MaxBarry.com
this space for rent

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

Mon 06
Feb
2006

The Times on Company

Company I am sick. But I have a conference call to L.A. about my Syrup screenplay so I’m up and at my keyboard, with a glass of orange juice to my left and a bowl to hawk up phlegm into on my right. (Sorry. That line between what other people find interesting and what they really don’t want to know? Sometimes I have trouble tracking that.)

I open up my e-mail client and see, oddly, a lot of new mail. And most have “New York Times” in the subject line. Some also have “congratulations” or “rave.”

And I don’t open any of them. I just sit there, stunned, unable to believe what a ridiculously lucky streak I am on.

I finally give in and check Amazon.com. Company’s sales rank has jumped to 22. If I’m reading this right, at this moment it’s the fifth best-selling novel, behind Harry Potter, The Da Vinci Code, that damned Kite Runner, and—yes, of course—Stephen King’s Cell.

This is so amazing I have to run into the bedroom and wake up Jen.

We make too much noise and Fin wakes up, too. I hold her while we read the New York Times review. It’s by Janet Maslin and is jaw-droppingly good. And it actually says:

“Company” is Mr. Barry’s breakout book

If there is such a thing as balance in the Universe, tomorrow I am going to be hit by a bus, bankrupted, and disemboweled.

Comments

This is where site members post comments. If you're not a member, you can join here. There are all kinds of benefits, including moral superiority!

Tim Ashwood (#595)

Location: Sydney
Posted: 4946 days ago

Dude!!!
Awesome, and more than worthy of three exclamation marks.

Tim Ashwood (#595)

Location: Sydney
Posted: 4946 days ago

But why does Michael Heiko get credit in the article for your self-portrait photograph?

Joel Kelly (#1517)

Location: Canada
Quote: "www.ingenioustries.com"
Posted: 4946 days ago

"Joseph Heller did it better, but not by much."

I think she liked the book. I never finished Catch-22, but I read Company the first night I got it. Though, Catch-22 was longer.

Kristen (#1157)

Location: Jersey
Quote: "Insert quotation here."
Posted: 4946 days ago

That's amazing, Max, and you completely deserve it (but damn you, I read that whole review with an Aussie accent). I must say, though, I think it's about time for a new publicity photo...

Machine Man subscriber Bushra (#36)

Location: Fremont, California
Quote: "www.caffeinatedmuslim.com"
Posted: 4946 days ago

From #909 to #22 in a day on Amazon? Wow Max, that's great!!! I feel so proud. . .

Good review as well. Although, I do disagree with her about the donut. It did deserve all that attention! Hehe.

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: 4946 days ago

HOLY ****! Congrats, Max! I was getting worried with book sales in the upper triple digits. #5 on NYT?!? Wow, I know you deserve it, but deserving it and getting it are 2 different things. Just think... a few more spots (not to be greedy) and you could use the title "#1 NYT Bestselling Author" eternally on your books now until the end of time... oh, and any time anyone ever interviews you... though... "NYT Bestselling Author" is damn good and I'd gladly take it! That is, if I wrote in the first place. Congrats! Congrats! Drinks on me at my local bar tonight!

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: 4946 days ago

Ermm... Okay, I don't know where I got #5 from. I was in the middle of cramming for Virology, so just disregard that bit please ;)

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: 4946 days ago

Okay YOU said it, Max. Sorry, my brain is fried. Please ignore me :P

Kristen (#1157)

Location: Jersey
Quote: "Insert quotation here."
Posted: 4946 days ago

I think he meant #5 in Amazon sales for novels, which is totally awesome.

Robert (#413)

Location: Los Angeles
Quote: "A positive attitude will not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort."
Posted: 4946 days ago

Congrats on the reviews, must feel like a birthday present in your e-mail every day.

Matt (#61)

Location: Chicago
Posted: 4946 days ago

Joseph Heller did do it better. But that’s like saying Orwell did it better (when talking about Jennifer Government). Really though, if I were an author and a New York Times review put me in league with Hellar I'd be elated.

P.S. Max, Chicago “yearns for you tragically.”

shabooty (#637)

Location: D.C./V.A/M.D.
Quote: "I will shake your foundation. I will shake the f**cking rafters. Nobody'll be the same -Danny Bonaduce ....& go visit my blog @: http://www.shabooty.com"
Posted: 4946 days ago

Now if only you can get on Oprah and have her berate you about something, you'd be gangsta.
and let Xzibit pop your collar too :)

Machine Man subscriber Jarrad (#837)

Location: Hobart
Posted: 4946 days ago

Na, let XtotheZ pimp yo ride

Greg Karber (#1568)

Location: gregkarber.com
Posted: 4946 days ago

Wow. Wowie, wow, wow. Now I can claim that I liked Max Barry before he was big. Before all the movies, and the million dollar cars, and the week long benders chronicled thoroughly by the National Enquirer and People Magazine (when they involve other celebrities, at least). I'm gonna miss the old days, though, when you weren't a drugged out maniac.

