REVIEW: Campaign

Spring Edition

The blurb on this book begins with a simple (Nike take-off) command, "Just read it." And it's not wrong. Syrup is an absolute ripsnorter of a book about the biggest industry on the planet - marketing. Set in the fictitious halls of the Coca-Cola Company, Syrup is an hilarious take on the whole marketing industry - catchy names, snappy characters, totally ludicrous (but phenomenally successful) ideas, the backstabbing, the idea-stealing, in short, the whole shebang.

The story is simple: Scat (real name Michael George Holloway) gets a new idea for a cola ("New cola product. Black can. Called Fukk."), tells flat mate Sneaky Pete, then gets to spend X Time with a chick named 6 (her real name - read the book to find out why) from Coca-Cola. Idea gets stolen, Scat gets done, but swears vengeance. And you'll never guess the rest.

This is one of the funniest books published in ages, and the twists and turns of the plot peppered with liberal doses of marketing case studies ensure constant entertainment. Maxx (note the double 'x') Barry is a brilliant new talent, and this is a wonderful first novel. From a strict marketing point of view, Penguin should have no trouble with this fizzy little number - but be warned, there is a moral to the story, in fact several. Syrup is a skillfully written number on a topic near (not always dear) to my heart. In fact, just like its subject, Syrup is always refreshing. Dare I say, buy it, "just for the taste of it..."