Syrup
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Syrup

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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  3,574 ratings  ·  262 reviews
When Scat comes up with the idea for the hottest new soda ever, he's sure he'll retire the next rich, savvy marketing success story. 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, he sets out on a mission to r...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published July 1st 2000 by Penguin Books (first published January 1st 1999)
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Tfitoby
A scathing satire of the marketing and film industry that is more generic and stupid than biting and hilarious.

Syrup is the debut novel from Max Barry published in 1999 and made in to a feature movie in 2013. Scat is a young, hip, marketing graduate who has a million dollar idea stolen from him by his best friend, an event which catapults him in to a game of cat and mouse one-upmanship with the help of sexy Coca Cola executive 6. It has been marketed as a brilliant send up of celebrity, sexual p...more
Kelly
I started reading Syrup last night and, after thirty minutes, I had to tear myself away. I wanted an early night. Today, all the STUFF I needed that early night for sat untended as I settled into a cosy corner of the couch and finished the entire book. I took one break for food.

Luckily, at three hundred odd pages, Syrup is not a long book. In fact, it’s just the right length (for an indulgent morning on the couch), which is refreshing. I’m all for reading an epic trilogy, but sometimes you just...more
Jess
I don't know if it's the fact that this book is too naive for me or I just missed out on how it's supposed to be "sharp" and "sarcastically funny", but either way I thought this book was pretty dumb. As a previous reviewer commented, "I like reading stories about somewhat realistic people doing somewhat realistic things". I stopped falling for the lame hype of downtown LA and the corporate world a long time ago, and Syrup doesn't even do the glittering, star-studded streets justice in this novel...more
Ida
I loved this book. Its fast paced, light but well written read.
The book is about a creative marketing grad who landed an ironic drink idea which not incidentally named Fukk that grounded his experience in the real dog eat dog corporate world.

I loved the character Sneaky Pete, that his chosen name escaped everyone and how his viciousness carried so much weight without burdening the book.

The main character Scat was so central that everyone in my opinion became background noises with not so much e...more
Sarah
Maxx Barry's Syrup is an absolutely HILARIOUS satire about marketing and Corporate America. Barry's first novel is so sarcastic and unique that readers won't help but love it!

Scat is a young twenty-something man who develops a new brand of soda called Fukk. While preparing to have it officially branded and presented to a massive corporation leading in soda products, his roommate Sneaky Pete steals his invention and tries to pass it off as his own.

Coming to Scat's rescue to help him undermine the...more
Bandit
I love Max Barry's books. I've read all of them now, but out of chronological order, so this one, his debut novel, I ended up reading just now. So nice to find out that he was this good right out of the gate. Although with a simpler more straght forward plot (which is still quite twisted by regular standards) Syrup has all of Barry's wit, humor and energy. Barry specializes in satires (financial and sociological)and the world is never short of offering subjects to rip into. Here the heroes are y...more
Jo
Syrup is the story of Scat, a recent marketing graduate, and his introduction into the fast-paced, back-stabbing world of corporate corruption. I mean, marketing. His easy road to world-domination (or, at least, fame and fortune) is blocked by two other marketing graduates: 6, the smart, sexy, and completely ruthless love of Scat’s life, and Sneaky Pete, a man who is so cool he doesn’t even need to speak to be successful.

Each chapter of the book is divided into small sections, each with a title...more
Drew
Syrup is another extremely quick read and a fabulous first book by Maxx Barry. He reverted to using “Max” as his first name for this other two books: Jennifer Government and Company. This book covers the story of Scat, a marketing graduate living in LA who believes in finding a million dollar idea, and 6, the woman of his dreams, and at times, nightmares. The novel propels you through the advertising and marketing hallways of Coca-Cola LA, Hollywood movies, and young people looking to make it bi...more
Rosemarie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joe Robles
Favorite quotes:

This describes the woman I'm attracted to: "...the girls who fight life every step of the way so by the time they're twenty they're funny and smart and cynical and utterly, utterly desirable.

That's what I like."

This describes my business philosophy: "You can stomp around and complain that the rules aren't fair, or you can grow up and start playing the game.

I'm a fan of Max Barry, I've read two of his other books and they were both great satires. This one is a satire of the market...more
Kelsey
Aug 25, 2012 Kelsey rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cynics, Cory Doctorow fans, advertising executives, business students, hopeless romantics
Max Barry is great, and Syrup is great too. It covers a lot of the same themes as Machine Man and Jennifer Government (Company is still on my to-read list), but it's still entertaining, funny, and though-provoking so definitely worth a shot.

