Monday, July 05, 2010

Review: The Game by Neil Strauss

I was lucky to have read Emergency by Neil Strauss before reading The Game - Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists. I knew, from that book, the Strauss' goal is rarely what is suggested on the cover.

In this case, while the book is about Pickup Artists and picking up women it really isn't a how-to text. I thought it may have been a sort of inspirational story about mastering your fears. In this case, Strauss goes from a shy dateless guy to a magician with the ladies. I was thinking his message was simple: if you face up to your limitations, you can grow - Look at me, I did it!.

But by half way through the book, I realized that's not the goal of the book either. (Though, there is some of that in the story and it's still a point worth taking.)

I'd rather not give away the story - like I tried not to do with emergency. But, I will say, that at the end of the day, the book is about life balance. It plays out the classic scenario of the man who gets exactly what he wishes for, and then sees it not what he imagined.

I really do like how Strauss can do such a good job of feeding you a story, and them poof, before you know it he's given you enough data to make a deep point.

The book is filled with lurid details - so it's not something you'll want to give you to your kid or teenager. But, I do recommend it. Heck, you may actually sharpen your social skills somewhere along the way.


  1. He did actually write a follow up which is a very direct how-to guide. It's called the `rules of the game`. I liked how, in that book, most of the things are not really tricks to pick up women but lifestyle changes, that aim to improve you as a person.

  2. Thanks for the tip James!

    I'm always impressed how Neil can get himself steeped in pretty sleazy culture, yet, he typically takes away positive lessons. Like, as you said, using the Game as a way of improving one's self versus playing mental tricks.