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Syrup Hardcover – July 1, 1999
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From Publishers Weekly
Lampooning corporate "ethics," sexual politics and the marketing and film industries, this clever debut satire by 25-year-old Australian writer Barry will have readers nodding in agreement and quoting it to their friends. Ingenuous new marketing graduate Scat (he feels that his full name, Michael George Holloway, just won't do for a career in marketing) moves to L.A. hoping to become rich and famous. After he gets a million-dollar idea for a new cola product, cheeky and arrogant Scat approaches a beautiful, ruthless marketing manager named 6 at Coca-Cola. The new product's name is, hilariously, a "dirty" word, spelled unconventionally and in stylish font on a black can. But before Scat's cash cow can be milked, his roommate Sneaky Pete steals the idea, is hired by Coke, and soon holds the purse-strings for Coca-Cola's biggest marketing undertaking ever, a $140 million movie. The infuriated Scat joins forces with 6 to create their own, better movie, with a measly $10,000 budget. With Scat's creative ideas, 6's business acumen and the help of 6's film-major roommate Tina, and Scat's actress ex-girlfriend Cindy, they set out to beat Sneaky Pete at his own game. Scat and 6 have an affectionate, wary bond (even though Scat's crazy for her and she claims she's a lesbian), and together they nimbly dodge the clever, ever-surprising political landmines that Sneaky Pete sets in their path. In the end, Scat's na?vet? and creative enthusiasm help him win his dream and the girl. By that point, readers will be rooting for him and will know much more about the politics of business, films, marketing and sex. Foreign rights sold in France, Italy, Germany and Australia. (July)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Twenty-three-year-old marketing graduate Scat (n? Michael) is in search of the American dream of wealth, fame, friendship with movie stars, and true love. He thinks he just may have it all in sight when he comes up with a brilliant idea for a new soft drink, Fukk Cola, and the beautiful new-products manager at Coke, the improbably named 6, agrees that it has definite possibilities. Unfortunately, Sneaky Pete, Scat's roommate, lives up to his name and steals Fukk in order to get a head start up the corporate ladder. Many connivances and contrivances later, 6 and Scat take on Sneaky Pete and his assistant @ directly in a last-ditch struggle to assume ascendancy at Coke. Will 6 and Scat fall in love? Will they succeed in vanquishing Sneaky Pete? With Winona Ryder, Brad Pitt, and Tom Cruise making cameo appearances and Gwyneth Paltrow acting as deus ex machina, how could dreams not come true? Never as hilarious as the author intended, this first novel remains a moderately humorous riff on advertising and corporate life.ANancy Pearl, Washington Ctr. for the Book, Seattle
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
I absolutely enjoyed the book from start to end, and continue to enjoy it every time I read it. It brings a smile to my face, it makes me laugh out in places where laughing out is completely inappropriate. Syrup makes "marketing" interesting enough to understand and pleasantly entertaining to read. It's literally pure satire about marketing a new product.
This has to be one of the most ingenious books I have had the pleasure of reading yet.
Good going, Maxx Barry, I applaud you.
I give 4 comparing his previous, if this were his first (or mine of his) would be a 5.
This book is about a man who is an "idea man." As the cover shows he is working for a soda company, and not just any soda company, Coke. He first comes up with the idea for a new soda and then starts to run ads for them. There are twists and turns along the way which I will not divulge here. There is a hint of romance and lots of hardship followed by shear determination. If you have read other Maxx Barry books then you will be able to predict some of the things that happen. If not, there might be some great surprises in store.
So of course it's the one they made into a movie... but that's a different review.
I know this review did not get into details of this book and why it's good or bad, but there are plenty of reviews that give an outline of Syrup. I just had something to say about this book. So I did.