everything in, there is like 4 different books that could be going on, and in the end they all fade to nothing and nothing really happens, the endin
...more
Agathafrye
Oct 16, 2008 rated it it was ok
This was an advanced reader's copy, and I hope that they made some editing changes before the final publication. "Candy" was nowhere near as good as "I Am Not Myself These Days," but I did appreciate the cheerfully dysfunctional family dynamics of Jayson's crew. There were some delightfully oddball characters, including a former Hollywood star turned Gay Male Madame, a former child star who wants to be a chef, a vengeful lesbian who becomes a cop and her heroin addicted punk rock brother. The ch ...more
Julia
Please see the three stars above as three and a half stars. I’ve read and really enjoyed one of Josh Kilmer- Purcell’s memoirs, used his and his fiance’s Brent’s cookbook, and been looking forward to reading his first memoir. But somehow, around page 45, I figured out this isn’t a memoir, but a novel. Perhaps it was “a novel,” on the cover.

Jayson Blocher, of Oconomowoc, WI dreams of acquiring celebrity fame on television. He’s not very clear how he will achieve it, in his mind it has to do with
...more
Sara
Apr 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-it
This book was a nice follow-up to Kilmer-Purcell's memoir, "I Am Not Myself These Days." The books is an easy read; much like the title might suggest, it is candy for the brain. A funny read with characters of depth, JKP's predictable dose of insanity or simply the incredulous, yet still believable, ensemble of characters and plots. Jayson, the protagonist, stars in this coming-of-age novel with some rather outright hilarious situations juxtaposed with a wry sense of humor. It brings back the aw ...more
CMolieri
Dec 23, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, queer
While reading his sophomore publication, I had to remind myself that unlike his first non-fiction piece, this was a work of fiction due to the parallels between the adventures of Jayson, his main character, and aspects of his own life as told in his memoir, I Am Not Myself These Days. It’s something like High School Musical meets The Big Gay Sketch Show meets AbFab. Truly bizarre, yet completely entertaining.
Rosalie
Jul 06, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Read on the Beach
Shelves: autographed
I was disappointed in this second release from JKP. His first book, a memoir called I’m not myself these days, will knock your socks off, but this one was banal. It was a really quick, mind-candy read about a gay teenager with an obsessive desire to be cast on an 80’s sitcom. It includes all the clichéd gay teenage angst with a little drama and mystery for fun. It also had some fine examples of the parenting skills (or lack therof) of the baby-boom generation. I would recommend it for the beach.
Jeff
Mar 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
It's a walk-down-the-memory-lane book of a life of a young gay TV star wannabe about what's in during the 80s: from the madness of influence of TV to the once they previously miscalled 'gay plague'. Going with Jayson as he took his adventures in becoming TV's next big thing was pulse-wracking and exciting, including his love life (although I was more excited on what's in store between him and Trey). The plot takes you to unsuspecting curves and surprises, but the tie-up in the end was done in an ...more
Joey Dye
May 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book. It had a lot of funny moments as well as quite a few sad ones. I think that we all have moments where we look at our lives as a narrative and sometimes wish we could rewrite the script or do a scene (or the whole thing) over. This book reminded me, in its way, that we can't do anything over again, we can't write people out of our lives, and we have to move forward with the people and situations that have been dealt to us. We don't have time to live in regret, ...more
Danie P.
Jul 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic hilarious sad and triumphant are words I would use to describe Josh's memoir. The first chapter almost killed me, where his boyfriend was standing over him with a knife high on crack and the window was open and the boyfriend explains he planned on stabbing him and throwing him out the window but he didn't want the doorman to have to see it and clean it up, he would feel bad. WHAAATTTT. After I read that I knew this was going to be a ridiculous/funny (depending on your sense of humor) b ...more
Laynie
May 29, 2008 rated it liked it
I can't imagine the challenge it must have been for Kilmer-Purcell to write a novel after publishing such a well-recieved memoir. "Candy Everybody Wants," was entertaing but doesn't compare to the best selling "I am not myself these days." Nevertheless, I would definitely pick up his next published peice.
Rakesh Satyal
the debut novel from the author of the amazing I AM NOT MYSELF THESE DAYS. similar in tone and humor to marc acito's books.
Monique Koelma
Feb 24, 2016 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Josh Kilmer-Purcell is the New York Times best-selling author of I Am Not Myself These Days: A Memoir (Harper Perennial 2006), The Bucolic Plague: How Two Manhattanites Became Gentlemen Farmers (Harper 2010), and the novel Candy Everybody Wants (Harper Perennial 2008). He and his partner, Brent Ridge, are also the stars of Planet Green's The Fabulous Beekman Boys. Kilmer-Purcell writes a monthly c ...more
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“Jayson had decided that he was homosexual while watching a Phil Donahue episode on the topic eight years earlier. He’d come home early from kindergarten that day because he’d gotten a stomach ache from worrying about whether his Hee Haw overalls were too outré for his peers.” 0 likes
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