I miss you already, Max.

Drew D. (#1045)

Location: Melbourne, Vic., Australia
Quote: ""A flute without holes, is not a flute. A donut without a hole, is a danish.""
Posted: 4946 days ago

Congrats indeed Max, both on the NY Times review and the successful US tour. So, when (and/or where) will it be available. I've asked around at a couple of Melbourne bookstores and they don't have a clue.

Matt (#61)

Location: Chicago
Posted: 4946 days ago

What does everyone say to discussing Max's latest post with each other instead of constantly bombarding him with congratulatory remarks. The community would be more interactive and probably healthier for Max's ego. A

Ahem, that is not to say Max doesn't kick ass.

Pete Clamiston Nessi (#927)

Location: Chicago
Quote: "04dana14na"
Posted: 4946 days ago

Just wait until Company surpasses that “unforgettable, heartbreaking story of blah blah blah.”

That'll be the day.

Nick (#1991)

Location: Vietnam
Posted: 4946 days ago

So the New York Times has compared Max Barry to both Chuck Palahniuk and Charlie Kaufman. In one paragraph. You're hanging with the cool kids now, Max.

Lapse (#86)

Location: Brisbane Australia
Quote: "You're adopted and we hate you."
Posted: 4946 days ago

oh dammit max :( Just rub it in whilst we poor souls in Australia are still deprived of the book... The next few months or how ever long it takes to come out are gonna be even slower now...

That's great news for you though Max... How far are you underway in the next book :P

Any news on when it will come out in Australia yet Max? so I know whether it is worth spending the extra $30 getting a copy imported?

Hobbie (#1359)

Location: Cornwall, England
Quote: "There was a little man in his hair!"
Posted: 4946 days ago

Is it worth it she asks? Bah! I imported this sucker to the UK, and it is thoroughly worth it.

Well done Max, and try not to let it go to your head... this is the sort of fame that drives people mad. Though if you do... write a book about it.

Machine Man subscriber Adam (#24)

Location: Morristown, Indiana
Quote: "Why do I blog? Simple, because Max Barry blogs."
Posted: 4946 days ago

Tuesday...early in the morning

I HATE MAX BARRY. HE SUCKS AS A WRITER!

Man, it's amazing how controversy can be a great marketing tool. Whoever has started reading this probably thinks that I really hate max barry.

CHUCK PALAHNIUK, CHARLIE KAUFMAN...AND MAXX BARRY?

Anyways congradulations Max Barry....well deserved, this. By the way, you should definitely sellout if you can do that in the book world...you know, stop blogging for the fans and try to make as much money as possible, and definitely do the Oprah thing. It's the only way to get to number #1...get on her book club, just don't claim that company is non-fiction like that a million little pieces book.

Also, now that you are moving to the top, you should consider another book tour...that doesn't just fly over chicago and mock it. I don't know why but for some reason, I just get this mental image of Max Barry sitting in the window seat of a plane saying, "I can basically see all my Midwest fans from right here. No need to stop in and say 'hello'." Then he does one of those evil laughs that lasts a long time.

-adam

Chris (#2156)

Location: Melbourne, Aus
Quote: "somebody said something once. i can't remember what it was."
Posted: 4946 days ago

20 messages so far and not one person has mentioned your phlegm. hope you don't get your left and right sides mixed up, because if you do that glass of orange juice is gonna have a wierd, salty taste.

i'd say get well soon but i kinda like the whole karmic thing that's punishing you for letting your book be so fashionably ex-pat. if George Bush wasn't president of the Un-aited States, i'd accuse you liking America better than Aus. What gives? When do we get it? I can't help noticing that you never answer that question.

Hobbie (#1359)

Location: Cornwall, England
Quote: "There was a little man in his hair!"
Posted: 4946 days ago

But how can you not but mock a place with the nickname "the windy city"? I mean, just how many tins of beans does it take to get that reputation in the first place?

(P.S. If anyone needs me, I'm hiding from all of the now very mad, very flatulent Chicago Max Barry vigilantes.)

Rod McBride (#688)

Location: Gardner, KS
Quote: "www.MidwestRockLobster.blogspot.com"
Posted: 4946 days ago

Getting compared to Heller by the 'Times' is about as good as it gets. Or, I suppose, any author frequently put on high school and college English department reading lists.

