MaxBarry.com
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Max Barry wrote the novels Syrup, Jennifer Government, Company, Machine Man, and Lexicon. He also created the game NationStates and once found a sock full of pennies.

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Wed 11
Jan
2006

Retrospective #7: Chinese Syrup, Company coffee, Family Lawns

Syrup Chinese Syrup coverAh yes, a brave new year, full of possibility! Which is a little bright and confronting at this time of the morning, so let’s look back instead.

The Chinese translation of my books is complete, which wouldn’t be especially noteworthy except for the fact that trusty translator Wayne Fan e-mailed me their Syrup cover, and—hot damn!—it looks awesome. I wish I could recall all the other editions and get them recovered like this. Well, except for the Chinese characters. Because that would be weird. But otherwise: oh yeah! I was never thrilled with the US cover, so now I can print this design out and paste it over the front of all my copies.

I finished the second draft of my Syrup screenplay just before Christmas, e-mailed it off, and am currently waiting to hear what the producers think. It’s been a fascinating process, which I hope to blog about once I know whether to depict Fortress as a group of brilliant, insightful rising stars (if they like my script), or a bunch of bumbling idiots (if they don’t).

A few days ago I drew five winners for Company coffee mugs and Mission Statement posters. Thus far four have written back to claim their goodies, so I’m afraid that unless you’ve heard from me already, you might want to start hoping that member #340 doesn’t check his email for a while, and I end up drawing you to get his prize.

My “I was a Teenage Lawn Mower” blog caused quite a stir, but only amongst my immediate family. My stepfather Col Counsell was sufficiently moved to join the site and post a response. It is a collection of gross distortions and outright lies, and I only leave it on my site in order to provide readers with some entertaining and highly imaginative fiction.

I still haven’t seen a proper edition of Company, but I’m assured by others that they look swanky. Publication date is just five days away! It’s very exciting. Pub date kind of feels like your birthday: the day itself is not that different, but there’s a special feeling to it, and people congratulate you a lot, and you finish it hopelessly drunk and trying to hitch-hike home. Unless that’s just me.

Comments

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Xedium (#1159)

Location: Cornland
Quote: ""If you can't fix it, it ain't broke!""
Posted: 4972 days ago

I like it! I wish all book covers looked that nice.

Picto (#64)

Location: United Kingdom
Quote: "Who is more foolish, the child afraid of the dark or the man afraid of the light? - Maurice Freehill"
Posted: 4972 days ago

Wow, that's pretty funky.

Had a good time while you were away?

Is that the same release date for the UK as well? I don't really see many advertisements for your books around here (if any) which is a shame. It's simply because you're a rising star and soon you'll be all over the shops - it's just that the UK tends to only like a writer if they've been around for more than 10 years or so famously. Bit of a way to go then Max.

;-)

Picto (#64)

Location: United Kingdom
Quote: "Who is more foolish, the child afraid of the dark or the man afraid of the light? - Maurice Freehill"
Posted: 4972 days ago

Oh, nevermind, I've just read the page about Company again.. my bad :-)

Lame... I guess I'll have to start working again to get that extra cash :-)

Machine Man subscriber Max

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Quote: "I'm my number one fan!"
Posted: 4972 days ago

Actually Jen Gov't has done pretty well in the UK. I knew I liked the British for a reason.

I'm trying to find out the latest, but I don't think we have any confirmed international publishers for COMPANY yet apart from Germany. So there's no release date for the UK, Australia, etc. It could be 6 - 12 months, even longer.

Machine Man subscriber Adam (#24)

Location: Morristown, Indiana
Quote: "Why do I blog? Simple, because Max Barry blogs."
Posted: 4972 days ago

Wed, Jan 11, 2005

BRAGGING RIGHTS!

I will be recieving a new fashionable mug and poster in the mail soon. Normally, I wouldn't brag, but this is just too good.

AND NOW A JOKE.

