The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists

ISBN: 0060554738
ISBN 13: 9780060554736
By: Neil Strauss

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About this book

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.

Reader's Thoughts


I don't usually say I've read a book when I haven't finished it. But I simply can't read the second half of this book without losing little parts of my soul on every page, and I damn well want recognition for those parts of my soul I have already lost. So here I am, reviewing a book I haven't really read.Let's start with something important - Neil Strauss is a very talented writer, His style is not only engaging but often even literary, and I didn't just enjoy turning pages quickly but was quite comfortable in the warm bath of his prose. So full points for style (no pun intended). It's the content that stinks. you see, fundamentally, Neill Strauss is a big nerd. The kind that is scared of women - and we all know fear breeds contempt, misunderstanding, and misrepresentation. He admits his nerdery freely, but what he seems to have missed in the detail of this horrifically graphic, autobiographical book of sexual exploration and psychological navel gazing, is that pick-up does not transform him. While he is swept up in a world that gives him magical powers to overcome his own shortcomings (again, no pun intended), he doesn't understand that the essential problem in his sex life is that he doesn't see it as social life - in other words, he still sees women as objects, not people. 'Style' is just Neill Strauss in a cowboy hat, with a poorly-written script and a hard-on.Style still doesn't understand women because he has failed to identify with them. If this is a book about freeing your sexuality, it is also a book about stifling your humanity. It is about using your words to manipulate, and using sex to dominate. Without throwing a single punch, it is fundamentally violent. It claims to be about demystifying women, but really it is about stripping them of all reality and moulding them into what some men would rather they were - mindless, obedient pliable, and constantly, overtly sexual.There may have been some kind of redemption later in the book, but I could not wait around for it - too much had already been said. Too many stereotypes had been promoted and too many coded ways of undermining women had been let loose into the slimy gutters and the minds of readers. I couldn't handle this book. It made me nauseous. Mr Strauss, please use your powers of writing for good next time.

Todd Nemet

Who knew that a book ostensibly on dating would be such a wonderful meditation on existential despair and what it means to be a man.NYT writer and erstwhile nerd Neil Strauss joins the "pickup artist community" either as a writing assignment or as a means of escaping the friend zone. (I wasn't reading that carefully at the beginning.)He finds a group of social outcasts who have analyzed, dissected, and labeled each stage and possible outcome of a social encounter with the goal of meeting and attracting the opposite sex. (It's unclear why there are no gay pick up artists.)Some of these techniques -- such as "peacocking" by wearing outlandish clothing, performing magic tricks, and cheesy palm reading routines -- seem far more embarrassing than rejection itself. But apparently they work.What Temple Grandin is to slaughtering cows, these guys are to picking up women.Sadly, some of them panic when they get into a situation that doesn't have a label or an associated technique, such as successfully seducing a woman. It's sort of like a dog who catches a car and has no idea what to do with it. Even more sadly, some of them are such dedicated onanists that they find they are incapable of orgasm involving another person.Neil becomes fascinated with a bi-polar, Canadian, magician with daddy issues and a narcissistic personality disorder (my diagnosis) that goes by the handle Mystery. (They all have pick-up artist nicknames, similar to people who used CB radios back in the 70s.) They support themselves by traveling around the world holding seminars on how to pick up girls. Price: around $1,500 for a 3 night lesson.Mystery's life goal is oddly specific: He wants a long-term relationship with two bi-sexual women, one Asian and one blonde, who will be lovers as well as assistants for his magic show. He doesn't achieve this goal.When a group of top-ranked pickup artists decide to move into a house together and call it Project Hollywood, the beta males all suddenly grow bitch claws and start attacking each other. Mr. Strauss tries to keep a writerly detachment but he's caught up in all the games. Everything falls apart with the amount of drama that you might expect from a group of people dedicated to the art of manipulation. Oh, and Courtney Love has moved in by this time.I was curious about the opportunities that are available post-pick up artist. According to this book they are as follows: (1) reality show contestant, (2) married and monogamous, though somehow marrying a party girl they met at a club using manipulative techniques doesn't lead to a healthy long-term relationship, (3) devoutly religious, trading one form of ecstasy for another and trying to fill the God-shaped hole with an actual God, and (4) dating Courtney Love's guitarist.Oddly compelling and highly recommended.


