The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists

Written by: Neil Strauss

The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists Book Cover
Hidden somewhere, in nearly every major city in the world, is an underground seduction lair. And in these lairs, men trade the most devastatingly effective techniques ever invented to charm women. This is not fiction. These men really exist. They live together in houses known as Projects. And Neil Strauss, the bestselling author, spent two years living among them, using the pseudonym Style to protect his real-life identity. The result is one of the most explosive and controversial books of the year -- guaranteed to change the lives of men and transform the way women understand the opposite sex forever.

On his journey from AFC (average frustrated chump) to PUA (pick-up artist) to PUG (pick-up guru), Strauss not only shares scores of original seduction techniques but also has unforgettable encounters with the likes of Tom Cruise, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Heidi Fleiss, and Courtney Love. And then things really start to get strange -- and passions lead to betrayals lead to violence. The Game is the story of one man's transformation from frog to prince -- to prisoner in the most unforgettable book of the year.
feedback image
Total feedbacks: 70
8
16
22
10
14
Looking for The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists in PDF? Check out Scribid.com
Audiobook
Check out Audiobooks.com

The Game Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists Reviews

Jolene
Yes, I'm female and No, I didn't read this to learn "pick-up" tricks! I heard about this New York Times bestseller a couple months ago from a girlfriend of mine in LA, I was intrigued enough to pick it up. Once I started reading I could not put it down! It is 400+ pages and it's an absolute page turner (in my opinion). It is very easy to read. I read the whole book in one weekend.

Strauss exposes an interesting, often sad world of how easily everyone (men and women) can be manipulated, influenced Yes, I'm female and No, I didn't read this to learn "pick-up" tricks! I heard about this New York Times bestseller a couple months ago from a girlfriend of mine in LA, I was intrigued enough to pick it up. Once I started reading I could not put it down! It is 400+ pages and it's an absolute page turner (in my opinion). It is very easy to read. I read the whole book in one weekend.

Strauss exposes an interesting, often sad world of how easily everyone (men and women) can be manipulated, influenced, and persuaded by our unmet needs, emotions, and our primal need to belong and connect with others. He plays this out in the LA social scene. But again, it goes far beyond dating and pick-up lines.

The Game is a bit of a disturbing look into our "emotional hooks", how and why we make decisions, non-verbal communication, and how we all use or don't use power tactics. It is a book like none other- I've never read anything like it.

It is a true story of Strauss and his life in LA for a couple years, it is a wild, thought provoking, raw story. The 'pick-up" components are 3% of the story, and the under currents of psychology/ human behavior is 97% of the book. I've read alot of self-help, pseudo-spiritual books over the years, this one definitely stayed with me, it is an eye opener!
Mehrsa
So as the whole Incel and mens rights groups are gaining attention, I kept hearing about pick up artists. I honestly thought the term meant freelance artists that you could hire? Maybe street performers? I googled it and lo and behold...I came to this book. And gross. I mean, it's a super interesting book. The premise is that there are a bunch of pathetic men out there whose main goal in life is to pick up women so they spend all their time cracking "the code" and then they teach each other in o So as the whole Incel and mens rights groups are gaining attention, I kept hearing about pick up artists. I honestly thought the term meant freelance artists that you could hire? Maybe street performers? I googled it and lo and behold...I came to this book. And gross. I mean, it's a super interesting book. The premise is that there are a bunch of pathetic men out there whose main goal in life is to pick up women so they spend all their time cracking "the code" and then they teach each other in online forums and workshops. They use hyponosis and a whole bunch of creep-ass stuff like: Pulling hair, smelling girls, telling fortunes, and then insulting them. I imagine there's a whole slew of hot and really insecure women hanging out in bars that then go home with these guys. And these men feel more manly. Then they do it again and again until they crack up or go join a kibutz. No joke. That's where they all end up.

Strauss is not an objective observer. He's sort of a self-absorbed douche like the rest of them except apparently at the end, he falls in love with a really hot girl and breaks up with the other 10 he was dating all at the same time. No wonder they all become misogynists and incels and end up carrying around tiki torches denouncing women and immigrants. Their whole premise is that they are gods and they have the right to dominate all non-alpha men and women.
Mary
This book is so much better than "The Pickup Artist" by Mystery -- large credit goes to the author, Neil Strauss, who can actually WRITE. He weaved a story about an entire community and how it changed and affected his life. But in the end, it wasn't about learning pick-up artist games, it was about learning to simply be comfortable as himself. In that regard, I think a lot of men could benefit from learning Strauss' life lessons.

I've heard a lot of their games and lines before, so it was both a This book is so much better than "The Pickup Artist" by Mystery -- large credit goes to the author, Neil Strauss, who can actually WRITE. He weaved a story about an entire community and how it changed and affected his life. But in the end, it wasn't about learning pick-up artist games, it was about learning to simply be comfortable as himself. In that regard, I think a lot of men could benefit from learning Strauss' life lessons.

I've heard a lot of their games and lines before, so it was both amusing and awful to read about their origins. I've fallen for the games in the past and then discovered later that there was nothing behind them b/c the people delivering the games had nothing other than game. Strauss comes to the same conclusion and for that I say, thank you for writing about it. Game means absolutely nothing without a real personality behind it.

The part I find most sad is that there are a lot of guys out there who are still doing this crap and they have such low self esteem and know so little about themselves at the core. Yet they will persist at it to continue validating their existence through how many phone numbers they get from women and how many women they get into bed. Strauss' stories seem too strange to be real, but the truth really is often stranger than fiction. I didn't give this 4 stars because I was so disgusted by the lives of these people that it prevented me from enjoying the book more.

One thing I wish that the author had explored more in his writing (b/c he clearly explored it within himself but didn't embellish further) was the application of the pick-up arts to better life scenarios for doing good things. I have definitely seen the possibility of how increased social skills can be taught to those who are socially challenged and that these skills can be applied to much better uses than just picking up unsuspecting women in a bar. As a woman, I am not so gullible anymore to bad games and I pity any man who attempts one on me in the future.
The Best of Men Behaving Badly :: The Odd Brain: Mysteries of Our Weird and Wonderful Brains Explained :: Q :: El siglo de las luces :: Queen Kat, Carmel and St. Jude Get a Life
hattie
I enjoyed the plot but spent a lot of the time reading this book with my eyebrow raised. I honestly do not understand how the men in this book succeeded to get laid quite so much. The PUA's tactics were just so cringeworthy and sad.

I have subsequently enjoyed putting names to faces through Google. Tyler Durden couldn't look further away from Brad Pitt if he tried, Mystery holds little mystery and Style has no style (hello noughties). A very good writer, however.

The real turning point in the boo I enjoyed the plot but spent a lot of the time reading this book with my eyebrow raised. I honestly do not understand how the men in this book succeeded to get laid quite so much. The PUA's tactics were just so cringeworthy and sad.

I have subsequently enjoyed putting names to faces through Google. Tyler Durden couldn't look further away from Brad Pitt if he tried, Mystery holds little mystery and Style has no style (hello noughties). A very good writer, however.

The real turning point in the book was naturally, when Courtney Love showed up.
Jess Elias
Halfway through this book and so far I'm loving and hating it at the same time. Loving it, because it's twisted and dark and scandalous debauchary - all of my fave things to read about. Hate it because it's mysogyny to the core. It's insulting to women AND men... but I think that arousing this kind of anger in me is good, because it's making me appreciate the 'good guys' - the 'nice guys' more and more and more... to all of you dirty PUAs (pick up artists) out there - sorry guys, but I KNOW I WO Halfway through this book and so far I'm loving and hating it at the same time. Loving it, because it's twisted and dark and scandalous debauchary - all of my fave things to read about. Hate it because it's mysogyny to the core. It's insulting to women AND men... but I think that arousing this kind of anger in me is good, because it's making me appreciate the 'good guys' - the 'nice guys' more and more and more... to all of you dirty PUAs (pick up artists) out there - sorry guys, but I KNOW I WOULD NEVER FALL FOR THIS CRAP.
Emma
Great for laughing at how fragile hetero-masculinity is. 2/3 hilarious, 1/3 very, very sad.
Amy David
I have very mixed feelings on this book. I "borrowed" a copy, because I wasn't willing to give this dirtbag my money, but this was an extremely entertaining memoir nonetheless and helped me pass time on a long trip. Of course, it's infuriating to read about men coming together to manipulate women and blaming women for the "men beg/women resist" framing around sex. I also didn't buy into the author's supposed code of ethics in which he claims to have been honest, giving women what they want, etc. I have very mixed feelings on this book. I "borrowed" a copy, because I wasn't willing to give this dirtbag my money, but this was an extremely entertaining memoir nonetheless and helped me pass time on a long trip. Of course, it's infuriating to read about men coming together to manipulate women and blaming women for the "men beg/women resist" framing around sex. I also didn't buy into the author's supposed code of ethics in which he claims to have been honest, giving women what they want, etc.

However, I took a lot of perverse joy in hearing what utter failures most of these guys turned out to be, and really, how this whole notion of PUA is just one more subculture where people are desperately trying to find a place to belong.
Mary Lewis
The best way I can think to describe how I feel after reading this? Chewed up, spat out, and more exhausted than ever. I'll preface this by saying that 1) I'm in full angry feminist mode at the moment and 2) I apologize in advance for the swearing. If I feel like rewriting this review later and making it a little kinder, I will, but... hoooo boy.

Also, slapping a trigger warning on this for a brief but explicit mention of child sexual abuse about a third of the way in, when one of the PUA "gurus" The best way I can think to describe how I feel after reading this? Chewed up, spat out, and more exhausted than ever. I'll preface this by saying that 1) I'm in full angry feminist mode at the moment and 2) I apologize in advance for the swearing. If I feel like rewriting this review later and making it a little kinder, I will, but... hoooo boy.

Also, slapping a trigger warning on this for a brief but explicit mention of child sexual abuse about a third of the way in, when one of the PUA "gurus" is telling his origin story.

As others have said, this gets one star not for the writing (the writing was fine), but for the content, because the content is fucking appalling. Prepare yourselves to read something that, from the outset to the bitter end, does not treat women like people. This subculture is all about seeing women as things to be manipulated and played -- and the worst thing is, it works because it's all about giving off the appearance of genuinely caring what their target/victim/prey (literally words that they used and I'm about to vomit) thinks, at every turn, in every situation, while also playing on her insecurities. It's not about demanding that she sleep with you like all those OTHER shitty guys, it's about pretending you respect her boundaries and manipulating that absolutely BULLSHIT thing we do where we pat men on the back for not being sacks of shit to your advantage. It's fucking terrifying to think about ending up in bed with someone who has absolutely no intention of letting me genuinely consent to what's happening of my own free will, but is instead pulling emotional strings to make me THINK I'm consenting and in control.

