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The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists


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The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists

  • Imitation Leather: 452 pages
  • Publisher: It Books; 1 edition (September 6, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060554738 ,ISBN-13: 978-0060554736

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.

Are you just another AFC ("average frustrated chump") trying to meet an HB ("hot babe")? How would you like to "full-close" with a Penthouse Pet of the Year? The answers, my friend, are in Neil Strauss's entertaining book The Game. Strauss was a self-described chick repellant--complete with large, bumpy nose, small, beady eyes, glasses, balding head, and, worst of all, painful shyness around women. He felt like "half a man." That is, until a book editor asked him to investigate the community of pickup artists. Strauss's life was transformed. He spent two years bedding some fine chiquitas and studying with some of the North America's most suave gents--including the best of them all, the God of the pickup "community," a man named Mystery.

Mystery is an aspiring Toronto magician who charges ,250 for a weekend pickup workshop. He is not much to look at: a cross between a vampire and a computer geek. But by using high-powered marketing techniques he's turned seduction into an effortless craft--even inventing his own vocabulary. His technique sounds like a car salesman's tip sheet: his main rule is FMAC--find, meet, attract, close. He employs the "three-second rule"--always approach a woman within three seconds of first seeing her in order to avoid getting shy. Other tricks: Intrigue a beautiful woman by pretending to be unaffected by her charm; also, never hit on a woman right away. Start with a disarming, innocent remark, like "Do you think magic spells work?" or "Oh my god, did you see those two girls fighting outside?" And finally, the most important characteristic of the pickup artist--smile.

After two years, Strauss ends up becoming almost as successful as Mystery, but he comes to an important realization. His techniques were actually off-putting to the woman he ended up falling in love with. And they never prepared him for actually having a relationship. After a while, he ran out of one-liners and had to have a real conversation. Still, The Game is a great read that may help some AFCs come out of their shells. --Alex Roslin

List Price: $ 37.99 Price: $ 18.00

What customers say about The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists?

  1. 1,439 of 1,485 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Learn the Rules, but Don’t Play “The Game”, October 30, 2007
    By 
    Scrutinizing Consumer (Los Angeles, CA) –
    (VINE VOICE)
      

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists (Imitation Leather)

    “The Game”, at first, appears to be an informative, eye-opening, entertaining and DANGEROUS MANUAL ON HOW TO SEDUCE WOMEN. Deep within this controversial book, however, lies one of the best self improvement books available to man… as long as he understands and embraces the fundamental reality that the acquisition of confidence and personal worth are strictly required in order to succeed at the Game. A lot of low self esteem individuals will read this book and become, I believe, better men.

    And I completely understand the threat many women would feel by this material. But intelligent women are insulated from the manipulation at which many of the individuals featured in this story are so inept. Only the naïve are at risk, as they always have been.

    Many people refer to this book as a manual on how to seduce women. But Neil Strauss, its author, never made such a claim. It was merely his honest and humorous account of his experience in the PUA (pickup artist) community. But Strauss is a talented writer. And, as such, he not only managed to make this the very entertaining and insightful manual everybody said it was, but has also given an extremely valuable tool to goodhearted men with benign goals – a tool that can be used with mutual benefit, without anyone getting hurt or played. In spite of other reviewers’ claims to the contrary, Strauss does disclose the nature and vivid examples of the emotional and spiritual consequences PUAs reap when they manipulate people for narcissistic purposes.

    This endeavor began when Strauss, a writer for the New York Times, was given an assignment to write about the underground pickup artist community. Strauss was a skinny, balding intellectual who felt awkward around women and hadn’t had much success with them prior. He immediately homed in on a character named Mystery and hit the mother load. Mystery was a modern day Casanova and widely considered, by the cumulative underground community of PUAs, to be the preeminent pickup artist in the world. Tom Cruise’s seduction guru character in “Magnolia” was supposedly based on Mystery. By the time Strauss finished his assignment, he had transformed himself and assumed Mystery’s title as tenth degree pickup master of the universe.

    As I began reading the book, I felt uneasy. Knowing this knowledge was out there felt akin to suddenly discovering a bunch of troubled kids figured out how to make nuclear weapons.

    I’ve always had great interest in psychology and what makes people do the things they do. I discovered my knowledge of psychology was pale in comparison to these guys. They (the serious ones) study contemporary literature on psychology and ancillary subjects, many of which involve some sort of self-improvement. The young, horny ones operate with one laser-focused mission: Bed women… bed as many “9+” women as possible! The more they bed, the more they validate themselves. But some, more enlightened ones, were simply looking to find the best wife/partner they possibly could.

    Strauss began as Mystery’s student. After a few successes, he began to catch the eye of other PUAs to whom he quickly acclimated himself. He soaked up their knowledge like a sponge. At the end of two years, Strauss had studied, one-on-one, the methods of all the world’s alleged greatest pickup artists and took that which best suited his own personal style and made it his own. In the process he became an underground, worshipped legend – Code Name: Style. But in the process, he also greatly strengthened his core person and acquired the Holy Grail: self-esteem. This book doesn’t just contain the cumulative knowledge of the PUA community, but one hell of an entertaining story.

