After the mid-sixties, however, as Southern moved into Hollywood screenwriting, there were few further critical responses to Candy. Upon its first publication, in a considerably reduced and censored form in Britain in 1968, a number of reviews returned to the question of "pornography." For example, R. G. G. Price, in the weekly magazine, Punch of September 18, 1968, found the book relatively innocuous and "lighthearted", but queried its status as "satire". The leading London critic, Ian Hamilton, in The Listener of September 12, 1968, observes that the book's humor invalidates the "high art" argument that had been proposed in favour of the publication of such books as Lady Chatterley's Lover and Selby's Last Exit to Brooklyn: its very lack of seriousness, Hamilton suggests, lets the guard down.
Nevertheless, interestingly, Hamilton views the book as an attack on "American" values: "god-fearing, ad-enslaved, over-analysed America ...'the book has a message after all!'." On the other hand, in one of the very few academic articles written on the book, William Walling insists on the intensely, and nostalgic background to Candy as a product of the American 1950s, within the context of the apparent sexual constraints as expressed in the popular cultural forms of the Eisenhower era. Walling's analysis, provocative and intelligent, was a signal exception to the absence of interest in Southern's work by academic authors up to the end of the 1990s.
Southern's late publications, and death in the 1990s gave rise to a number of reconsiderations of his work, but almost all of these retrospectives and obituaries seemed to consider the writer as having failed to fulfil early promise, and his novels as of little interest, other than as signposts to a lost generation. However, Southern's death in 1995 coincided with an awakening of interest in the "sixties", and as Lee Hill's biography, A Grand Guy, and numerous obituaries attest, Southern himself has become the object of interest, as one of the cultural icons of the decade. (Note, for example, how many 1990s' reviews and obituaries begin with the observation that Southern is one of the figures on the cover of the Beatles' Sergeant Pepper.) Such works as the forthcoming The Candy Men, by Southern's son, Nile Southern, may (at the time of writing in November 2002) lead to a reconsideration of the slight, but significant oeuvre of the author.
William Styron, 'Tootsie Rolls' [Review of Candy] New York Review of Books, May 14, 1964.
Conrad Knickerbocker, 'Candide as Co-ed' [Review of Candy] New York Times Book Review, May 17, 1964.
Nelson Algren, 'The Donkeyman by Twilight' [Review of Candy] The Nation, May 18, 1964.
Ian Hamilton, 'Cutting Candy Dead' [review of Candy, British edition], The Listener, Sept. 12, 1968.
R. G. G. Price, [review of Candy, British edition], Punch, Sept. 18, 1968.
William Walling, 'Candy in Context,' in Comedy: New Perspectives, ed. Maurice Charney [New York Literary Forum, vol. I] New York: Spring, 1978.
Lee Hill, A Grand Guy: The Life and Art of Terry Southern New York, 2001.