Saturday, May 2, 2009

Premature Book Review: Candy

Candy is the first book I have read by Terry Southern. I am an impulsive book buyer, and Southern's work is not in wide distribution, despite Gore Vidal's proclamation that "Terry Southern is the most profoundly witty writer of our generation." And Gore Vidal is no slouch himself. Now, I am an Amazon Kindle owner, which could be very dangerous for an impulsive book buyer, save that like my taste in movies, my taste in books tends to be on the 99¢ shelf. If you are not familiar with Southern, you might check out the expansive Wikipedia article on him, but let us just say his pen is behind the screenplays for Doctor Strangelove and Easy Rider.

So far Candy is the story of Candy Christian, a middle-class college student who, like many college students, is rebelling against the values of her parents. She is highly naïve. She is childish and unaware of the sexual force she exerts over men, and ignorant of their designs towards her.

The book is nicely paced and humorous. Unlike most books with the erotic bent, there is no grand description of Candy, either physically or metaphysically. She is supposed to be outrageously beautiful (the heroine always is), so there is no need to belabor the point.

I have a sneaking suspicion that this is going to take a Justine turn, which is fairly natural since Sade borrows from Candide, and Southern quotes Voltaire in the beginning. Both are stories of a young beautiful person's trials and tribulations in the a world that is bigger than they imagined possible. Also, to admit my stupidity, "Candy" and "Candide" are pretty obviously similar (d'oh!).


iasa said...

Possibly interesting, keep us posted. If it goes the way of Justine i may haffi pass.

Lockwood said...

I think Terry Southern also wrote "The Magic Christian." Just googled it to be sure; he did. Fun book, hilarious movie with Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr. Also, just responded to your eye meme.

Darius Whiteplume said...

@iasa - I doubt it will go that far. :-)

@Lockwood - I wanted to read The Magic Christian originally, but came across Candy first.

Becca said...

I started reading this a while back but got distracted and never finished. It's one of those things I've always meant to go back and finish reading.

The movie is AMAZING but also completely INSANE. Seriously. Must see it...but I can't guarantee you'll like it.

I'll be curious to see what you think when you finish the book.

Darius Whiteplume said...

I think the movie drew me to the title. It is out of release, and goes for like $100 used. I know better than that ;-)

I am looking into this "Magnificent Mandarin" ballet he mentions briefly, which is about a series of seductions... I am reaching the half-way point soon (slow reader).

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