I spent the first 100 pages utterly confused. Was the point of The Game to meet lots of girls, get a girlfriend, or just have lots of sex? One wannabe-PUA crows about losing his virginity - it's a horrible, painful experience which he can't wait to end. But afterwards, he says that he's excited because this will take the pressure off, and allow him to approach more women, presumably to have even more painful, awful sex with women he doesn't like.After a few hundred pages I realised that The Game isn't about sex, or getting a girlfriend, or falling in love. It's just about showing off in front of other men. They're collecting women, but it could just as easily be fast cars, or the high score on Zelda, or bear carcasses. PUAs go out, recite their lines, get phone numbers or a 'kiss close' (a girl kisses you, then leaves), then go home to type up their conquests on PUA message-boards. They could just make the whole experience up, and they would have the same response. Strauss himself realises that "it was really shared emotions and experience that creates relationships, not seven hours of [PUA] routines followed by two hours of sex".I learned a few rules of succeeding in The Game:1. Don't care about women. That way, if they knock you back, it doesn't matter. They're just numbers to you, so anything hurtful they say or do is irrelevant.2. Get used to rejection. One wannabe-PUA spent a weekend trying to chat up exactly 100 women - and "even managed to get a few phone numbers". If 3-5 women gave him their numbers, that means that 95 didn't. It takes unshakable self-esteem to be rejected 95% of the time and still push on.3. As soon as you can, puff up your chest and crow about your successes to any other PUA who will listen.The most disturbing part of the book - hypnosis - is mentioned, but never explored. Strauss mentions a PUA who "approached the girl...and within thirty seconds she was passed out in [his] arms". This is never mentioned again in the book, but is the most sinister aspect, crossing the line from harmless pickup routines into nonconsensual sex.Excluding that aspect, I do feel the need to defend The Game. It's just a series of behaviours and word patters, and women don't just 'fall for it'. We can be dumb sometimes, but we're not that dumb. As the book says, women want sex just like men do, they "just don't want to be pressured, lied to, or made to feel like a slut". If a woman wants to go home with a guy, she will. If she doesn't want to, she won't. Is there really any harm in a guy trotting out some bullshit lines, just to get a girl to notice him? These men are sad, lonely, and socially inept. They need all the help they can get.As I'm sure you can guess, in the book I discovered, word-for-word, a routine that was used on me a few months ago. I met a guy in a club, he started reciting all the lines. We talked for a while, and when he asked for my number I reminded him that I had a boyfriend - to which he said that he just wanted my number so we could continue our conversation about Wuthering Heights (you at the back, please stop laughing at my gullibility). He seemed pretty harmless - I certainly wasn't going to sleep with him, but new friends are always good - so I gave him my number. He texted a few times, then started to mention sex, at which point I told him to please go away, then deleted his number.At the time, I figured that he hadn't got anything out of this interaction. I clearly wasn't interested in him, and we never met up again. Yet, in terms of The Game, he won. He left with a girl's number - a girl with a boyfriend, no less. He could have gone home and bragged online about the pocketful of phone numbers he got, even if they wouldn't have got him any closer to sex or a girlfriend. He could have had approval from other men, and that is the whole point of The Game.

