Frat bros everywhere, rejoice: The much anticipated book version of the wildly popular website Total Frat Move, affectionately referred to as TFM by its fans, has been released Tuesday.
The book sets out to provide the public with a national update on college fraternities, claiming that Greek life today “makes Animal House look like a Pixar movie.” It promises a hilarious and enjoyable reading experience, tracking the journey of college freshman Townes Prescott as he encounters the college party scene for the first time.
Current and former college students alike might find themselves smiling at the familiarity of the classic college experiences he describes, such as Prescott’s first college party, first college hookup and initiation into his fraternity.
Other familiar issues are introduced to the reader as well, most notably the freedom that ensues following the separation from one’s parents and a failed attempt to make that classic long-distance high-school relationship work.
The book seemingly intends to be every teenage boy’s dream and every mother’s nightmare. TFM flaunts a barrage of alcohol, drugs and debauchery from page one, said W.R. Bolen, the book’s author.
“The point of me writing it was to create the most entertaining and hilarious book possible, focused on capturing the unique insanity that comes with this incomparable lifestyle,” Bolen said. “I want people to have the [best] time they’ve ever had reading a book. Personally, I can’t get through a chapter without wanting to go out and rage.”
The website that inspired the book rose to notoriety over the past few years for its postings about fraternity life in college, amassing comments and stories from Greek communities across the United States.
The site was so successful that it garnered the attention of literary agent Byrd Leavell, who submitted an inquiry to the TFM website.
“I came across the message, we got in contact with him and the next thing I knew I was writing this thing,” Bolen said. “A few months of writing later, Byrd sold the book to Ben Greenberg at Grand Central Publishing, and the rest is history.”
Bolen started his career writing for TFM in college. The original founders of TFM, Madison Wickham and Ryan Young, were two of Bolen’s older fraternity brothers. They reached out to Bolen during his last semester of college and he began writing for TFM, launching the “Columns” section. A few weeks before graduation, they offered him a job as a staff writer, and Bolen was brought on as TFM’s first employee.
“Writing was always something I wanted to do and I was already working as the staff writer for TFM, but I never would’ve imagined the opportunity to write a book would come just weeks after I graduated,” Bolen said.
As far as inspiration for the actual material inside the book goes, everything was either ripped from events in Bolen’s life, friends of his or stories he had heard.
“It was obviously very important to me that the book be as real as possible,” Bolen said. “I made sure there was inspiration behind everything, instead of just [making stuff up] and slapping it down on paper.”
Bolen is new to publishing, but he said the creative process ran pretty smoothly, even if it did go by in a blur.
“The writing part was a nice little crash course for me as a first-time author. It turns out that writing a book isn’t like writing an essay for class, or writing a column to post on your comedy website,” Bolen said. “Fortunately, I got the hang of it pretty quickly.”
And it’s a good thing he did, as Bolen has crafted a tome of over-the-top collegiate hijinks that will likely trigger a bit of nostalgia in many who peruse it.
“[The book will] make you wish you were still in college, wish you’d done more when you were there or want to go out right now,” Bolen said.