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Candy Everybody Wants (P.S.) Paperback – Bargain Price, May 13, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
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“Josh Kilmer-Purcell is funny funny funny, one of the funniest young writers in America. In Candy Everybody Wants, he trains his insightfully sardonic eye on the world of 80’s pop culture, showing the roots that made us a nation of Britneys, American Idols, and Obamamaniacs.” (James Frey, author of Bright Shiny Morning )
“Josh Kilmer-Purcell has created rich and memorable characters that emerge from the tumultuous landscape of the 1970’s. Jayson Blocher is the Holden Caufield for a new generation who is thrust in to a Little Miss Sunshine family in the early 1980’s.” (Dr. Drew Pinsky, author of The Mirror Effect )
“A genuine comic novel filled with big laughs, Candy Everybody Wants is entertainingly out-of-left-field yet remains rooted in reality. With his second book, Kilmer-Purcell has avoided the dreaded sophomore slump. We can’t wait to see what he’ll come up with next.” (Myspace.com )
Top Customer Reviews
As a New Yorker, getting insight into a very different SoHo than the one of designer shops and the Apple store was a delight. Kilmer-Purcell manages to weave this social landscape into his otherwise quite fantastical tale that'll have you wishing Dallasty! were a real show you could Tivo.
If I had to summarize it in one word, it would be gay. No, make that Gay, in all the best senses of the word. I'd recommend to anyone who grew up worshiping at the altar of their TV screen and hoping one day it would come to life.
I enjoyed the adventure with unalloyed pleasure for almost 80% of the book, and then suddenly got very sad reading what became rapidly a threatenly unfunny twist in the plot. But, ultimately, this shift in tone resolved itself in a way that both made sense narratively as well as emotionally. In the end, the book made me wish for a sequel. I want to see where Jayson goes - when he's sixteen. He learns some hard lessons in this book, not about sexuality, but about loyalty, priority, and emotional honesty. He's a boy I'd like to know better.
Anyway...I'd recommend his other two books to anyone (over 18) at any time, but...this one is, as Josh admits...a sophomore effort.
The story takes place in the beginning of the 80s, just when a gay cancer is spreading through major cities and just when Reagan is taking his office (which is appropriate, since the novel is about a kid so obsessed with television he cannot see his own life around him and things need to be explained to him in television terms, and Reagan is the made-for-TV president), where a young boy, through a devestating series of events -- which are quite funny for the reader -- starts on his way of becoming a STAR!
The plot is episodic and like a gay Victorian novel, every pun intended. Yet, Kilmer-Purcell is a little too cruel and meddlesome on his part, bringing in new plot elements, surprise twists, and on, to really have some sort of light, breezy gay episodic romp through life that the novel kind of wants to be; while at the same time, none of his characters hardly ever stretch out to be more than caricatures, just images of the crazy mother, the protective lover, the weird friends, and odd family, and even Jayson doesn't have much going for him depth-wise.
The writing is readable enough to flirt with 'literary-ness', and Kilmer-Purcell is ambitious, tackling as many themes as he can fit into 250 pages, from love to abadonment to life of celebrity to filtering reality, but the plot-driven aspects darg it down, so it ends up flirting with both styles, which is perfectly all right, without really pulling either of them off.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This came in time, and it is one of the best books I have read. Thank youPublished 19 months ago by ilea M Casas
Kilmer-Purcell does a great job evoking the early 80's AND 12-year-old gay angst in suburban America. Rollicking cast of characters and continuously surprising plot. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Allen Foster
Author Josh Kilmer-Purcell created a cast of funny, goofy, scary, warm & fuzzy characters in "Candy Everybody Wants". Read morePublished on November 30, 2013 by Delia Donlon-DeMarini
Great writing. This should be a must read for teens! The story of a young gay boy coming of age in our strange worldPublished on July 29, 2013 by annie m
josh knows how to tell a story. I am looking forward to more tales from josh. when I read his work I cannot put it down!Published on May 28, 2013 by jason deshaies
Starts out well and with promise of a really good read but unfortunately doesn't carry through. The story becomes a bit predictable and forced. Read morePublished on March 20, 2013 by Miss Ruth Vitek
I have read Josh's other two books, and I am addicted to his choice of words and how he puts forth his ideas. He is very clever and entertaining. Read morePublished on January 17, 2013 by Richard Schillen