MaxBarry.com
that guy, who wrote that thing

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.

Blog

Sun 22
Jan
2006

Max in America

Company I should be packing. Tomorrow I catch a plane to the US to start my American book tour: it’s L.A., San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, and New York. I’m thinking of doing a travel diary, so you can check in to see just how glamorous a book tour really is. Stay tuned.

Comments

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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: 4872 days ago

A tour diary? Fantastic, something to look forward to on these long winter nights!

Hope the tour goes well...the whole idea seems really weird from a British perspective...

mike lietz (#1735)

Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posted: 4872 days ago

No love for middle America, Max? The midwest, even?

Ah well, maybe I'll just sign my own copy. Should I do it with one 'x' or two?

Richard Giles (#2114)

Location: Perth
Posted: 4872 days ago

Use upcoming.org for a travel diary, sweet and open.

Machine Man subscriber Adam (#24)

Location: Morristown, Indiana
Quote: "Why do I blog? Simple, because Max Barry blogs."
Posted: 4872 days ago

Sunday! Jan. something, 2006

TOUR!

Midwest...in theory, Max Barry has to travel over the midwest in order to get from portland to New York. Why is he not stopping anywhere? I would have driven 3 hours to chicago!
Oh well, I least I still have my coffeE mug and poster to hold on to.

-adam

Chris H (#1066)

Location: Where Washington crossed the Delaware.
Quote: "Chris is like a medium range ballistic name. Ok, so it's not, but it sounded kind of cool. Not really."
Posted: 4871 days ago

Quite saddened by the lack of Philly stops there, but NY is close by and just as grimy. I did my part anyway, bought the good book and made sure it was cover out in my store. Good luck Mr. Barry, and drink not from the river(s).

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: 4871 days ago

Good look and have fun, Max.

Tim Harrison (#1918)

Location: Seattle, USA
Posted: 4871 days ago

Looking forward to your appearance here in Seattle, Max. Your chosen venue of Elliott Bay Book Co. is one of the cooler book stores in at least our little corner of the world.

Teri (#1189)

Location: Chicago
Quote: "Perception is 9/10ths of Reality."
Posted: 4871 days ago

Max, I wish you were coming to Chicago. Who goes to Portland? Seriously. No one lives there.

Chi-ca-go.

Yoru (#732)

Location: Virginia, USA
Posted: 4871 days ago

Sigh Max why no DC in there. :( I really don't want to drive six hours to be stuck in traffic in NY for another six.

Kristen (#1157)

Location: Jersey
Quote: "Insert quotation here."
Posted: 4871 days ago

I'm psyched about the New York stop, though I'm a little concerned that the venue's website disappeared into the ether. I guess maybe I should call them to make sure you're not going to be reading at a vacant lot on the East Side...

Keely (#1602)

Location: easy-peasy-24.livejournal.com of course!
Quote: "I always wanted to see the lights of Broadway... but then you get there and they're really kind of annoying."
Posted: 4871 days ago

I'm really excited about the New York stop but it's on a Wednesday night, and in Manhattan, so I might not be able to go. :( If you make any changes to your schedule, PLEASE consider making another Brooklyn/Manhattan stop on the weekend! Ah well--if you don't and my parents don't want me to go on a school night, I'll bite their heads off.

Andrew (#1279)

Location: Texas
Posted: 4871 days ago

Why only those places. You should at least go to the top ten cities in america. Even going to Texas.

Machine Man subscriber Julie Totsch (#1341)

Location: Racine, WI
Quote: ""The world is full of willing people, some willing to work, the rest willing to let them." - Robert Frost"
Posted: 4871 days ago

Hey, Max will be at the ELLIOT BAY BOOK CO in Seattle. For the rest of you that won't be able to see him in person, like me, I recommend that bookstore. I have ordered from there previously and have always had good results.

I just thought I'd pass this on. Some bookstores are not as friendly as others and I had a bad experience this past Christmas with a store in LA.

C. W. (#1092)

Location: Cincinnati, OH, USA
Quote: "Cynic: An idealist that gets let down every fucking time."
Posted: 4871 days ago

Seriously Max, I'm gonna have to jump on this "Why aren't you stopping in the Midwest?" bandwagon. I'd consider driving to Chicago to see you. Of course I'd rather you visit Cincinnati, but there's nothing wrong with Columbus or Indianapolis. I would suggest the largest city in Ohio, but we all know that Cleveland is just the asshole of Detroit and Max Barry is too good for Cleveland (and Detroit).

Ria (#2119)

Location: Jamaica
Quote: "First they came for the verbs and I said nothing, for verbing weirds language. Then they arrival for the nouns and I speech nothing, for I no verbs."
Posted: 4871 days ago

Are book tours like rock band tours? I'm just wondering whether you have to smash up your hotel room by yourself and have to deal with all the groupies.