In that sense, I guess I'm grateful to have read this, because I know what to look for if some rando PUA decides to target me... that said, women don't fucking deserve this. We don't deserve to be analyzed and objectified and manipulated from afar just because some man never learned to see us as equals. We don't deserve to be lured into men's beds in a way that so underhandedly denies us our agency. I'm infuriated that we legally can't call something like this rape, frankly, because it is absolutely done for the same motivations as outright rape. What's-his-fuck actually said it -- "Tyler Durden", I think? He was in it for the power, not for the women. Rape, assault, abuse, harassment, etc. are all about power. At this point, I can't be convinced that pickup artistry is not about power as well.

And even worse, even when the book takes a turn and the cracks begin to show [Freestylers "Cracks" (Flux Pavilion remix) plays]... HE'S STILL ACTIVELY DEHUMANIZING WOMEN TO GET THEM TO SLEEP WITH HIM. He literally says at one point that he needs to try to give himself a self-esteem boost by trying to pick up some random women after being rejected by the woman he actually cares about. At this point, we're clearly supposed to feel bad for him and his situation, but he's still using women to bolster his own confidence -- and even worse, he's doing it as some sort of alpha-male display of power and dominance to get back at his True Love. It doesn't work in the end, but still... it was there, and it's irritating.

The one (1) redeeming quality of this book is that the author/narrator got the fuck out. I'm not one hundred percent convinced that he now sees women as complex people who don't always adhere to the gender roles and expectations he lays out, but he's out of the community. To be clear, though, because it looks like I'm doing exactly what I just said is a shitty thing to do and patting him on the back for not being a sack of shit, this is the absolute baseline of acceptable social conduct. Not manipulating the people you're talking to at every step is the ABSOLUTE. BASELINE.

What's most depressing to me is that this community is still very much alive and, if I may be so bold, empowered by the current state of global politics and the rise of the far right. PUAs are just one subset of the online culture that put Donald "I'm starting to wonder myself whether he was born in this country" Drumpf (and, more importantly, Bannon) in the White House. Others have said far more intelligent things on the subject than I can think to say at the moment, and I know I'm opening myself up to backlash just by saying what I've said already, so I'll leave it there.

Oh, and there's absolutely nothing in here that doesn't adhere to an extremely strict gender and sexual binary. No LGBTQ+ representation whatsoever beyond mentions of lesbian porn and a handful of girls making out in a threesome context (which, to be honest, the way they're written... I wouldn't count them). Just a bunch of cisgender heterosexual men going after cisgender heterosexual women. Not surprising, necessarily, just a thing.

In case you need to be told, THIS IS NOT A HEALTHY APPROACH TO PEOPLE. MANIPULATING PEOPLE IS NOT HEALTHY BEHAVIOR. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE THIS AS A GUIDEBOOK. I'M LITERALLY BEGGING YOU. IT'S BETTER TO BE A ~CUCKY BETA~ OR WHATEVER THE FUCK AND SHOW GENUINE CARE FOR THE PEOPLE YOU'RE INTERESTED IN THAN IT IS TO BE A MANIPULATIVE ASSHOLE.
Bhaskar kumar
One of those rare occasions when I abandon a book.
Oscar Sorvick
I feel like a lot of the people leaving negative reviews haven't finished the book. Yes, the PUA community is depraved and mainly about bolstering the egos of men... I think that's the point of the book. Yeah, it endorses and celebrates this lifestyle for the majority of it, but everything unravels pretty quickly in the final third. No one has a happy ending, no one ends up actually being better off joining the PUA community. Everyone involved here ends up a mess, including the author himself. A I feel like a lot of the people leaving negative reviews haven't finished the book. Yes, the PUA community is depraved and mainly about bolstering the egos of men... I think that's the point of the book. Yeah, it endorses and celebrates this lifestyle for the majority of it, but everything unravels pretty quickly in the final third. No one has a happy ending, no one ends up actually being better off joining the PUA community. Everyone involved here ends up a mess, including the author himself. Am I missing something?
Mira El Koussa

One book I really doubt the extent and purpose behind such a read defiantly not a debate book for a book club. It tackles the manipulation around what drives one into a relationship yet is written a rambling sense. Defiantly could have been 10 pages long instead of 500.
Could have been better if shorter
Joe
Originally, "The Game" held a lot of promise, and I can see why it briefly became a NYT Bestseller. The author, under the pseudonym "Style," generally writes well and knows how to tell a story, which comes off far better than your average blog. He should, too, since he wrote for Rolling Stone and the New York Times in his prior life as a music journalist. He illustrates his supposedly true-to-life journey through the world of seduction and pickup, and it's a fairly quick and interesting read for Originally, "The Game" held a lot of promise, and I can see why it briefly became a NYT Bestseller. The author, under the pseudonym "Style," generally writes well and knows how to tell a story, which comes off far better than your average blog. He should, too, since he wrote for Rolling Stone and the New York Times in his prior life as a music journalist. He illustrates his supposedly true-to-life journey through the world of seduction and pickup, and it's a fairly quick and interesting read for the uninitiated.

Unfortunately, it all falls apart once you take a look at the author from a view outside his own.

At the beginning, he panders to his probable audience, saying his reasoning for learning pickup stems from emotional insecurity, sexual frustration, and a desire to learn as much as he can. In essence, he's just another guy who wants to improve himself; he's just another one of the boys. Convenient, right? Problem is, he never really gets away from that line of thinking, but as he changes and the story becomes more and more outrageous, it becomes more difficult to believe. As he's discussing his trips to Eastern Europe, Australia, and Los Angeles (and sleeping with dozens of women), he still claims to harbor these intense insecurities. It doesn't really click, and it's a disconnect that lasts throughout the entire novel.

Similarly, for someone so insecure, he does an awful lot of bragging. There's one particularly eye-rolling chapter where every single paragraph describes a different woman he slept with, as the details grow increasingly few. The intended effect was meant to show how he saw all women blurring together; the actual effect caused more than a bit of "really?" on my end. It's vain and stupid, and in case he hadn't been divisive enough up to that point, he pretty much guarantees a negative reaction with that. Worse, it's hard to tell why he would bother-- for someone of his writing and journalistic pedigree, you'd think he would know a sad trope when he sees one.

As it stands, "The Game" is a titillating introduction to some true oddball characters and a world devoted to a subject most choose to willingly ignore. It's particularly interesting for those who know nothing of the field, or its participants.

It's a decent story worth telling. Unfortunately, it just makes you wish someone else had taken a stab at it, first.
Marios
Oh man. I feel used after that. Like a girl picked up by a ‘pua’. A master ‘pua’.

In the beginning I thought it was special. The appearance of the back-cover description fooled me. Interesting words there spiked my interest. I wanted a break from mature, serious books, I felt the need for something new and exciting. At first glance, looking into the secrets of pickup artists seemed promising. The reading started and I must say I was attracted. The first chapter was tempting, elusive, hard to get. Oh man. I feel used after that. Like a girl picked up by a ‘pua’. A master ‘pua’.

In the beginning I thought it was special. The appearance of the back-cover description fooled me. Interesting words there spiked my interest. I wanted a break from mature, serious books, I felt the need for something new and exciting. At first glance, looking into the secrets of pickup artists seemed promising. The reading started and I must say I was attracted. The first chapter was tempting, elusive, hard to get. I was intrigued, I had to get to know this book better. Going on, it’s advances were flattering, some interesting characters here or there, some pickup techniques, it’s inputs surprised me, rewarded my attention, made me feel good. My preconceptions were reinforced. After a few chapters though my excitement waned. I was getting mixed signals, I could sense this wasn’t right. Even as it started insulting my intelligence I didn’t stop it. The negging technique. I was confused. I was surprised. I was curious. I wanted to see how the ending would be.

I went all the way. I read it all.

The next day, was a day of regret.

I felt empty. I felt I added just another book to my selves. New knowledge yes, but useless knowledge. The emotional distance after the end let me see things clearer and I was shaking my head in disbelief. How could this happen to me? I spent the best hours of my day for that? I felt guilt. I felt shame. I felt my brain was tainted, as I allowed memories of those dysfunctional people and those idiotic, astonishingly ridiculous opening lines and pickup techniques to now live inside it. A feeling of disgust kept coming to me at random times each day when I was thinking how, for the love of god how, can it even be possible for even the shallowest women to fall for such people and such tricks. This is not manipulation. This is sorcery.

And yet here I am, feeling like one. Emotions overpower reason. I know that. Now I want to forget, but I can’t.
Tadas Talaikis
Why I need this struggle to keep good looks when I can sit with the pants in my chair, beard not cut for weeks, and not care about anything? :-D People overestimate the value of single events and underestimate the long trends with small "cakes".

"Peacock theory." From the evolutionary perspective it's true, but a miss here is that why you think women use cosmetics and other expensive sh*t? For the same reason. Zero sum game, you have just both done waste.

"I can't believe I'm with this girl." Mayb Why I need this struggle to keep good looks when I can sit with the pants in my chair, beard not cut for weeks, and not care about anything? :-D People overestimate the value of single events and underestimate the long trends with small "cakes".

"Peacock theory." From the evolutionary perspective it's true, but a miss here is that why you think women use cosmetics and other expensive sh*t? For the same reason. Zero sum game, you have just both done waste.

"I can't believe I'm with this girl." Maybe because it's not about the "techniques"? :-D If you take the whole of distribution, then you find it's all invented B.S., everything is pretty random, the only good thing about all of this is self-confidence. At least you should do something,l of course, but doesn't really matter what.

"Mystery" about "Selfish gene". Well, author represents it as "his [Mystery's] beliefs", but some points from own books show the war between sexes. Long to prove, so will stop here and go for what I had started.From "Selfish gene" and other you can get that being just an animal (="a meat bag for [selfish] replicators") is useless.

Author tries to rationalize PUA as "survival thing", in reality replicator is blind [=idiot]. Genes that make you as you will disappear in just few generations if not one, so you don't do any "survival thing", just "rationalization thing". Survival doesn't give a f*ck about your self-centered anthropomorphic actions.

I doubt even "Selfish gene" author understood the real meaning behind replicators. If we are meat bags for replicators and our major replication re-actions are defined by croc-brain with release of drugs like testosterone, dopamine and endorphins, then we are just addicts (=idiots) if not trying to employ the slow thinking system to rewrite the replicator-enforced games (likewise is said at the end of the "Selfish gene").

