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Publisher's Summary

From award-winning journalist David Kushner, a regular contributor to Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and other premier magazines, Alligator Candy is a reported memoir about family, survival, and the unwavering power of love. 

David Kushner grew up in the early 1970s in the Florida suburbs. It was when kids still ran free, riding bikes and disappearing into the nearby woods for hours at a time. One morning in 1973, however, everything changed. David’s older brother, Jon, biked through the forest to the convenience store for candy, and never returned. 

Every life has a defining moment, a single act that charts the course we take and determines who we become. For Kushner, it was Jon’s disappearance - a tragedy that shocked his family and the community at large. 

Decades later, now a grown man with kids of his own, Kushner found himself unsatisfied with his own memories and decided to revisit the episode a different way: through the eyes of a reporter. His investigation brought him back to the places and people he once knew and slowly made him realize just how much his past had affected his present. 

After sifting through hundreds of documents and reports, conducting dozens of interviews, and poring over numerous firsthand accounts, he has produced a powerful and inspiring story of loss, perseverance, and memory. Alligator Candy is searing and unforgettable.

©2016 David Kushner (P)2016 Novel Audio Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Kushner's moving book is not only a memorial to a brother tragically deprived of his right to live; it is also a meditation on the courage necessary to live freely in a world riven by pain, suffering, and evil. A probing, poignant memoir about tragedy, grief, and trying to cope.'' (Kirkus Reviews)

''Kushner's riveting memoir, Alligator Candy, begins by asking how any parent or family can survive such unimaginable evil and devastating grief….Parents today can understand the love, hope and fear he so eloquently describes in this account of one family's transcendent courage in the face of crushing pain.'' (Bookpage, Top Ten Book of the Month)

 ''A powerful exploration of loss, survival and the tricks of memory.'' (NPR, Best Books of 2016)

What listeners say about Alligator Candy

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Very well done

This was great. A sad story, hard to write no doubt and hard to perform. The storytelling was amazing. The writing style was impressive and narration was very well done. Thanks David for telling this story about your brother, you and your family - Nic from True Crime Garage podcast

2 people found this helpful

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Powerful

Is this a true crime story? Yes. But even more so it is a story of loss, grief, family, community, love, and reconciliation.

It was a single sitting, up until 3am, book. Compelling and wonderfully performed.

We should all be so gracefilled in the face of tragedy.

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Excellent Listen

Powerful story of loss. You actually think the narrator is the author. It is not an easy listen because the subject tells the tragic story of a boy gone missing.

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Fantastic

This was immersing, gut wrenching and inspiring. Great narration also. It puts you in the shoes of the family the best it can without having suffered this type of trauma yourself. Highly recommend.

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Heartbreaking story

This book tells a sad, heartbreaking story, yet is beautifully told and fascinating.

I do not care much for the narrator: He seems close to tears himself through several passages of the book. It is unclear if he’s putting on an act or is actually having trouble to keep it together. This is distracting and uncomfortable. The story is heartbreaking by itself and does not require any “here comes some extra sad stuff”-prompts from the narrator.