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The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists Imitation Leather – September 6, 2005
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Are you just another AFC ("average frustrated chump") trying to meet an HB ("hot babe")? How would you like to "full-close" with a Penthouse Pet of the Year? The answers, my friend, are in Neil Strauss's entertaining book The Game. Strauss was a self-described chick repellant--complete with large, bumpy nose, small, beady eyes, glasses, balding head, and, worst of all, painful shyness around women. He felt like "half a man." That is, until a book editor asked him to investigate the community of pickup artists. Strauss's life was transformed. He spent two years bedding some fine chiquitas and studying with some of the North America's most suave gents--including the best of them all, the God of the pickup "community," a man named Mystery.
Mystery is an aspiring Toronto magician who charges $2,250 for a weekend pickup workshop. He is not much to look at: a cross between a vampire and a computer geek. But by using high-powered marketing techniques he's turned seduction into an effortless craft--even inventing his own vocabulary. His technique sounds like a car salesman's tip sheet: his main rule is FMAC--find, meet, attract, close. He employs the "three-second rule"--always approach a woman within three seconds of first seeing her in order to avoid getting shy. Other tricks: Intrigue a beautiful woman by pretending to be unaffected by her charm; also, never hit on a woman right away. Start with a disarming, innocent remark, like "Do you think magic spells work?" or "Oh my god, did you see those two girls fighting outside?" And finally, the most important characteristic of the pickup artist--smile.
After two years, Strauss ends up becoming almost as successful as Mystery, but he comes to an important realization. His techniques were actually off-putting to the woman he ended up falling in love with. And they never prepared him for actually having a relationship. After a while, he ran out of one-liners and had to have a real conversation. Still, The Game is a great read that may help some AFCs come out of their shells. --Alex Roslin
From Publishers Weekly
[Signature]Reviewed by Amy SohnI never dated Neil Strauss, but I dated guys like him. Like many New York women, I have always gone for balding, pale guys because they're grateful and good in bed. But a few years ago, a distraught Strauss decided he was a loser with women and set about transforming himself into the world's greatest pick-up artist. The Game is his long, often tedious but hilarious account of how he did it. This ugly-duckling tale will affect different readers in different ways, depending on their degree of cynicism: some will be awed by Strauss's ménage-à-trois snowball scene, while others will suspect it was cribbed from a third-rate porno Strauss watched in his pre-macking days.When his story begins Strauss is, well, a Neil: an unconfident, self-described AFC (average frustrated chump). He is also, it should be noted, a well-known rock critic who penned porn star Jenna Jameson's autobiography, leaving one wondering just how pathetic women really found him. After paying $500 to join a workshop for aspiring PUAs (pick-up artists) led by a magician named Mystery at Hollywood's Roosevelt Hotel, Strauss becomes addicted to pick-up technique. He trains with several PUA gurus, including Ross Jeffries, a hypnotist rumored to be the basis for the Tom Cruise character in Magnolia. With his brains and dedication, Strauss renames himself Style and soon becomes a master of the game—able to get sex from beautiful women who once would have run the other way.But The Game doesn't get really interesting until Strauss deviates from his NC-17 Horatio Alger story and tells what happens when he moves into a Sunset Strip mansion with a group of other PUAs. He starts to see the misogyny of the sport and realizes that most of its leaders had miserable childhoods. The AFC who became a PUA to understand women ultimately becomes an expert on men.As Strauss grows restless to talk about things other than number closes and phase shifts (the book's glossary is a juicy read of its own), the mansion loses its appeal and he reluctantly grows up. When he meets a tough-talking band mate of Courtney Love's named Lisa and they bond over music, we can guess where the narrative is headed. In the book's final pages, he dumps onto his bed all the phone numbers he's collected and tells Lisa, "I've spent two years meeting every girl in L.A. And out of them all, I chose you," which is like telling your mother-in-law that the Thanksgiving dinner you had last year at Applebee's was nothing compared to the one she just prepared. But for some reason, Lisa doesn't flee. I can only hope that in the inevitable 2007 movie version, starring Jack Black and Kate Hudson, Lisa throws the numbers in his face and leaves him for a guy who knows how to pay a girl a compliment. (Sept. 1)Amy Sohn is the author of My Old Man, which was just released in paperback by Simon & Schuster, and she writes the "Mating" column for New York magazine.