Okay, finally, here's great song for my temporary (?) book listening leave - "Far from love": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kVqL...

It's amazing until it fades (testosterone drops the mic), isn't it? The real magic is to prescribe your brain to make what you want without the out-sh*t :-D
Pete
The Game made me feel equal parts anger and disgust, but it is also thoroughly entertaining. The crux of the book is that there are plenty of idiotic women (and if some of Strauss' strategies are truly effective, "idiotic" is giving too much credit), and if men want to have short-term mating success, we should be prepared to exploit that idiocy. The troubling thing is that there is obvious truth in the thesis. Anyone over the age of 15 has seen these games play out, and it doesn't just work with The Game made me feel equal parts anger and disgust, but it is also thoroughly entertaining. The crux of the book is that there are plenty of idiotic women (and if some of Strauss' strategies are truly effective, "idiotic" is giving too much credit), and if men want to have short-term mating success, we should be prepared to exploit that idiocy. The troubling thing is that there is obvious truth in the thesis. Anyone over the age of 15 has seen these games play out, and it doesn't just work with sex. Worshiping sex to such an extent that a total alteration of self is a justifiable expense--changing your aesthetic choices, the things you say, the things you think--is parallel to other troubling aspects of human consumption. In reading this, and hearing the book's various con-men mask deception with platitudes about "fixing" yourself (i.e. changing those aspects of yourself that prevent you from maximizing your sex appeal), I couldn't help but think of the businessmen and politicians who most recently sunk the American (and Greek, and Spanish, and Irish...) economy by thinking only of short-term success, at any cost. Getting laid is usually a good thing, and so is earning money, but the deception advocated by Strauss and his fellow con-men is a very, very bad thing. It's unfortunate that we live in a world that rewards such behavior.

To be fair, the last quarter of the book is an attempt at showing that the author has learned the error of his ways, but it isn't a very convincing one. While it becomes clear that, for the most part, the characters populating Strauss' world do not find long term happiness as a result of their lifestyle (and some suffer total breakdowns), I get the distinct impression that deception is the only way any of these people can function, showing a discomforting combination of extreme narcissism and sociopathic tendency. The majority of the book is, after all, a celebration of the art of deception.

But it is a pretty good read.
Peace
Ugh. I couldn't resist reading this and it was even worse than I thought it would be. It was interesting to read about this sort of lifestyle and even more so to hear lots of apparently foolproof "tips and tricks" but I'm sure I can't be the only reader who found a lot of The Game completely unbelievable. Some of the lines and tricks just seemed ridiculous and it was almost impossible to believe that all these former average guys were suddenly bringing home supermodels on the basis of these "rul Ugh. I couldn't resist reading this and it was even worse than I thought it would be. It was interesting to read about this sort of lifestyle and even more so to hear lots of apparently foolproof "tips and tricks" but I'm sure I can't be the only reader who found a lot of The Game completely unbelievable. Some of the lines and tricks just seemed ridiculous and it was almost impossible to believe that all these former average guys were suddenly bringing home supermodels on the basis of these "rules".

The unbelievable just becomes depressing when many of the fledgling and veteran pick up artists become all empty and disillusioned when their lives have been reduced to attempting to pull and judging themselves purely on who they sleep with. Zzzzzz. I'm sure if any of them had attempted the odd genuine conversation with an average person they might have realised everyone gets nervous meeting and approaching new people and you don't have to turn yourself into a manipulative superficial imitation of a person and then spend all your time trying to keep up the pretence until you run out of material and the real you comes out. Gaaah.

Any men reading this book for tips....no.....please...just don't. Seriously. Get some help with your confidence, some flirting tips, some new clothes, a haircut, but if you find yourself memorising "routines" and saying something disparaging to a girl to lower her self esteem so it's easier for you to date her, you've officially become a dickhead. And you're probably lovely really, so just don't!
Vince
So, I finally caved. I'd been hovering around this book for months everytime I went to the bookstore before I finally shelled out and bought it. It couldn't be helped I suppose since whenever I perused it on the shelves I couldn't help being amused. The whole read did not disappoint either.

When I got busted reading this thing on the train by one of my female coworkers she asked, "what's this" and I told her, "umm, it's like a fairy tale for men." Mostly true. It's the story of a writer for Roll So, I finally caved. I'd been hovering around this book for months everytime I went to the bookstore before I finally shelled out and bought it. It couldn't be helped I suppose since whenever I perused it on the shelves I couldn't help being amused. The whole read did not disappoint either.

When I got busted reading this thing on the train by one of my female coworkers she asked, "what's this" and I told her, "umm, it's like a fairy tale for men." Mostly true. It's the story of a writer for Rolling Stone who has no luck with the female of the species who falls in with this online group of self-styled pick up artists. It's kind of like Don Juan meets The Net (with a little bit of Almost Famous for good measure).

I won't go into the story much because I wouldn't want to ruin a good page turner. Among other things this book is absolutely hilarious in the way that only a true story can be. One reason I found it so enjoyable is that Strauss can really spin a verbal yarn. This book isn't a how-to guide on picking up chicks. It's a fun story about how-not-to get caught up in all the BS that makes human sexuality so damned difficult for many of us. Yeah, it's a bit Machiavellian. But so am I. So, I liked it.
Waseem
This book is absolutely SH1T! I mean comon, surely am not the only guy ? ...or i've SERIOUSLY missed something ...but fella's there is NO GAME in pulling dense, gullible and frankly put 'easy chicks' anyway..comon!

These guys (don't get me wrong are smart) but still concentrating wayyyyyyyyyyy to much on playing the game and winning for 'prizes' not worthy in my humble opinion anyway..

and the celebs mentioned in the book..comon the girls are wide open to the game and pathetic anyway !!

someone mig This book is absolutely SH1T! I mean comon, surely am not the only guy ? ...or i've SERIOUSLY missed something ...but fella's there is NO GAME in pulling dense, gullible and frankly put 'easy chicks' anyway..comon!

These guys (don't get me wrong are smart) but still concentrating wayyyyyyyyyyy to much on playing the game and winning for 'prizes' not worthy in my humble opinion anyway..

and the celebs mentioned in the book..comon the girls are wide open to the game and pathetic anyway !!

someone might totally disagree (and yes i agree some of the stuff is good) but but! guys deep down ya'all know they are bragging about taking 'candy from a baby' like slut russisns and silly cows..vs the real mature sophisticated women of society which you really wanna be 'proud of'

Eben Pagan talks more sense...google him ;)..better know as David Deangelo in the dating world

Waseem Mirza
http://www.WaseemMirza.net
Kaju Janowski
I was half-expecting cheesiness, book with no actual plot, a long, boring dilatation. Although that wasn't the case, I also can't say it was a masterpiece.

It keeps the reader interested, unraveling schemes and twisted characters, following the development of what seemed at first a couple of guys's play. It might be difficult at times not to put away, while some characters became as much as loathsome, with their fake needs and fake personalities. And the most cheesy thing of all - love prevails, I was half-expecting cheesiness, book with no actual plot, a long, boring dilatation. Although that wasn't the case, I also can't say it was a masterpiece.

It keeps the reader interested, unraveling schemes and twisted characters, following the development of what seemed at first a couple of guys's play. It might be difficult at times not to put away, while some characters became as much as loathsome, with their fake needs and fake personalities. And the most cheesy thing of all - love prevails, when artificial friendships die. But hey, as Tom Cruise said 'Since when is it cheesy to be in love?'.

Really well-written book that could have 200 less pages. And it scare the shit out of you, when you realize you're being controlled so often.
Elaine
This book had a lot of rave reviews as a self help book for guys who couldn't manage to get a date. I'm not sure reading it would help them any further if I'm honest.

I didn't like it, but it did help me recognise that certain guys around me have been trying to apply the game to their dating lives. It will make me laugh at their feeble attempts to get laid.

The way women were diminished in the book was quite telling.

What was also telling was what happened to the various protagonists in the book.
Shannon
I read this at a party in California while all my friends were getting drunk and/or sleeping, and the contents of this book made its way into my dreams, and then I woke up and read some more and then when we left the house I accidentally left my two favorite necklaces there and honestly I blame this book. Fuck this shit for making me have sexist dreams (I think in particular I picked up on the "fact" that would-be pickup artists should "neg" a woman that you're interested in 2-3 times before giv I read this at a party in California while all my friends were getting drunk and/or sleeping, and the contents of this book made its way into my dreams, and then I woke up and read some more and then when we left the house I accidentally left my two favorite necklaces there and honestly I blame this book. Fuck this shit for making me have sexist dreams (I think in particular I picked up on the "fact" that would-be pickup artists should "neg" a woman that you're interested in 2-3 times before giving her any compliments) and then forget my necklaces. What the hell
Badriya Bintuwaih
I think this is the only book that took me one whole month in reading plus I didn't even finish it. I was curious to know what pickup artist do, and seriously if a woman don't want to be fooled by dudes then this book is the one.
In this world this is the first time to know that there are communities where dudes gather and learn how to be a Pick Up Artist.

Honestly i read this book just to learn how to make this equation the other side. I mean a Woman Pick Up Artist.

I think I will succeed upon i I think this is the only book that took me one whole month in reading plus I didn't even finish it. I was curious to know what pickup artist do, and seriously if a woman don't want to be fooled by dudes then this book is the one.
In this world this is the first time to know that there are communities where dudes gather and learn how to be a Pick Up Artist.

Honestly i read this book just to learn how to make this equation the other side. I mean a Woman Pick Up Artist.

I think I will succeed upon it :P
So I am not going to finish this book and close the chapter.
Faris Hejazin
I only gave it two stars due to the creative routines the pick-up artists came up with, I truly think this is a manipulative book, all along reading it I felt an attempt to manipulate readers especially in the middle third of the book. This is an example of anything being synthetic and not coming from the true nature of oneself, it ends in chaos and havoc. Best of luck to Neil Strauss with his relationship, felt better for him by reaching the book's last page. Never going to read any of your oth I only gave it two stars due to the creative routines the pick-up artists came up with, I truly think this is a manipulative book, all along reading it I felt an attempt to manipulate readers especially in the middle third of the book. This is an example of anything being synthetic and not coming from the true nature of oneself, it ends in chaos and havoc. Best of luck to Neil Strauss with his relationship, felt better for him by reaching the book's last page. Never going to read any of your other books.
Matteo Tonelli
If it was for the cliches, the hypersinplification, the picture of women given by this book, I'd give it one star. If you enjoy the source of inspiration of the Barney's character in HIMYM, and read it that way, for fun, then you could give this book three stars.

