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The Game

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  25,843 ratings  ·  1,906 reviews
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 and journalist, spent two years living among ...more
Kindle Edition, 466 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by It Books (first published 2005)
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Jay M Agree'd. For those people that "can't take a joke" maybe this book isnt for "you". But if you can manage to not take every single point literally, ent…moreAgree'd. For those people that "can't take a joke" maybe this book isnt for "you". But if you can manage to not take every single point literally, enterainment along with a few more tools to add to the tool belt could actually be gained(less)
Margaret This book isn't specifically for ugly guys - there are plenty of people who know how to use their personality and compart themselves in public.
And the…more
This book isn't specifically for ugly guys - there are plenty of people who know how to use their personality and compart themselves in public.
And there are better books out there to teach such.
This book exists to help guys trick women into think it'd be worthwhile to spend an evening with them.(less)
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Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  25,843 ratings  ·  1,906 reviews

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Jun 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those (men) who chase phantoms instead of dreams.
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 musar of choice, and the endgame of every single Reality TV show ever made. But it is not for everyone.

You'll know
Aug 20, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Although well-written, this book is appalling and sad. Ultimately this peek into "the secret society of pickup artists" is not as enlightening as the cover art, book jacket and title would like us to think. And I can't help but feel a writerly disappointment in Neil Strauss for having embraced something that brazenly revels in its own misogyny.

Don't be fooled; Mystery--who is a solid example of what happens when one is deprived of validation as a child-- tries to spin his technique as a means to
Apr 06, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Nov 16, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was fucking terrible. I'm ashamed to have read it.
Isa K.
Mar 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'll start with the Cliff Notes for those of you who don't like long reviews: This book would be five stars if it was about 200 pages shorter. And if you're one of those people who takes things way too literal, confuses the opinions and attitudes of the subject for the opinions and attitudes of the author, or needs every report of observed misogyny to be prefaced with twelve paragraphs of either apology or condemnation ... this is probably not the book for you.

At the same time this book makes a
Nov 29, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: women who need help spotting a-holes at night clubs
Recommended to Leajk by: male acquaintances of the past
Know thy enemy.

One extra star for pure entertainment value, especially the very first scene where 'the hero' of the book, Mystery, lies curled up crying on the floor of the communal pickup mansion dressed in the bathrobe previously belonging to his stripper ex-girlfriend.

Apparently he misses her, like a lot, which is quite sweet I suppose.

That is for a man who reinvented himself from a living-in-his-parents-basement type of guy, to the cons-insecure-wannabe-starlets-in-LA type of guy.

And the
Nov 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actually, Profound Applied Psychology of Mating Rituals

That’s a very sexist way to talk abou’ dees bitches!"
S. B. Cohen a/k/a Da Ali G.

This is a fascinating trip to vicarious realization of Eros' dreams of shy guys--e.g., the younger me-- and geeks everywhere. Yet, a journey that--as one might suspect--comes to the author's recognition of the emptiness of sexual prolificity.

I concede this isn't one most of my friends will read. Because I don't want anyone reading this to get the idea I'm chau
Jim Reaugh
Aug 22, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
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
Mar 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Impossible to put down. This is a fascinating tale of a guy with marginal skills with the ladies (despite fame), who sets out on a life changing mission to master picking up women. I dare you to try and not get hooked in the first few pages. The characters are philanderers, gigolos, wannabes, braggarts, and every dysfunctional category in between.

Their quest is obvious, and thrust in your face; to hook up with as many beautiful women as possible. Strauss becomes prolific at the social marketing
Read this almost ten years ago and was appalled that there is a community of PUAs (Pick-Up-Artists) that go around doing all of this just to get laid. So I read the book so I can be aware of these sleaze bags and their methods. Unsurprisingly some guys have used these methods on me and obviously I knew what they were doing so it wouldn’t work. For example, Active Disinterest is where they’ll pay attention to your friend (that’s with you) instead of on the person of interest. They actually think ...more
Polly Trout
There are some very valid reasons to skim through this controversial, pornographic, poorly written, and often obnoxious anthropological tour of the "seduction community," a network of men who use social psychology and hypnosis to pick up women. First, women should know that this exists and defend themselves accordingly -- if you don't want to wade through a whole book on the subject, here's a synopsis:

It's fascinating and queasy at the same time.

The seco
I learned that I am what, in pick up artist ("PUA") parlance, is called a "natural." I've never had problems meeting women. So I didn't pick this book up for its instructional content. Rather, I was intrigued into reading this book by curiosity. I wanted to see how my life experience stacked up with my preconceived notion of a true PUA. I envisioned a PUA as being a highly confident, suave, cool operator that women swoon over without being able to control themselves. I learned that my concept of ...more
Mar 05, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookclub
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
Oct 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jenny by: Pete's book club
Oh wow, hard to say if I'm horrified or fascinated or what. I guess some of both. Good thing I'm reading this for book club cuz I can't wait to discuss. I can't believe this is for real. And then what I'm wondering is, what are girls supposed to do? Just sit there and look pretty? Hmm. But here's some quotes I liked:

"In life, people tend to wait for good things to come to them. And by waiting, they miss out. Usually, what you wish for doesn't fall in your lap; it falls somewhere nearby, and you
Elyse  Walters
Nov 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best things about looking through the 'Giveaways' on Goodreads is discovering new
books coming out soon by authors you have read.