    It must be stated that the Game’s contribution to much of Strauss’ unstoppable success is mitigated by the fact that he was a writer for one of the most respected publications in the world, living in a mansion in the Hollywood Hills over Sunset Boulevard (a consequence of rising to the top of the PUA community), regularly interviewing celebrities and driving a nice car; most men with these assets aren’t having issues dating. Still, I believe the majority of what he achieved was aided by his mastery of the basic principals of “The Game”. And those are:

    1. You can only “game” a woman with whom you are prepared to fail (if you find yourself wanting her too badly, you’ll never have her)
    2. Exude extreme confidence
    3. Demonstrate some kind of value, skill or talent NEAR your target, but not directly to her. Initially, pretend you don’t even notice her.
    4. Win over her friends
    5. Be hard to get
    6. Be fun
    7. Handle challenges from competing men intellectually and psychologically. Never fight.
    8. Respond to any signs that she’s not interested as if it were “no big deal”
    9. Once you have your target’s attention, playfully insult (“neg”) her. For example, “I like your…

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  2. 892 of 1,064 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Fascinating … and not a little creepy, October 18, 2005
    By 
    Alexis Coxon (Holt, MI, USA) –
    (VINE VOICE)
      

    This review is from: The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists (Imitation Leather)
    First, a disclaimer, because of the sniping going on about this book: I don’t know any of the people portrayed in “The Game.” I have no biases in either direction regarding any of them. In fact, I’m a straight (and married) female, so I really have no vested interest in ANY pick-up strategies.

    I read “The Game” after seeing a review of it in the newspaper. I was amused and a bit intrigued at the idea of a whole subculture centered around seducing members of the opposite sex — at the idea of guys who honestly had NO other goals in life.

    In a way, it’s almost an inspirational story in the beginning. Everyone likes an underdog, and the short, bald guy who’s suddenly able to get all the babes is no exception. But it wouldn’t be much of a story if there wasn’t a dark side to the success. Strauss describes how he loses interest in everything EXCEPT picking up women and in fact feels compelled to hit on them almost constantly. He holds seminars on seduction. He posts to message boards about seduction. He lives in a house full of guys whose sole interest is seduction — some who spend thousands of dollars attending seminars around the country.

    Of course, at the end, he realizes that all the tricks and one-liners he uses to get a woman into bed won’t help him when he meets The One. And maybe I’m a bit naive, but isn’t that what most of us really want in the end?

    Strauss is a fine writer, though not a highly remarkable one. I think the story itself, rather than the writing, is what carries the book. The characters are truly compelling — especially Mystery, who I almost want to meet to see if he’s as irresistable as everyone seems to think. (You have to wonder, though, if his techniques work half so well when the women already know about them.)

    So, should guys who can’t meet women pick up this book? I don’t think so. I -do- believe that some of the advice here could work, such as “negging” — giving a good-looking girl a subtle put-down to make her want to win you over. I know that, in my single days, I was more intrigued by the guys who weren’t under my spell, so to speak. Still, it doesn’t make putting people down a nice thing to do.

    My problem with this book is that it might be overly seductive to single guys, and draw people in to a rather twisted subculture — which I think is NOT the author’s intent. I also think that the techniques described encourage objectification of women to an extreme, and aren’t particularly healthy for guys, either.

    It’s easy to see how becoming an expert in seduction would sound, well, seductive. But these “expert” philosophies all have one thing in common: They treat women as the enemy. And we’re not, I swear!

    To summarize: If you’re looking for a good read, pick up “The Game.” If you’re trying to meet women, get some fashion advice and learn how to boost your self-confidence, because magic tricks and insults aren’t going to get you into a relationship worth having.

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  3. 315 of 400 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Fascinating!!!, September 23, 2005
    By 
    R. Spell “raspell” (Memphis, TN USA) –
    (VINE VOICE)
      

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists (Imitation Leather)
    I’m 52, married, don’t know the author, have never heard of this secret society and still found this book fascinating. I say this because so many reviewers seem to have an agenda. From the arrival of this book b4 a business trip where my wife asked if I was going through another mid-life crisis, to the enjoyable but staccato writing style of Strauss, I read this book in pure fascination but half the time wondering if it was fiction. From reading these reviews it is clear there is basis for this book. But a Project Hollywood with male drama and Courtney Love thrown in for humor? Well, evidently it was true.

    This book should be read by all young men. Yes, some have the ability to approach women in some manner, but most DON’T have the ability in ANY manner. This book will help. Does it give contrived starting lines? Sure, but the point of the book is, “men need it” and when most people think of pick-up lines, these are actually exactly the opposite as more fully explained in the book. We are not conditioned to know the appropriate way to approach women! But apparently, we can learn.

    This book is educational on talking to women but also an interesting story about the crazy, neurotic lives these guys live. As to the author, his writing style is much too young for me but I did enjoy watching him weave this story and predict a bright journalistic career for him. I had previously read his biography of Jenna Jamison and enjoyed it also. I have not seen much publicity about this book. I heard about it from the short story in Esquire. I would love to read the NY Times article referenced in the book. I recommend this book for both men and women in their dating years but also recommend others read this that just want to learn about interpersonal relationships or read a zany life of needy men.

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