On his Web site, Tucker Max advises all his fans to hold off on any material they want to send him. He’s taking a 10-day vacation – without his computer – to relax. It’s the computer and the Internet that have propelled Max to cult fame, and a hectic book release is the reason for his sabbatical.
The self-published, “I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell,” was released in January and while it has received little attention in the mainstream press, it does lay claim to being on the New York Times Bestseller List and supposed interest from talk-show hosts such as “The Daily Show” and “Late Night with Jay Leno.”
The book is filled with the numerous accounts of Max’s bacchanalian antics and wild insults. Much of the material for the book is taken from Max’s Web site Tuckermax.com. Max started the page because of a bet concerning online dating, according to the site. It has evolved to include stories, FAQs, updates and blog links, all with an impressive 200 million hits.
The book is the second for Max, who released tips on dating. The Web site itself is filled with Max’s writings and concern sex, girls and drinking. Max has a growing library of stories that range from drinking heavily with an amateur breathalyzer, to having copious amounts of sex with women of varying mental capacities and sizes.
Max had previously gotten in trouble for his racy remarks when the winner of the 2002 Miss Vermont pageant sued him. Max had written about his encounter with the queen in a story and the case was brought to court in 2003 before Max agreed to take her name completely out of the site.
The new darling of pushing the bounds of nonfiction writing, Max spent his college days at the University of Chicago and even received a juris doctorate at Duke University in 2001 before moving on the adventurous lifestyle.
Max writes in conjunction with Festering Ass, a Web site that promotes writers and artists who are ignored by mainstream media, according to the site. Max argues that his Web site is around because the proverbial “people” want something that doesn’t always fit into the corporate media’s neat little pants.
Constantly on the defense that all his writings are true, Max often argues that he is just another guy who likes to write. And according to one review, “the book has a deeper meaning within it. Max bombards the reader with the single question, ‘If I can get away with all this […], what do you have to be afraid of?'”
Max seems to imply that he is part of a subtle revolution that looks to insult everyone fairly and ridicule a world of rules that is already ridiculous.
Most of Max’s writing has the detail minus most of the brilliance found in the books of Chuck Palahniuk, whom he cites as an inspiration, and reminds readers of Hunter S. Thompson’s most boisterous and catchy remarks of society. The style of the two is so similar that Max seems like a caricature of Thompson. Max even talks of his use of a voice recorder, made popular by Thompson when dazed and drugged in Las Vegas.
It’s the generation of the Internet that has allowed Max to prosper. The stories aren’t completely void of humor or entertainment, however, and they serve a group that wants quick sound files of fun well.
Max is the product of bloggers and Facebook fanatics. The reviews for his book reveal the crowd he is trying to please. Most of the reviews come from college newspapers with nice internet links. He’s marketing to the 15 to 25-year-old niche that prefers getting information from “The Daily Show” and not the “Nightly News.”
– Arkansas Traveler, March 3, 2006
[Original review available here.]