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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Reading life with ‘Asshole’ author Tucker Max

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    Tucker Max’s sordid tales of debauchery and sex make him an icon to many college students. In one section from his recent book, “”Assholes Finish First,”” Max drives a rented RV drunk through Harlem, eventually getting arrested and bailed out. He finds his way to a bar where “”everyone saw (him) for the hero (he) was, a modern Jesus risen from the dead to drink again.””

    As a result, “”the girls fawned over (him)”” and he “”went home with a cute girl who worked for Playboy.”” Being an unabashed, self-proclaimed asshole evidently has its benefits, but Max’s stories are also peppered with advice (don’t go to law school because you can’t imagine anything else) and allusions (a comparison to bodhisattva — look it up — and another to Roman Polanski).

    At the Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Max talked about the deeper messages of his writing and how to make sure your life doesn’t suck.

    He recounted how he was “”fired from the legal profession”” and then worked for his father’s restaurant, which “”basically ends with me getting fired by my father.””  

    But he kept trying to find a way forward, and his way turned out to be through writing autobiographical stories based on what he was like as a younger person. Now, he knows that “”When I was 25, five, six nights a week, I would’ve gone through a brick wall at the smell of (women) — I was an unguided missile of debauchery, dude.””

    The word “”dude”” fills his conversation. In recounting how he went from Tucker Max the man to Tucker Max the persona, he said that his friend “”PWJ”” “”was like, ‘Dude, this is what you should be doing. This is really good. This is the funniest shit I’ve ever read. You need to put this stuff up on a website, write a book, whatever.'””

    He did, and Max said now he’s trying to tell others how to avoid a boring life, which is what most people are set up for, according to Max.

    “”When you’re an undergrad, generally you think you can do two things,”” Max said. “”You’re gonna have to get a job after you graduate or you gotta go do more school. Because everyone who’s giving you advice or telling you how to live your life are people who’ve done one of those two things.

    “”You don’t generally have anyone in your life who has gone out on their own and done something entrepreneurial or done something artistic or truly risky or truly taken the path less-traveled.””

    In his talks with college students, Max said he goes beyond getting drunk and having sex. His books are about more than that too — but only if you know how to read them.

     

    Read the complete Q&A at jseliger.com/2010/10/22/tucker-max-interview

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