At the end of the day I gave it two: the book is not a total shame, but there are tons of books and things in life that you could pick up before "the game" by Neil Strauss.
Kelly
Read for school. Very interesting as a book that fits into the dark side of rhetoric: rhetoric divorced from ethical considerations. But other than that part making it interesting to me, I mostly thought it was poorly written and melodramatic. The techniques probably work, but by the end, I would rather have been a charisma-less 40 year old virgin than have to listen to Neil Strauss write more words.
David Nunez
I just heard about this book and thought this would be a very interesting read. I thought it was okay. I did find the different personalities interesting. So many different men, from all walks of life come together and transform their lives to be pickup artists. But I wonder if it's really worth it to be a pickup artist, and seduce women.
Ross
No option for zero stars? Above average writer working with a below average story and subject matter. Unfortunately I will never get the hours of my life back that I spent reading this book, but luckily it was a public library pickup so it didn't cost me anything... Well, except maybe my soul.
Bradley
I'm a big fan of television comedies that make me cringe, and this is a book that makes me cringe. I guess this explains why I never get laid. I am SO going to get laid. Hey, it looks like the party's over here!
Matt
This guy is full of shit...watch some you tube videos on the main character "mystery"...fraud. I was going to give this book away, but rather than posion someone else i burnt it.
Nico Mulyawan
Mind blowing. First book about PUA that I read, the tips, tricks and drama behind are very descriptive.
Vojta
The plot and the charecters were interesting, but the end was too clear.
Daniel Frank
on the surface this is a stupid book about losers trying to get girls. However, this book is much more than that. It's an extraordinary analysis of sociology and human behavior.
Gail M
I can't really say I "liked" this book, but it was interesting, and depressing.
José
The Game is one of the most hilarious, enjoyable, and interesting reads I've had in years. It is a salute to one's inner nerd and a call to embrace our inner selves over social machinations.
Andy Perelson
I wouldn't use it as a how to guide for learning to pick up women, but it's a fascinating story and a glimpse into a very interesting world. I'll happily stay my normal self now.
Dora Okeyo
To all the pickup artists out there, now I know a thing or two about your style.
Mark
Due to the length of this review I've divided it into a Review of the Book and then Thoughts on the Seduction Community.

Review of the Book
Yes, it's That Book. Neil Strauss is a writer for Rolling Stone and has always been terrible at approaching women he's interested in. His latest writing assignment is to learn about the burgeoning pickup artist society. As he researches the seduction community he finds it speaking to him in a big way - these guys are not naturals but rather nerds who understa Due to the length of this review I've divided it into a Review of the Book and then Thoughts on the Seduction Community.

Review of the Book
Yes, it's That Book. Neil Strauss is a writer for Rolling Stone and has always been terrible at approaching women he's interested in. His latest writing assignment is to learn about the burgeoning pickup artist society. As he researches the seduction community he finds it speaking to him in a big way - these guys are not naturals but rather nerds who understand how damaging is to be continually rejected by women. He becomes obsessed with the society - far beyond what his research requires - and starts attending workshops.

Over the course of several manic months Neil greatly improves his Game and his success with women. The pickup artists draw from many sources ranging from evolutionary biology to NLP to simply observing how natural alpha males act. They take copious notes on their outings and post them online afterwards to find out where they went wrong or what worked.

So how do you get a woman to want you? The answer, as many guys have learned the painful way, is not to be super nice and show obvious, immediate interest - quite the opposite. Women are attracted to confidence, not submissiveness, which is why jerks often have such success. The basic approach looks something like this:
* Dress flashy so you stand out and show you have confidence ('Peacocking').
* Approach the 'target' and her friends from the front, so you don't suddenly appear behind them.
* Open up with her friends while paying no attention to the target. Good openers are magic tricks, palm reading, asking for advice on a relationship problem, giving insights such as 'I can tell you have been friends a long time because..' or any of the other 'chick crack' topics like astrology or energy.
* At this point the target is interested in you because her friends are interested in you, and women have a pack mentality in whom they find attractive. When she tries to get involved in the conversation, give her a backhanded compliment aka neg ('is she always this needy?') to show that you don't consider yourself beneath her
* After keeping this up awhile, show some interest in the target but not too much. Alternate this with negs. The push/pull dynamic will drive her crazy but also have her intrigued by/thinking about you, and how to win your approval
* Progress from there to a private booth + phone number + kiss etc etc.

Actually bedding the woman involves the same push/pull dynamic: you'll often encounter Last Minute Resistance or Anti-Slut Defenses. She wants to sleep with you but doesn't want to be a slut; she wants you to say you'll call her even though she may not have any interest in you beyond tonight. If she says "but I just met you" or "we are moving too fast", you immediately agree, turn on the lights and do something mundane. The sudden loss of passion and your immediate rejection will drive her crazy and oftentimes she'll decide 'so what if I just met him'.

Near the end of his 2 years in the society, Neil has 10 girls he's dating who all know about each other, lending weight to the 'pack mentality attraction' idea. (A female's insight: "They are all hoping he picks them as the best one"). He's figured out a pretty reliable way to get women to have a threesome. He's living in a mansion dubbed Project Hollywood with many of the other gurus and putting on workshops, hanging out with Courtney Love, and feeling very unfulfilled.

Although he has plenty of female attention he still doesn't have any sort of real relationship - he originally got into the society so he could figure out how to seduce women he likes with the goal of getting a girlfriend and then a wife+kids, but he's not having any luck beyond just getting into a woman's pants. Neil states at one point the danger of seducing so many women is you start to lose respect for them in general: he sleeps with plenty of women with boyfriends and remarks that women who've been married more than 3 years are often easier to seduce than single women. He may be sharing a lot of women's beds but he certainly isn't finding any to share his life with. He describes one encounter as the single sexiest moment of his life, but afterwards he feels just as alone and unloved as he did before. Many of the other pickup artists are finding similar existential voids in their lives, as the validation that comes from seducing a beautiful woman doesn't last long. A few of the gurus leave to pursue religion/childhood dreams. Others find themselves thriving on the admiration of the junior members, to the point where they pick-up the most attractive woman in the bar not out of interest but out of a desire to impress their peers.

Neil eventually realizes that all the sleeping around and work on his Game has definitely boosted his confidence but isn't really making him happy, so he dumps his 10 girlfriends, goes exclusive with Courtney Love's guitarist (who's a really interesting character: she flat-out shuts down or calls his Game routines) and makes his exit from Project Hollywood.

The book's an entertaining and quick read. You can use Google or the seduction community forums to verify the truth of it as you go along if it sounds too fantastic to be true. My main issue with the book was the writing style. Having read some of his other books, I quickly recognized his rockstar-bio writing style. I guess when your career is writing for Rolling Stone about rock stars, it's hard to not apply that voice to your own life, but it made me wonder about the way events were portrayed a few times. You can definitely see how he framed a story around the events of his life over 2 years, complete with a manipulative arch-villain.

Read this book if only so that we can talk about it. It's generated a lot of interesting and heated discussion. I'm giving it 3 stars because it was an enjoyable and an extra star just for all the dialogue it's raised in my social circle - another book could have done a much better job but this is what I read.

Thoughts on the Seduction Community
The book engenders lots of conversation whenever it's brought up. Men tend to be curious or condemning whereas women tend to be indignant or to shamefacedly admit that a lot of the observations are accurate. A female friend lamented "God, we're such suckers". (It's not like a How To Seduce Men book would ennoble males).

Women who hear about this book often have the same comments immediately:
Well, what kind of girls are these they are sleeping with? It actually works better on educated, 'well-bred' women; the ecstacy-dropping club sluts have a hard time paying attention to the routines. One of the things the pickup artists learn is that the stunningly beautiful woman who act bitchy and shoot down guys are often the most insecure - they are surprisingly needy once you get them talking about themselves and show that you aren't intimidated by them.
That would never work on me - it sounds ridiculous! He actually experiments with telling women that he is a pickup artist before he seduces them. It has no effect, the women simply laugh it off or say (later) "yeah but you weren't doing that stuff to me, you are really interested in me!"

As far as the pickup artist community itself, it sounded like for some guys it could be helpful and boost their self-confidence and success in other areas of life. (Although his girlfriend hates all the pickup artist stuff, Neil points out there's no way he would have ever approached her before his time with the community.) For others, they never really get the self-confidence aspect and wind up memorizing and repeating openers and routines forever without much progress.

But is the community itself gross/wrong? Neil defends it several times: no one bats an eyelid when you take persuasive speaking lessons, why is seduction any different? He also points out that for alpha male types this stuff comes naturally (think of any asshole you've known who always has a few girls orbiting around him) but for a large unwashed mass it's as strange and unassailable as kernel programming. Every social group has a few guys in it about whom everyone laments: "Oh he's such a great guy, he needs a girl." Yet if that guy started reading pick-up artist literature he would attract mockery or disdain from everyone - he's supposed to somehow naturally be able to approach women and be confident enough to secure a date.

I think as douchey as the seduction community is, their goal of levelling the playing field is reasonable. A typical woman spends huge chunks of her adolescence comparing relationship notes with friends while a typical guy plays video games or sports, so men are often at a huge disadvantage when courting. Women pick the man but the man still has to make an approach at some point and lots of guys are awful at it. The promiscuity and objectification that goes along with the community is reprehensible but the idea that it could help men approach women is cool.

I think part of the ire directed at the book and the community comes from the fact that What Men Want (the 18 year old stripper - remember, we are talking about sexual attraction here, not love) is already well understood and deeply ingrained in our society. No one thinks twice about commercials full of pretty women, or aisles full of push-up bras and high-heel shoes. Imagine if men's sexual attraction wasn't nearly as well understood and books were just now coming out detailing 'I have found short skirts to be really attractive in getting mens attention' - men would complain about it being misandrist and dehumanizing.

I know in my romantic life, I've had the most success attracting women when I was least trying to do it. Consequently, I didn't care what I looked like or what people thought of me, and didn't show interest right away. When my wife first met me, I was wearing a trenchcoat, had a shaved head and painted nails, and made her friends laugh a lot. Sound familiar....?
Lin
If porn is the illusion of sex, then PUA is the illusion of an alpha male and successful attractive man. Under its cover, there is a hole, that can be never fulfilled; there is a wound, that is deceived by its owner; there is fragile soul, that could never been defeated; there is a child, that is always craving for love and attention...but end up with loneliness. As Style said, I sarged in Miami, slept with all the girls I wanted, but I felt alone.

