Tucker Max and Hilarity Ensues: The Dichotomy and an Unlikely Example of Following Your Dreams
Tucker Max is a misogynist to some but a hero to others. Some consider him a role model in the category of “do whatever makes you happy” while others say he promotes “rape culture.” However, there is no arguing or debate over whether he is polarizing or not as he is one of the more controversial writers of the last ten years.
His first book, I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell, was impossibly hard to sell to publishers until his site blew up in popularity. Since it’s first publication it has been on the New York Times bestseller list since 2006, peaking at #1. Since then he published a second book called Assholes Finish First and released movie named and based off the collection of stories in the first book. On January 31st Tucker Max is going to be releasing his third book, Hilarity Ensues, and on February 1st a fourth book will come out titled Sloppy Seconds.
One would think after looking at the content of his books, focused on partying, getting inappropriately drunk, and having sex with a lot of girls, that he is just some random bum who wrote stuff down on paper and lucked in to a career. In actuality he went to the University of Chicago and graduated near the top of his class. He then went to Duke Law on a full ride scholarship and graduated with a JD (He never took the bar exam), claiming that he passed a class on federal taxes after spending the term bartending in Mexico and using only a generic outline on the final prepared by one of his friends who sat in the class. At the very least you have to realize that this guy is incredibly smart and has a high aptitude.
After deciding that being a lawyer sucked, getting fired as a summer associate at Fenwick & West because he had a sexual relationship with a married female partner, and even getting fired by his dad from his family’s restaurant he decided to go all in on a writing career that he always had wanted to do. He lived with no money in Chicago working to be a writer, and no matter what his content is, you have to respect the dedication he put in to his work, and it’s paying huge dividends.
People began naming this new kind of book, talking about his partying habits and sexploits, as “fratire,” which Tucker Max hates citing that he has never been in a frat and thinks that lifestyle sucks. In a speech he gave at UCLA (which you can find on YouTube) Tucker Max says that while I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell is a book about getting drunk and hooking up, it’s also about doing what you want to do and following your dreams. He considers himself a living example of what believing in yourself, ignoring the system, and taking control of you own future can accomplish. His books are about having a good time with friends, experiencing new things, meeting new people, and not letting others define you. There are many other books that have stories that promote an overriding theme. Fight Club, a book that Tucker Max says had the biggest impact on him, is about fighting as much as it is about the individual self and male masculinity in modern society. Harry Potter, while featuring wizards fighting against the forces of evil, is also about the importance of friendship and courage. Twilight is a book about a girl picking between a werewolf and a vampire to live with forever, promoting the importance of having a boyfriend (Twilight sucks and that last sentence proves why).
At a public speaking appearance Tucker Max gave at Ohio State there was students protesting outside saying that he promotes rape culture (Tucker Max fondly calls this moment his celebrity tipping point). Max fully realizes that he is not a nice guy in a lot of the stories and has said in interviews that he hopes other people are smart enough to realize that some of his stories shouldn’t be emulated (such as drunk driving an RV through Harlem and ending up in a high speed chase). Tucker Max doesn’t create these lifestyles as he does give a face to them. He says many times that he doesn’t have the craziest stories, nor is he the best writer, but he’s the one who wrote his stories down. He is similar to Tupac in the way that Tupac didn’t create or promote Thug Life, rather he gave it a name. Tupac named and talked about Thug Life like how Tucker Max discusses his lifestyle that is shared by many people in America.
Hilarity Ensues is going to be more of the same that we’ve seen, which means hilarious stories by an authentic storyteller. While I am a fan of Tucker Max’s work many people are not, and if they went up to him and told him how much they dislike him, he won’t care. The bottom line is, Tucker Max doesn’t give an F, which is a reason why he has been so successful in his life and is a New York Times #1 bestseller.