The Game - by Neil Strauss
On first impression, this book comes across as an instruction manual on picking up women, but it doesn't actually teach you how to be a pickup artist as much as it explains what it's like to be one.
This particular edition of "The Game" was bound and adorned in a manner that was eerily similar to a bible (sans the silhouettes of sexy ladies of course), right down to faux leather cover, gold edged pages, and a red ribbon page marker - nice touches indeed. This is an interesting end product considering that one of the books publishers (Harper Collins) is actually big in the bible publishing business. The packaging adds to the mystique and allure of the book, which actually parallels The Game's themes - namely that successful pickup artistry is all about presentation and delivery.
- Full Title: The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists
- Type: Hardback; Pages: 452; Publisher: Regan Books and Harper Collins; Year Published: 2005
- Author: Neil Strauss
- Categories: Relationship advice
The Short Version
Neil Strauss, whose alter ego in the Game eventually evolves into ‘Style’, starts out in this book as an 'average frustrated chump', and is unlucky in his pursuit to gain the attention of 'hot babes'. Since we've all had our share of mishaps and troubles in the attraction/sex/dating department, his troubles are easy to relate to, like his propensity to end up in the 'friend zone' or his inability to express wit, confidence or charisma when faced with the opposite sex. This is why the book can appeal to a broad audience that encompass everyday men and women, and people who aren't necessarily 'out there' on the single scene.
Enough was enough. Strauss goes on a mission to learn to be a 'natural' at picking up (someone who seems to instinctively know how to attract women). He comes across a forum on the internet, home to an underground secret society of pick-up artists, who share their pervasive tips and encourage one another in their conquests. According to this new dogma, he realizes that he had been going about social interaction all wrong and that picking up women is actually counter-intuitive.
He goes under the wing of a popular, widely successful pick-up artist named ‘Mystery’. He signs up for Mystery's four day workshop and, together with a few other aspiring students, gets shaped and molded into a chick magnet. Within the walls of clubs and bars, he is flanked by 'wings' (male friend(s) who assist him in "meeting, attracting, or taking home a woman"; they push him out of his comfort zone, get him over his insecurities and finesse his game.
Not for a lack of practice, effort and eventually payoff on his part, Styles ultimately earns the title of ‘Greatest Pickup Artist in the World’. He eventually realizes that his skills didn't prepare him for the likes of a relationship, where one liners and 'negs' (expressions of a lack of interest through ambiguity or accidental insult) get him nowhere. Finally, he decides that to win the game he has to leave it, in which he trades in ‘Picking Up’ for ‘Real Life’.
The book is entertaining, incredibly well written and is easy to delve into, thanks to ultra short, bite sized chapters and a good mix of instruction, dialog and reflection. The author is a talented writer, and demonstrates just that, broaching topics that can so easily been construed as inappropriate or sexist, yet delivering them in a way that is slick, fascinating and scientific.
The rigorous execution of the pickup artist formula for enticing - and inciting - women is precise, almost military-like. And just as you think a girl ought to slap him, he manages to manipulate their interaction so skilfully that he's rewarded with her phone number, her attention and more.
You'll notice that pickup artistry involves an entirely new lingo, comprised of a multitude of acronyms and mire of terms like 'peacock', 'neg' and 'kino'. This may win your favor or irritate you after a while. The book is 452 pages long and includes a glossary of acronyms, terms and definitions. It could have used being a bit shorter, as well as less repetitious, when it came to telling battle-story after battle-story, especially in the latter half of the book.
Neil Strauss is a writer for Rolling Stone and co-author of three New York Times bestselling books.
Regardless of whether you agree with (or take seriously) the basic premise of this method, the book will challenge your view on attraction and deliver entertainment that's articulate and amusing. For those who've never before considered attraction as a game, this will expand their boundaries. Whether or not you actually want to base your relationship standards and persona on these concepts is another story, maybe one that you yourself will write about one day…? A recommended read.
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