A thousand people can have a thousand opinions o If porn is the illusion of sex, then PUA is the illusion of an alpha male and successful attractive man. Under its cover, there is a hole, that can be never fulfilled; there is a wound, that is deceived by its owner; there is fragile soul, that could never been defeated; there is a child, that is always craving for love and attention...but end up with loneliness. As Style said, I sarged in Miami, slept with all the girls I wanted, but I felt alone.

A thousand people can have a thousand opinions of this book based on their life experience: novel, nonfiction, biography, psychology, self help...for me, it is a book uncover life philosophy in a unique way.

Technique wise, manipulation is the key for PUA. Some openings, Neg, is similar to gas lighting in psycho term. When the book reached the point Mystery wanted to create Project Hollywood, he crying over songs or films, he suffered from depression, claimed to kill himself and he started to use violence and took alcohol, I suddenly come up exactly the same image of an old friend, who can keep 10 women at one time, who every once in a while need emergency support from relatives/friends, who easily break deals with friends because of emotional clash, and who I would never talk to anymore.

Yes, as everyone in the book says, the biggest enemy of Mystery is himself.--Actually, Mystery is a narcissist and abuser in psycho term. People who capture this type of personality normally extremely talented, creative, cheerful, emotionally enlightening and unstable. -- That is the reason he can come up with so many ideas to manipulate women or men. Psychopath normally endowed with special gifts, which ordinary people can only mimic but never master.

“When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That's the message he is sending.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh

So why people would follow a wrong way to the short term success but long term failure?--Style figured it out in the end, which I agree.

Every character of the book is written with vivid and distinct persona, I can relate to a lot of them in real life. For girls craving for true love, this book is recommended to guard yourself against psychopath and heart breaking(heartbreaking, nevertheless, maybe it is the only way of becoming stronger and more independant like Lisa), then you could really appreciate true boys, like what Lisa said to Style, I like you with glasses and without those lines. For MEN craving for true love, this book is also recommended, since you can finally be yourself, be vulnerable, brave, take risk of being rejection and get your Lisa. ( Lisa is the only character that Style only loves after hundreds of HBs)
Jacob Bailey
This 452 page book took a while to finish but I am glad I eventually got around to completing the second half.

The second half focuses on Project Hollywood which explains how modern PUA Real Social Dynamics came about. It has completely shifted my mindset on game and made me rather hesitant of Tyler Durden, somebody I look up to greatly. In the minds of social geniuses, they will be able to manipulate social situation in ways that make you think they are not doing it.

Though I am hesitant, I do k This 452 page book took a while to finish but I am glad I eventually got around to completing the second half.

The second half focuses on Project Hollywood which explains how modern PUA Real Social Dynamics came about. It has completely shifted my mindset on game and made me rather hesitant of Tyler Durden, somebody I look up to greatly. In the minds of social geniuses, they will be able to manipulate social situation in ways that make you think they are not doing it.

Though I am hesitant, I do know Tyler has made remarkable improvements on himself to the point where he almost does not seem to be the same man, but remember that with a social genius (or maybe better described as a social deconstructionist) they will have you believing whatever they would like you believe. Even before the book I saw some red flags of his tendency to desire power, for that is what drew him to the game and I believe still does to this day. I will be hesitant to be fooled, as Neil had been, that transformations in the game changed how Tyler was before he progressed far along. As Neil quoted from Mystery: "The scorpion can't deny its nature." Alas, this book is riddled with examples of success being learned from your enemies, but ultimately to not be led astray completely - to not lose yourself.

Addendum; I think it is necessary to add that this book is only given in the perspective of Neil Strauss aka "Style". He is a likable character but at the end of the day the book only offers his perspective, though he did confirm with the other members the ploy happening at Project Hollywood. I take away from this book hesitancy, on all parts, but I do not expect I will be quitting learning social dynamics any time soon. If for anything except an understanding and the confidence of understanding that even Neil can't deny. Hesitancy doesn't have to mean abject belief.

Addendum #2; From other people's reviews there is a lot of backlash to this book and Tyler's unfair treatment, which could be entirely possible. Though I've noticed tendencies for power from Tyler, I have yet to ever see or hear anything bad about him and still look up to him a lot. Regardless of how things in the past may or mat not have been, he is helping thousands of young men better themselves in not just game but life in general and I will forever be indebted to him for that. Neil, on the other hand, is marketing his pickup and doing everything he said he wouldn't. It's hard really to know for sure, but again, it pays to be hesitant on all parts. I'll try not to write another addendum.
Bogdan
I heard about this book a long time ago. A few (guy) friends recommended it to me, but I was reluctant to give it a try because I’ve been aware myself of the pick-up community. When I was younger and more stupid, I used to waste time reading some of that material written by some self-proclaimed great PUAs on picking up chicks. Knowing what some of that is about, I did not want to waste even more time going through something similar as I thought it was a rehash of whatever I’ve already read.

Howev I heard about this book a long time ago. A few (guy) friends recommended it to me, but I was reluctant to give it a try because I’ve been aware myself of the pick-up community. When I was younger and more stupid, I used to waste time reading some of that material written by some self-proclaimed great PUAs on picking up chicks. Knowing what some of that is about, I did not want to waste even more time going through something similar as I thought it was a rehash of whatever I’ve already read.

However, considering this book is in the top 200 books on reddit, I ultimately decided to fire up my kindle and give “The Game” a chance.
At first, it was quite as expected. Generic guy who had no clue how to talk to women discovered the PUA community, started taking their advice and started becoming successful with women. Nothing special up to this point; it was exactly what I thought it would be.

But then it became different. When everything was put in perspective, I realised that this book is not a pick up manual (thankfully). It’s not about the success stories of a bunch of guys as they got laid over and over by interacting with women in a specific way. It’s actually an honest story about the same bunch of broken guys (most of them having some form of childhood trauma) who are looking outside of themselves for something to fill in the gaping void in their souls. And it doesn’t work very well.

I imagine this book is not for everyone. I’m not sure everyone could understand it, especially not guys who try to use it as the “Bible of Seduction” (which the book itself never claims to be). It’s a very honest and sensible story of a guy as he journeys through the pick up community to better himself, only to realise that looking within gives him a better chance of living a fulfilled life.

I think that the main idea of the book can resonate better with someone like myself who, at some point in their life, has been exposed to the pick-up community and this book is like that elusive “last piece of the puzzle” which puts everything into perspective and allows us to see “the truth”.
Busy
If you're looking for a juicy tell all that's fun to read and packed with behind the scenes gossip...this ain't it. It's the tale of insecure men with narcissistic traits of varying degrees developing ridiculously complicated routines full of lines and tricks to get female attention. They're all trying to satisfy some need- to make up for lost time, to replace an absent father figure, to boost their ego, to gain power and fame- but instead of doing something sensible like going to therapy or rea If you're looking for a juicy tell all that's fun to read and packed with behind the scenes gossip...this ain't it. It's the tale of insecure men with narcissistic traits of varying degrees developing ridiculously complicated routines full of lines and tricks to get female attention. They're all trying to satisfy some need- to make up for lost time, to replace an absent father figure, to boost their ego, to gain power and fame- but instead of doing something sensible like going to therapy or reading How to Win Friends and Influence People in a non-creepy way, they decide to get spray tans and fur hats and bags full of runes and fake piercings and learn hypnosis to distract from the fact that they are just ordinary guys unsatisfied with their lives (and that their main hobby is picking up women).

The level of self deception and manipulation these men engage in is staggering. Their justifications are cringeworthy. The point of it all, hard to discern, because the reasons keep changing. None of them seem to be truly happy doing it or to reap any long term benefits, except a few master manipulators who decide to use the tricks on their competitors for monetary gain. It's like a pitiful version of The Great Gatsby if there were multiple competing Gatsbies, no Daisy, no one got murdered and the parties were worse.

These events happened over 15 years ago and I hope that today men don't feel the need to build shiny veneers to hide behind to talk to women. When you put the opposite sex on a pedestal and look at every interaction as zero-sum, of course you're going to be a nervous wreck and feel like you have to have a battle plan. I don't wish this on anyone. This book ends with the author supposedly finally getting this, but two years later he published a companion book describing all of his PUA techniques. The happy ending was just another "frame," another story he tells to make people feel at ease. After all, it's not lying, it's flirting. ?
Raigo Loide
I would rate it 3.5 actually. It should have been about hundred pages shorter and I didn't like the end, but it's easy to read and quite entertaining. And educational, no doubt.

Strauss has been a journalist and The Game seems to be a journalistic experience. It does have a deeper message, though. As I see it, The Game tells a story of insecure men who try to overcome their problems with confidence by learning how to approach women. Since they lack the skills of social communication, they study h I would rate it 3.5 actually. It should have been about hundred pages shorter and I didn't like the end, but it's easy to read and quite entertaining. And educational, no doubt.

Strauss has been a journalist and The Game seems to be a journalistic experience. It does have a deeper message, though. As I see it, The Game tells a story of insecure men who try to overcome their problems with confidence by learning how to approach women. Since they lack the skills of social communication, they study how to start conversations with strangers and search validation from different women.
Women expect men to be confident and verbally capable, but not all men have these abilities. Strauss discovers that these things can be learnt and it works on women. He also deduces that learning such skills mechanically makes many of the guys barely more than robots, and finally some of the 'pick-up artists' become more obsessed with the methods than the original purpose.

Men trying to get attention. It's kind of similar to women who use make-up and sexy clothes to get men's attention. Men care about the looks, so women know they need to look good. Women care about man's verbal skills, so men need to learn how to start and hold a conversation.
I liked how Strauss found out the shallowness of this first impressions. After the successful pick up, many PUAs had no idea what to do next. So they went sarging a new woman. And quite soon they discovered they need something more. But the way Strauss describes falling in love to Lisa sounded fake. It was like filling the hole no matter what.
Matthew Gault
Seriously, this book is fucking awful. It validates the whole manipulative PUA tactics and those follow it. A very tiny amount of self-reflection at the end - badly structured as a non-fiction book.

I'll start off by saying I read this as part of the "Banging Book Club" reading group - this was their June pick (and to be discussed from a feminist perspective). I'll follow that by saying, I don't normally swear in reviews. Preamble over, on to the meat of the review.

Fuck this book and everyone in Seriously, this book is fucking awful. It validates the whole manipulative PUA tactics and those follow it. A very tiny amount of self-reflection at the end - badly structured as a non-fiction book.

