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Syrup Paperback – July 1, 2000
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From the Back Cover
Scat is young, confused, underemployed, and in Los Angeles, so when he comes up with the idea for the hottest new soda ever, he's sure he'll retire as the next overnight sensation. But in the treacherous waters of corporate America there are no sure things -- and suddenly Scat has to save not only his idea but his yet-to-be-realized career. With the help of the scarily beautiful and brainy 6 -- who has all the angles Scat so desperately desires -- he sets out on a mission to reclaim the fame and fortune that, time and again, elude him. This brilliant debut is a hilarious send-up of celebrity, sexual politics, and the lengths to which a young man will go to get ahead and get a date.
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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.
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.
I have not read a novel that I didn't like in some way. "Syrup" is no different, but it was lacking in a few areas for me. First, I feel that the characters have only one dimension. Scat himself is a man who does not change, and I felt very little for his character. Meeting 6 made his character even more difficult to follow. 6 herself was someone that I found no connection with, even at the end. Barry could have kept her flaws, which in turn, are great strengths in the world of Coca Cola and made her more identifiable (oh no, I'm using their jargon).
Secondly, the transitioning was... awful. I think the reason this was such a quick read is because there was absolutely no authentic transitioning. One minute Scat is with Cindy and the next, he's with 6 again, and there's no moment of reflection for him. This is just what pleases me aesthetically as a reader. Although Scat explains what he's going through, I don't feel that it's authentic. This is the main reason I didn't fall in love with the book. It's too ironic for its own good.
Some of the dialogue was clever, and I did laugh out loud a few times. I would recommend this novel to someone in high school, but for someone who's looking for a very quick read. I read this within a day and found it to be enjoyable, but it wasn't the novel that I was hoping for.