It took me three goes to get into this book. The character that Tucker Max displays is quite simply horrific: he’s offensive, nasty, pure arsehole. If you’re going to read this book, you absolutely must get past your reaction to him – which in my case was very strong. It took me nearly two years to pick this book up again and give it the go that it deserves.
And I’m glad I did. This book contains stories from Tucker’s torrid drunken sex life. Some of them – particularly once you are nearly halfway through the book – are absolutely hilarious. Like, laugh-out-loud hilarious. Which I did. Repeatedly. On a plane from Adelaide to Sydney. I was engrossed with the book, couldn’t stop reading sections of its dirtiest and funniest passages out to my other half and to my friends. It was so funny I was nearly in tears.
What happens to you as you read this book is that you go from despising Tucker’s attitude towards women, to laughing at the shitty, and so often funny-as-hell situations that he gets into. The way he treats women is laughable to start with. And then when he gets his come-uppances – and there are many of them, brilliantly turned on him – it’s enormously satisfying.
In the end, Tucker comes across as a pathetic, sex-addicted, empathy-less knob. His apparent knowledge of women turns into total horror when he realises that, as much as he is a player, many women trump him time and again. And that this has probably happened several times without him knowing it.
I have to admit, as much as I hate to do so, that this book got me. Once I started reading it, I devoured it. For all of Tucker’s flaws, he tells a story so, so well. The story of him shitting himself across the lobby of a motel was particularly nicely written. I was in hysterics. The drama and suspense of it was damn near perfect.
If you are going to attempt to read this book, here’s a warning: you MUST be able to appreciate a book without aligning the quality of the book with its characters. The book is great, the main character – which is the author himself – is so easy to hate.
Tucker Max is a total cunt. He is sexist, racist, discriminatory. He is blunt, revels in bastardry, drinks like a fucking idiot, exhibits himself like a spastic. He treats women – actually, he treats everyone – like shit. He is arrogant, supercilious, and completely shallow. He exhibits behaviours that are totally, utterly reprehensible.
But he does have an ability to learn, which you pick up gradually throughout the book. Thank fuck.
I Hope They Serve Beers in Hell is a good, trashy, filthy read. Once you get past the main character, you’ll have a blast. Getting past him in the first place is the hard part. And, I suppose, that’s kind of the point.