Author: Luke Davies
Page Count/Review Word Count: 295
You might have heard of this book before, without realising it – it was turned in to a film starring Heath Ledger, but while the film is merely good, the book is excellent. Davies is a fantastic writer, and he has the vibe of a man who writes because he can’t help himself and not because he wants a pay cheque, fame or immortality.
Candy tells the story of a young couple who are deeply in love with both each other and with something far more sinister. At first, they enjoy their “heady, heroin-dazed days”, when the world was “open and inviting”. Then came the dark days, and boy, were they dark.
Davies has confirmed that the book is self-reflective and partly autobiographical, but it’s a work of fiction rather than a memoir, even if there are a lot of similarities. The author himself was a heroin addict in the 1980s, and so he’s writing from real experience. It’s tragic, especially when you know that this sort of thing happens more often than you might think.
And that’s just it – Candy is a wonderful piece of work because it captures human nature at its weakest, and you get a sense of overwhelming honesty despite it being a work of fiction. The film’s pretty good as well, but as with most things you should read the book first, if possible. It’s worth it, believe me.
One of the true signs of success here is the way in which Davies took a terrible period of his life and turned it in to something positive, a story that’s somehow inspirational despite all of the darkness. Definitely one to read before you die.