Kater Cheek

I've been fascinated about the idea of a pickup artist community ever since I heard about its existence last year. What do these people do? Does it work? Why? This was the book seen as the essential guide to this underground lair of secret lotharios, written by seminal pickup artist guru "Style" who published an article about the scene in the NYT a few years ago. However, this book was wasn't available from the library, so I read THE MYSTERY METHOD first.Then a friend got a copy of this book back from the guy he'd lent it to. I kind of smirked when I saw he'd disguised it in the dustjacket of a more benign novel. I smirked less when I found myself flipping to the back of the dust jacket in an attempt to see what Style (aka Neil Strauss) looked like, only to see the picture of Umberto Eco. My curiosity at his looks stemmed largely from the fact that Style, like Mystery, claims to be able to sleep with any woman he wants.I'm glad I read THE MYSTERY METHOD first, because there are a lot of terms unique to the pickup artist culture. In fact, there's a glossary, but the glossary didn't cover every term I wanted (evolution phase shift?) Even so, there were so many people out "sarging" (picking up girls) that they developed their own styles and terminology to go with it.The story is basically how Style met Mystery, learned to pick up women, got good at it, rose to the apex of what they though possible, and watched as everything crashed and burned around them. This is a comfortable and successful plot arc, which has been used for everything from crime to gambling to alcohol and drug addiction. Two things made this story compelling. One, Style is an actual writer. Two, most of the characters (especially Mystery) are complete train wrecks.This book reminded me of WAR (Junger) and EASY COMPANY SOLDIER (Malarkey) in that like frontline combat, pickup artist circles are an exclusively men-only arena, and nothing intrigues me more than a "keep out! no girls allowed!" sign. At one point, they interview Heidi Fleiss, and say that she's "one of them" but I didn't buy it. In fact, as the story progresses to the point where Style, Mystery, and the other pickup artist gurus are living in a mansion in Hollywood, Style points out that "Project Hollywood" (the name for their bachelor pad) is remarkably devoid of women. He got into the game to meet women, but ended up with a band of brothers, who became a band of frenemies.Although it's not a how-to book by any means, this memoir fleshed out the dry how-to of THE MYSTERY METHOD fairly well. They briefly touch on other techniques, for example, woo-woo "waking hypnosis" where you get the "target" (attractive female) to conjure up happy/aroused feelings, and partner them with a gesture, word, or kinesthetic motion, then use that trigger to re-conjure those feelings. Another technique is "cocky funny" where the pick up artist jokingly and confidently assumes that every woman wants him. Most of the other techniques were varieties on the Mystery method. When you get down to it, the fact that these work is not mysterious. They all pretty much boil down to the fact that women like confident, powerful, interesting men who pay attention to her. Duh. Saying that women are helpless before this is like saying that men are helpless in the face of big sexy hair and giant tits.One of the side effects of being a successful pickup artist, some of the men lament, is that they no longer trust women to ever be faithful. It didn't matter if their target was married or had a boyfriend, they still got phone numbers. (To this I'd say, it's hard to say that "all women are unfaithful" if your sample selection is "attractive, urban, young women drinking in bars or clubs." )They also became mysogynistic once they realized how easy it was to pick up women with a few simple lines. I've heard similar things from women who lost a lot of weight--that the instant uptick in attention makes them feel disdainful of how shallow men were. Another disadvantage was that sarging soon took over the rest of their lives. They no longer had jobs or hobbies or even girlfriends, as their lives were so consumed with going out to hunt for new targets. Style and the other pick up artists soon realized what every addict eventually realizes--that even sleeping with a different beautiful woman every night won't make up for deep underlying problems you are too afraid to face.As the story progresses and Mystery and Style become richer and more famous, they become killed by their own success. New students use their material to the point that they can't find a woman who hasn't heard it. The inner coterie of pick up artists act more and more like rock stars, until strange people are wandering in and out, the drama escalates to MTV levels, and at one point even Courtney Love moves in. Ironically, Courtney occasionally comes out as one of the most emotionally mature people in the house, which really says something.The novel winds up with a happy "here's what they're doing now" ending for most of the main characters--most of which I don't believe. Even Style ends up happy and leaving the scene, after he meets a gorgeous woman named Lisa who won't fall for his schtick. His attempts to seduce her fail and fail and fail again, until he gets one-itis that he breaks it off with every other woman to commit to Lisa. I'd feel less cynical about the ending if I hadn't recognized her "hook a man and land him" strategy. I think she got it from THE RULES.

