Syrup is a book that wants to have its cake and eat it. On the one hand it wants to be a razor sharp satire on advertising, the media, consumerism and modern aspiration & celebrity obsessed society. On the other hand it wants so badly to be hip, down with the zeitgeist and ultra-modern (the very things it is seeking to satirise) that you can almost feel it.
Unfortunately what Syrup is is neither of these things. Its a soft satire that takes broad swipes at easy targets (Coca Cola, movies, consumerism, the vapidity of branding and advertising) that have been hit before and better. Nor is it as hip as it would like to be. Yes, the pace is relentless and the tone flippant and humourous, but this isn't a dangerous book preaching to the Gen-Y, anti-globalisation culture. Its a mildly diverting comedic tale of a young man trying to survive and make his fortune in the big wide world; a story that has been told in one form or another, and often better, a million times before.
So ignore the blurb about Syrup being an ultra-contemporary satire on our consumerist society. This is pure wish fulfilment. What it is in reality is a slight, entertaining but ultimately forgetable take on an age old story that will date very quickly.