Neil Strauss will release his new book called "The Truth" "An Uncomfortable Book about Relationships" ....sometime soon. (hope to win it through the give-a-ways -hint-hint)

About THIS book:
It was a gift...from a successful Jewish Male friend who lived in S.F. who knew Neil Strauss. (Funny gift, I know)... But I enjoyed it more than I thought...I enjoyed it
Nov 06, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't get this book. It's pathetic, the book, the men in it and their cult. What a bunch of losers. It's mind boggling that this book was once on NYT best sellers list. Why? I heard it being mentioned on Invasion of Privacy podcast and taught that it will be an interesting read. I was expecting to be thrown in into a secret society of men who decided to share their secrets on picking up women. What I got was a pile of bullshit on a pile of crap on a pile of whatthegoddamnfuck. I refuse to beli ...more
Jun 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: AFCs, PUAs, guys who wear black PVC pants and furry top hats
People are likely to have strong feelings about this book, from disgust to bemusement to desperate interest on the part of the AFCs ("Average Frustrated Chumps") that Strauss talks so much about, after confessing to being one. However, it should be understood that this particular book is a memoir and an expose by a Rolling Stone journalist, not an actual pickup guide. While Strauss talks a lot about the "seduction techniques" he and his fellow PUAs (Pick-Up Artists) developed, this isn't a self- ...more
Leo Robertson
Rating this because of what it provided me based on my own reasons for reading (writing research.)

I've been reading a little about Cluster B personality disorders, and I think the rules and attitudes outlined in this book relate a lot to that. The pithy arguments in favour of the lifestyle it promotes (effectively including "Some of these dweebs would've shot up their schools if I hadn't helped them lose their virginity") sounded almost identical to those in favour of sociopaths from Confessions
This book addicted me even before I owned it. I found it on the floor of a friend's house and devoured two chapters before I ran to Borders to get it for myself. Then I found myself staying up till all hours to finish it, taking notes, chatting with friends about it, and reading everything the author put out. And I'm a woman.

I didn't find it offensive, ridiculous, or prurient, I found it a nice tasty behavioral anthropological meal. At the same time, I didn't pity or laugh at the guys pictured i
Apr 02, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an easy and mindless train/tube read, but I had to keep the book flat on my lap to hide the title after I saw a few women rolling their eyes. Since I've moved to London I've noticed that I'm not the only one who likes to take a sneak peek at what others are reading and then give them a meaningful look.

So, here’s Neil Strauss’s story as he claims. He had written books and articles about rock stars and porn stars. He had access to a lot of backstage parties and glamorous Hollywood galas,
I hate this book. I hate myself for reading it. (I tried not to.) I hate Neil Strauss and I hate every idiotgirl who slept with him or gave him her number. It's true that I love to hate and that would be reason enough not to drop kick this book into the nearest dumpster. (Also, I got it from the library so that would be rude and I'd have to pay for it anyway.) But I actually enjoyed it, God help me. The author put an astronomical amount of time and energy into bamboozling people and dammit it wo ...more
Robin (Bridge Four)
Dec 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bro-mantic
“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
Oct 28, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The Game tells the story of a much-maligned subculture- one which sees keyboard warriors don feather boas, light-up tshirts, and platform shoes, while delivering corny lines, all in order to seduce a woman.

Meet Style, a journalist who goes undercover into the pick-up artist community, ending up so immersed in the subculture that it becomes his identity. He changes everything from his hairstyle to his walk and even his conversation, all just so he could get some action.

The funny thing is, I kno
Aug 05, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Debbie by: Elizabeth
This is a surprisingly good book that I would never have read if it hadn't been strongly recommended by a friend who was reading it and was totally fascinated by the gender politics. The author, Neil Strauss, has ghost written some celebrity memoirs, and writes for Rolling Stone and the New York Times. In other words, this man can write. The thing that makes this book so interesting is the author's running monologue about gender, specifically masculinity and the ways that boys and men are taught ...more
May 25, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a book that targets (and caters very well to) young males, "The Game" truly belongs in the hands of a twenty-something cynic.
Parts of the story read like a self-help book, which was very funny in and of itself. But what I found to be interesting (on some level, perhaps) was that Strauss has taken his version of "rags-to-riches" and turned it into colorful, sexual, hopeful prose that reveals a protagonist traveling down a highway of mayhem to a destination of confusion. Fun. I imagine this is
Nicholas Karpuk
There's an interesting article I found before I read this book that really gives some insight into the pick up world as it stands now, years after The Game came out. ANTI-PUAS

When I first noticed that title, on a site like Jezebel, I just naturally assumed it was a place devoted to dissecting what's so broken and wrong about pick up artist culture. But nope, it's basically the equivalent of an anti-scam artist page. These guys are all furious and filled with misogynistic rage because the canned
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Caution, this isn't a self-help book about how to pick up women.

Instead, this is an honest well-written autobiography of a formerly nerdy writer/journalist who tried and succeeded to fill his lack of social skills by learning tricks to connect with people. The opposite sex in particular.

He investigates a group of 'pick-up artists'. These are boys like you and me who think too much and have a barrier of insecurity towards other people. They break it down by engineering and using comforting formul
Kater Cheek
Dec 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 bac
Todd N
Oct 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
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 att
Jun 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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The Deeper Message of the Book 12 332 Jan 06, 2014 08:21AM  

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Neil Strauss is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Game, Rules of the Game, Emergency, and Everyone Loves You When You're Dead. He is also the coauthor of four other bestsellers--Jenna Jameson's How to Make Love Like a Porn Star, Mötley Crüe's The Dirt, and Marilyn Manson's The Long Hard Road Out of Hell, and Dave Navarro's Don't Try This at Home. He can be found at www.neilstrauss.c ...more

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