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How to Piss in Public: From Teenage Rebellion to the Hangover of Adulthood

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  460 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
A laugh-out-loud, go-for-the-jugular chronicle of audacious true stories from the creator of Vice magazinefor the huge audiences that devour Tucker Max, Justin Halpern,Chuck Klosterman, and Chelsea Handler.

Though technically a memoir, this is more a compendium of hair-whitening bar stories that punch you in the throat until your eyes explode. Many people have watched thei
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published March 20th 2012 by Scribner
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,025)
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Kevin Sexton
Apr 16, 2016 Kevin Sexton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finished this book within 36 hours of buying it.
McIness explore his life through a series of insane stories that are sometimes laugh-out-loud funny and sometimes totally disgusting (an entire chapter focuses on an old man's explosive diarrhea), but always compelling and honest. He captures the blind stupidity of teenagers better than anyone and from there, he just kept me hooked.
The parts about Vice are interesting, but that's almost a side note to a weirdly inspiring history of a wise-ass pu
Aug 12, 2013 Topher rated it it was ok
I wish rating systems still had half stars, but at some point, people in charge of media-based websites decided half stars were too much responsibility for common people. Anyway, I would give "How to Piss in Public" (or, "The Death of Cool" which is what its new, consumer-friendly title is) two and a half stars if the star fascists would let me. I like Gavin, I think he's smart, entertaining, and in general is on the right side of the thought line these days on some important things. That said, ...more
Douglas Tatelman
Dec 16, 2012 Douglas Tatelman rated it it was ok
I really enjoy Gavin McInnes on Redeye and I love his contemporary writings at But I didn't enjoy much of this book and skipped quite a few chapters.

The bulk of the book is about all the stupid things Mr. McInnes did in his younger days. These memories are best not shared. It might be fun and worth a few giggles, but for most of us, growing up once is more than enough, we don’t need to relive someone else’s stupidity.

I prefer not knowing everyone’s past. Better to be mysterious and
Jul 22, 2016 Siao rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Anyone who calls Ann Coulter his "homegirl" is, by default, complete trash.
May 10, 2012 Christopher rated it it was ok
I like a good boozey/druggy/crazy memoir, but McInnes is mostly just a dick. The main point he's trying to make toward the end is that drugs and alcohol are fun and all, but your future and your children are more important, and anything that could take you away from your family is the stupidest thing possible. With this in mind, I'm not sure why he included a chapter about the time he was nearly killed scuba diving because he couldn't be bothered to pay attention during the safety class.
Aug 31, 2012 Sanaya rated it it was ok
This book makes everything I've ever read or watched look tame. It was a quick read, and an interesting and at times entertaining look into a subculture that, by the end of the book, I was glad not to be a part of. The ending was a nice reflection on what had at times been an excessively graphic and edgy to the point of seeming forced string of anecdotes.
Jul 06, 2016 Byron rated it really liked it
This is written in the form of one of those "fratire" books from back in the dark ages. If it had been released back in the mid to late '00s, who knows. Maybe its popularity would rival, say, Tucker Max's I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, or whatever it was called. I'd say this is more or less as good, which, I should probably clarify, I mean as a compliment. McInnes' exploits are more mundane, but it's interesting to hear the story of how Vice began.

The problem with the book is that there's not a
May 10, 2012 John rated it it was amazing
I am loving this book. Great stories about horrible things.
James Horn
Feb 20, 2015 James Horn rated it liked it
A Quick read, and funny a fair amount of the time, McInnes's How to Piss in Public is at the very least an interesting account of the man who created VICE magazine. Ultimately a little too much "Oh and I banged this one chick" for me, but it has it's moments. A lot of people hate this guy for things he's said in public. This book makes him out to be more of a punk rabble-rouser who likes to piss people off than an all out bigot, but then again he's the one writing it. Don't read this if you are ...more
Brandon Seevers
Apr 26, 2012 Brandon Seevers rated it liked it
The journey from childhood to adulthood can definitely be a bumpy one, which I’m currently experiencing as I type this. Gavin’s voyage is no different, well… it’s not a typical bumpy one anyway. McInnes began as an immigrant from England who decided early on that being a rebel is something what he wanted to be. He was in a punk band, battle Nazis, planted evergreens, co created Vice magazine, took every recreational drug, slept with multiple women on multiple occasions, “partied” with Tommy Lee, ...more
Nov 15, 2014 Adam rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1970-present, prose
I wrote a long, involved thing about this yesterday, then deleted it. It was more about my complicated relationship with VICE and ended with my being all like FUCK OFF GAVIN MCINNES. But really the only important part was the FUCK OFF GAVIN MCINNES bit. Cause really, he's just the fucking worst. Especially now.