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As I read page after page I became more and more interested. I was seeing some of my coworkers in a new light. They acted just like some of the people in this book, some of which I had looked up to. A little more than halfway through, I began to see what direction this book was going in. I am glad I read this book all the way through. I thought that it was women that I was missing in my life. I needed to become a pickup artist, or so I thought. While it is true that women are noticeably absent from my life, that wasn't the source of my emptiness. It was confidence.
It wasn't until the end of book that I realized that I didn't need any fine tuned pickup lines. I needed to just be me, but with more confidence. This book has given me the basic tools I need to start conversations with random strangers, to meet new people, which I had been to afraid to do. So what if they don't like me, the right people for me will. All I need to do is get out there and socialize.
While this book still makes me want to go out and try to pickup women, it's not to become a pickup artist. It's to further myself in every aspect of my life. Women are my vice in life, my weakness, I am afraid of rejection and thusly, afraid of women. If I can overcome my biggest obstacle with confidence, then there is nothing I can't do. Even though Neil Strauss will never know of me and never know how big of an impact his book has had on me, his book has unlocked the door to my future that I can now begin to open. I cannot thank him enough for writing this book. Very highly recommended!
-Steven aka Hoss ;)
"The Game" is told through stories/first hand accounts of Strausses experience in the seduction community. He manages to tie in the life/self help lessons in nicely with all the drama of a good story. There's rarely a dull moment but I do have to say that it can seem Strauss is bragging at times and this hurts the flow of the story at times.
Personally the book acted as a gateway for me, as I imagine many others, into a much needed self improvement period of my life. I began to realize my self worth, gain confidence in myself and really go out their and make my dreams happen. To look inward for approval rather than bending overbackwards to gain the approval of others.
And I think that's where their is a lot of misunderstanding in the public. The seduction community is more than a bunch of creepy pickup nerds trying to bed and use woman. Often men find their way to the community after years of frustration and loneliness stemming from failure with the opposite sex (something they were never taught how to deal with by school or their parents). Maybe they were abused and suffer from extremely low self esteem. Whatever the case guys like Strauss, Mystery (and others) have been there and have done the hard and tiring work of figuring out what the problem is and how to fix it. And now their sharing this knowledge to others to help them. So it's important to have an open mind and not disregard Strauss because of the subject matter he's discussing.
I do feel the game leaves you wanting more (perhaps this is by design). I would recommend, actually would require, that you check out Strausses follow up "Rules of the Game". It's much more of a "how to" book and features the style life challenge which is a 30 life changing program. It's the book Strauss could wish he could give to his younger self. It's likely to change your life for ever.
While "The Game" & "Rules of the Game" are probably enough for most people those hell bent on mastering romance and or going on a self transformation journey should also check out the following: "No More Mr Nice Guy" (guys), "Why Men Love Bitches: From Doormat to Dreamgirl" (girls), "The Mystery Method", "The Like Switch", "The Solution to Social Anxiety", "Modern Romance", "Text Appeal for Guys", Surival of the S***test", "The Geeks Shall Inherit The Earth", "The Selfish Gene" & "The Rational Male" (volumes 1 & 2).
"The Game" has rightfully earned its place as one of the greatest books in recent years. It's crossed into many different areas of people's life and jumpstarted a entire multimillion dollar industry. Do your self a favor and buy this book. It may just change your life (for the best)!
No doubt many women find this book misogynistic. However, perhaps reality is more disturbing. Equally troubling is the misapplication of the principles recommended. Too many guys don't actually read "The Game" & take tips out of context. For example, the negs are supposed to be light-hearted & witty -- not blatant insults.
Incidentally, in addition to my own copy which I loaned to 2 girlfriends, I also bought one for a friend. She thought she was dating a jet-setting banker. However, I figured the guy was a realtor squatting his rich client's homes. It caused a rift btw us b/c I didn't say what she wanted to hear. Luckily, after reading this book, she got over 'her prince,' and married a nice solid guy who works a less glamorous job, but is a good father and husband.
So while this book is supposed to be a self-help for men, it's actually a much better book for women. But I'm sure if I read other reviews, I'll see that what I've written is redundant.