Book Review: I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell

4 08 2010

I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, Tucker Max

“My name is Tucker Max, and I am an asshole. I get excessively drunk at inappropriate times, disregard social norms, indulge every whim, ignore the consequences of my actions, mock idiots and posers, sleep with more women than is safe or reasonable, and just generally act like a raging dickhead. But, I do contribute to humanity in one very important way: I share my adventures with the world.”

– From the back cover of the paperback edition of I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell

Tucker Max, Esquire, is perhaps one of the worst human beings on the planet. We’re talking about total scum of the Earth guy. He foul, rude, manipulative, sexist, selfish, and over all, someone you do not want to associate with.

He is also kind of a hero to me. If I were to see this man, I would approach him, shake his hand, and buy him a beer. I would then proceed to tell him that he represents the worst of humanity, short of someone who commits genocide, and expect him to kick my ass or verbally abuse me, preferably the latter. I would then have a story to proudly tell my grandchildren.

Max is a graduate of Duke Law School (a semester of which was spent in Cancun while he was still enrolled in classes back at Durham, but still somehow passed, with honors, none the least). A majority of his stories take places during and after law school.

Yes. This book is about an immoral law student, and later, young attorney (although he doesn’t practice law now). Big surprise?

I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell is a book a lot of mouth-breathing frat boys view as a sort of bible. In it are a collection of vignettes where Max discusses his sexual exploits, many under the influence of alcohol, or examples of his lack of morals.

In IHTSBH, we see Tucker Max:

  • Use a key chain Breathalyzer in a competition to see who can get the most drunk versus some cougars, which ends with him losing his pants at a sushi bar, and passing out covered in vomit in his car.
  • Make fun of rednecks at an amateur pro wrestling event, and almost get killed when said rednecks pull guns on him and his entourage in the parking lot.
  • Discuss his first experience with anal sex, with an ending I’m not going to discuss, but is really funny. Or disgusting.
  • At a one-night-stand’s place, vomiting, having her dog eat said vomit, and getting drunk off of it.
  • While drunk, not being able to hold it in and crapping in the lobby of an Embassy Suites, leading to him being banned from all Embassy Suites (apparently there are national “Do Not Accommodate” lists).
  • Breaking a girl’s heart, and her claiming to have Chlamydia, so he’d have to get tested for it (if you have to ask how they test for that on a man, it involves a Q-Tip and a specific orifice.)

…And other stories of the like. Trust me. Each one is actually unique and different from the last, even if it seems all Max does is drink, have one night stands, and make fun of intellectually inferior people. And even with Max’s hedonistic, immoral ways, he sometimes gets his just desserts. One story involves him being persuaded by some gay guys that, with all the pipe he has been laying down in women, he has bound to have copulated with several post-op transsexuals (that’s a real morale shaker). The final story in the book, aptly titled “The Worst Tucker Max Story Ever,” brings Max’s actions as a human being full-circle — without saying too much, involves two women, both at varying states of reproductive health, and Max trying to think if it was possible to be a worse human being without breaking the law, and truly realizing his moral decrepitness.

A reoccurring line from literary talking heads when discussing Tucker Max is that his stories are actually fiction. Many of his anecdotes are too elaborate to be truth. You find yourself asking if such a man could even exist, and if he was able to accomplish(?) so much.

If that is the case, he makes a good fiction writer who nailed a specific demographic well. Literary critics have lumped him with Maddox, among others, as creating a wave of literature dubbed “fratire,” (which is obviously a portmanteau of “frat” and “satire”), a sort of reaction against “chick lit” (indeed, fratire has been dubbed “dick lit”). He’s obviously hit a nail on the head with his stories. Stupid males like me want to read funny stories about sex, alcohol, and anti-social behavior. Max might even have something intelligent to say about morality and gender politics with his stories. Might. It’s buried somewhere between the random hook-ups and tequila shots.

Sometimes, people just want to live vicariously. I don’t exactly say I want to live like Tucker Max, but it’s hard to say that reading about him isn’t amusing, and both makes me feel like a better human being for not engaging in such behavior, and worse for actually finding entertainment in it.

Look for Max’s next book, Assholes Finish First, coming out this fall, and don’t miss his website, where many of his stories can be found. You can, though, miss the movie adaptation of Max’s stories, which came out in theaters last year, and was a total flop.

For: Frat boys, miscreants, misogynists, anyone who appreciates a good, dirty story over a beer or two.

Rating/Worth It:

Are you a frat boy? 10/10.

Are you a feminist? -2/10.

Do you appreciate dirty humor? 8.5/10.

Let’s be honest. This isn’t the Great American Novel, but it is entertaining the same way Family Guy is. Stupid humor written by intelligent men.




One response

9 08 2010

This book seemed to get around between people I know worse than herpies… I read about 3/4 of this thing (before it mysteriously disappeared) and couldn’t get past the issue of exaggeration/truth. I’m not sure if Tucker Max was attempting to become a dynamic, albeit, fake symbol – in the way of Stephen Colbert’s Stephen Colbert. All in all, he was too much for me to take. From what I read, Max does a great job playing his “character”.

I do agree with you; if Tucker Max was a dorm- or classmate, he would’ve been the sort of charismatic story teller that would’ve been great addition to any ill-conceived exploit.

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