I still say 'Syrup' is my favorite of the three, and I suppose my hardback of it just went up in value as a hip collectable. But I’m getting a bit impatient for you fourth book, so you better get back at it.

Machine Man subscriber Katrina (#847)

Location: SF, CA
Quote: "Good sex is like good Bridge: if you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand." -- Mae West"
Posted: 4946 days ago

:) That's quite awesome. Now... to make it complete, one of the books needs to get pushed forward to a movie!

John Doe (#797)

Location: Live from Omicron Persei 8
Quote: "You're just jealous because the little voices only talk to me."
Posted: 4946 days ago

"I just sit there, stunned, unable to believe what a ridiculously lucky streak I am on."

So you're basically saying that you toil endlessly for months-on-end to make an awesome novel, and then you credit it to luck instead of skill? ::baffled::

Max Edmands (#2105)

Location: Woodstock, NY USA
Quote: "You? No! -Famous last words of Asmodean"
Posted: 4946 days ago

The fact that you have the same name as I do probably influenced my decision to read Syrup in the first place, but now you're one of my favorite authors. Congratulations on the great review Max!!

Gregor (#1182)

Location: Toronto
Quote: "The righteous man is beset on all sides by the tyrannies of evil men."
Posted: 4946 days ago

Joseph Heller.
God, your head must be so big...
Next you'll be talking to Clive James as a buddy...

David (#1848)

Location: Texas
Quote: "Delighted!"
Posted: 4946 days ago

I must be on the right track, finally, as I had finished Catch-22 for the umteenth time literally 45 minutes before Max's post. Maybe I can get me some of that kismet-karma stuff that Max has dripping from his orifices. It must be puddling around his shoes, at this point (although, maybe that's just phlegm).

It is nice to be among the early maxbarryianists, as the rest of the world comes around.

And Heller only managed ONE book worth mentioning! A hack, compared to Max!

AJ (#1866)

Location: Portland, OR
Quote: "Who said life was fair (or some shitty thing like that)"
Posted: 4946 days ago

I noticed several "signed" copies of Company up on the heavily traffic'ed bookshelf of recommended new releases in Powell's books... a highly coveted spot!

So Max, when you get on Oprah, are you going to get us all(your loyal devoted fans) tickets to the show?

=)


John Morris (#346)

Location: Penn Valley
Quote: "to be or not to be"
Posted: 4946 days ago

lol AJ funny. There talking about max on darkhorizons a dedicated page to movies and TV. It sounds so real http://www.darkhorizons.com/news06/060207k.php

Monkeywright (#1732)

Location: Los Angeles, Californi-YARGH!
Quote: ""China is Here?" I don't even know what the hell that means! - PS - visit scenic www.monkeywright.com"
Posted: 4946 days ago

SO COOL!
This has been a kick, watching a young author move from relative obscurity (which, I understand, is a small town in Australia), to his big break. Now, we all await Max 3.0, in which he becomes a cardigan-wearing stuffy literary snob who's too good for the masses and frequently drops tidbits like "I've been mentioned in the New York Times with Joseph Heller. IN THE SAME REVIEW!" into conversations.

Way to go max. Come back to LA soon!

Kalle (#1278)

Quote: "Sex is herital. If your parents never had it, chanses are you'll never have it either."
Posted: 4946 days ago

I totally agree with Monkeywright. Now that you're rich and famous and you'll start writing boring reruns of your old books like Stephen King I'll remember these times, were we backed you and loved you.

J/K. Gjolly good show! Seems like Nationstates worked out for you!

Machine Man subscriber David (#1456)

Location: Sydney, Australia
Quote: "Why are the pretty ones always insane?"
Posted: 4945 days ago

Lapse,

It doesn't cost anything *like* $30 extra to have Company imported to Australia. Use Amazon: with std int'l shipping (2-3 weeks) it's $US15.61 plus $US4.99 shipping. That's about $AU28.00 all up.

Then consider that the avg price for a hardback novel in Australia is $AU45.00 - $AU50.00 and you see you're actually saving a money. Even if it's only released here as a trade paperback (months from now) as Jennifer Government was, it'll cost at least $AU32.00. With the current exchange rate it's actually cheaper to buy US hardcovers via Amazon than trade paperbacks from local publishers. Crazy, eh?

And, yes, Company's worth it.

disturbed_kiwi (#977)

Location: New Zealand
Posted: 4945 days ago

Anyone got this reveiw somewhere I don't have to give a password?

Or willing to share a password?

Drew D. (#1045)

Location: Melbourne, Vic., Australia
Quote: ""A flute without holes, is not a flute. A donut without a hole, is a danish.""
Posted: 4945 days ago

Check out www.bugmenot.com for passwords to all those stupid registration-required sites.

