Release Date
April 2022
11 hours 11 minutes
* A New York Times Book Review Top 10 Book, a New York Times Notable Book and a Time Must-Read Book of 2022* Named a Best Book of 2022 by Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, NPR, Oprah Daily, Real Simple, Time Vogue, Vulture, The New Yorker and more! *

Longlisted for the 2023 Carnegie Medal for Excellence
Selected as One of Barack Obama’s Summer 2022 Reading List Picks!

“A compelling read that showcases Egan’s masterful storytelling.” —Time
“Dazzling.” —Vogue
“Radiant, exhilarating.” —Slate
“Mesmerizing…A thought-provoking examination of how and why we change.” —People

From one of the most celebrated writers of our time comes an “inventive, effervescent” (Oprah Daily) novel about the memory and quest for authenticity and human connection.

The Candy House opens with the staggeringly brilliant Bix Bouton, whose company, Mandala, is so successful that he is “one of those tech demi-gods with whom we’re all on a first name basis.” Bix is forty, with four kids, restless, and desperate for a new idea, when he stumbles into a conversation group, mostly Columbia professors, one of whom is experimenting with downloading or “externalizing” memory. Within a decade, Bix’s new technology, “Own Your Unconscious”—which allows you access to every memory you’ve ever had, and to share your memories in exchange for access to the memories of others—has seduced multitudes.

In the world of Egan’s spectacular imagination, there are “counters” who track and exploit desires and there are “eluders,” those who understand the price of taking a bite of the Candy House. Egan introduces these characters in an astonishing array of narrative styles—from omniscient to first person plural to a duet of voices, an epistolary chapter, and a chapter of tweets. Intellectually dazzling, The Candy House is also a moving testament to the tenacity and transcendence of human longing for connection, family, privacy, and love.

“A beautiful exploration of loss, memory, and history” (San Francisco Chronicle), “this is minimalist maximalism. It’s as if Egan compressed a big 19th-century novel onto a flash drive” (The New York Times).
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Martha A.

Impossible to follow the stories, characters and family storyline while reading. Took 4 pages of notes to even begin to understand what was going on! Disappointed that story wasn't more about the development, testing and use of owning your consciousness. Uses that were there are somewhat buried under convoluted storylines.

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Anna S.

Disappointed that the book is so scattered and doesn’t hold together around any idea. Disappointed that all the characters feel the right to be obnoxious, without merely ever questioning or analyzing their own behavior, regretting anything. None of the characters transform or grow, they’re flat. It makes all of them seem like “proxies” or not real, imaginary. They don’t resemble any humane characteristics in that sense, that makes this book a huge failure.

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Emily B.

Boring, no resolution and too many random story lines

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Lisa H.

I did not like this book. It never really came together. Maybe I disliked the way it bounced around in time and person but I kept listening because I thought it would all make sense at the end. I guess I see where it kinda wrapped up but not a fan of the style or story.

The Candy House: A Novel
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