if the difference in appeal between reading pornography and reading erotica is in the artistry of the language and the sophistication & depth of the emotions conveyed, then perhaps the difference between reading erotica and reading the erotic literary novel is in the richness of its thematic elements. Candy's depiction of a very horny 50s america is also a depiction of the various obsessions and bugaboos of that time period, and in that way it is somewhat interesting.
Turning a profit (or receiving a donation) from books which degrade women such as Candy seemingly goes against their principles, and thus supports my oft-mocked theory this place is actually a front for either a Nicaraguan drug ring or assists in exporting young white girls as slaves to Mozambique. Anyway, let me explain to you just how seedy this book was, by providing sample text from the front and back covers (all I dared to inspect under the watchful eye of the slightly-frightened lady accommodating my perusal); the cover alone promised I was holding the worlds most talked about book, and the back had an excerpt from the story which contained this brilliance But, oh Daddy, when Uncle Jack looked at me that way, and when he beseeched me to give him all my true warmth on the hospital floor, his need was so great, so so aching- of course I gave to him The fact I enthusiastically purchased this gives you some sickening insight to my soul. A few pages in, I thought I knew exactly what was going on in the book, that this was just some hastily-scribbled smut working the Daddys Worst Nightmare scenario; the protagonist, Candy Christian, is Daddys Little Girl, and also a mindless, burgeoning skank under the tutelage of erudite, bohemian hep-cat Professor Mephesto. Luckily for those of us reading Candy for a good laugh, Daddy Christian is a little more imaginative than all that. After catching Candy preparing to fellate the totally stereotypical and monosyllabic Mexican gardener, Emmanuel, his thoughts are revealed: It was not as though he couldnt believe his eyes, for it was a scene that had formed a part of many of his most lively and hideous dreams - dreams which began with Candy be ravished, first by Mephesto, then by foreigners, then by negroes, then gorillas, then bulldogs, then donkeys, horses, mules, kangaroos, elephants, rhinos, and finally, in the grand finale, by all of them at once, grouped around different parts of her, though it was Candy who was the aggressor, she who was voraciously ravishing them, frantically forcing the bunched and spurting organs into every orifice, vagina, anus, mouth, ears, nose.he had even dreamed once that she asked him if it were true that there was a small uncovered opening in the pupil of the eye, because if it were she would have room there for a praying mantis. With my Daddys Worst Nightmare theory sadly thrown to the wind, the book continues as a tongue in cheek parody of Candide, except instead of arguing the idea that we live in the best of all possible worlds by entangling the narrator in all sorts of life-threatening misfortunes, here we see the argument against free love being the best of all possible privileges by getting Candy worked-over in increasingly insane sexual imbroglios.
Now, while I was reading Candy I couldn't help but notice remarkable similarities: Candy Christian behaves more like a battery-operated talking fuckdoll than a human being, just like... Candy is comprised of a series of disconnected events (calling it a "plot" is something I have a lot of reservations about.) just like Barbarella... Then, she got into bed quickly, under the sheet, almost soundlessly, saying, "Darling, darling," and cuddling him to her at once, while he, his head with the most freakish thoughts imaginable--all about tubs of living and broken toys, every manner of excrement, scorpions, steelwool, pig-masks, odd metal harness, etc.--tried desperately to pry into the images a single reminder: the money!
Another "gentleman" said that the ridiculous situations Candy finds herself in, i.e. a full gynecological exam in a public restroom, a Buddha statue's nose shoved up her ass as a penis fills her front, are all situations that men, being the oversexed beings they are, truly believe could happen. If I had read that review first I know I would have been more amused by this book than sickened.
I actually laughed aloud on the bus when I came to this, spouted by the lascivious Aunt Liv: "I'm in the mood for cock and plenty of it! Methinks the book is falling apart a bit after the terrific flowing momentum of its first third. Surprisingly, the book is not as dirty as a lot of people seem to be suggesting. It's hard to think of anyone getting off to this book; it's mainly a comedy.
So, the book is indefensible by todays standards true enough, but so are other maybe less egregious novels that are offensive, statues, appropriations/naming, etc., etc., thats where this is going isnt it, banning everything that rubs the mobs ire? So thats how it was (in places) while things were shaping - cant we who know better survive the ignominy of looking/reading/comprehending the wrongness and move on unvictimized?
Coming in at #2 on the 1964 bestseller list is what I found to be a quite silly book, intended to be a satire on American mores, mostly sex. I am a tough customer when it comes to satire and though I got a few laughs from Candy, I was glad it was short and soon over.
A two-hour read at most with some laughs ("Derek" the hunchback) and some shocks (the Buddha's nose). And if the youtube trailer is anything to go by, the movie is not faithful to the book - going for a Laugh-In vibe, an aren't-we-naughty-wink-wink all-star cast (Richard Burton?!
Terry Southern was a highly influential American short story writer, novelist, essayist, screenwriter and university lecturer noted for his distinctive satirical style.