I'll start off by saying I read this as part of the "Banging Book Club" reading group - this was their June pick (and to be discussed from a feminist perspective). I'll follow that by saying, I don't normally swear in reviews. Preamble over, on to the meat of the review.

Fuck this book and everyone in it (scratch that second part, as they'd probably want that). There is not a single redeemable feature in this book. I went in expecting an exposé by a Times Best Selling Journalist and was sorely disappointed. In my mind there is a way to do this kinda of book so that it is sympathetic to the PUA folk and is critically aware of the problematic aspects of their attitudes towards women and sex. It is an interesting ground for study as the PUA community seems to be as much about male bonding as it is about seducing women. This is not what Strauss has produced. A boring, disgusting mess of a book which treats women as objects, reinforces dubious attitudes towards sex and masculinity and serves only to stroke the ego of the author who claims to be the "Best Pick-up Artist there is". (Maybe one day I'll write a detailed review with sociological sources)

At least this book confirmed what I suspected about the Times Best Selling list - it is certainly not an indicator of quality.
Christopher
After years of criticizing the ideas popularized by this book, my partner and I figured we should actually read the thing. It’s a good yarn, with fascinatingly volatile characters, but about 30% too long and written in an overly detailed, play-by-play style that works better for Internet forum posts than a book. (The last time I saw this style was on a former poker pro’s blog. The first time was in Tucker Max stories. I am not sure what it is about communities of aspiring alpha males that prompt After years of criticizing the ideas popularized by this book, my partner and I figured we should actually read the thing. It’s a good yarn, with fascinatingly volatile characters, but about 30% too long and written in an overly detailed, play-by-play style that works better for Internet forum posts than a book. (The last time I saw this style was on a former poker pro’s blog. The first time was in Tucker Max stories. I am not sure what it is about communities of aspiring alpha males that prompts such disgorgements of detail.)

Mostly I am struck by how lonely people are and into what strange hells they will descend in search of meaning and acceptance. The last two stories that prompted this feeling were documentaries about cults—Going Clear and Holy Hell. Here we see that desperation for belonging shaped not by dreams of utopia but by our culture’s toxic expectations around gender roles and negotiating consent. Would that fewer children were imbued with these odd expectations. Would that we sought validation outside these narrowed worlds.

In a funny way, The Game reminded me of a very different book I read earlier this year, A Little Life. The unnecessary length, the willingness to indulge in the minutiae of melodrama—but also, at the core of each story, an indelible trauma forever perverting the psyche against the simple pleasure of unconditional love.
Federico Castillo
This is the kind of book that some people, like certain female friends of mine, would use to shame me for having read. I have to say that I couldn't care less. However, one thing is true and is that I'm a little ashamed of having the physical copy, which is leather bound, with golden pages and a red stripe bookmark that make it look like a bible.

That surely is one of the reasons people misinterpret this book. From the get go, some men highly regard its supposed teachings and many women raise and This is the kind of book that some people, like certain female friends of mine, would use to shame me for having read. I have to say that I couldn't care less. However, one thing is true and is that I'm a little ashamed of having the physical copy, which is leather bound, with golden pages and a red stripe bookmark that make it look like a bible.

That surely is one of the reasons people misinterpret this book. From the get go, some men highly regard its supposed teachings and many women raise and eyebrow at idolizing a womanizing culture. But this is **not** a manual on how to pick up, it's a story of how a guy found the community. If you think that the pick-up artist world is full of losers, guess what, the author himself says that several times. Reading the first pages we meet the infamous Mystery, not as the master he is supposed to be, but as a complete wreck of a human being.
I do think that the author drops some legit truth bombs here and there. Whether you use these ideas for self improvement or to become a douchebag is up to you.

The Game is a very easy read. It is well written, full of funny anecdotes spread in short chapters. The whole idea I found fascinating and engaging, but the story itself gets stale around the middle of the book, when they move to LA. It becomes a cheap reality tv show with lots of drama nonsense.
Devin
This was a long audiobook. It began as an underdog story with interesting tips and tricks to pick up women and then morphed into this enormous drama that was at first not interesting. There were a lot of wacky characters in this book (and in real life, it seems) which made for some funny moments, baffling situations, and horrors. I do like how it ended, so much so that I started doing research on Neil Strauss, his cohorts, his relationship with Lisa, and the aftermath.

This book and it's content This was a long audiobook. It began as an underdog story with interesting tips and tricks to pick up women and then morphed into this enormous drama that was at first not interesting. There were a lot of wacky characters in this book (and in real life, it seems) which made for some funny moments, baffling situations, and horrors. I do like how it ended, so much so that I started doing research on Neil Strauss, his cohorts, his relationship with Lisa, and the aftermath.

This book and it's contents are not something I would personally consider using (in full; there were, admittedly, some useful tactics and warnings), but it is a good book in that the story is entertaining. There is character development, there is tension, rising actions, sexy sex encounters, love, life lessons, betrayal (if these people weren't real, this could be a novel)...there is a lot wrapped up in this book. I had no idea this PUA world existed and found it all disturbing, sad, but still entertaining and, at times, funny. I had a different set of expectations going into this, but I like how it turned out.
Kyle R
I wanted to NOT like this book - and I picked it up with a kind of resentment and shame. It wasn't too bad to be honest. I had just got through reading a book on cold reading, the author of which recommended this book. Cold reading (what psychics do to tell strangers information about themselves) is closely related to the "pick-up technique" - it's all about tailoring your words and body language - taking steps to ensure the maximum amount of success (whatever your definition of 'success' is) an I wanted to NOT like this book - and I picked it up with a kind of resentment and shame. It wasn't too bad to be honest. I had just got through reading a book on cold reading, the author of which recommended this book. Cold reading (what psychics do to tell strangers information about themselves) is closely related to the "pick-up technique" - it's all about tailoring your words and body language - taking steps to ensure the maximum amount of success (whatever your definition of 'success' is) and above all, finding a way to be genuine about whatever it is you're trying to communicate.

Well written - I'd recommend it just for the insight you get into the PUA community. It kind of sounds like a nightmare-world you know.... "be careful what you wish for" kind of thing. Putting on an act so often and being with so many women that you begin to devalue everything and only find validation FROM women. The social aspect and psychology is something to think about, and they (especially the character Mystery) really go into the scientific, evolutionary stuff.
QuantumHazard
How good this book is depends on what you expect from it. If you're looking for an entertaining read this book deserves 5/5 no doubt. On the other hand, if you look at the ethics of its content and their resulting consequences this book may be a 2/5 at best.
It saddens me that people give this book one out of five stars because they find the methods of PUAs digusting. They only read the first few pages and completly miss the point of the book.
Neil Strauss aka "Style" grows throughout this book an How good this book is depends on what you expect from it. If you're looking for an entertaining read this book deserves 5/5 no doubt. On the other hand, if you look at the ethics of its content and their resulting consequences this book may be a 2/5 at best.
It saddens me that people give this book one out of five stars because they find the methods of PUAs digusting. They only read the first few pages and completly miss the point of the book.
Neil Strauss aka "Style" grows throughout this book and comes to the conclusion that pick-up is for losers and doesn't bring long-term happiness. He really succeeds at portraying the strategies of pick-up artists and the social dynamics that PUAs want to exploit.
This book is not perfect, however. Strauss tries to deliver a picture of his past-self that portrays him as a white-knight from time to time, even though it shines through that this was not the case.
All in all this book was much fun and had some good takeaways, he is a talented writer for sure.
Enma Frost
I have read this book a few years ago, maybe 4 or 5 but I still remember very clearly how much I hate it.
I expected something like The art of seduction by Robert Greene but this book is a joke. I think I managed to finish it because I was hoping it'll get better somewhere in the middle or towards the end.
This book is not about picking up girls or seduction, it's about a shy guy with low esteem who starts to trust himself more after sleeping with a woman so he talks about all the girls he slept I have read this book a few years ago, maybe 4 or 5 but I still remember very clearly how much I hate it.
I expected something like The art of seduction by Robert Greene but this book is a joke. I think I managed to finish it because I was hoping it'll get better somewhere in the middle or towards the end.
This book is not about picking up girls or seduction, it's about a shy guy with low esteem who starts to trust himself more after sleeping with a woman so he talks about all the girls he slept with and everything happens in Hollywood where, you know everyone sleeps with everyone; then after a while he gets tired of the whole repetitive circle and wants people he can trust and eventually a solid relationship.
While I understand and know how important is an active sexual life for both women and men, I don't think this book it's worth as much as the advertising said, it's a proof that smart marketing and advertising can sell any s*hi, kudos to them, shame on me for buying it.
Alex Lee
I pride myself in being able to read anything... which is less about reading and more about having an open mind. So it was really surprisingly hard (or not) for me to even agree to read this book. And when reading it, I really really wanted to dislike it. Don't get me wrong; there is plenty in this book to dislike. The biggest problem I had with the book though, as it is about a real thing, is the narrative voice. The narrator isn't the individual going through the book, it's often someone who b I pride myself in being able to read anything... which is less about reading and more about having an open mind. So it was really surprisingly hard (or not) for me to even agree to read this book. And when reading it, I really really wanted to dislike it. Don't get me wrong; there is plenty in this book to dislike. The biggest problem I had with the book though, as it is about a real thing, is the narrative voice. The narrator isn't the individual going through the book, it's often someone who both is expressing their attitudes at the current place the reader is, and at the place after the book was written. As such, sometimes you're not sure if the narrator is foreshadowing, being paternalistic towards the reader, or totally into what's going on at that place in the narrative. This confusion makes sense later on though, when you realize that the author, who presumably is the same man as the narrator as he claims, is still giving pick up artist classes and so on. So even while in the book, he's reacting with horror, being super self-aware of the limitations of what will happen, how terrible this society of pick up artists is, he's still involved at least in making money on it.

In reading this book you become aware that while misogyny can happen as a side effect, the majority of men who go into this field lack a sense of self worth when it comes to women. To even acknowledge this, for most men, is incredibly frightening. But still, it's not surprising given the lack of education, contradictory messages, and lack of self-awareness our society has towards sexual relationships. With the disruption of capitalism and the loss of community in modern society, we have very little traditional resources to rely on in meeting others. So yes, while PUA is about playing on the self esteem of women to get them to spread their legs, it's really about the (lack) of self esteem of the men who participate in PUA.

