The king of ‘fratire’ returns
The founding father of fratire, Tucker Max, is back with a second book after the huge success of his 2006 No. 1 bestseller, “I Hope they Serve Beer in Hell.”
Max’s sophomore effort, “A–holes Finish First,” was released nationwide last week. Much like his first book, “AFF” chronicles Max’s life of debauchery and one-night flings.
Easily the funniest part of the book is Max’s re-telling of an arrest for public drunkenness in Austin, Texas. Few of the details are relatable in a family newspaper, but the visual Max describes of a drunken clown walking out on a bar tab is laugh out loud funny.
For those who aren’t familiar with the fratire genre, it’s the buzzword attached to literature marketed and written almost exclusively for young men.
While sometimes praised for their ability to get guys in the 18-30 year old age bracket to read, fratire writers, and Max especially, are lambasted by critics with charges of misogyny.
Max is a lightning rod for this kind of talk. He continues to push the limits of social norms in dating and his attitudes toward women, charges he freely accepts in his book. While Max is certainly offensive, he doesn’t advocate violence, rather open objectification of the opposite sex. Whether or not that’s tolerable is up to the reader.
What readers take from Max’s work probably revolves around whether they have a Y chromosome.
Even then, plenty of men find little or no redeeming value in his work. As one can tell from the book’s title, he’s crass, narcissistic and extremely profane.
He’s also a hysterical storyteller.
Max is the uncle who gets away with a naughty tale at a family event because his stories leave the crowd doubled over in laughter.
His stories about little people (he uses the politically incorrect term ‘midget’), a clown pub-crawl gone horribly wrong and a basketball ticket camp-out leave you rolling on the floor.
Max veers away from his comic abilities too often, though, reflecting on his rise to fame and the pitfalls of a life in the spotlight.
That kind of content is interesting, but it doesn’t fit with the raucous chapters the readers are used to and muddles the book’s flow. “I Hope they Serve Beer in Hell” rarely offered the introspection and was better for it. There’s a depth to Max, and he’s a talented writer, but the back-and-forth in “AFF” can get tiring. Most readers don’t pick up his books for a look at the author’s life away from the bar scene.
If you don’t offend easily, it’s worth a read. Don’t say you weren’t warned, though.
To contact Staff Writer Kyle Magin, e-mail kmagin@the
union.com or call (530) 477-4239.
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