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404 pages, Hardcover
First published February 1, 2008
Max does not so much write poorly as he presents the PowerPoint speakers notes version of his stories written in unadorned talking points: ”so I met this girl and she was totally hot and I got her drunk and then I took her back to my apartment and then…”. The stories themselves have a certain predictability to them. Tucker meets a girl and either (1) offends her or (2) has sex with her before offending her or Tucker meets a man or a woman he is not sexually interested in (fairly rare) and (1) offends him or her or (2) exploits him or her before eventually giving offense. If you dispute this assertion I invite you to point to the story in the book that doesn’t generally fit these patterns.Although every story amounts to sex and / or screaming offensive remarks, not all are pointless but there is a clear pattern of diminishing returns. The books begins with Max buying a police bullhorn and screaming broad insults at fellow Duke University grad students who are also being subjected to the ridiculous ritual of having to camp a full weekend in return for the chance to buy basketball tickets. Given the situation, Max’s verbal abuse feels only slightly out of place and the tale has some genuine laughs. The stories that follow quickly fall into the pattern outlined above and differ little one to another. The artifice he tries to build of the fast thinking rebel collapses when an a girl challenges him to a drinking contest involving whiskey which Max apparently has an allergy (to put this in the full ridiculousness of its context think of Cookie Monster admitting to an allergy to macaroons). Instead of using his superior intellect to win the contest, Max can do little more than down the whisky and hope for the best. It turns out the fast-thinking hero is little more than Steve-O from the ”Jackass” television and movie series. The book hits its nadir with Max’s tale of driving a rented recreational vehicle blind drunk through the streets of Manhattan while his entourage of assorted delinquents fire full beer bottles at other motorists. In a prelude to the story, Max tells us no one was injured (or presumably killed) in the instance but given his advanced inebriation would he even have remembered or noticed? Further when he wriggles out of prolonged jail sentence by claiming the delinquent who ran off when the police finally caught up to them by lying to the Harlem police captain he says: ”it’s only a lie if you don’t believe it.” Of course, one could look at the rest of these tales of sex with Playboy bunnies with this credo in mind.
In short, the book presents the empty, vacuous, trivial boastings of an alcoholic over-educated teenager and you should find something better to do with your time.