It's also interesting that the majority of women who target their complaints on the PUA community focus on how these men are women hating and how these men are the enemy. Again that's a knee jerk reaction -- one predicated on the anatagonisms of sexual relationships that gave rise to the PUA community in the first place... an understandable but hardly constructive response. What makes this reaction understandable is that it does appear to be an us vs them mentality -- but really it shouldn't be, because in the end, both sexes want the same thing... just with the person of their choice.

As highlighted in the book, the majority of it seems, at first glance, to be about technique, the main tool is social dynamics. Scripts are a good way of learning how to interact, having ropes upon which to hang onto. But in the end, scripts only work on the ignorance of the other part (if women are aware of the scripts they won't work) and as such, in the end what counts is real interaction. Scripts only work in the context of pure ignorance. They do not work to maintain a relationship, once it's started. The limits of PUA is the limit of what can be controlled... and since everyone is different to really get the dream relationship, both parties do ultimately need to be committed, mature, self aware and giving... something that is far beyond what PUA can teach, at least, as presented in the book.

What's most offensive is still, of course, objectification of women, manipulation, and the lying that these men do... reducing courtship to a series of tricks. But like meeting people who seem cool, after a while you do run out of your bag, and you do have to be genuinely yourself... something that takes time and understanding of who you are.

When you think about it though, there are scripts for everything. Including dating. Who pays, how do have conversation... although most of these scripts are not as tightly controlled as PUA techniques, people do have them. It goes beyond the book to say, but I think a large part of what looms over PUA is the build up we have, as a society, of physical beauty and romantic love. These two ideals are among the most socially destructive forces because it weighs too much authority and power on those who happen to be born with what is decided to be physically beautiful...

I am not a woman so I don't know what it's like being a woman, but having grown up as a man, I can recollect that much of my formative years was spent in ignorance of how to approach women. If it wasn't for a few close friendships that I had for many many years with women, I would be in even bigger ignorance. Because I was able to socialize with women on a fraternal level, I could see them as being real people. Different in some ways, given different social pressures, but still actual people. This was very different from some of my guy friends who had no friendships... who would latch onto what seemed to them to be truths about women, some of which were very negative.

As a society we value equality. True equality doesn't yet exist, at least not among the sexes. We do have a long way to go. If equality is to happen both men and women need to be socialized better, to get a better sense of self and a better sense that others are genuine people too... (un)fortunately, to do this we do need to learn scripts, (as children we do, to some degree), master them, discover why they are not who we are, and then find out who we are by trial and error... a kind of dialectic of self development.

Overall the book felt stunted until the latter 1/3. I give it three-ish stars because it provides much interesting content to think about, but lacks some of the finer narrative cohesion as mentioned above... also given the ending it gave itself, the book could have been smarter about how it began... as the two narrative voices clashed, it felt a little deceptive as to what it was really trying to say.
Sudharsan Saravanan
This book is about pickup artists and the art of pickup itself, but not a how-to book for picking up women. I have to admit that I had to drag myself to complete the book as I can't read 450+ pages about emotionally shallow men seeking validations from the girl they just met. I would have liked the book to be at least 50 pages shorter. But for reasons I can't zero in, I loved the ending.

Despite all this, I really liked this book. Because a good book, in my opinion, should open gates for me to po This book is about pickup artists and the art of pickup itself, but not a how-to book for picking up women. I have to admit that I had to drag myself to complete the book as I can't read 450+ pages about emotionally shallow men seeking validations from the girl they just met. I would have liked the book to be at least 50 pages shorter. But for reasons I can't zero in, I loved the ending.

Despite all this, I really liked this book. Because a good book, in my opinion, should open gates for me to ponder upon. This book did it for me. Are we still cavemen wearing masks of being civilised? In times of darkness, would the masks still hold? Why should we let anyone validate our inner self? Isn't relationship a way we let the one see the bare contours of each other's internal self and not validate, but help each other grow?

Did I say I loved the word 'oneitis'?

James Tuthill
It's full of interesting first hand accounts, no doubt intriguing to lonely characters looking for a way to find companionship, acceptance and validation. Straus's storytelling is gripping and the famous characters that turn up in this one make it some addicting reading. The problem with this one will always be the self-congratulatory nature of his conquests, the overall treatment of women as prizes to be won and the fact that lonely men looking for cheat codes to seduction will forget the fact It's full of interesting first hand accounts, no doubt intriguing to lonely characters looking for a way to find companionship, acceptance and validation. Straus's storytelling is gripping and the famous characters that turn up in this one make it some addicting reading. The problem with this one will always be the self-congratulatory nature of his conquests, the overall treatment of women as prizes to be won and the fact that lonely men looking for cheat codes to seduction will forget the fact that the author/investigator eventually leaves this life after getting a taste of the so-called good life after seeing the ugly side of the insecure men he was investigating and subsequently befriending.
Mark Parry
I really enjoyed this book. I felt it was really well written and that you really got into feeling and seeing what Neil went through.

It is an interesting subject and I enjoyed delving into the characters lives and seeing what made them tick. The book is funny, serious and I feel and enjoyable read. In parts it’s a ‘pick up’ manual and in others an amazing story.

I was never bored reading this book and looked forward to the next page. It does have a moral and it does have some life lessons in the I really enjoyed this book. I felt it was really well written and that you really got into feeling and seeing what Neil went through.

It is an interesting subject and I enjoyed delving into the characters lives and seeing what made them tick. The book is funny, serious and I feel and enjoyable read. In parts it’s a ‘pick up’ manual and in others an amazing story.

I was never bored reading this book and looked forward to the next page. It does have a moral and it does have some life lessons in there also.

If you want to look into the world of pick up artists or you want a good fun factual story about men, women, Hollywood, actors and this geeky guy who dared to jump into his fears and come out the other side a better person for it, then this is the book to read.

Juanita
This is a fascinating read about a guy who decides he's tired of not believing he has what it takes to date any woman he's attracted to. He then devotes his life to learning all he can from pick-up artists to become an "alpha" male in a group and date the best-looking woman in the room. As he gains confidence, his actions are pretty slimey, but he becomes a star in the field. He dates celebrities, models and any "10" or "11". He's not looking for substance, it's physical beauty that counts.

The a This is a fascinating read about a guy who decides he's tired of not believing he has what it takes to date any woman he's attracted to. He then devotes his life to learning all he can from pick-up artists to become an "alpha" male in a group and date the best-looking woman in the room. As he gains confidence, his actions are pretty slimey, but he becomes a star in the field. He dates celebrities, models and any "10" or "11". He's not looking for substance, it's physical beauty that counts.

The author shows his gamey side/pick-up moves and his tender side - and this seems to be the combination for getting women!

The boy drama is huge in the pick-up world.

As a reader and a woman i was both horrified and amused.
Liam Mannix
It is hard to know how to take this book. Is Neil Strauss a fantacist? Probably. The stuff in this book is so far fetched as to not wring true. To summarise: a group of strange young men, who are struggling to find dates, somehow hit upon a system that... Somehow unlocks the female mind and makes women fall in love with them.

The most plausible it-really-works scenario is the 'game' gave a group of young men the confidence to approach women en masse. Be confident and approach enough women and you It is hard to know how to take this book. Is Neil Strauss a fantacist? Probably. The stuff in this book is so far fetched as to not wring true. To summarise: a group of strange young men, who are struggling to find dates, somehow hit upon a system that... Somehow unlocks the female mind and makes women fall in love with them.

The most plausible it-really-works scenario is the 'game' gave a group of young men the confidence to approach women en masse. Be confident and approach enough women and you should end up with a few dates.

But.. Spells? Phase shifts? Negging? I call bullshit.

I simply don't believe the premise of this book. I think Strauss made much of it up.
Misha Vakula
Easy and fun read. Despite having quite a few clichés and not being the greatest literary achievement (in my opinion) of literature, it has a surprising number of great realizations and "aha!" moments. It tells a story of an insecure person who goes to a great length (some would say through a debatable approach) to work on self-improvement and self-development and... let's not spoil it for you.
I highly recommend this book if you can look past some stereotypical portrayals of certain situations Easy and fun read. Despite having quite a few clichés and not being the greatest literary achievement (in my opinion) of literature, it has a surprising number of great realizations and "aha!" moments. It tells a story of an insecure person who goes to a great length (some would say through a debatable approach) to work on self-improvement and self-development and... let's not spoil it for you.
I highly recommend this book if you can look past some stereotypical portrayals of certain situations and people.
Lim
This book has floated in my radar for years now as I have a friend who had a photo taken with Neil a few years ago and that piqued my interest. However, the premise repelled me so I have always put up reading it until I found a lone copy lying around in Waterstones the other day and figured why not.

Make no mistake. The 5* rating isn't for the game, the subculture or the so-called techniques. I just think Neil Strauss is a brilliant story teller. He got me hooked from start to finish. Looking for This book has floated in my radar for years now as I have a friend who had a photo taken with Neil a few years ago and that piqued my interest. However, the premise repelled me so I have always put up reading it until I found a lone copy lying around in Waterstones the other day and figured why not.

Make no mistake. The 5* rating isn't for the game, the subculture or the so-called techniques. I just think Neil Strauss is a brilliant story teller. He got me hooked from start to finish. Looking forward to reading The Truth next.
Henry
This is a well written book about underground pickup artists and how the author transformed himself in the process. I have given this book as gifts to many friends and family because it has transformed my life as well after reading and applying the lessons learned. What is interesting about this lifestyle is that it can be applied to any part of the life to enhance one's abilities in the social arena, not just towards "picking up" women. I strongly recommend this book to any timid man repressed This is a well written book about underground pickup artists and how the author transformed himself in the process. I have given this book as gifts to many friends and family because it has transformed my life as well after reading and applying the lessons learned. What is interesting about this lifestyle is that it can be applied to any part of the life to enhance one's abilities in the social arena, not just towards "picking up" women. I strongly recommend this book to any timid man repressed in this anti-male world that is yearning to break loose and grow socially as a man.
David James
The art of the Players. Actually it was a very interesting read and a great deal of the book is about building confidence and overcoming your fears of approaching women. Some of the methods are just gross but there is something to the ballsy straight approach. I've spoken to a few female friends about the book and those that have read it don't disagree with his suggestions on ways to approach women in clubs (or other places) but none of them like the "negging" (which I can understand why) - Wort The art of the Players. Actually it was a very interesting read and a great deal of the book is about building confidence and overcoming your fears of approaching women. Some of the methods are just gross but there is something to the ballsy straight approach. I've spoken to a few female friends about the book and those that have read it don't disagree with his suggestions on ways to approach women in clubs (or other places) but none of them like the "negging" (which I can understand why) - Worth the read with an open mind.
Elizabeth
This book gets a big NOPE from me. When Courtney Love shows up at your house as a moderating influence on your lifestyle, many things are horribly wrong. The "format: imitation leather" really should have been a clue.

