Now a major motion picture starring Amber Heard, Shiloh Fernandez, Kellan Lutz, and Brittany Snow
Scat (formerly known as Michael Holloway) is young, underemployed, and trying to make it in Los Angeles. When he comes up with the idea for the hottest new soda ever, he’s sure he’ll become the next overnight sensation, maybe even retire early. But in the treacherous waters of corporate America there are no sure things and Scat finds that he has to fight to save his idea if his yet-to-be-realized career will ever get off the ground. With the help of a scarily gorgeous and brilliant marketing director named 6, he sets out on a mission to grab hold the fame and fortune that, time and again, elude him. This sharp-witted novel is a scathingly funny satire of celebrity, the pop culture machine, and the length to which a guy will go to get ahead—and get a date while doing it.
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.
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Hyperliminal Messages Still Make You Want Popcorn
After the first few pages of Syrup, I wasn't sure it could stay out of its own way. Barry proved me wrong by deftly mixing overt allegory with reality in a way that, by the book's end, is legitimately endearing. Never mind that this makes you exactly the kind of sap that the characters in Syrup love to exploit - just take pleasure in being manipulated now that you know what it's like to manipulate.
This is one of the funniest books I've read in a long time! It is definitely worth the money.
If his subsequent books (I hope there are more to come!) are even half as entertaining as this one, we'll all be I'm for a good time!