A Novel of Love and Addiction
By Luke Davies
(Ballantine Books, Paperback, 9780345423870, 304pp.)
Publication Date: June 16, 1998
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"Candy is beside me, drenched in sweat. She's breathing gently, long slow breaths. I imagine her soul going in and out: wanting to leave, wanting to come back, wanting to leave, wanting to come back. The day will soon harden into what we need to do. But for now we have each other. . . ."
He met Candy amid a lush Sydney summer. Gorgeous, sexy, free-spirited Candy. They fell in love fast, lots of laughter and lust, the days melting warmly into each other. He never planned to give her a habit. But she wanted a taste. And wasn't love, after all, about sharing lives? Candy had a bit of money and in the beginning, everything was beautiful. Heady, heroin-hazed days, the world open and inviting. But when the money ran out, the craving remained, and the days ceased their luxurious stretch.
But there was still love. Only now, it was a threesome. Heroin had its own demands, its own timetable, and thoughts of nabbing the next fix hurled them into each day. Then, when desperation sets in, Candy will stop at nothing to secure a blast, as she and her lover become hostage to the nightmarish world of addiction.
Painful, sexy, tender, and charged with dark humor, Candy provocatively charts the daily rituals of two lovers maintaining a long-term junk habit. Told in stunningly vivid prose and set against the backdrop of suburban and urban Australia, Candy is both an electrifying and frightening glimpse of contemporary life and love.
Luke Davies was born in Sydney in 1962. He has worked variously as a truck driver, teacher, and journalist. His collection of poetry Absolute Event Horizon was shortlisted for the 1995 Turnbull Fox Phillips poetry prize.
I thought, "I'll read a couple of pages of this just to confirm that it's bad." I couldn't stop reading. When I did have to stop, I couldn't wait to get back to it. I felt a small measure of the narrator's compulsion in my own addicition to reading this book. Of course the topic is horrifying, but this was well-written. A great read for understanding the nightmares and rationalizations of the heroin addict.