Kelsea Dawn Hume

I read this to learn how to write manipulative characters more convincingly. It was slightly helpful, but I was mostly struck by the pathetic nature of literally everyone in the book. For people who devoted themselves to getting women they sure didn't have much sex. I suspect Strauss may have meant this book to be an object lesson about how pathetic you become if you are unable to think of half of the population as people. If so, his message was utterly confused by the pseudo-dating guide structure. Either way this book contributes to rape culture in very real ways. If you use this book as a guide to dating you will probably end up raping someone. Just saying.

Djm Meltzer

This book is primarily about this dude Mystery, who is the host of a VH1 show The Pickup Artist, where he shows really socially inept guys how to pick up girls. This is the FUNNIEST BOOK in the history of mankind. If you are a computer geek of any kind, you will die laughing while reading this book.Mystery is a young computer nerd living with his parents in Toronto. He spends all day online posting to message boards about how he is awesome picking up girls, but when he's not posting online, he is playing computer games or looking at internet porn. To get out of the house, he starts giving seminars in picking up girls around the world from people who follow his posts on the internet. In some crazy world we live in, Mystery builds a whole real business out of doing this, gets out of his parents house, and after this book is over, actually gets his own reality TV show out of his internet posts. Today, Mystery's disciples charge $5000 a workshop to teach his method for picking up girls.If it wasn't real, you wouldn't believe it actually happened.READ THIS BOOK.


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.

Erin Noble

** spoiler alert ** I started reading this book out of curiosity; it quickly became more. Strauss demonstrates throughout the book that he is not your average sex-obsessed PUA (pick-up artist) nor is he a sensationalist writer. He's taken a subject with a crude potential of 10 and made a meaningful piece out of it. I'm struck by the similarities between PUAs and salesmen. I had to deal with many alpha salesman personalities in the lumber industry, so the PUA strategies were not unfamiliar: Demonstrating social value, yes-ladders, creating an emotional connection... translate these respectively to having a good reference, a good sales pitch and "shooting the shit" and you have an excellent sales manual. Through his analysis of socially dominant people, Mystery understands more than just how to pickup women: he understands how to attract people.The conclusions Strauss draws about the importance of being oneself and acting in line with your core values (through reflection on the uber-analytical PUA Tyler Derton) are on point. He even begins yearning for permanence community (an emotion my age group, the 20-somethings, can readily identify with), and founds the rather twisted Planet Hollywood as a result.Strauss gets a lot of concepts that my "20-something" struggles with, a self-identification that contributes to my liking the book so much. But, especially towards the end of the book, Strauss mounts the saddle of a very high horse (haha this review thing is fun!). He presents himself as the anchor of Planet Community, the calm in the storm, the stereotypically steadfast protagonist wading through the world's chaos. Regardless of whether this is true, the distasteful presentation left a bitter taste in my mouth and I can't help thinking that his writer's lens is foggy from all that action he's been getting.~ENFurther psychological analyzing:Frogs Into Princes, Richard Bandler and John Grinder. These two guys appear in the book as mysterious gurus who see a jedi in Strauss and teach him "the force", imploring him to use it only to make women happy (great power comes with great responsibility, right??). Their method of reading body queues and hypnotism is outlined here, the original and probably still greatest work on Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP).

Dr. Detroit

Fascinating, unbelievably cringe-inducing and just downright pathetic, "The Game" is equal parts journal, "Penthouse Forum," snuff film, dog-eared, back-of-magazine ad for "How to Pick Up Girls," and closed-head-injury survivor encounter session as hopeless, socially-bankrupt, mouth-breathing, desperate no-lifers mack on the ladies and fall all over themselves to test drive their game in bars, restaurants, museums, and just about anywhere else where gullible harlots, hedonists, sybarites, sodomites, debauchees, degenerates, wallowers, and wastrels pass the time, all too eager to fall for bullshit so deep you have to keep your feet up so you don't get any on your shoes, eyes glazing over as they wait for Prince Charming to sweep them off their feet and lead them down the road to Trouble Town.In other words, I loved it.


