Candy by Mian Mian


I quit trusting anything that anyone told me.My life was skidding into darkness at high speed, and I couldn't stop it.I didn't think that there was a man anywhere in the world who could love me.I was 22 years old and dead on the vine.I want to see a thousand lonely strangers dancing happily at my party.An international literary phenomenon - now available for the first time in English translation—Candy is a blast of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll...

Details Candy

Release DateJul 15th, 2003
PublisherBack Bay Books
GenreCultural, China, Fiction, Contemporary, Asia

Reviews Candy

  • Tze-Wen
    You may wonder, why such a low rating? Well, personally, I did not like it. However, before you dismiss this book as completely unreadable, simply on the grounds of my rating... let me first explain a little about the significance of this book and some of the others in its genre. Am I making any sense? Please bear with me, while I sum up a very brief history of contemporary China.‹!-- History blurb --›You must understand that China used to be...
  • Tia
    The English translation of this doesn't seem like English. Look at this:"But once, during a fight, somebody had fired a gun, and Sanmao had fainted in fear. When he woke up, he vowed to go straight, and he took up singing songs by the Taiwan pop star Qi Tai. From there he got into rock and roll. The smell of air-conditioning, the smell of heroin, real and bogus, the smell of condoms, the smell of blow jobs, the smell of fast-food take-out contain...
  • Stephanie Spines
    I think I liked (not loved) and hated this book at the same time. It was good at the beginning and I found it quite moving. The writing is, like others say, poetic and haunting, tragic with an ounce of humour. The love story with Saining to me, didn't really get that old. It did go on for the entire book but it didn't get old for me. To me, the book went downhill fast at the end with the disjointed narrating style. Seems like Mian Mian didn't kno...
  • Vanessa Wu
    I love this book. I find it very restful. I do not like books that portray heroin addiction as heroic. The persistent image of the artist as addict is a disservice to art and creativity. Junkies have no imagination. This book is not one of those."Honestly, heroin is nothing but glorified shit."What makes this book appealing is the author's use of creative writing as a form of rehab. Her imagination is redemptive. Special praise is due, too, to An...
  • Eleanor Smith
    I wasn't particularly fond of this book whatsoever. Going into the book knowing it was banned in China, I was expecting something special. What I found instead was a sophomoric "sex, drugs and rock 'n roll" story that was dull and repetitive. The racier, drug-laden parts of the book came across as very forced to me, almost as though they were trying to be shocking. The story didn't move in such a way that compelled me to read further, but I did f...
  • Martha
    It was profoundly depressing in a captivating way. I read it in a very jaded state of mind and it surely catipulted me further into an existential rut. You get my drift. Take notes in case you want good material for an effective break up letter. loved it.
  • Angelina
    Got about 90 pages in and just gave up. Not going to finish and it went into the donation pile.
  • Hope
    Banned in China! The first half of the book pulls you in...compelling story...but by the 1/2 half, the drama gets old (and repetitive) and you wish the main character would grow a brain already.
  • ~Knoctise00~Lookout 4 gems
    An unexpected side of a young chinese girl and her life and the way that things goes for her.
  • Mags
    There are just some books that you're way too old for to enjoy. I felt like I would've liked this book better if I had read it when I was sixteen, or during that phase when I was so lost in the teenage angst that I fell too deeply in love with boys who didn't deserve it, that I questioned which was the cool thing to do despite of it being right or wrong, that everything my parents said came to me with a sole purpose of sucking the fun out of my l...
  • Ape
    Hmm. I can not quite make up my mind about this book. Or about the fact that the hype on the front of the book reckons this is one of China's most promising young writers. It's not the first book of this type I've read, although it's been a few years since I read the others. I'm not sure if the other ones were better, or I've just grown out of wanting to read this sort of thing or what.This is fiction, but I am wondering how much of it is actuall...
  • Booklover Butterfly
    Candy is a novel about a young woman, Hong, who is part of the youth culture in modern China. Hong in self destructive with her choices: she drops out of school; has shady friends and boyfriends; and struggles with addictions to sex, drugs, and alcohol. Candy gives a very good look at Hong's struggles and insecurities, as well as a good look at the nightlife in China.I loved this novel because it was potent and palpable. I was impressed with the ...
