The Alphabet of Manliness

Some have conjectured that the metrosexual movement — a flash-in-the-pan lifestyle trend now gone the way of the greaser or the valley girl — has given rise to a response as macho as the metrosexual was ambiguous. However, an interesting offshoot of this grunting, unshaven, waggling movement is a genre of literature dubbed “fratire.” As the name would imply, fratire is the funny stuff of Mad magazine and the poetry of restroom walls. If your fat, beer-guzzling friend could somehow fart in a sexist manner, that would be an acceptable entry in the fratire literary tradition.

Maddox, a no-last-name dude who’d surely be in the running for fratire posterboy, passed through the Goleta Borders on July 17 to sign copies of his new book, The Alphabet of Manliness. From “ass-kicking” to “zombies,” Maddox’s 26-chapter release covers what, in his opinion, any manly man should know. Yes, the book is subjective. Yes, the book stands a good chance to offend most people. And yes, the cover features a picture of a boxer clocking a gorilla. But what makes The Alphabet of Manliness different from the aforementioned bathroom-wall poetry is that Maddox, a 27-year-old Utah native, actually knows how to set up a joke. Clearly, honing his skills on his immensely popular personal Web page,, has taught the author not only how to defy tradition in a way that makes readers laugh — even when they know they shouldn’t laugh at the joke.

Copies of The Alphabet of Manliness, some signed by Maddox himself, are available at the Goleta Borders.  — Drew Mackie

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