With a subtitle like “Penetrating The Secret Society of Pickup Artists,” I was expecting more of a how-to or an expose. Luckily I was wrong.Strauss’ The Game is a fascinating look at an American subculture’s moment in time. It is a captivating story that rivals Hell’s Angels and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test in its engrossing tale of American hubris, endeavor, success, and failure.The book itself is beautiful, packaged like a bible with gold embossing and a red ribbon bookmark. But it is TOO LONG. And that might be the only thing I didn’t like about it because despite that, there is plenty to keep the reader entertained:As Strauss refines his abilities as a PUA (Pick-up Artist (this book not for the AFoH (Acronym Faint of Heart))), he is assigned an interview with Tom Cruise (other celebrities who make appearances include Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, and Courtney Love). Strauss is immediately taken by Tom Cruise’s charisma and likability. Strauss notes that Cruise naturally exudes all the tactics and behaviors PUAs spend months and years trying to master in order to win women’s affection. Tom Cruise introduces Strauss to Scientology and Strauss further identifies the same tactics being used by Scientology recruiters to attract converts as the PUAs use to attract women. There are some really creepy similarities made between Pick-up Artists and Scientologists in this book. So now I don’t know if I’m more freaked out by Scientologists or Mormons.And now that I have read The Game, once I read How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read, there won’t be a graduate student out there who can resist my advances. Yes!But most importantly, The Game contains the BLE (Best Line Ever):“I want a woman I can respect for her art, like a singer or a super-hot stripper.”HAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHA!!!!!!!! Gents, next time you head out for the titty bar, tell your significant other that you’re going to an art museum. It is her art and she is dancing it for you.And there was also this little nugget of wisdom from Neil Strauss that I found interesting:“For most of their childhood, females are conditioned to act subservient to male authority figures. Once they grow up, a certain subset of them - many of whom end up in Los Angeles - move through the world psychologically stunted, constantly dumbing themselves down in the presence of the opposite sex. They believe that the techniques they used to manipulate their fathers will work just as well on the rest of the world, and often they’re right.”Poor Britney.

Jim Reaugh

I think The Game straddles the line between comedy and tragedy. If, as I truly would like to believe, Strauss is joking, then the book is a comic masterpiece. If the book is an attempt at non-fiction, then the number of devotees is nothing short of tragic.Some of the recommended pick-up techniques are sinister. One involves discreetly undermining a woman's self-esteem by paying her a backhanded compliment in the hope that she will hang around to seek your approval!!?? Really? Honestly, sinister soon gives way to pathetic in this book. The Game is really a book about the fragility of male ego and how it seeks refuge from the complexity of human relations in a puerile cult of sexual conquest.I find it remarkable how Strauss races up the ranks of the pick-up fraternity even before he has procured so much as a snog from a lady. So bereft of charisma are most of the people who haunt the lothario chatrooms that anyone with a modicum of self-awareness and humour can take command.It soon becomes clear that the approval PUA's get from other men is more intoxicating than the pleasure they get from sex.Terrible...simply terrible.


