Tucker Max’s Assholes Finish First: A Review By a Woman With a Vagina That Would Just Like to Finish


Just as watching Hoarders: Buried Alive inspires me to clean, reading motivates me to write. So, I recently dove into Tucker Max’s Assholes Finish First. Admittedly, I’m a couple years late on this one, but when it’s come up in conversation, people have been surprisingly intrigued.  

Photo compliments of Wikipedia.
I suspect there are a number of readers who haven’t read Max’s books for fear of being an asshole by association. Of course, it’s entirely possible that they aren’t interested in moronic, offensive tales of drunken debauchery and shameless sex (the good, the bad, and the fucking horrific)—a genre now deemed “fratire”—but, I stand by the former. 
In prepping to write this review, I struggled a bit myself. I spent 4 years at an all-women’s university—treading water in a pool of feminism, submerging myself in the LGBT community. For those of you lacking such an experience, let me spare you a commercial case of Midol and summarize: have respect for people—all of them. How could I bring myself to write that I found Tucker Max’s—a raging dickhead’s—book to be funny?

First, let me say that, although Assholes Finish First resonates with oodles of fratty douchebags and skeezy guidos, it appeals to normal people, and women, too. The success of the book supports this truth, as well as another: people may not endorse twisted concepts, but they find them entertaining. 

Max’s accounts are generally inconceivable and laugh-out-loud funny—assuming you can find humor in obnoxious behavior. You’ve gotta bring that to the table, ’cause, let’s not kid ourselves, Assholes Finish First is highly fucking offensive. Not your standard comedian trampling on political correctness. This is the Tucker Max dimension. If you know yourself to be easily—even occasionally, remotely offended—cracking this one open is just begging for a shit storm. 
Get past that, though, and you might even appreciate a certain quality of Max’s writing. Not what I’d call that of a literary genius, but his writing is exceptional in its brutal, unabashed honesty. For better, or [much, much] worse, Max puts his shit out there. It’s compelling, and most of us can appreciate that, in one way or another. Because it takes balls to be honest. And if you’re reading closely, you’ll be forced to ask yourself, “How ballsy am I?”         
So, that’s how I came to terms with writing my review. Had to be honest.
And, honestly, Tucker Max had me at “Polly Rottenpuss.”

Comments

  1. I have found some of Tucker Max's writing absolutely fantastic, especially the way he presents stories and shows creates humor with ordinary life.
    On the other end, some of his stories have left me with just disinterest. Like I didn't find them funny because there was no reasoning for the "asshole" behavior...but I think I'll read this book at some point.

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  2. 'preciate your input. I like to think that good writers are capable of spinning shit into gold—turning daily life into something worth reading about. Like any character, the role of the belligerent asshole can find ways of getting redundant.

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  3. LIZ RO ROCKS THE WORLD !!!!!

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  4. I have a question, since this review raises the concepts of both offence and tolerance: do you think that being offended will continue to be politically affective? What I have in mind here is the effect that activist groups have had on public communications in recent years: is it not the case that the discussion, paradoxes, and fears raised about multiculturalism are precisely what is suppressed from public viewing by activists groups that call for the jobs of media figures on public radio and television? My concern is that as these open discussions, which must tread the line of political correctness in order to ruminate, will only be accessible for a price. That is, one must pay rent to a closed circuit television or radio network in order to be allowed to witness cultural biases, be they justifiable or not.

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    1. People seem to like being offended...in a guilty pleasure sort of way.

      Ex. A celeb makes a statement that is viewed as racist...they are all over the evening news nonstop.

      Another more relevant Example:
      When they made "I hope they serve beer in hell" by Tucker max into a movie, there were loads of individuals protesting the film, and as they interviewed them, they learned that many had no actual exposure to any of the material from the book or movie.

      Will being offended continue to be politically effective?
      I believe yes, as long as people keep making a big deal about it.

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    2. I think we should take the ridiculous and the comedic, in general, quite more serious than we often do, in that we should ask the question of how such views function for the subject, rather than swiftly sifting them into two categories of tolerant good guys an intolerant bad guys. This is the lesson of bell hooks: that we should resist thinking in term of a utopian future that is achieved by blowing away the enemy, as if they were a stain to be removed from a clear window to the final social order. That's ideology manifest.

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    3. @Anons
      I always understood that Satire was about making fun of something to prove a point. That is important.

      When it comes to offending others.
      Some people are offended by Interracial Marriage...doesn't mean it's wrong.

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    4. I actually disagree with that very definition of satire. I would argue that it has actually nothing to do with proof, but with the actuality of a paradox. If we consider "proof" in its deductive sense, it means to demonstrate a logical conclusion. By contrast, I argue that satire is a demonstration of an inherent paradox--or at least dialectic tension--between what we affirm to be disallowed, taboo, prohibited, and what we consider possible. I think satire is exactly the opposite of thinking in terms of a true/false dichotomy (I.e., proofs) but instead to show what is implied when we claim what is not possible. Comedy reveals what is prohibited to be the necessary supplement of what is allowed. It is a productive space where such paradoxes can find a synthesis in further understanding, and that is why I think prohibiting certain words can only lead to regression. (I'm not being original: this is in Hegel, Nietzche and Derrida.)

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  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  6. I don't understand anything stated above here. I flash my Edinboro degree proudly now.

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  7. I still am not sure I understand anything in this comments section at all. (unsurprisingly)

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    1. In brief: I don't know what it means or feels like to be offended, so I'm cursed to approach the concept through a formal philosophical essay. Guess who.

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    2. oh hai Chris. I'm offended by the way the wind blows.

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