by Trevor Fik (Staff Writer)
What to say about a man who takes it upon himself to interrupt a bout of love-making by popping what is referred to as “the snow capped peak of Mount Fuji” of zits on the back of his partner? The same man who can quote German philosophers on a whim as he insults nerdy sociology majors and the hefty women they bring for back up. A man who holds both a bachelor of arts (with honours) from the University of Chicago, as well as his JD in law from Duke University (which was all paid for on academic scholarship).
Tucker Max is not somebody who can be summed up in the words that are available to me in this column. Sure, there exist phrases that come close to painting a picture of Max for those unfamiliar with his work. Uncouth, offensive and insulting are but a few of the kinder words that have been levied by individuals who have read Max’s work, not realizing the stagnant whorehouse they are about to walk in to.
Assholes Finish First, Max’s follow-up effort to the New York times best-selling I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell (IHTSBIH),” follows Max and his cast of equally amusing friends as they navigate the highs, lows and very lows of casual sex, drinking and downright degrading behaviour. Essentially, the new book is IHTSBIH, part two, keeping the same collection of short story format as Max’s first effort.
With all the same ingredients that made his first book such an entertaining read, Tucker plows into his next effort with his usual display of hilarious insults, observational and self deprecating humour and vast lack of appreciation for the morals of those around him.
My initial hesitation before diving into Assholes Finish First came from the inclination that Tucker Max may not be immune to a sophomore slump. The beauty of IHTSBIH was in its fresh, unabashedly honest take on a regularly discussed topic. There are countless works of fiction that approach the twenty-something sexual encounters topic with a level of immaturity that borders on insulting. With Max however, his work is as refreshing as a bottle of “Tucker Max Death Mix,” and a welcome addition to the “frat-house” genre of literature.
What is different about Assholes Finish First in comparison to IHTSBIH is that it is a much more polished effort. Max has clearly, in the midst of all the debauchery and masturbation, found time to work out some of the literary kinks that held back IHTSBIH from being a true masterpiece.
Although the similarities to IHTSBIH are obvious, what is also apparent is that the tales are not simply a collection of what was not good enough to make it in to the first book. Max, along with the likes of SlingBlade, Credit, Hate, Jojo and PWJ, somehow manage to go above and beyond the ridiculousness of previous occasions. It is often said that truth is much funnier than fiction, and, in the case of Max, it goes above and beyond what any writer could possibly dream up in his dark, demented mind.
For those who criticize Max for his vulgar, sometimes downright filthy, prose, the opposition usually stems from the individuals own moral stance against the issues being raised by Max. These criticisms are not clear condemnations of any literary faults, but instead focus on the subject manner. In order to fully appreciate Max you have to leave your inhibitions at the door, and any sense of morals that you thought you once had along with them.
Some may call what Tucker Max does a true testament to everything that is wrong with the chauvinistic male mindset. Max is crude, he is offensive and some of his stories border on (and usually trample all over) any sort of ethical principles individuals may or may not have. To all of the above I would say that it is certainly right. However, for those individuals brave enough to push the limits of what they thought constituted a raunchy good time, or someone just looking to be entertained, pursue Assholes Finish First like Tucker Max would a drunken college co-ed.