I know I'm taking a risk by even acknowledging its existence and my familiarity with its contents. It may not be interpreted kindly that an Orthodox rabbi (in training) reads *this* widely. But this book tells a story of ethical tension that is, hands down, the most powerful treatise on morals and group dynamics I have ever read. Period.I found it at once the modern man's sefer mussar of choice, and the endgame of every single Reality TV show every made. But it is not for everyone.You'll know if it's for you after reading the first 10 pages.(The first 5 are here: [])THE GREAT novelty in this book is simple: credibility. The author walks down roads, and perhaps comes to conclusions, that ultimately reflect an eerily familiar set of values. However, this presentation is backed up by his experience, and so we trust his authority.And who is "we"?: non-authoritarian, ethical, sexually aware (not necessarily active) human beings who thoughtfully approach the question: What kind of relationship is a good one? Because before we even seek an Other, we must choose: wordless college hook-up, one-night stand, short term "friend", long term friend "to have fun with", companion, life partner, or spouse/best-friend to start a family with. This book may make you question your unconscious assumptions or conscious decisions in this area.(I admit my assumption that female readers can also gain these things from a man's story.)Authoritarians ask their authorities (clergy, philosophers, etc.) and skip the discovery process I describe. Unethical people should have little interest in the book, as ethical-tension is the book’s essential content, and they can get more direct material online. Finally, sexually -unaware or -sensitive folk (e.g., modest or religious individuals) won’t stomach the mildly graphic descriptions of what the protagonist lived through – ignorance is bliss, for them.Understand:A 'pickup artist' is an amateur social scientist who adopts a language of "technology" complete with acronyms and jargon in order to systematize interpersonal relations: in this specific instance, how to get girls into bed. With the internet as catalyst, they formed a community, granting the unprecedented ability to share knowledge and methods.The author is an NYT and then Rolling Stone reporter who, born and raised a geek, discovered this community of pickup artists. To make a long story short, he mastered the "art". How did it change him? Does power corrupt? Esp. power over sexuality?The book is selfish. I.e., it is about self-discovery, self-esteem, self-worth. It is about the connection sex has to the self, and reveals much about the modern cultural condition. It also tells a story, and effortlessly, such that rays of life’s truths stream though the filter of (every) author’s unavoidable sins of omission. You will learn what you want to from the book, and therein lies the "danger" in my recommendation.Full disclosure: I vicariously got something out of my system, learned about the human being, and myself. It validated many concepts I have about friendship, group dynamics, and honesty. It also serves as a warning about the evils of backbiting and gossip, misogyny, and coveting. It has, in its way, said the same thing as such classic Jewish works as Mesilat Yesharim and Orhot Tzadikim (though they say much more as well), and modern day "classics" like Magic Touch and the entire Gila Manolson oeuvre. It complements Wendy Shalit's "Modesty" nicely. I am not a fan or groupie: I am engaged to a woman who has trebled the joy and light in my life, and opened up new worlds to me, my teacher, my student – so I am not a consumer of this. And the only habit I have adopted since reading the book is to smile whenever I walk into a room of people I don't know. Though perhaps, that is life-changing enough...

Robin (Bridge Four)

“If there was anything I'd learned, it's that the man never chooses the woman. All he can do is give her an opportunity to choose him.” This is not a normal book read for me. I got it for my husband after he heard the author on the Howard Stern show. I will say that this is definitely a book geared for men but if you are an open minded female it is an interesting enough story that of one man’s journey from a total average boy next door struggling to get a date, into a super mac daddy to a man who learned what it meant to really connect with someone else.The journey was full of interesting people and ideas. If you are a single male this is a great book to if nothing else get across that the more confident you are the more likely you are to attract someone of the opposite sex. Everyone knows that right, but it gives you some great ways to create an opening in a social situation. If you are creative you could probably take some ideas from this book and twist them up to your benefit.There are some stories in the book including interactions with Scott Bayo and Tom Cruise that were incredibly interesting. The story of Mystery and the workshops he was running for men to learn how to seduce women were crazy and it was hard to believe that someone would walk around in complete peacock fashion but I’ve seen pictures since reading the book and it would seem that the portrayal him was pretty accurate. Mystery had a pretty up and down life, he was an interesting character in the book and reading about his highs and lows put an interesting spin on the story.Guys If you might need a little extra help to figure out how to talk to girls, or what to read about someone else’s struggles and triumphs then this is probably a good start. It also has a list of books that you might want to check out on how to please a woman in bed…..just a suggestion, as well as other books on seduction if you are so inclined to delve deeper. I don’t think it will make you into a dating machine but it had some decent tips and a story is totally directed toward men.Girls If you are single and part of the dating scene, I’d recommend reading this. Chances are some form of the game has been run on you at some point. I’m not saying to shoot down anyone that tries to run a scenario on you, but at least you would know ahead of time what you were getting into. This book might have saved me from a jerk or two back in my single days. I think that most girls will like where the story ends.And the Moral of the story is..... “Without commitment, you cannot have depth in anything, whether it's a relationship, a business or a hobby.”


