NationStates Jolt Archive


I'm reading your book, sir

Eridanus
30-12-2004, 08:59
I'm reading your book. I like it. There's no real point to this post, I havn't even finished it yet. I'm almost there. Today I stayed shut up in my room for hours just reading about the adventures of Hack Nike, screwing his girlfriends sister, and such. It's a goody!
Petesylvania
30-12-2004, 09:08
I found it a pretty delicious read, myself. Finished it in two days of straight reading.
The Rubber Band Man
31-12-2004, 03:29
Its a damn good read if you ever get it.
Shiaze
31-12-2004, 03:37
Yes I read it too, and me likey very much and ya know what the perpose of this game paid off for Max Barry because it got me to read his book Jennifer Government now I want to read syrup.
Eridanus
31-12-2004, 08:47
FINISHED! Well, I finished this morning. Amazing. Goooooood freakin' book. I need Syrup now.
SalusaSecondus
31-12-2004, 19:34
FINISHED! Well, I finished this morning. Amazing. Goooooood freakin' book. I need Syrup now.

Syrup's even better.
Right thinking whites
31-12-2004, 19:35
Syrup's even better.
realy is there any where i can find a snipit of it
SalusaSecondus
31-12-2004, 20:05
Max's website (http://www.maxbarry.com) has a section dedicated to Syrup (http://www.maxbarry.com/syrup/) and you can read the first chapter there. The first chapter doesn't do the rest of the book justice, it just keeps getting better and better.
Screaming Guitar
31-12-2004, 20:17
Syrup's even better.

Guess I will have to find a copy of that one, just finished Jennifer Govt. last week, I enjoyed it.
Tuesday Heights
01-01-2005, 03:24
JG is definitely a good read. One of those, "I can't put it down" books.
Neo England
02-01-2005, 10:20
I need Syrup now.

Would ya like pancakes with that? haha, seriously though, I've read JG a few times now, it's one of the only books I can actually be bothered to read, (I'm not a great reader of books.)

From what I've heard and seen on it, Syrup sounds damn good also... I guess time will tell.
Screaming Guitar
03-01-2005, 04:24
Would ya like pancakes with that? haha, seriously though, I've read JG a few times now, it's one of the only books I can actually be bothered to read, (I'm not a great reader of books.)

From what I've heard and seen on it, Syrup sounds damn good also... I guess time will tell.


Found Syrup in the library today, so going to give it a read........So Neo England, are you Max or just his messenger?, can't tell from the threads, or maybe it's just a marketing secret ;]
Jjuulliiaann
25-01-2005, 03:08
Yeah, I loved JG. I really want to read Syrup now, and I just can't wait for Company!
Coliness
30-09-2005, 13:25
I Loved reading JG too, im debating wheather to buy Syrup now too...

Hmm...
Czardas
01-10-2005, 05:46
I found JG..... informative. Can't say I really liked it, though. My criticisms include:

1) The characters were not particularly original. Yeah, original characters are a plus in every story. So with the fascinating setup for the plot, I was disappointed to find them a bit... hackneyed. The vengeance-obsessed government agent, the smooth-talking self-obsessed villain, the downtrodden underdog who begins to assert himself... I've read about plenty of similar characters in dozens of works of literature, none of them particularly great (except for the originals like Hamlet, and btw I'll always believe Claudius from the play was the model for John Nike -- whether that's true or not).

2) Threads go unfinished. I mean, come on! The one big moral question that gets explored in any detail -- the relationship between Hack, Violet, and Claire -- goes unfinished! They walk out onto the street and disappear, and that's the end of the novel! Whatever happened? Did Max's editor cut out the ending? And what about Billy NRA? And the other John Nike? And all these other people who get introduced violently and as violently drop out of the plot?!

3) There's a lack of description. We don't really know what any of the characters look like by the end of the novel, as little as we know by the beginning. True, we can use our imaginations, but Max gives us a little teeny bit -- "She was thin with long brown hair and looked more fragile than she was" -- and that's all! I can name 6 people who answer to that above description here in this small New England town and all of them look different! Likewise, what exactly does the inside of the NRA camp look like? Or Kate's school for that matter, or Hack's office? Yes, Max, these are all fairly insignificant details, but sometimes it's detail that makes the story great.

4) Things happen a bit too quickly, and there's too many of them. This refers to the plot. One character is flying from Melbourne to Los Angeles on page 16, and then from L.A. to London on page 21... and then the action is taking place in four different places, but we're not all too sure which is which...For example, in the final scene I was never sure where exactly Jennifer, Hack, Billy, John, Buy, and Violet were exactly, and which one had gone where from where... UGH! Far too much moving around! Max, you should have put the RP-style "London: 0750 hours" tags on each post...er...I mean chapter so we could figure out what was going on and where! It just confused me!

5) Other things don't go anywhere. The barcode tattoo, for instance. I had imagined a society in which everyone was barcoded to keep track of their movements, or in order to purchase items. But no... it turned out to be just used by the representatives of advertising companies who wear the tattoos in order to look like their products.... WTF??? I just thought that could have been made into a more interesting scenario. Another example of this is the mysterious disappearance of Hack and company in Chapter 82.

Max Barry, if you even check the NationStates forums any more, I certainly hope you're reading this, because I think it might be a good idea if you could hear some of the criticisms of the advertised novel.


...And now, I'll leave you to wonder if I'm really Max Barry playing the devil's advocate and trying to throw you off, or just another critic.

~The Libertarian Concordance of Czardas~
[un]Official NationStates Ad... er, I mean, Literary Critic
Gruenberg
01-10-2005, 14:58
I largely agree with a lot of your criticisms, Czardas. I think the thing I found most with the book was, as you say, just how quickly it goes. That's not a problem in and of itself...except that at such a rate, you're not especially left pondering all these deep questions he was meant to be probing.

As for characters, though, I can only assume they're meant as analagous 'concepts' - to represent certain things - rather than actually being people. Given that he seems in general a well-respected writer, I can't believe he would accidentally create such shells for people. So I think in many case they're intended to be flat, cliched non-persons, in order for the satire to be effective.
Czardas
01-10-2005, 22:20
As for characters, though, I can only assume they're meant as analagous 'concepts' - to represent certain things - rather than actually being people. Given that he seems in general a well-respected writer, I can't believe he would accidentally create such shells for people. So I think in many case they're intended to be flat, cliched non-persons, in order for the satire to be effective.
Yes, I suppose that's true. But even concepts aren't usually flat and clich├ęd.
Gruenberg
01-10-2005, 22:26
Yet one of the themes - or at least, something I got from it - is about how advertising, and the selling of politics and so on, is never really based in new ideas: just rehashing of old ones. As such, it could be - and I'm not saying this is the case - it might be that in revisiting familiar character-types, he's trying to send the whole process up.