This brilliant debut is a scathingly hilarious send-up of celebrity, sexual politics, corporate America, and the fleeting status that comes with getting to the table first before the other guy has you for lunch.
©1999 Maxx Barry; (P)2006 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"Seductively hip....Wickedly funny." (USA Today)
"Barry's delightful first novel delivers a charming and hilarious send-up of the wicked world of marketing....This terrific comic novel is certain to provoke as many belly laughs in print as it might one day on screen." (Booklist)
"A deft, satirical indictment of an industry that makes its living pushing satire, Syrup is understandably deep in hip meta references. What distinguishes the novel from, say, a Thomas Frank-style critique is that it never gets mushy, even after Scat lands the girl." (SPIN)
Reading Syrup gives a deeper understanding of Max Barry's other remarkable works including my favorite, Jennifer Government. It's too bad Audible misspelled his first name because it breaks the link from Syrup to Machine Man, Lexicon, JG, and Company... all interesting and thought provoking while also just good reads.
Perhaps because advertising is my profession, I may have had more issues with this book than the average reader. Marketing and Advertising are not the same thing. Getting around that for me made the book less appealing.
Maxx Barry typically has a fantastic sense of humor and a biting satirical view of consumerist and technology culture. Syrup had some of that but lacked some of the darker insights from his previous books. This was not Jennifer Government. I wasn't a fan of either of the lead characters and though I think the flimsy love story was a metaphor for "marketing" I still found it pointless to the story. With most of Maxx Barry's work you have to suspend disbelief but in doing so, you kind of want it to go even further out there to make that worthwhile.
Say something about yourself!
There are two "Max Barry"s at work. The first we will call "MAX" because he writes really amazing books like Jennifer Government and Lexicon. Then there is the second we will call "max" who writes junk like Syrup and Machine Man. The two books of the second Max are terrible lame stories. You should avoid those. But you must read/listen to the books of the first because Lexicon and Jennifer Government are awesome.
For you Max Barry readers - where does that place the book Company? In my opinion, it is somewhere in between, good, clever, and interesting, but not awesome.
Hold on to your Mr William or whatever. Fast paced roller coster listen. A story about Corparate infighting, romance,success, rejection and love. Excellent writing with well defined enjoyable characters. My best listen this year (over 100 this year)
I'd read the reviews first and think twice about it. This one was way too long and didn't really have a payoff. It was like reading a diary from a Jr. High girl.
He's a great narrator. Did well with the characters. Narration was the best part of the book.
I kept waiting for SOMETHING big to happen. It didn't. Should have stopped in the middle when the first signs of lameness showed up.
Can't believe this thing averages even 3.7 stars. Did we listen to the same book?
Mr. Barry gives us a story about a scary, alien world: the world of marketing. It made me want to hide under the covers ... from all exposure to advertising. Of course, I guess all of the back-biting, manipulation, maneuvering, and betrayal described in "Syrup" goes on in other worlds besides the marketing world (politics comes to mind ...), but Mr. Barry portrays these underhanded dirty-dealings in a terrifying (and hilarious) scenario that makes the listener cringe. The reader, Scott Brick, does a good job, despite his unpleasant, nasal voice. "Syrup" does not provide gripping listening, but adequate entertainment.
Loved The Company but the last two I've purchased have been a great disappointment. I can't tell if this is really his writing style or if The Company with its humor is his writing style and this book along with Jennifer Government just fell short. In any event, I've determined he is not the author for me!
Hard to believe the protagonist could be so dumb - and that business professionals could be so incompetent. I kept on listening hoping it would turn the corner and become entertaining. It never did. And it's not even funny. Was a waste of my audio credits...
This was a silly book, with thinly filled out characters. The main character is clearly the author's fantasy twin - beautiful women falling all over him, deserving millions for coming up with a soda name, saving the day with a "let's put on a show!" mentality. I didn't expect great literature, but it really wasn't even funny.
I imagine this would be very appealing to the author's own demographic, but I would not recommend it to anyone outside of that.
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