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Sunday, October 15, 2017 by Chams
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Book Review of “The Game” by Neil Strauss
The first thing I notice about The Game is the book’s black (imitation) leather cover and metallic gold lettering. It almost reminds me of the Bible, that’s if the holy book had gold-plated silhouettes of women posing suggestively on the front. The bald guy to their right is Neil Strauss or “Style”, as he likes to be called. He’s not only the book’s author, but its main character.
Anyways, enough about the packaging (who even reads physical books these days?), let’s get to the review.
What’s It About?
The Game by Neil Strauss follows former Rolling Stones journalist Neil Strauss as he “penetrates” a group of pickup artists in the hopes of finally feeling the embrace of a warm vagina. He comes into the story as a perpetual failure with women, essentially a huge dork (or “AFC” in pick-up lingo) who reads and writes a lot to fill all the free time he has from not getting laid. Did we mention he’s short, ugly, and balding?
Even touring and partying backstage with Motley Crue wasn’t enough for Strauss to bang a few drunken sluts. Meanwhile, I contracted syphilis just thinking about it. But things finally begin to change after he pays a six foot five guy in black nail polish and a fuzzy hat $500 dollars to teach him how to get “hot babes”.
The tall goofy guy is Erik von Markovik, better known as Mystery. Most of the book revolves around Mystery and Style’s deepening bromance, but it also introduces some of the other prominent “PUAs” like Tyler Durden, David DeAngelo, and Ross Jeffries. They run around Hollywood wearing weird clothes and insulting women until they finally give in and have sex with them. Or in Jeffries’s case, hypnotizing them.
The book follows Strauss’s journey all the way from his first approach to his greatest successes. He learns how to attract women from his new buddy Mystery, along with private lessons from the rest of the gurus in the field. Whether it’s “negs” (backhanded compliments) or interpreting “IOIs” (indicators of interest or signs the girl likes you), he rapidly turns his haircut, style, and luck with women around
Mystery, Style, and a small group of other pick-up artists eventually secure a mansion in the Hollywood hills where they spend the next few years living out their dreams of wild nights in the big city and hungover mornings sprawled on a random floor. By the way, they’re all a bunch of (former) nerds, if you hadn’t already figured that out from all the acronyms and code speak.
Will It Teach Me to Get Girls?
Listen, Mystery made enough of a name for himself getting ass and teaching other guys to do the same that it landed him his own TV show (VH1’s The Pickup Artist). We’re sure at least some of his exploits are true, even if it was just because he approached so many women that some were bound to sleep with him. That being said, don’t read this book because you think it’ll help you get some action. That’s what chloroform is for (kidding).
Even in it’s prime, Mystery’s “Method” was pretty awkward. Do you really want to wear pants with laces down the side and read some drunk girl’s palm in a crowded bar? It’s not exactly what most people think of when they hear the term ladies man. You also have no idea where her hands have been.
Not to mention the fact that most girls have had the stuff he teaches tried on them at least a couple times by now. The book was an international bestseller after all and Mystery had a large following even before The Game. He’s credited with playing a big role in the art of seduction or “pick-up” but, just like we eventually advanced past hitting a girl over the head with a club and dragging her back to your cave by her hair, game has changed drastically over the years as it’s evolved and adapted.
There are plenty of other guys these days that can give you just as much insight into what women want and how to be an attractive man without all the weird shit and forced routines. It will save you money on loud and extravagant outfits, too.
Why Should I Read It?
Even though The Game by Neil Strauss doesn’t have much actual education value for those of you looking for tips on scoring chicks, that’s because it was intended as more of a memoir in the first place. And boy, is it an entertaining one. If you like (reading about) sex, drugs, and rock & roll, it’s definitely worth a skim through. Think of it as a nerdier version of a Tucker Max book but with more men wearing makeup.
You’ll laugh and cry but mostly cringe as Style awkwardly narrates his adventures, which feature fake breasted strippers, out-of-control rock stars, and dirty hot tubs. Since Neil was still writing for major papers and magazines at the time, there are plenty of noteworthy name drops and surprise cameos. Like when Mystery tries to steal Andy Dick’s girlfriend.
Or when Strauss develops a man crush on Tom Cruise during their multiple day interview for The New York Times. Or having Courtney Love move into their Hollywood mansion between stints in rehab. Style even claims he got Britney Spears’s interest during an interview by using the tactics he’d learned (yeah, right).
On top of all that, the book manages to introduce quite a bit of drama and betrayal. Ross Jeffries serves as Mystery’s rival throughout the story and conflict eventually surfaces between some of the guys in the mansion. Mystery and the rest of the crew continually struggle with their inner demons and face their insecurities head-on.
That being said, The Game by Neil Strauss IS long as shit. 450 pages long. It’s tough to dedicate that kind of time to reading about a bunch of reformed losers getting drunk and chasing hookers up and down the Sunset Strip. You may be surprised by how quick you breeze through it once you actually pick it up (get it?) though.
If you want to read “The Game” you can get it at Amazon or download it here: The Game by Neil Strauss PDF