When one of my best friends, Lea, told me about a hilarious book about a guy who writes about his drunken antics and his love of slutty women, I was intrigued. His name was Tucker Max and the book was I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. It was 2009 and I was finishing my B.S in English and Secondary Education and I hadn’t read a book for fun in approximately three years. I bought a copy and finished it in three days. Hilarious, yet vile, I passed it on to my boyfriend and one of my other best friends, Kelly. I couldn’t believe that someone had actually published and gained recognition, from first, posting stories on his website, from telling stories about his life and the crazy shit he’d gotten himself into. Flash forward to September of 2010, I find out via Twitter Tucker Max is not only releasing another book, but doing a signing an hour away from where I live. Keith, Kelly, and I made the pilgrimage to NYC for his release of Assholes Finish First and I got to meet him for a brief five minutes and he signed my books. Here is a photo from my moment of glory:
All of this brings me to his latest, and final, book from the Fratire genre he so gracefully created, Hilarity Ensues. Still funny, still offensive, and still able to piss off numerous women with his comments and digs, the book had a completely different tone for me as a reader. I still loved it, but like I mentioned, this is his final book in the “series” that he has come to own. You’ll learn how to get through law school without even attending class, how HILARIOUS sexting with Tucker Max can be, and my personal favorite, how to roll with the guys from Deadliest Catch. With all of that being said, the final portion of the book wraps up this portion of Tucker’s life in a snarky, yet contemplative mode, that only Tucker Max can master. Read the final portion of the book and you’ll get to see each of his law school friend’s bachelor parties and weddings. His writing style made this section of the book fit the mold that you’ve all come to love and know from his previous books, but also demonstrates growth, for lack of a better word to explain it. He and his friends are moving on, moving from the rowdy law school kids who paved a path of sex and destruction to “adults” who are settling down and as Tucker says, passing the torch to someone else.
I’ve gotten questioned many times on to why a raging feminist English teacher would read something like this. I’ve heard, “He’s degrading to women” or “He hates fat girls” or “All he does is drink and have sex–what’s the point?” The point, my friends, is Tucker Max was smart enough to document it and to do it well. As a woman, a lesson my father taught me when I was young echoed through my mind while reading these books, “Act like a slut, and you’ll be treated like one.” As I read, and laughed, at many of the girls in Hilarity Ensues (especially the used condom girl–but I’ll let you enjoy it on your own), I also thought to myself, “Well…the treatment you’ve received is pretty much par for the course.” Act like a bitch, and you’ll be treated like a bitch. Act like a slut, and you’ll be treated like one. Tucker Max doesn’t hate women, he hates bitches and people who pretend to be smarter/hotter/more experienced/etc than they really are. End of story. If anything proves Tucker Max’s love for women, it’s his ex-girlfriend Bunny who in three books HE HAS NOT SAID ONE NEGATIVE THING ABOUT! Why? Because she obviously did not fall into the above criteria of girls who try to battle with the Max and lose terribly. I imagine Bunny would be a pretty cool person to hang out with just based off of what I read about her.
Tucker Max, whether you want to admit it or not, has made a mark on the literary community and will continue to entertain and horrify readers for years to come. Maybe we’ll see courses based on analyzing Fratire at colleges (sign me up to teach that one!) or maybe we’ll see a barrage of stories coming out within the next few years that will try in vain to measure up to the original. Whatever the future holds for the Fratire genre, we will all pay homage to the one who started it. With all of that being said, Hilarity Ensues was a fabulous send-off, and an invitation for all of us to invent and share our own stories, whatever they may be.