I disagree with the premise that interacting with more people is more desirable. It did not address how many women the game did vs. did not work on. The only failed attempts described in the book end in violence. He should have gotten rid of all the stuff about how to pick up women This book gets a big NOPE from me. When Courtney Love shows up at your house as a moderating influence on your lifestyle, many things are horribly wrong. The "format: imitation leather" really should have been a clue.

I disagree with the premise that interacting with more people is more desirable. It did not address how many women the game did vs. did not work on. The only failed attempts described in the book end in violence. He should have gotten rid of all the stuff about how to pick up women and focused on the emotional breakdowns and getting detained by the Ukrainian border police.
Daniel
This book has many gems in it, but it's also the picture of a manchild... well a few manchildren. There is much more valuable information available now on the internet than is found in this book, but it's one of the originals and so if you're having issues making friends and talking to people, you may like this book. A lot of it is reporting on their successes though, and it just ends up being an autobiography of the best times of their lives. An interesting read, but I'd suggest looking elsewhe This book has many gems in it, but it's also the picture of a manchild... well a few manchildren. There is much more valuable information available now on the internet than is found in this book, but it's one of the originals and so if you're having issues making friends and talking to people, you may like this book. A lot of it is reporting on their successes though, and it just ends up being an autobiography of the best times of their lives. An interesting read, but I'd suggest looking elsewhere for this sort of material.
Jacob Vasu
A sophisticated group of desperate nerds find that (some) women's hearts can be unlocked using certain routines with shocking success. Style's journey from Average Frustrated Chump (AFC) to Pick Up Artist (PUA) is fascinating, funny and profoundly interesting. Beneath the outer facade of sex and cheesy pickup lines is a deep understanding of human psychology developed during years of solitary carrot waxing. I'd recommend this book to men and women alike since it engenders an interest in a deeper A sophisticated group of desperate nerds find that (some) women's hearts can be unlocked using certain routines with shocking success. Style's journey from Average Frustrated Chump (AFC) to Pick Up Artist (PUA) is fascinating, funny and profoundly interesting. Beneath the outer facade of sex and cheesy pickup lines is a deep understanding of human psychology developed during years of solitary carrot waxing. I'd recommend this book to men and women alike since it engenders an interest in a deeper study of various facets of this journey called life. Because it has certainly done so for me.
Paul Lyons
In the book, author Neil Strauss chronicles his journey from intellectual nerd, who rarely had success with women...to chic international playboy with a bevy of women to choose from. The key to his success was his entrance into the world, mannerisms, rules and style of pick-up artists around the world. Strauss goes on a fact-finding mission that literally takes over his life...changing his mind, body, and spirit into the person he always wanted to be.

Strauss's mentor (& later, friend) throu In the book, author Neil Strauss chronicles his journey from intellectual nerd, who rarely had success with women...to chic international playboy with a bevy of women to choose from. The key to his success was his entrance into the world, mannerisms, rules and style of pick-up artists around the world. Strauss goes on a fact-finding mission that literally takes over his life...changing his mind, body, and spirit into the person he always wanted to be.

Strauss's mentor (& later, friend) throughout his journey is a 6 foot 5 playboy, pick-up artist, magician from Canada nicknamed "Mystery." Mystery teaches Strauss some of what he needs to feel comfortable around, and to attract other women...how to dress, what to think, and what to say. Mystery also gives Strauss his official PUA (Pick-Up Artist) name..."Style"...a nom de plume of sorts that Strauss uses when he writes in private PUA forums on the internet.

Among Mystery's teachings..."Peacocking"...the art of dressing big and loud, to attract women...think necklaces, boas, earrings, rings, light-up bright shirts, and crazy hats...and course...the term "sarging"...PUA speak for picking up women. At Mystery's encouragement....Strauss learns a few magic tricks, plus a series of canned routines to run on women upon approach (i.e. "let me ask your opinion on something..."...or..."Did you see that fight outside?"...).

At first, Strauss is a mess...and is fairly useless as he and Mystery cruise different LA clubs looking for hot babes to pick up. Yet, Strauss...a thorough researcher...dives in full throttle into the world and language of successful PUAs...reading book after book, and meeting with and attending various seminars given by self-appointed gurus like Ross Jeffries, who uses a form of hypnotic, subliminal mind control called NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) to lure women in, and spending time with other successful PUA's with names like "Rasputin" and "Juggler" among others.

Strauss is no dummy, and learns soon enough that he could outsmart and outclass most of the PUAs he meets...eventually becoming a MPUA...MASTER Pick-Up Artist. You see Strauss, unlike the many PUAs he meets...is a highly educated, James Joyce-quoting, successful writer for such publications as the New York Times and Rolling Stone...and had preciously co-authored several published books...exclusively with rock & roll and porn stars (Motley Crue, Marilyn Manson, Dave Navarro, Jenna Jameson,. etc...). So...despite his claim (at the beginning of the book) of being consistently unsuccessful with women...Strauss is not your average guy, not by a long shot.

At first, I didn't particularly like this book...and found it's "How To Become A PUA" aspect rather dull, an uninspiring. I has no interest in becoming a pick-up artist, nor did I appreciate the idea of manipulating women to get them to be attracted to you. Yet, I am complete disaster with women...so I figured I might as well read on...Well, I am glad I did...as the book changes from a "How To" book to a full on narrative...with heroes named "Style" and "Mystery"... and villains named "Tyler Durden" and "Papa." I soon discovered that in a way, I had the booked pegged wrong...The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists does not condone nor condemn the world of pick-up artists...it only express Neil Strauss' individual experiences in that world...and what he learned and gained from it.

Fact is, what Strauss presents...whether intentional or not...is an exploration on how troubled these PUAs really are...The core of the book is Strauss's friendship with Mystery. Despite being a cornerstone in Strauss's education on PUAs...despite bedding woman after woman...and despite being a brilliant magician...Mystery was a mess...extremely immature, naive,emotionally unstable and a complete disaster when it came to real relationships with women.

Throughout the book, Strauss has to talk Mystery out of his many depressions...and suicidal thoughts. Things heat up in the last Act of the book when Strauss, Mystery, and other PUA's move into a house deemed "Project Hollywood"...with lofty ideas of having great parties...filled with hot babes and celebrities. Despite good intentions...the project ultimately fails...due to infighting, greed, jealousy, and and a complete disconnect among the house residents. In the midst of the madness, one celebrity does make "Project Hollywood" her home for a while...Courtney Love (whom Strauss had met during an interview)...who ends up being the only sane person in the house...aside from Neil Strauss, of course...

Through Courtney Love, Strauss meets a woman who captures his heart...and after a long flirtation, Strauss gets the girl...and leaves "Project Hollywood" and the world of PUAs behind....or does he? In the books final notes, Strauss admits his own struggle to maintain a normal relationship...and hints that he is not far removed from the PUA world.

When all is said and done, I am glad I read this book. Despite struggling with the first 100 pages, I enjoyed where the book took me...and did get some interesting insight into my own issues with dating women. Much of it comes from confidence. No, at this point in my life...I can't approach women in the same manner and background that benefited Neil Strauss...yet I've been made aware of some useful techniques that could possibly help me in the future. No, none of that mind control B.S....yet a better way to present myself overall.
Jason
Much better than I expected. I wouldn’t normally write a review about this book, but I notice its low ranking despite what I thought was a pretty well written memoir. Then I saw that most poor reviews are bashing Strauss not for the quality of his writing or storytelling, but because they are in some way offended (understandably so) by the pick-up artist culture and its characters. But this is like rating a WWII spy memoir poorly because there are too many evil Nazis in it.

I personally found mys Much better than I expected. I wouldn’t normally write a review about this book, but I notice its low ranking despite what I thought was a pretty well written memoir. Then I saw that most poor reviews are bashing Strauss not for the quality of his writing or storytelling, but because they are in some way offended (understandably so) by the pick-up artist culture and its characters. But this is like rating a WWII spy memoir poorly because there are too many evil Nazis in it.

I personally found myself fascinated by the PUA culture and the storytelling was captivating.

Audiobook.
Shashank Dobhal
Neil Strauss, an everyday guy, shy around women, lacking in self-confidence finds his refuge in the world of pickup artists, whose only motto in life is to get laid. There he practices routine, lines, peacocking and other techniques that transform him into a womanizer, or so-called master PUA. An interesting journey described in simple words that keep the readers hooked, perhaps, the reader's attempt to extract maximum details to become the next pickup artist themselves.
Amy
Yikes! Well written but the whole point of the book makes me ill. It is sort of a manual for men to learn to be assholes and think of women as just objects and also a memoir of teaching men to run lines and tricks on the insecure. It seems that the spell that they get trapped under explodes at some point into depression, breakdowns, or leaving in someway. A false subculture like this can never feed the deep longings of a soul.
Omar Albastaki
It's an incredibly raunchy story that's enchanting and all too honest. Neil is a marvellous story teller, the way he describes first person social interactions is hilarious. His attempts to build suspense in a plot also leaves a peculiarity in you that must be resolved!

To have an insight into what Tom Cruise, Courtney Love, and Brittany Spears are like in real person is really enlightening and leave you smiling.
Koleś
I wanted to give 2 stars to this book, because I feel like it was too long, reading it was a painful experience - I had to force myself to finish it. But I think its not because author's style of writing but because characteristic of society and people that he is writing about.

I gave 3 stars because it is good look into PUA society, especially into cons of "too much PUA-like" approach to life and relationships.
Nithin Saji
I am not entirely proud of having read this one, but I need it for my reading challenge.

I understand why this book gets so much hate. For the most part, the book is well written and does give you a glimpse of the PUA community that used to exist and probably still does. This book reads like a memoir and probably most of the stuff here happened, which is quite sad, but that is the human condition. This is an enjoyable book if you are not hating on it to be a pick up instructional.
Jay M
Surprisingly, turned out to be a very entertaining piece and at times actually informative for guys like me(Sometimes sort-a-awkwardly,in his own way funny, basically not a ladies man) kinda guy. So if that's you, give it a read. Might pick up something beneficial. If thats not you, still might be worth the read to see how the other side's mind works and methods etc. Could help you spot the next scam artist that approaches you before its to late
Leave Feeback for The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists
Useful Links