Saturday, December 01, 2007

Gym Candy by Carl Deuker

Well, I asked for and received and advance reading copy of Gym Candy by Carl Deuker which was published a few months ago. As I suspected, it was primarily a sports book. Deuker is one of the few men who write about high school guys playing sports. I have other books he has written in my collection here and I have suggested them many times to students looking for a sports novel but I had never read one myself, until now.

The young man in this story is Mick Jones and he is groomed to be a football start from a young age by a dad who got all the way to the professional football level, only to fail. So, in his son, he sees another chance.

And because of this pressure, Mick starts going to the privately owned gym his dad belongs to through his work. It's a trainer at the gym who first gives Mick steroids, also known as "gym candy." What's ironic is that Mick and his buddy both went to see the trainer together and had a bad feeling about him but it was because the boys thought he was gay and trying to touch them too much.

So, it turns out, they were correct in their suspicions, but for the wrong reason. He was as bad as a drug dealer selling marijuana when he started getting Mick to buy D-bol! And when Mick sees the awful side-effects, like the puffy nipples and the rampant acne on his chest and back, he wants to stop. And he does. For a little while.

The urge to win becomes so overwhelming that Mick returns to the trainer to get more powerful steroids which he injects and, well, I won't give away the ending but it's certainly not one of the happier books I've read lately.

If you're interested in an action-packed football story, take a look at Gym Candy or if you want to read about another sport, try something else by Carl Deuker.