I watched the TV show, "The Pickup Artist," a couple of years ago, and this book got rave reviews from some men I know very well. Some wanted to gain an edge when talking to the average woman (ugh) and others just read it for entertainment value. As someone astutely questioned, why am *I* reading it? Well... "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles." (Sun Tzu)I watched some of the show with mixed feelings and found myself feeling the same way about the book: proud of these men for taking their life into their own hands and learning how to communicate with people they used to find intimidating, but also annoyed with the misogynistic trickery that went along with it.I actually recognized the tactics of "The Game" from my own past experience in bars, clubs, and even just leaving the house. As the author insists, they do work on a certain type of girl. I'm happy to report after extensive "field-testing" that I am NOT that type of girl.A few examples of hapless misplaced "sarges":I was having drinks with a colleague in a hotel bar when an older man interrupted us to demonstrate a magic trick involving a coin and my participation. He had one too many directions for my liking, so I finally asked him to just explain the expected outcome. Hoping to bait me further, he refused to tell me, so I turned around and ignored him. He proceeded to drop his coin on the floor and touched my legs while he was down there. Suffice it to say words were exchanged with my rather large male colleague, and his friends saved him what could have been a good physical beating on top of that.I was at a club with some friends when a younger guy approached me, asking if I'd seen the fight outside. He assured me that it was still going on and I should go check it out. Several of my friends were dancing and I wanted to keep our seats for when they returned. I told him I wasn't interested, but he kept nagging me. I told him if he didn't go away and leave me alone, I'd punch him in the neck. I don't remember all of what happened after that, but it was confirmed that I made good on my promise.I was waiting at a bus stop when a guy asked me to "settle a bet" because he thought he could guess my name. It was an obvious ploy to talk to me, and I had to be aloof because walking away meant missing the bus. He kept trying to talk to me, even though I was wearing sunglasses and headphones and a posture that screamed, "Don't talk to me." I finally ended it by saying, "You are out of guesses. This conversation is over."I didn't know these approaches had been hand-selected from a book, but something about them felt contrived and wrong. These were "openers," lines and scripts that were premeditated and designed to lure me in. *sigh* I wish it were that easy.Perhaps my broken female brain isn't wired to heed such pithy calls to action, even when I'm in my regular state of three sheets to the wind. I don't mind idle chat as much as I used to, but I still don't enjoy talking to strangers who have nothing to say.This hostile mindset does not make me particularly smart or even astutely aware of my surroundings. It more likely means I was bred with a level of skepticism that is unlikely to change. The book is about how to open the lines of communication leading up to seducing the opposite sex. Do I want to be seduced? Of course, more than anyone would believe. But since I'm apt to loathe the regular tricks and immediately search for a true connection or at least clever conversation, it's going to take extra effort from whoever feels they are up to the challenge.*crickets*Yeah, I thought so.I appreciate that the author notes: "If I didn't get the phone number, I didn't blame it on the girl for being cold or bitchy, as so many other sargers did. I blamed myself and analyzed every word, gesture, and reaction until I pinpointed a tactical error."This is not common for most men, both in his experience and mine. This calls to mind a particular instance when I was using my laptop in the lobby of my apartment complex, again minding my own business, when a guy approached me and asked if the lobby had free wireless. I looked up and replied, "Yes." And the guy turned to his two friends and loudly exclaimed, "Man, Seattle women are BITCHES! I just asked a question! Why are girls here such BITCHES?!?" He proceeded to mimic my answer as he stormed out of the building. Um... yeah. Boy was I missing out.The author also points out a sad truth: "Most men make the mistake of believing that an attractive woman who doesn't talk to or acknowledge him is a bitch. Most of the time, however, she's just as shy or insecure as the less attractive women he's ignoring—if not more so."I often think something along those lines when talking to people I don't know very well. They could feel just as uncomfortable not knowing me as I feel not knowing them, so I should give people the benefit of the doubt and appear as happy and confident as I can.Anyway, this book obviously did its job. It got me to think about the social dynamics between men and women, and it entertained me too. Even if you're female, not interested in dating, married, or a hermit, you'll likely find at least some value in this book.

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 WOULD NEVER FALL FOR THIS CRAP.

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