The New York Timesprofiles author Tucker Max, author of I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell.
Mr. Max writes in a genre that the Times dubs "fratire" which is the male version of chick lit. Or something like that.
All of this is a reaction against over-socialization, or maybe an over-feminization of the culture," said Jeremie Ruby-Strauss, Mr. Max's editor at Kensington and a point man for the genre. "I think all of these books are about men searching for a model other than what they're being told to do, something more rebellious, less cautious and less concerned with external approval."
Though sales aren't at chick lit levels, there have been some early successes. On March 28 a writer known simply as Maddox — he is the author of the Web site The Best Page in the Universe, which shares a mostly male readership with Mr. Max — sent a notice to those on his e-mail list that his book, "The Alphabet of Manliness," would be published in June by Kensington. Within hours the book soared past "The Da Vinci Code" and "Freakonomics" to No. 1 on Amazon.com's best-seller list, pulling Mr. Max's book with it into the low double digits. Maddox, whose real name is George Ouzounian, said he has presold over 7,000 copies of "The Alphabet of Manliness," through the Amazon link on his site, an all but unheard of run by a first-time author.
Many of the books in the fratire genre began online, either organically or out of necessity because mainstream publishers would have nothing to do with them. Mr. Max said that despite receiving approximately 60,000 visitors daily at TuckerMax.com, he got "zero interest" when he initially pitched his book.
"Bro, when I say 'zero interest,' I mean zero," he said, taking another slug of beer.
Frank Kelly Rich, the 42-year-old editor of Modern Drunkard magazine and the author of the book "The Modern Drunkard," said that it took the Web to help fratire get around the hang-ups of mainstream publishing houses that professed to be searching for the male equivalent of chick lit, but which were frightened when they actually saw what it looked like.
Surely they can come up with a better name than "fratire," which sounds much too much like "fratricide." Chick lit is much catchier. So, we need a better name. That's a tough one. "Man Lit"? Too gay. "Boy Lit"? Too creepy. "Drunk Lit"? Too politically incorrect. We'll have to think about this one.