I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell by Tucker Max

June 30th, 2008 at 12:13 pm

“I really hope that God has the capacity for forgiveness that Christians claim, because I am going to test the absolute outer limits.” – Tucker Max

I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell by Tucker Max

Tucker Max is an inexplicable success story. He wrote emails to friends about his drunken, debaucherous sexual exploits. This turned into a blog. This became a book. This became a New York Times bestselling book. Now there is a movie.

Though an impressive exercise in excess and gall, Max’s tales of drinking and sex are mostly unremarkable. Most youths half-conscious for high school and college will be able to meet Tucker half-way with his mildly shocking anecdotes of modern bacchanalian adventure. So let this be a lesson to you kids: be a cruel, disrespectful, self-absorbed, misogynistic drunk, and America will reward you.

I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, somewhere between a drunk Paper Chase and The Game on meth, is certainly appealing because it is authentic. You believe everything. Nothing is embellished. Nothing over-written. There is something very refreshing about its straightforward, casual forthcomingness.

But of course it’s totally depraved and reprehensible. The puritan in us wants to be appalled. The Top 40-listening, Simon Cowell wanna-being, Paris Hilton sex tape-watching fool in us wants to be entertained even more.

Though it pains me to say it, there’s a little bit of Hunter S. Thompson in Tucker Max. While I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell can’t hold a match to the rocket-fueled blowtorch that is HST’s intellect, craft, and cultural relevance, Max does carry around a tape recorder and write about his heroic consumption, just like the good Doc, however elementary and inferior the writing is. Sample passage (from page 69 no less):

“It got to the point where I was fucking with so much force her booty was clapping like Madison Square Garden, the bed was chipping the paint off the wall, my hips were bruising as they slammed against her ass bones and I was sweating like a migrant worker in a strawberry field, but it still wasn’t enough.”

This book and its success is frustrating and bothersome on several levels. Why do the douche bags always get away with it?

Let’s talk about this douche bag thing. Having read his book, I think Tucker Max is a douche bag. My secret sources working on the inside of the movie production of I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell confirm this opinion. Though in his thirties, he’s the kind of guy who wears athletic shorts with dress shirts. Tucker Max angers me like drug dealers who don’t get caught anger me. But Tucker Max clearly has his own ideas of what a douche bag is and spends ample time examining so in the book. He refers to “legions of douche bags and tools that now seem to infect every aspect of Vegas,” and “an endless expanse of bushy-haired frat boy fuckwits in striped shirts and red pants.”

But Tucker Max drinks Grey Goose and Red Bull. His dog is named Maxie. He drinks booze from a CamelBak. Add this to the way he treats people and isolates himself in an insecure, cocky, self-absorbed and self-important bubble protected by mildly creative insults and vain ignorance, and you have a bona fide douche bag. You simply don’t garner respect or authority on any level by attacking metrosexuals for dropping Foucault and Sartre when you refer to Toulouse-Lautrec and Pheidippides and say things like, “That’s like Chamberlain telling Hitler he can have the Sudetenland.” I know, I know. Tucker Max does not care about garnering respect nor authority. Add that to the list of why he is the embodiment of the douche bags he claims to despise so much.

I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell is at best an interesting anthropological contemplation of the decadence of modern white male privilege and at worst as bad as having to read someone’s diary or listen to them recall their dreams. How far American Comedy has come since Mark Twain. Max’s humor consists of glib observations and opinions and the occasionally chuckle-worthy rhetorical device. “Whatever buddy, you’re wearing a Detroit Red Wings jersey to a strip club, you obviously suck.” “When I am mid-coitus, a girl could extract a promise from me to trade my first-born for a Twix bar.”

If you think this kind of thing is funny, read this book. You won’t even be able to polish off a six-pack before you’re done and ready to move on to funnier, heartier fare. Like whiskey.

But Bravo to Tucker Max for creating an empire from something so debased and otherwise normal.

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One Response to “I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell by Tucker Max”

  1. Surprisingly throrough and thoughtful review of a gratuitously shallow author and his creation. “When I am mid-coitus, a girl could extract a promise from me to trade my first-born for a Twix bar.” is certainly vetted by the recent British study that indicates a male’s cognitive capability operates invesely to the level of his arousal. The ladies say “Duh!”.

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