Jason (#1193)

Location: Indianapolis, IN
Quote: "The bulwark of the suggestion box has failed."
Posted: 4871 days ago

Figure out a way to finagle a trip to the midwest! Chicago, Indianapolis, Cincinati, someplace like that.

Of course, I'd prefer Indy since I am living here but would drive as far as Chicago.

Pretty please? :)

Skyler Bartels (#1724)

Location: Des Moines, IA
Quote: ""You killed Zombie Flanders!" "He was a zombie?""
Posted: 4871 days ago

God I hate living in Iowa

Matt (#61)

Location: Chicago
Posted: 4871 days ago

Does anyone else think the blurb "Catch-22 by way of the Matrix" (as seen on the U.S. hard cover of Jennifer Government) would have much more aptly adorned the cover of Company?--Perhaps if you substituted "Matrix" with "Office Space"? If any of you guys have read Catch-22 chime in, I was thinking this novel is about ten times more Catch-22 by way of Office Space than Jen Gov was by way of the Matrix.

In fact, I don't remember (doesn't mean nothing was there) a single instance while reading Jen Gov when I thought "This is sort of like the bureaucratic anarchy that Heller wrote about in Catch-22, but in a fake world controlled by computers"

By comparison, I do actually remember thinking something very similar to the above, sans the second bit, while reading company. Which, incidentally, I thoroughly enjoyed.

Also, I seem to remember Max saying something about that particular blurb (is blurb the industry term for the one liners on book covers?) to the tune of, "It's inaccurate".

Max what the vick, no Chicago stop? I went to the last reading-- I think it was the only one as well-- of Jennifer Government (I feel it appropriate to type out the entire name of the novel when addressing its author) in Chicago and had a great time. What’s worse is that you’re not stopping anywhere that is a practical driving distance from the Midwest. Any chance you’d want to stop by and stay in Chicago on your own dollar sometime between New York and Portland?

Mandithecoolkid (#872)

Location: Apple Valley
Quote: ""Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable, we have to alter it every 6 months" Oscar Wilde"
Posted: 4871 days ago

oh DAMNIT I can't go. STUPID BAND PRACTICE!!!

This so ruins my life.

=(

Machine Man subscriber David (#1456)

Location: Sydney, Australia
Quote: "Why are the pretty ones always insane?"
Posted: 4871 days ago

How it might have happened ;-) :

Doubleday: Hey Max, we've got a great tour lined up for the Company launch in January: LA, SF, Seattle, Chicago, Indianapolis, Cincinatti, NY, and as a special treat several stopovers in Iowa!

Max: Are you INSANE? It's the middle of bloody winter over there! They have feet of godamn SNOW on the ground in Cincinatti and fscking Iowa. People die in their cars this time of year! They have signs - "No parking during a snow emergency". I don't do snow emergencies thank you very much. January's the middle of summer here in Australia, full of bronzed half-naked women on the beaches, drinking parties, etc. If you think I spending weeks freezing my rear end off in Iowa to sell this bloody book you're crazy!

Doubleday: Oh. Okay, maybe we can shorten it a bit. You'll have to go to Portland though. Sorry.

Max: Portland? Sigh. All right... if I have to.

Machine Man subscriber Max

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Quote: "I'm my number one fan!"
Posted: 4871 days ago

Where were all you Chicago boosters in 2004?! About five people turned up my Chicago reading--a fine, upstanding five people, to be sure, but numbers like that make it hard to convince my publisher that it's worth flying me there.

The general answer to the question, "Why aren't you coming to <place near me>?" is that the publisher picks the cities and covers the expense of sending me there. So it's their call as to whether they think they'll sell enough books / generate enough publicity to make it worth the cost.

American publishers are much bigger on book tours than those in other countries. I was in the UK when Jennifer Government came out there and said, "So you wanna have me do a reading somewhere?" And the publisher said, "Nah, we're good, thanks." So it's pretty great that I get to visit the US at all.

Oh, and the other thing is that if the hardcover sells very well, I'll probably get a longer paperback tour. Syrup didn't sell well in hardcover, and there was no paperback tour at all. Jennifer Government did, and I went from a 2-city hardcover tour (NY & LA) to a 10-city paperback tour (including Chicago!).

nuero (#1831)

Location: Nixa, Missouri
Posted: 4871 days ago

I was able to pick up Company a few days ago. I might not be able to read it for awhile, but I was just going to let you know that I'm doing my own little part to keep you at the front of the store.

Mark (#2122)

Location: Seattle
Posted: 4871 days ago

I was search the net for zephy Holdings and I found this.

www.zephyrholdings.com

Funny.