Q: What do you call a blind dinosaur?
Answer at bottom of blog

BLOG...IT'S BEEN A WHILE.

Recently, I have been using myspace. It starts off with one new comment...and then the next thing you know, you're checking for new comments every five minutes.

Machine Man subscriber Adam (#24)

Location: Morristown, Indiana
Quote: "Why do I blog? Simple, because Max Barry blogs."
Posted: 4972 days ago

ALSO...SINCE I ACCIDENTLY HIT POST!

When will a Max Barry movie be made?

For all who actually read the blog above, the answer to the joke is...
a doyouthinkysaurus
Thanks Jurassic Park!

-adam

Machine Man subscriber Xavier Desroches (#1840)

Location: Brossard, Qc, Ca
Quote: "Smile, Tomorrow Will Be Worse... - Murphy"
Posted: 4972 days ago

Nice cover. Still, I like Jen Gov's even more ;-)
When you get published, you get drunk? Damn, I knew I should publish my poems! Bah... anyways, since I'm still in school, I don't really need a reason to get drunk... Anyways, can't wait until the book is released...

CU

Aaron Doucet (#733)

Location: Canada (Sorry)
Quote: "He'd never seen so many expensive pairs of shoes in one place."
Posted: 4972 days ago

Whoa whoa whoa pub date is 5 days away? Where have I been living?

Oh, in Canada :( If it doesn't come out here I guess I'll have to order it from Amazon.com, just like I did Syrup :)

Machine Man subscriber Mapuche (#1184)

Location: Darwin, Australia
Quote: "Inconceivable!"
Posted: 4972 days ago

Goody!

That means my pre-ordered Company should arrive in about a month, along with a copy of Syrup!! (JG is lonely on the bookshelf...)

Incidentally I read in a review somewhere on the web that JG was written by Maxx Barry! (I thought he only wrote Syrup...) (ebookmall who make it available in pdf...)

Machine Man subscriber Dan Maurath (#2013)

Location: California
Quote: "You know, we're not the only ones destroying trees. What about beavers? You call yourself an environmentalist, why don't you go club a few beavers? - Lindsay - Arrested Development"
Posted: 4972 days ago

5 days, cannot wait! I preordered mine and will make a good read during my travel to and from florida.

Morgan (#1413)

Location: TX
Posted: 4972 days ago

That is a cool looking cover, but I like the black and white cover with the man and the girl staring back just as much.

Rod McBride (#688)

Location: Gardner, KS
Quote: "www.MidwestRockLobster.blogspot.com"
Posted: 4972 days ago

I pre-ordered 'Company' at my local Borders, which might not sound like a big deal but it's a first for me. It's just not something I do. I sort of did it with an online purchase of 'Haunted' when it cameout, but I was so disappointed by that book I vowed not to do it again.

More common for me is to check a book out from the library and if it sticks with me shop the remainders at Foozles for a cheapie bargain to re-read.

In the case of 'Syrup,' I hated the trade paperback cover so much, and liked the hardback so well that I bought a used copy of the hardback so I'd have the cool cover art--after reading the library's copy.

So I'm taking the big chance that Max isn't letting his quality barrier down or listening to the wrong advice, things that seem to get most authors eventually if they enjoy enough commercial success.

Phill Sacre (#1822)

Location: London, UK
Quote: "Computers are like air conditioners. Both stop working, if you open windows."
Posted: 4972 days ago

I've just ordered my copy from Amazon! Funnily enough, this will be the first Max(x) Barry book I've read. I actually came to this website because someone sent me a link to Nationstates, and then I found the link here. I've been reading the blog for a while, liked it, and now I want to read the books.

