Mark Rozzo
July 1999

For twentysomething Michael George Halloway, the gleefully shallow hero of this vicious send-up of corporate back-stabbing inside the soft-drink industry, marketing is like a "gorgeous, brainless model on cocaine having sex drinking Perrier in L.A." In sum, it represents everything that Michael, who re-christens himself Scat, desperately believes in. Armed with his nom du marketing, Scat sets out to make his millions, and he does have an undeniably million-dollar idea: a new cola drink called Fukk. He manages to get through the doors of Coke to pitch Fukk to a foxy new products marketing manager named 6 (it's actually her given name) and accomplishes two things: 1) falling desperately in love and 2) getting his million-dollar idea ripped off.

Maxx Barry, an ex-marketer himself, knows how to make a smooth, snappy presentation, and he expertly orchestrates the ever-expanding ways that Scat and 6 end up getting screwed over by the business, usually at the hands of a Japanese marketing ace named Sneaky Pete. The frequently homeless Scat and the impossibly shrewd 6 always come back for more, making Barry's comic novel satisfyingly revenge-driven, full of scary marketing tips and fizzy as Fukk.

December 5th, 1999: The LA Times includes Syrup in its annual Best Books of the Year list.