  • Xavier
    I had a love/hate relationship with this book. I often times felt like I was being dragged along through random, unimportant happenings occurring in the narrator's life. Right when I would feel like putting the book down for good, an off the wall incident would occur, grabbing my attention for the next 15 pages or so. However, I would eventually fall into the same feeling of boredom until the next incident occurred.Mian Mian's writing style was i...
  • John
    Despite an unsound narrative structure this book tugs at the heart-it's emotional and genuinely sincere in a way that you'd want/expect from the perspective of a hardcore drug user... A prodigal child's story laced with surprisingly observant moments and sometimes with hackneyed poetic metaphors that can sound like the whining of a distraught adolescent. I probably couldn't identify with anything better! And I found the protagonist's major love m...
  • Josie
    Obtained through BookMooch Hmm, I don't quite get the point. For me it started off as a bit of a "it doesn't matter about a story, just have a lot of swearing combined with shocking and crude acts and call it a plot". Then surprisingly, it got worse. I think I was intregued for all of 60 pages somewhere in the middle, but I could be mistaken. I've read a few of these Chinese New Generation authors, including Wei Hui, and I found those to be far b...
  • Sae-chan
    This was a dark story about youth with too much money (although she claimed she didn’t have any, she knew very well that daddy had a lot).This didn’t bother me at all. Actually it was a quite interesting subject to delve into. What bothered me about this book was that this wasn’t supposed to be a novel. Stringing bits and pieces of ideas written on cocktail napkins wouldn’t make a novel. As blogs, they could be interesting. I could pick r...
  • Heidi
    The writing is incredibly disjointed, in a way that makes it difficult to remain interested in the story. There is not plot so much as wandering through thoughts, with point of view switching increasingly frequently towards the end of the book. In some segments, it could be any of two or three narrators. Someone's personal diary. You're only getting the opportunity to read it because she happens to have been Chinese and publishing in the late 90s...
  • Nicholas Beck
    Scattershot, schizophrenic and messy with jarring time-frame jumps between first person and third person viewpoints. Mian Mian's novel is experimental and frankly surrealistic with whatever comes into her mind jotted down with little narrative structure or plot development.Somewhat of a chore to get through there are glimpses of sunlight through the obscuring scudding clouds .
  • Dana
    This is the most human book I've read in a long time. It's about trying to find oneself during youth.
  • Lybbie Ramagos
    I love this book it is my bible. I found it at a yard sale years ago. I have read it so many times I had to tape it to hold it together.
  • Dorottya
    1.75ishIt is more of an "it's not necessarily you, but probably me" case. I appreciated the book for writing about important issues like addiction and how it shapes your personal relationships, how a seemingly conscious rebellion against classically white-collar values / notions shapes someone's life (it was really interesting for me that the narrator said oh, "I am going to banish intellectuality from my life", but she basically just banished th...
  • Ming Jiu Li
    For the first hundred pages I felt it was simply "okay," maybe even closer to a book I did not really appreciate - too depressing! It gets better when it starts to pay attention to other characters that are in "the South," their stories are written with both empathy and despair. The stream of consciousness and shifting perspectives for the last third of the book kept me engaged.
  • Alisha Zalak
    "Honestly, heroin is glorified shit." -an exert from 'Candy'
  • Hilvia.r.luna (bazar de los libros olvidados )
    I love it!
  • John
    These party/drug generation writers that were around at the year 2000 are really annoying and barely readable to me.
  • Michele
    This book reads like a cross between the sexually charged naivete of Anais Nin and the drug-fueled wanderings of Burroughs.
  • XO
    Maybe 2.5? Some parts of it where a very interesting, but most of it seemed silly.
  • Ethan Drott
    I think a lot of people can relate to “Candy”. It’s sad, raw, and honest. It is a little disorganized and confusing at times but overall, I really connected with it.
  • DD
    “ morning as the sun was coming up I told myself that I had to swallow up all of the fear and garbage around me, and once it was inside me I had to transform it all into candy. Because I know you will be able to love me for it.”- Mian Mian I actually like Candy more than I should. I mean, the main character pretty much engrossed in the same habits over and over again, all the while remarking how they were terrible and that she would nev...