Work Title: Candy in Action
Work Author(s): Matthue Roth
Soft Skull Press
224 pages, Hardcover $15.95
Reviewer: Elizabeth Breau
The feminist call for good female role models has been wildly successful. Hermione Granger's wit and grit shine brightly among wizards, while Candy Cohen sparkles in the realm of mere heroines with mortal skills.
Candy is the only child of a wealthy doctor, and not only is she a college student who plans on going to medical school, but she's paying her own way by modeling and working in a family restaurant. The restaurant job is to keep her grounded, but the modeling is what really pays the bills. Cynical about her beauty and the men it attracts, she observes their behavior clinically, saying, for example, that a restaurant customer "was already pissed that I didn't lean over to put his food down so he could look down the front of my shirt." Candy's wit, sass, and verve sustain her as she embarks on an international flight from a stalker whose ultimatum of "date me or die" proves to be a serious threat.
Preston Reign owns a cosmetics company and is "heir to one of the largest fortunes in North America." When Candy turns him down for a date, he shows up in her bedroom, accompanied by three goons. Outraged, Candy breaks out her kung fu kit, jamming "two fingers into a pressure point right below his ear." The goons attack en masse, and "my left leg swung into a battle kick" as she knocks all three of them unconscious in thirty seconds flat.
Luckily, Candy doesn't have to evade Preston on her own. Her best friend Velma---who is even more fabulously wealthy---accompanies her through Preston's increasing (and Matrix-style unbelievable) attempts to coerce Candy. As the plot spins in an ever-widening gyre, Velma breaks out a secret gold cell phone and calls in the resources of her "Family." And yes, as Candy learns, that does mean think "Sopranos."
Enter Mr. Patterson, a Family employee whose expertise uniquely qualifies him to ensure...