Unlike Machine Man and Jennifer Government, Syrup isn't science fiction: The book is about a young, ambitious marketing guy named Scat and his attempts to strike it rich, which end up leading to complicated entanglements with the Coca-Cola Corporation and an...more
Lois
WHAT SYRUP AND A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE HAVE IN COMMON:

1. Unusual narrative structure. In A Song of Ice and Fire, it takes a while to get used to the way it jumps from storyline to storyline and character to character; likewise for Syrup's structure of short, snappy, titled scenes that sit within the broader chapter structure. Both work - they're just a bit different to the usual.
2. Silly names. In A Song of Ice and Fire it's high-falutin fantasy names like 'Tyrion' and 'Varys' and 'Cersei' and 'D...more
Lana.
Feb 03, 2012 Lana. rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those looking for a grown-up version of Scott Westerfeld's _So Yesterday_
Shelves: funny-ha-ha, fiction
The goal is fame and fortune. But when Scat realises he doesn't have what it takes to be an actor (or musician), and there's no big inheritance on the way, developing a million dollar idea seems to be he only way to go. Easy, since he has so many of them. However, problems start when all his know-how of the flash of business (Marketing), requires a bit (a lot) more savvy and substance.

Peppered with pleny of "Marketing lessons" (I'd somehow missed in business school), _Syrup_ is a hilariously cy...more
Susie
I gave this book 3/5 stars on InsatiableBooksluts.com.

Review excerpt:

"Meh.

Syrup is a big meh.

Max Barry himself said in a pretty good interview that, if he had it to do over again, he would rewrite the last third of the book. The last third of the book was the part I actually enjoyed the most–it was the first two-thirds that dragged. The story follows a fellow who calls himself Scat. By page 34, he’s met the love of his life (a self-described lesbian named 6), has made a sh**load of cash on a fab...more
Jason Edwards
I read Syrup a few weeks ago, so this review might be a bit vague. Short version: I liked it. I read Jennifer Government years ago, Company before realizing it was also by Max Barry, and jumped on Machine Man as soon as I saw it on the shelves. I liked them all, for different reasons, and so when I came across Syrup in a used book store, buying it was a no brainer.

I read the book as a “break” from trying to plow through this year’s Booker Prize long list. So, right there, I’m calling out Syrup a...more
Mazzeo
Dec 26, 2007 Mazzeo rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone looking for a corporate satire
This is a short first person satire about breaking into Marketing and love after college. The story follows Scat as he makes and loses a fortune in the soft drink industry, while learning life lessons: such as, your best friend is a traitor, the woman you love really loves you but is terrified of her feelings, and you can only be a golden child once but regret mistakes forever. The book is fast paced, funny, and provides a reasonable look into the world of marketing (I work full time in a market...more
Chelsea
Syrup was the first book that ever that made me laugh out loud. Even though I read it in high school, it's a frequent read of mine whenever I need a quick smile. It's delightfully cynical, though I don't know if I were reading it for the first time in my mid-twenties I would have been equally as excited about it. I'm not a good judge of things that stand the test of time. Chances are, if I liked it when I was younger, I'll still like it now. Except Can't Hardly Wait. God, I hate that movie.

It's...more
Bernardo
I didn't know what to expect. The premise that it was a novel about marketing was mildly interesting. Syrup is one of those pleasant suprises that happens when you take a risk.

It's a satire. A satire about how marketing, the shaping of perception, can be more important and more effective than substance. It's an almost unbelievable premise unless you've experienced it. Syrup is a satire about marketing a bad product. In this case, it's a new soda called Fukk, which is an obvious parody of any of...more
Casey Aldridge
This was the first ever Max Barry book I picked up, was a random choice at a bookstore one afternoon a few years back. Boy, am I glad I did! He's fast become one of my newer favourite authors and this I still feel is his best book that I've read to date. It's quirky, fast-paced and very amusing in parts. Perhaps not particularly believable at times but hey, books are escapism, are they not? The main characters can be a touch irritating at times but dammit, you're still rooting for them the whole...more
Katie
Action, plot twists, confusing characters with questionable motives? Check,check, and check.
Hipster names, satirical humor, and relevant tongue-in-cheek pop culture references? Check,check, and check.

