Tucker Max’s “I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell” (Book Review)


A genius pseudo-autobiography/memoir of the brilliant Tucker Max provides plenty of laugh out loud moments for people willing to read about some rich kid being able to do pretty much whatever he wants.


i-hope-they-serve-beer-in-hell-bookI’ll preface my review by saying this: This book is genius. Not only is it insanely readable and insanely hilarious, but the fact that it’s true makes it all the better.  Max recounts numerous stories, ranging from the absolutely unbelievable, to the typical yet still unbelievable.

I would describe this book as a “slice of life,” because to me it does run some parallels. But, it’s not going to appeal to everyone. It’s raunchy and extremely crude (but goddamn he hits a home run almost every time he steps up to the plate).

It’s a memoir of Max’s run-ins with women and booze and his friends, and it’s very real. He pulls no punches, and although some of the stories sound so impossible, Max recounts them in a calm way that someone like me is actually inclined to believe him.

I say someone like me, because I’ve been involved in my fair share of shenanigans, and I always hate when I tell the story to someone and they don’t believe it. So, I give Max my “Ridiculous Story Teller Free Pass”.

I absolutely flew through the book, as its style was readable but not pandering (plus, I’m a perverted bastard). Sure, the book was written by someone who obviously has an ego, but who doesn’t? He’s the main character of his own story, and kudos to him for having the sack to tell it, whether he looks like an ass or not.

And not all of the stories make Tucker look like some Adonis-like stud. He includes little embarrassing stories so we can actually relate to him, actually feel a tiny bit of sympathy for someone like him.

There are so many stories in the book that I can’t actually spout off my favorite. There are so many gems, and to tell the outline of any of them would ruin their impact upon reading them.

And read them you should. Assuming, of course, you aren’t easily offended by copious alcohol abuse and sex. Max is intelligent (he went to Duke. You know, that school with the really good football team), and he can tell a story well. He does everything he needs to do in terms of writing. He’s concise but descriptive, and funny without being annoying or outrageous.

Final Words:

Any male in the alive-dead age range will find this book hysterical and easy to read. Not sure about females, but  I know quite a few who have enjoyed it as well, but it does have some sexist tendencies, and while I thought they were funny, Rosie the Riveter might not. It’s not a literary masterpiece, but it doesn’t claim to be. What it is is a helluva good read. For men, it’s basically a night out with the guys, where each story told is an attempt to top the previous one.

Score: 9/10 (Excellent)

Readability: 10/10 (VERY easy to read)
Theme: 10/10 (Sex and Booze? How is that not a 10/10)
Originality: 9/10 (I know I haven’t had the pleasure of reading anything like it before)

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AUTHOR’S NOTE: The book doesn’t hold up nearly as well as I thought it would on subsequent re-reads. It actually borders on laborious after the first time, when the stories are hilarious. When you know what happens, they lose nearly all of their zip.

5 thoughts on “Tucker Max’s “I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell” (Book Review)

  1. Hey Andrew, I know you’re from Terre Haute, or at least I believe you to be from Terre Haute, and I were just wondering if you didn’t find that book at the IHOP in town. I was halfway through it a few weeks ago and left it at my seat. When I returned to pick it up it wasn’t there. If by some bizarre coincidence you happened to have found that books at IHOP please get a hold of me through myspace. I would give you a cellphone number if I had one. http://www.myspace.com/xfrailaspaper

    With that set aside I just wanted to say I really enjoyed your review of this book and that I hope to finish it someday. Whether I find it or not it’s such a short, fast-paced read I will probably just end up squatting Books-a-Million to finish it. Anyway, you really hit the nail on the head with this review. My thoughts on this book could not have been delievered any better.

  2. Sorry Zack, didn’t find it at IHOP. I borrowed my girlfriend’s copy. My guess is that whoever cleaned the table found it, read the back and thought, “Hey, free awesome book,” and just snagged it. I’m always a proponent of conspiracy theories.

  3. I absolutely LOVED this book, even being female. And your review was spot on…It really is one of the most real, honest books I’ve ever read, even if it is EXTREMELY crude. Great read 🙂

  4. A female liked it! Chalk up the victory to a progressive minded woman! WOOO!

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