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Review of The Game by Neil Strauss

This is a book review of Neil Strauss’ The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists.

The Game is a fantastic read. Author Neil Strauss takes you through his life-changing transformation from geek to woman-magnet. You follow his exciting tales as he starts out as a shy, passive, and introverted writer for The New York Times who within two years becomes one of the world’s greatest pick-up artists (PUAs).

A pick-up artist is a man who goes out and attracts women with his tremendous communication skills. Though they don’t refer to the skills as “communication skills”, the many pick-up artists throughout The Game are extremely competent in reading a woman’s body language, keeping her interested, and having great conversations. The PUAs ability to fine-tune their skills, rapidly adapt to situations, use routines, and maintain a high awareness of present social dynamics put the majority of people that learn communication skills to shame.

Each PUA (character) in The Game has a nickname that reflects his personality or has a strange story behind its origin. Strauss goes by the name of “Style” as he learns pick-up skills with guys like Extramask, Juggler, and WideFace from pioneers in the field like Mystery and Ross Jeffries.

Strauss is the book’s main character. After reading tid-bits of pick-up skills online from a “lair” (an online gathering place where guys learn how to attract women), Style meets up with Mystery at a workshop. Mystery is accompanied with friend and fellow instructor, Sinn. Mystery and Sinn instruct Style and two other students on what to expect at the workshop.

On the first night out, the two instructors blow the students’ minds away. They see the unattractive instructors attract women before their eyes. The three students get caught in disbelief as their past ideas about only good-looking guys get hot women is destroyed. Each student begins to practice what they learn following the workshop. Their practice is filled with failure, funny stories, and the occasional successful approach.

The workshop teases Style into the whole pick-up subject as he commits to getting this part of his life solved. He becomes sick of not talking to women then sets out on a journey to become ultra successful with women. After learning from the many greats like his best friend Mystery, attending seminars, reading lots of books on related topics, and practicing then failing, Style soon becomes one of the world’s best at picking-up women. He finally discovers what women want in men.

It is written in a novel format, which hooked me word-for-word… You really do penetrate the secret society of pick-up artists.

The PUAs’ social skills are mind-blowing. They have an amazing ability to penetrate a group of 10 people consisting of 9 men and 1 woman, and come out with the woman’s phone number. There is a scene in the book where a character by the name of Mystery basically steals Scott Baio‘s girlfriend, a very attractive lady. Mystery achieves this by firstly befriending Scott. He approaches the group by performing magic tricks to demonstrate a higher value, which sets him apart from other men. Scott’s girlfriend urges Mystery to show her more tricks, but he ignores her. Because of her requests, Mystery occasionally does something called a “neg” where he makes comments to Scott like, “Is she always this demanding?” In under 20 minutes, Scott’s girlfriend hands Mystery her phone number (a number-close).

The attraction community is filled with jargon like negging (a gentle put-down), average frustrated chump (AFC, typical guy who isn’t good with women), indicator of interest (IOI, a sign of interest a woman displays), and demonstration of higher value (DHV, a display of high status) to name a few of the many terms. Pick-up artists or soon-to-be pick-up artists go sarging in-field (meaning they go out to practice their pick-up skills on women). The men mostly go in-field for “night game” at clubs and bars, though there is a few pick-up scenes in the The Game at “day game” venues like bookstores. The first day game approach Strauss did was a success in number-closing a Playmate of the year.

Other stories with celebrities are well told. A character by the name of Papa number-closed Paris Hilton at a taco store. Another one is when Courtney Love moved into the pick-up artists’ house, named “Project Hollywood”, during Courtney’s legal battle. This situation goes on for a few chapters with Courtney having a funny “Muffin Day” and “Lemonade Day” where she makes mass amounts of muffins and lemonade for the guys. Later in the book when Strauss has mastered pick-up skills, he interviews a resistant Britney Spears for The New York Times. After running a few routines on her, Britney suddenly opens up and begins to heavily participate in the interview.

The Game contains occasional swearing and adult scenes. Moreover, it is written in a novel format, which hooked me word-for-word. I rarely read novels, but Strauss integrates a narrative style of writing by educating the reader with what goes on at a deeper level in a situation when the skills get used. You are pulled inside the minds of pick-up artists as you discover their social skills. You really do penetrate the secret society of pick-up artists.

People unfamiliar with the pick-up community will find The Game interesting. Those familiar with the community will likely have read the book. If this whole topic interests you, get your copy of Neil Strauss’ The Game directly from by clicking here today. Next, check out the videos below where Neil (the bald guy) discusses his book and some of the techniques on various television shows.


Neil Strauss on ABC Primetime Special

Neil Strauss on Jimmy Kimmel Live

UPDATE: Neil Strauss has released a follow up, Rules of the Game, which comes in a nice two-book set. One book contains fascinating stories while the other is a 30-day challenge that aims to get you using the many tips Strauss shares in the book. You can get Rules of the Game here.

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