Erin Noble's Reviews > The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists

The Game by Neil Strauss
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's review
Jul 26, 10

bookshelves: fun-nonfiction

** 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.


Further 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).
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