So you know you've got at least one new reader from your blog :-)

Adrian Schönig (#252)

Location: Germany, Nürnberg
Quote: "Figuring things out for yourself is the only freedom anyone really has. Use that freedom."
Posted: 4972 days ago

My preordered copy (via Amazon.de) arrived just a few minutes ago! Weehee! So I am the first? ;-)

Guess I'll ignore my uni presentation today and read the book instead ;-)

Hobbie (#1359)

Location: Cornwall, England
Quote: "There was a little man in his hair!"
Posted: 4972 days ago

As a loyal Englishman it rather pains me to say this, but the lack of a UK publisher has forced me to stick my middle digit up at the local bookshop and pre-order an imported US copy from eBay.

Oh! The agony of choosing between one's nation and one's favourite author...

Ruth (#288)

Location: Bath, United Kingdom
Quote: "Only the insane have strength enough to prosper. Only those who prosper may truly judge what is sane."
Posted: 4972 days ago

Easily the author for me...I didn't realise it was out this soon, better order one myself! Funny really, I feel like I'm becoming a fan of Max in the same way I'd become a fan of a band or something and be mildly obsessive about their work and releases...I've never had that with an author before! (except perhaps almost with Terry Pratchett...)

A couple of comments on Adam's metablog - firstly you're a lucky bugger you are, and secondly, myspace freaks me out like that too.

Jason (#1193)

Location: Indianapolis, IN
Quote: "The bulwark of the suggestion box has failed."
Posted: 4972 days ago

Sweet, next week! I had totally forgotten it was coming out so soon. Will be picking it up from my favorite local bookstore that very day.

Happy Publication Date! Do you get a cake? :)

Tony Quin (#1310)

Location: Plymouth -urgh
Quote: "Yoga is NAILS"
Posted: 4972 days ago

Well I suppose there is some good to come out of the new year then! Bring on the entertainment Max!

Doujin (#1250)

Location: East Peoria, IL
Quote: "Omnium Finis Imminet"
Posted: 4972 days ago

Hey Max, I have encourage my readers to check out Company when it debuts on the 17th on my blog. Best of luck, and don't stop writing for us! :)

Mariah (#1888)

Location: Delaware OH 43015
Quote: ""..and just when i think i've got it all figured out, life steps in to give me, yet another, little twist, in my other wise little world..."-M.E.M."
Posted: 4971 days ago

Hey Max!

Adoring your books as always. i own "Syrup", have almost finished "Jennifer Government".. and anticipating "Company".
i went to the library to check out Company, to find that they were still expecting it.. lol. i felt a bit sheepish.

oddly enough, i would have never even known who you were had it not been for one of those days i'd gotten stuck riding the grey hound,( to get to another state). i was bored to tears, and went to the lobby store in search of something some what intellectually stimulating. the gentleman at the counter spoke little, if any, english and proceded to point at what ever he was trying to talk about. you could see the frusteration in his face... he managed, just, to inform me that all the books he had, had been books left on the grey hound... lol. i was entertained. i found your book, "Syrup".. and have been infatuated with your writings ever since.
thanks Max, keep up the good work!
i really hope you get to make a movie out of, well, all of your books really. :) BREAK A LEG!

Matthew (#16)

Location: Columbus, Ohio
Quote: "Unicorn on mountain top. Wind blowing through mane."
Posted: 4971 days ago

Max,

I would like to thank for for "randomly" choosing Adam as a winner of the Company prizes. I thank you because you indirectly chose me. I am much larger than Adam and will beat him up and steal the mug and poster if I have to!

<evil laugh>

Thanks again, Max. I will cherich my/Adam's goodies forever.

Machine Man subscriber M.I.Minter (#347)

Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
Quote: "When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading."
Posted: 4971 days ago

My heart skipped a beat because I though, "I don't check my email very much, and I'm member 340....holy crap! After all those aweful things I said about a business satirists who can't seem to conduct business on a site where thousands of people have given him permission to market to them. He's going to give me a mug that should be for sale on this site or someplace!!!!! And I won't sell it on E Bay because I'm an honorable jackass! YAY!"

Then I found I'm member 347.

