Syrup

Max Barry, Author
Max Barry, Author Viking Books $23.95 (294p) ISBN 978-0-670-88640-1
Reviewed on: 06/28/1999
Release date: 07/01/1999
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-14-029187-2
Paperback - 294 pages - 978-0-14-312530-3
Paperback - 978-0-14-771490-9
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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)
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