We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

The Candy House

On sale

28th April 2022

Price: £20

Select a format

Selected: Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781472150912

Disclosure: If you buy products using the retailer buttons above, we may earn a commission from the retailers you visit.


From one of the most dazzling and iconic writers of our time comes an electrifying, deeply moving novel about the quest for authenticity, privacy, and meaning in a world where our memories are no longer our own–featuring characters from A Visit from the Goon Squad.

It’s 2010. Staggeringly successful and brilliant tech entrepreneur Bix Bouton is desperate for a new idea. He’s forty, with four kids, and restless when he stumbles into a conversation with mostly Columbia professors, one of whom is experimenting with downloading or “externalising” memory. Within a decade, Bix’s new technology, Own Your Unconscious–that allows you access to every memory you’ve ever had, and to share every memory in exchange for access to the memories of others–has seduced multitudes. But not everyone.

In spellbinding linked narratives, Egan spins out the consequences of Own Your Unconscious through the lives of multiple characters whose paths intersect over several decades. Intellectually dazzling and extraordinarily moving, The Candy House is a bold, brilliant imagining of a world that is moments away. With a focus on social media, gaming, and alternate worlds, you can almost experience moving among dimensions in a role-playing game. Egan takes her “deeply intuitive forays into the darker aspects of our technology-driven, image-saturated culture” (Vogue) to stunning new heights and delivers a fierce and exhilarating testament to the tenacity and transcendence of human longing for real connection, love, family, privacy and redemption.


It may be the smartest novel you've read all year
The Times
Playful... By means probably even they cannot explain, novelists loot the experiences of others and distribute them equably with no reference to fancy uploading machines. And no one writing now does it more generously than Egan. I hope she wins another Pulitzer.
Publisher’s Weekly
'Egan returns to the fertile territory and characters of A Visit from the Goon Squad with an electrifying and shape-shifting story that one-ups its Pulitzer-winning predecessor'
Entertainment Weekly
[The Candy House] does what only the best and rarest books can: peel back the thin membrane of ordinary life, and find transcendence on the other side
The Gloss
[A] mind-bending book full of techies and artists and savvy entrepreneurs catching various waves as the action moves from the late 1960s to the 2030s...Just as you're in deep with one story, another unfolds in what is a true box of candy of a book
Margaret Atwood, via Twitter
'A fast-paced polyvoiced romp through America in the grip of a sinister tech that allows others into your mind. EEK! Includes a dazzling novella Egan wrote'
A dazzling feat of literary construction that belies the profound questions at its core: Does technology aid our sense of narrative or obscure it?
The Book-It-List
'Intellectually dazzling and extraordinarily moving . . . Egan's writing - as always - is flawless, offering plenty to think about'
A Time Magazine Must-Read
Financial Times
'Humming with a sustained brio, The Candy House is especially rewarding on a micro level. Even post-BLM, Egan felt free to write from the perspective of a black character, as she should feel free, and she's apt to get away with it, too. The chapter narrated by an autistic character is convincing. Egan is particularly good at evoking the insecure teenage girl. The writing is stylish: "a man of so few words that the occasional word he did utter had the cleaving finality of an ax splitting a log". The novel is spirited, playful, sometimes incisive. So who cares if I can't remember anyone's name'
Harper's Bazaar
'Playfully twists various narratives into a series of compelling interconnected vignettes, featuring many of the same characters from her award-laden 2010 novel. Ever the consummate storyteller and with a deft and powerful sense of characterisation, Egan is sure to have struck gold once more'
Library Journal
'A forceful, wonderfully fragmented novel of a terrifyingly possible future, as intellectually rigorous as it is formally impressive, and yet another monumental work from Egan'
i News
At the level of the sentence, The Candy House zings
Evening Standard
The Candy House is a bold, eclectic novel about the darker sides of the digital age. It's quietly captivating
'A complex, compelling read that showcases Egan's masterful storytelling'
Booklist, STARRED review
Haunting and often hilarious...a wondrous, riotously inventive work of speculative fiction
Economist, Book of the Year 2022
For all its fluency in the languages of gaming, addiction and tech, this is a social novel with numerous characters and perspectives; a kind of 21st-century "Middlemarch"
Sunday Times
At its best it reads as if AM Homes, George Saunders and David Foster Wallace took turns in rewriting Middlemarch for our modern age. It's full of melancholic commentary about the human need for redemption, reinvention and reconciliation.
Good Housekeeping
[An] inventive, intelligent novel... rooted in human stories
USA Today
Tech guru Bix Bouton creates 'Own Your Unconscious,' a technology that allows users to access and share every memory they've ever had. It's a concept so killer, it's hard to believe such technology doesn't already exist
Exhilarating, deeply-pleasurable
Taum Herald
Part social-media satire, part treatise on nostalgia and ownership of experience, The Candy House is experimental and intriguing, with each chapter often vastly different from the last... The Candy House is a tour-de-force, an exceptional book...bold and inventive...stunning
The Irish Times
Intellectual, philosophical, empathetic, moving - The Candy House further cements Egan's iconic status in contemporary literature
'Fans of A Visit from the Goon Squad will not want to miss this new novel'
The Independent
Poignant and entertaining
The Tablet
Dazzling - and often very funny...Egan's style is compulsively readable
This novel is a triumphant exploration of analogue versus digital, surveillance versus freedom, literature versus technology. Egan's virtuosity in style and form allows her to reflect life online, her characters changing with the fluidity of a status update
The Irish Times, A Best Book of 2022
As thought-provoking as it is entertaining
Mail on Sunday
Egan is one of the few names that, when linked with the expression 'novel of ideas', makes the heart sing rather than sink
A Life in Books
Oprah Daily
Inventive, effervescent...Egan plaits multiple narratives and techniques to underscore the manifold ways our own desires betray us in a brave new coded world
Good Housekeeping
You don't have to read A Visit From the Goon Squad to love this sibling novel to Egan's stellar hit...complex and intimate
Sainsbury's Magazine
A staggering story in concept and thrilling in delivery
Kirkus Reviews
'A thrilling, endlessly stimulating work that demands to be read and reread'
The Guardian
The Candy House... offer[s] [a] powerful and nuanced critique of surveillance capitalism
Very funny, penetrating, and impactful
A mind-bending book full of techies and artists and savvy entrepreneurs...Just as you're in deep with one story, another unfolds in what is a true box of candy of a book
The Telegraph
Mind-bogglingly clever
The Daily Mirror
Everything [Egan] writes fizzes with ideas and feels wonderfully warm and engaging at the same time... [The Candy House] gives you more insight into how people tick than you'd get from six months' scrolling on social media
Just as innovative, wise, funny and confounding as its predecessor.
Spears Wealth Management
[A] colourful tale packed with poignancy... Egan has produced a powerful satire of social media culture while telling a deeply intimate story about family
Irish Times
This novel is a triumphant exploration of analogue versus digital, surveillance versus freedom, literature versus technology
Bloomburg Businessweek
'Egan is skilful, even masterful, at writing in a variety of styles and formats to suit each character's voice, making the book that much more real and that much more affecting'
The Spectator
a collection of exceptionally clever, sometimes funny short stories
A clever, endlessly inventive exploration of our increasingly connected, surveilled society and the individual yearning for privacy and meaning
Evening Standard
The Candy House is just as compelling as its predecessor... some brilliantly executed scenes
Guardian, Book of the Year 2022
Dazzling inventiveness