Not that I even drink from mugs
or display posters
but it was like when you are in a rafel and they call all the numbers on your tix except the last one....

I don't know what I'm going to do now.....I'm just so....dissapointed.

Maybe I'll buy something...

Machine Man subscriber Adam (#24)

Location: Morristown, Indiana
Quote: "Why do I blog? Simple, because Max Barry blogs."
Posted: 4971 days ago

A MESSAGE TO MATTHEW(16)

Bring it!

-adam

Machine Man subscriber Bushra (#36)

Location: Fremont, California
Quote: "www.caffeinatedmuslim.com"
Posted: 4971 days ago

If Syrup was released in the U.S. again with a cooler cover, I would buy it again. I really, really don't like either the hardcover or paperback cover. The few times I've lent out my copy and the one time I bought it for someone, they all thought it was supposed to be some sort of trashy romance novel when they saw the cover and even when I explain to them that it's about marketing, they're still skeptical.

At least the donut on the cover of Company makes sense. I'll have to hold off on buying it until the book signing in SF.

MarkMeredith (#2052)

Location: Spokane, WA
Quote: "A guy with a dream who's just one great idea away from having it all."
Posted: 4971 days ago

Wait... Company's coming out on the 17th? Then why am I holding it in my nicotine-free fingers? It's right here, bitten into donut and all! How can this be? Am I living in a Time Vortex? Is it actually the 17th right now?

In other news, Syrup is still my favorite of your books, and I just bought ANOTHER copy of it with my copy of Company. I must say, the new cover is Fantastic! Are those Angelina Jolie's lips? They look familiar. You might want to look into it. When the movie comes out, you should use that cover for the Adverts, using the lips of whoever happens to be 6.

James Travers (#1512)

Location: Callander, Scotland
Quote: "To make cheese penguins you need cheese and penguins."
Posted: 4970 days ago

Yeah i got my copy too, the cover is pretty damn sweet... still i love Syrup and Jennifer Government but this book is cool it mentions donut's on like the first few pages!! Max you are a genius.

Machine Man subscriber Brad Mendenhall (#23)

Location: Shrewsbury, Pa
Quote: "Max Barry? I thought I this was the Dave Barry Website! You mean he doesn't swear he's not making this up? (Shameless Plug - check out my website www.CosmicGeppetto.com)"
Posted: 4968 days ago

Hey, Entertainment Weekly and People both gave Company great reviews.

I pointed to the picture of thcompany in People so my wife could see. She said, "What's up with the donut?"

"You'll see," I said. "You'll see."

I have no idea what I meant.

Machine Man subscriber Bushra (#36)

Location: Fremont, California
Quote: "www.caffeinatedmuslim.com"
Posted: 4968 days ago

Brad beat me to it. I was flipping through the latest EW and saw that they gave Company an 'A-'. I didn't read the article though. Didn't want to be spoiled at all.

James W. G. Ford (#1437)

Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Quote: "Never allow yourself to be limited by tradition. If we all did that, we'd still live in caves."
Posted: 4967 days ago

Max,

I picked up a copy of Company in a small Washington State bookstore (I was vacationing in Washington) last week. Didn't know it was out yet. It was awesome of course, but no surprise there. I am upset now though becasue I have read everything you've had published and I'm bored with nothing else good to read. I may have to up my masturbation frequency to pass the time.

Cheers!

Peter Moore (#1877)

Posted: 4967 days ago

Max,

Is it just me or does the girl on the cover of the Chinese edition of Syrup look like Pete Burns - formerly of Dead or Alive and currently scaring small children on Celebrity Big Brother in the UK?

Have a look at this link and see what you think.

http://www.channel4.com/bigbrother/housemates/housemate_news.jsp?id=25

Bjarney (#2272)

Location: Iceland
Quote: ""Try to never do anything phenominally stupid""
Posted: 4899 days ago

Wow, she does look quite similar.
Only less scary.

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