Machine Man subscriber Katrina (#847)

Location: SF, CA
Quote: "Good sex is like good Bridge: if you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand." -- Mae West"
Posted: 4945 days ago

If you can't be bothered to register... I put it on Jolt. :P
http://forums.jolt.co.uk/showthread.php?t=467658

ryandake (#2199)

Location: scenic monterey, ca
Quote: ""The rest is not our business.""
Posted: 4945 days ago

extra special congrats for the noo yawk times review! my review is much better (see http://ryandake06.blogspot.com/2006/01/company-by-max-barry.html) but probably not as career-fortifying.

still, i'm very glad to see your star ascend! been a fan since Jennifer Government (1st US Edition, hardback), tracked down a copy of Syrup, recommended you to many many friends.

congratulations! looking forward to your next with glee :-)

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: 4945 days ago

I agree with Rod McBride, except that I don't have a hardcover of Syrup... I have the 'rare' paperback version. The pretty cover. :D Someday I'll have to get a chinese copy, dammit...

Congratulations Max--all my favorite things are being mentioned in the NY Times nowadays: Nellie McKay, Max Barry, that 'High School Musical'... I can't believe it. Sales rank #5. That is amazing, congratulations! Maybe now my NationStates friends will finally read Jennifer Government.

I knew of you before you got all big and famous, though. By about eight months to a year. NationStates did its job!

Justin (#2009)

Location: Halfmoon, NY
Quote: "Max(x) is awesome!"
Posted: 4945 days ago

Congrats Max! Guess they're finally finding out now what we've known all along!

Lapse (#86)

Location: Brisbane Australia
Quote: "You're adopted and we hate you."
Posted: 4944 days ago

David

serious??? Bloody Angus and Robertson trying to cheat me out of my money <_<

Rob H (#2200)

Location: Melbourne
Posted: 4944 days ago

Congratulations, Max! You deserve this and much, much more.

Just for the record, I prefer Max Barry to Joseph Heller. That's right! I've said it!

+1 to Melbourne.

Jake (#233)

Location: Boston
Posted: 4943 days ago

Hey! Thought you should know, there are 24 copies of Company in the Metrowest Boston libraries, all are checked out and with 6 further reserves also.

:D good for youuu, baddd for jake, :(

Jake (#233)

Location: Boston
Posted: 4943 days ago

oh haha, if you want to witness it for yourself, i'll present you with...THE STATUS PAGE of Company :)

http://library.minlib.net/search/aBarry%2C+MAX/abarry+max/1,3,8,B/holdings&FF=abarry+maxx&1,,6

haha they still have your name with 2 x's though

Jim (#1813)

Quote: ""What was the significance of the Erie Canal?" "In the cosmic sense, probably nil." —Calvin and Hobbes"
Posted: 4942 days ago

Ok... not that I don't believe you, Max, but I've just been to Amazon.com and I can't find your book on any bestseller lists. Could someone please point me in the right direction, so I can see it and gloat in the knowledge that that I read a book before it became a bestseller?

Machine Man subscriber Mapuche (#1184)

Location: Darwin, Australia
Quote: "Inconceivable!"
Posted: 4942 days ago

Syrup and Company both arrived in the mail last Monday!

I read half of Syrup on the plane to Alice on Tuesday, and the rest that night. I have now loaned to my friend (who says he is enjoying it) and now Max has a new fan! I am nearly finished Company (mostly completed on the plane on the way home today) and it is a very enjoyable book!

Thank you Max for the enjoyment you have brought me!

M

Rob H (#2200)

Location: Melbourne
Posted: 4941 days ago

David,

Your a little off with the shipping cost. Amazon's telling me that it'll cost $27.59 inc. S/H. That's around $40 Australian. Nevertheless, mines on it's way. I'm usually a paperback kinda guy but I'm willing to make an exception in this case.

Lancer Kind (#1547)

Location: Redmond WA
Quote: "Be nice to the man with the gun."
Posted: 4937 days ago

Using a bowl for phlem? Hey, why not keep a garbage can near your desk like the rest of us. No need to dirty a perfectly clean bowl.

Jason Wallwork (#675)

Location: Peterborough, Canada
Quote: "If it ain't broke you're not trying hard enough."
Posted: 4897 days ago

Great book, Max! Just finished reading it aloud to my wife and she quite enjoyed it, too! And she's not as cynical as I am. Clearly your best novel yet. Of course, I haven't read the "cult favorite" Syrup yet. I love the design of the book, too, especially the dustcover.

Comments are now closed for this post.

Built on Blosxom