Like the big blockbuster Hollywood style movies that are made in this book, I didn't love it. I didn't hate it. It sucked me in with the action, and kept my attention with twists and unexpected turns and snappy dialogue. It was like reading a movie. And I was blissfully aware of that and enjoyed i...more
Sabih Hansmukh
Marketing people u got to read this... funny and emotional .... having the power to influence / peruse people is a GOD’s gift.. be careful….. like SIX .... she is strong and sexy.. lov the tension between Scot and SIX.. Sneaky Pete is one sneaky basterd .. I loved this book. Its fast paced, light but well written read.. The main characters can be a touch irritating at times but GOD, you're still rooting for them the whole way... The marketing lessons were cool ... and 4 thing, this describes the...more
Debbie J
Syrup is a satirical take on the world of new product marketing and advertising in a major U.S.-based company. Characters named Scat, 6, Sneaky Pete, and @ play Machiavellian games to try to one-up each other and ascend the corporate ladder. At times, protagonist Scat finds himself fighting feelings of angry helplessness as he navigates the subtleties of intra-corporate warfare. To no one's greater surprise than his own, Scat manages to succeed in ways he hadn't dreamed possible.

Fans of author...more
V.
A funny and entertaining satrire of the marketing business. Gives an insight into how the industry works that you won't find anywhere else. Full of good ideas with none of that 'leave it to the reader's imagination' cop out. He says he has a brilliant marketing idea, he puts it on the table and lets you decide if it's a good idea or not.

It's a short book, the plot isn't necessarily the most inventive, but the execution is great, and especially good for guys who want to break out of reading thril...more
Laura
"The problem, as I see it, is that a sad percentage of gorgeous women just settle for being gorgeous. They get to sixteen, go, ‘Well, I’m gorgeous, people like me, that’s it,’ and just stop. I mean, they’ve got nothing on the girls who struggle onward with zits and bad dates, the girls who fight life every step of the way so by the time they’re twenty they’re funny and smart and cynical and utterly, utterly desirable."

That quote makes me think of a million different contrary thoughts, but, in it...more
David DeWelt
Loved the ideas and storytelling aspects of this book! Maxx's wit and keen insight give his characters depth. I love the over-the-top concepts that he tackles in each of his books. The only thing keeping it from five stars for me was a bit too much foul language. I know this is common for today's authors, but I find it unnecessary and distracting. Though I must admit the shock-value of the cola featured in this book would not have been as dramatic if some other word had been used, but my point r...more
Gabriel von Grünbaum
Mar 07, 2014 Gabriel von Grünbaum rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Romantics, Marketing Students and Professionals
Shelves: favorites
Max Barry's writing here is sharp and quick, clever and whimsical. Even his characters that are merely quick sketches are sketched deftly to service the ever increasing color palette of the narrative. Additionally, his central concept here is one that I've always found fascinating—the subtle, and often blatant manipulation of human desires. (There were two subjects in school that I found unexpectedly engrossing, Copyright Law and Marketing—or, "what do we have the right to do" and "what are we l...more
Mars Dorian
An edgy satire with romance elements set in the marketing world.

Over-the-top, self-absorbed characters and a concise, entertaining writing style makes this
one fast-paced novel, even if you're not interested in the topic.
It's a tongue-in-cheek look at today's commercialized world, and the forces who dictate them.


I was entertained from beginning to end and can only recommended this contemporary gem !

Tammy
I enjoy Max Barry. If you are a hard-core capitalist, then you may write him off as being anti-corporation. I think Barry cynically imagines the worst what-ifs, tells a good yarn, and has great characters.

I have read four Barry novels in quick succession. My favorite was Lexicon, Syrup my least favorite.
Crystal
That was a great read. Hilarious, smart, and I fell in love with the characters. Definitely recomended for all.

I couldn't help but feel like this was a Coke advertisement though, haha. Not in a bad way, but I felt like I should be sipping a Coke while reading it. Much like that dang donut on the cover of Company had me seriously craving a glazed the whole time reading it ;)
Getout Ofmybookcorner
Picked up the book from a charity shop, and I was sold after the first page.
Books don't have to follow rules. Fuck the layout, this grabs you by the balls through the ridiculous and sensationalist marketing world.
Dumping you on the ground feeling content, though if there was a downside it was most definitely the ending.
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Is this book any good???? 5 29 Feb 27, 2012 12:37AM  
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“What it comes down to, you see, is that a naked body is just a naked body.
But the possibility of a naked body is something special.”
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“She’s such a bitch,” Tina says, which I find a little contradictory, but overall quite true. “She’s got to be in charge of everything.”
I sit next to her. “Well, I guess. But in business, that’s leadership.”
Tina stares at me for a second. “I can’t believe you consider that a positive trait. How about her inability to accept other points of view? Is it good leadership to be narrow, too?”
“Focus,” I say. “They call that focus.”
Tina stares at me. “Her paranoia?”
“Business savvy.”
“Compulsive need to have everything just how she wants it?”
“Organizational skills.”
“Aggressiveness?”
“Aggressiveness,” I say, “is already a good thing.”
“Jesus Christ,” Tina says, her eyebrow ring glinting in the morning sun. “Sometimes I worry about this country.”
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