I don't even like candy. Or chocolate. And in Steve Almond's eyes, that makes me little more than a joyless husk, a prime suspect for mental disorder, and the first against the wall when the revolution comes.
Bless his neurotic heart, I still enjoyed his book. The man - whose last name is Almond, which never gets old - hits the road in search of the little-guy confectioners that used to pepper the American marketplace. The heyday of the sweet tooth peaked in the 1920s and 30s, and has declined ever since, until even the most passionate chocolatiers can't afford to even buy their way onto supermarket shelves.
Almond discovers fellow 'freaks' in little corners of Kansas and Idaho, who fight for their survival against the moneyed mega-candies like Snickers and Hershey's. The journey across the country becomes a spiritual quest of sorts - and as the book progresses, Almond outright admits that his obsession with candy stems from a need to sooth the aching loneliness that underpins his inner life. Almond's victory comes from his ability to take his everyday manic behavior, and turn it into something that is equal parts endearing and charming.