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: 4871 days ago

I have to agree with the Chicago thing...or better yet Grand Rapids, Michigan, or even better, 716 Fojntain Street Grand Rapids Michigan. I'd make nachos and we could watch a women in prison movie. It'd be sweeeeet! I bought 4 coppies of your book so far and am iving them away as presents. Last week I started my first job out of college.....outside sales for a sign company. You are right. Sales people are crazy or the end up crazy. I'm quitting before I end up crazy!!!!!! OK more crazy!
Stop in chicago!
come on
Nachos!!!!

Paul (#104)

Location: Connecticut, USA
Quote: ""Don't fight it son. Confess quickly! If you hold out too long you could jeopardize your credit rating. " --Brazil (1985 movie)"
Posted: 4871 days ago

Haha! That website is new! I know because I was looking to see if a real company with the name existed a couple weeks back. Is this a fansite or some gorilla marketing by Doubleday I wonder. :P Or, is it a plot devised by Max to lure in fresh victims himself. ;)

Machine Man subscriber Adam (#24)

Location: Morristown, Indiana
Quote: "Why do I blog? Simple, because Max Barry blogs."
Posted: 4871 days ago

Monday

MAX: Where was everyone from chicago in 2004?
ADAM: For me the answer is simple, at home without a drivers license...I was only fifteen(sigh).
The whole time I was thinking, "He'll come back to chicago someday. Perhaps when he writes another novel."
I am still waiting...

-adam

James (#1739)

Location: Los Gatos, CA
Quote: "I am a silly."
Posted: 4870 days ago

I can't decide if I want to get my copy of Company signed or, instead, bring along my much beloved copy of Jennifer Government. Someone suggested I try to get both signed, but then I saw my poor little Syrup paperback feeling left out.

So, as the chances of you just happening to be within 16 miles of my apartment again are fairly rare, I'm concidering bringing the whole lot. Is this a good idea, or will a manuver like this get me punched in the nose?

Matt (#61)

Location: Chicago
Posted: 4870 days ago

MAX: Where was everyone in chicago '04?

At the book reading with 3 other friends (So i guess we comprised roughly 50% of the audience) Seriously, there was like 15 people though.

Nathan Shayefar (#1025)

Location: Berkeley
Quote: "Gladia"
Posted: 4870 days ago

Looking forward to finally meeting you in San Francisco. :) Dysk will probably join me at Berkeley, so you'll get a chance to see him as well.

Anxiously awaiting my copy of Company from Amazon,
Nathan

Jason (#1193)

Location: Indianapolis, IN
Quote: "The bulwark of the suggestion box has failed."
Posted: 4870 days ago

I hadn't found your website at that time, so i didn't know about your previous chicago visit. But I'm wiser now! If you come to Chicago I will be there like a something on something else that first something loves.

Maureen Ryan (#2265)

Location: East Cleveland, OH
Quote: "Truth is just an excuse for a lack of imagination"
Posted: 4837 days ago

Now, tell your publisher how much love you're getting from Ohio. There must be some connection between Aussies and Ohioians. When I was on vacation 2 years ago in Aus, we were on a tour in Adelaide, and when I said where I was from, the tourist said, "There's always people from Ohio on every tour." Also, when I told a guy in a bar where I was from, he started to sing the theme song from the Drew Carey show.


You need to hit at least Cleveland nest time around, and don't cancel, please don't cancel. Everyone cancels things here at the last minute. I got so nervous when they predicted a horrible snowstorm the 2 days before the U2 concert in December (but they didn't cancel, they called the snow "pretty"). You can see the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, go to the Great Lakes Brewery, and see some 3-eyed fish in our river. It'd be great!

Gerard Byrne (#2324)

Location: New Jersey
Quote: "In ancient times there was a kingdom whose crops were poisoned. Anyone who ate of them became insane. "There is but one thing to do." said the King. "We must eat the grain to survive. But there must be those among us who will remember t"
Posted: 4804 days ago

I just finished Company, borrowed from the library (sorry Max)copyright shmoppyright. I thought is was very funny. I am a cameraman and once we were shooting an interview with Conan O'brian. After every joke Conan told the "producer" would say in a dead pan, "funny". In a monotone like he was under hypnosis. He seemed to have had his sense of humor removed surgically, a laughotomy. And that is exactly the way I would describe your book. Funny. It didn't make me laugh out loud but I thought it was interesting and the light tone felt weird up against the 'inhumane treatment' theme.
I love the energy of your writing, even in the blogs. It is like heat under my own sleepy intellect getting my mind to bubble and percolate a little.
I have never really worked in a corporation although I have done countless corporate videos and have observed the cult of the corporation from good vantage. I fear that your book will be labeled satire and then though of as unreal because of that label. Satire often strips away pretense or adds a more transparent pretense making satire less real but more 'true'.
Anyway, great job!
And thanks.
Gerard

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