Shane Smith is not a serious journalist, but I think he'd be fun to drink and do coke with. I can't even say that much for Gavin McInnes.
Apr 16, 2015 Kay rated it really liked it
This book is insanely funny. It's the type of stuff that's funny when other people do it (a la Jackass), but best to pass on. Even the author admits by the end of the book that his wildest antics ended with marriage and parenthood. My only question would be for his wife--you kiss that mouth? (This question is not directed toward language.) It's a combination of fierce independence, a willingness to try well almost anything, a serious lack of judgment, and the rare ability to articulately write a ...more
Jul 15, 2012 Eliot rated it really liked it
A quick, fun, and entertaining read! Gavin McInnes is a master of the anecdotal arts, and I have never laughed out loud as much as I did when I read this book. While comparisons to Tucker Max can be easily drawn, at the end of the day I'd much rather be friends with Gavin than Tucker. The only possible fault I can find with the book is that it ends on an abruptly sober note. Otherwise the book will make you laugh and at (rare) times even admire humanity. There are many flawless descriptions and ...more
Jen Dee
Wow. Do most people grow up like this? I was a good girl, so this wasn't my life, but it makes me wonder, how many adolescents were concentrated on slamming as much alcohol and drugs in their systems as they could take while simultaneously risking their lives with stupid stunts and insanely unsafe sex every second of their lives?
I guess this book is supposed to be shockingly funny, I found there was little of either of those adjectives in it. I *did* choke and almost die from laughing from a few
Andrew Tollemache
Jul 21, 2014 Andrew Tollemache rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice little memoir of the Cool/Party days of Vice co-founder Gavin Mcinness. What starts out as a series of ever more insane anecdotes from his early days in Canada, the founding of Vice and his antics on the NYC scene from 2000-2010, ends up as a poignant exposition on life and adulthood. Gavin presses the case for having as wild a time as one can (and boy does he ever) to then settling down and focusing 100% on being a parent/ grown up. So the NYC partying wild-man, who was the Vice magazine I ...more
Sep 10, 2016 Jonottawa rated it it was ok
It's an easy read. It's not very funny. I chuckled a couple of times. I grew up in Ottawa around the same time as the author so I thought it was worth a look.
Eric Buehner
Feb 25, 2016 Eric Buehner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Funny book! Laughed my ass off. If your from Ontario some of the references will hit home. A+ ha ha
Richard Novak
Aug 26, 2016 Richard Novak rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
I had read Gavin on The first few stories were funny but I soon lost intetest.
Apr 04, 2013 Adam rated it it was amazing
These stories are a far cry from the nature of Vice as we know it, a.k.a. trust fund New Yorkers who throw themselves in the dangerous corners of the world. McInnes fully discloses that this is nothing but drunken, partially true story telling. That suspension of disbelief helped me laugh my ass off. This book is so great. It's full of hysterical, off-the-wall story telling reminiscent of pulling a great stranger aside for a beer when traveling through the US. I would read this book again if I c ...more
Brandon Bellinghausen
Funny, crass, and enjoyable.

If you like Gavin McInnes, that is.
Feb 07, 2016 Sean rated it it was ok
Gavin's personality doesn't translate as well to book form as it does on the radio or on tv. Has a few good stories but not worth reading
Patrick Poculan
Aug 16, 2015 Patrick Poculan rated it it was amazing
Page-turner. Super fun. It makes you want to start living in New York!
Ben Holmes
Nov 25, 2014 Ben Holmes rated it liked it
It's exactly what you'd expect.
Kevin Hollywood
May 24, 2014 Kevin Hollywood rated it really liked it
Rauchy and funny
Sep 03, 2012 Naomi rated it really liked it
Fans(and I am not a douche)and those who follow Gavin McInnes will appreciate the background into this adult wild child! Those who don't won't! Gavin has always cracked me up, although I must be honest and state that it took me a bit to get into the "Gavin" method of writing compared to his speech-about page 100, I was finally able to get into the rhythm.

Word of warning: If you are easily offended by language, sex and drug use...DO NOT READ THIS BOOK, YOU WILL PAN IT
Dec 05, 2012 Tom rated it it was amazing
I don't think I've ever laughed so hard reading a book in my life before. Gavin is the guy you either love or hate. He's the guy at the bar with the most outrageous stories and one hell of a knack for telling them. There is no shame or sugar coating in his narrative. He cuts out the shit and what your left with is the defining moments that turned a crusty punk with angst and ambition into an older, wiser father who loves his family.
Bookcase Jim
Aug 24, 2015 Bookcase Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I laughed, almost gagged, felt inspired, got a bit sad, reflected on life, and then I moved on.
It's a nice easy read, and interesting when you balance it with modern Gavin's take on things (if you happen stay up to date with his social commentary especially).
If you're offended by it you're an idiot (how can anyone be offended by somebody's life, after all), but I can see how it might not be everyone's cup of tea.
Jan 20, 2014 Monika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found myself laughing at his absurdity and rooting for his assholeishness. Each half hour read is an adventure in itself. Through the drugs, sex, and antics, it's a refreshing reminder you can do whatever you want with your life. Reminds me a lot of Jim Morrison.. as much as I admire him I probably would have disliked him if I met him in person. This book provided some laugh out loud chuckles and brutal honesty!
Dec 23, 2012 rob rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
Would have rated it higher, but the essays dedicated to his sexual conquests were kinda dumb... or possibly catering to a more frat-ish demographic? The portions of the book exploring his trials and tribulations were far more compelling than the Penthouse Letters stuff.

With that said, the back quarter of the book written about his life post-marriage were genuinely interesting and insightful. More of that, please.
Amar Pai
Nov 18, 2015 Amar Pai rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up-on
You'd think a sordid memoir from one of the founders of Vice magazine would be compelling, but I just can't be arsed to read this. I've tried getting into it a few times but it's just a bunch of sex stories and scattershot story telling without any cohesion or insight. At first I thought I just wasn't in the mood but eventually I gave up and decided it's not me, it's McInnes. Disappointing.
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