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The Game Changer: A Memoir of Disruptive Love
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The Game Changer: A Memoir of Disruptive Love

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  285 ratings  ·  41 reviews
To make an open marriage work, Franklin and Celeste knew they needed to make sure no one else ever came between them. That meant there had to be rules. No overnights, no falling in love, and either one of them could ask the other to end an outside relationship if it became too much to deal with. It worked for nearly two decades—and their relentless focus on their own relat ...more
Paperback, 232 pages
Published September 23rd 2015 by Thorntree Press (first published September 1st 2015)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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 ·  285 ratings  ·  41 reviews

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Michón Neal
Jul 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Though it's very well-written and Franklin Veaux is a fantastic and quirky individual, I didn't gain much of anything from reading this book. I felt it was a bit of a let down. The game changing relationship only featured for a moment and it didn't strike me as particularly life-changing. Perhaps this is because I'm one of those natural game changers so it's harder for me to understand how others take years to figure these lessons out.

While this may be a good memoir of the early days of middle-
Eve Rickert
Apr 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: polyamory
Readers of this book should be aware that three of the women featured in it—Celeste, Amber and Elaine—have told their own stories. You may find them at

The discrepancies between their and Franklin's version of the story cannot be explained by just different versions of the same experience. All three women report lasting harm from their relationships, including trauma.

Still, I give it two stars, because as a work of fiction it's still an entertaining and moving read.
Annabeth Leong
Jan 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read this book because More Than Two, by Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert, is my favorite polyamory how-to guide. It has an ethical stance that I really respect and have learned a lot from, and I wanted to hear more about the relationships that had helped Franklin Veaux arrive at that viewpoint.

To a reader of More Than Two, most of the people who appear in this book will be familiar. I felt like I knew most of the story in outline already from the descriptions given in the other book. However, T
Jul 10, 2015 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 14, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: relationships
I didn't write a review when I originally read this book back in 2016, but I rated it 4 stars and as I was building an unexpected, intense relationship with a new partner at the time, it really resonated.

However,many of the key women in this book have recently (2019) come out with a very different perspective that has totally changed my view. I would encourage anyone who reads this book to also read their perspective and decide for yourself.
Louisa Leontiades

I'm so lucky in so many ways. That I am born in a progressive developed country. That I've been able to have children I wanted. That my life is abundant. And lucky, that others like Franklin Veaux have paved the way for my plural Franklin Veauxrelationship choices on 'new trails through a trackless wilderness.'

I haven't escaped pain in my life, nor would I want to, because pain I've discovered presents a hidden path for growth, to a land where you discover new horizons and limitless possibilitie

Eduardo Santiago
Oct 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Uncomfortably voyeuristic. I had to keep reminding myself that Veaux is a writer I trust, and that he must know what he's doing, but in the end I'm not so sure. The people he writes about are real. How do they feel about his portrayals of them?

I'm not sure this book was necessary. More Than Two was beautiful and noble, and I thought it stood on its own. Now I feel like part of it has been eroded.
Isaac Cross
May 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poly
Full review at

The Short Version
“More than anything, I craved being understood.” (Page 134)

I finished reading the book less than 24 hours after I received it. It is a compelling story about a fascinating individual. So at its core, it fulfills the requirements of a good auto-biography. Beyond that, it is well-written and structured in a way that gives the reader a great sense of the passage of time and the growth of the individuals across the years. The author successfully
Jun 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poly-books
This is loosely to More Than Two what The Husband Swap (by Louisa Leontiades) was to its Companion Book: the story of how the author's polyamorous beliefs came to be.

I'll try to keep this without spoilers. This is a pretty short story of the beautiful and terrible things that happened throughout the author's first marriage, which led to the fairly radical idea that, when in a romantic relationship, one person does not own another and is not responsible for setting limits on their behaviour.

The s
Apr 15, 2016 rated it liked it
I read The Game Changer for book club. It was a pretty quick read, not too deep and not too many pages. The book was not what I expected at all. I thought it'd be about one relationship that changed it all for Franklin Veaux. I imagined that Franklin had been in poly relationships for a long time and that this one, whatever it was, happened to be different enough to shift the way he shapes relationships forever.

I was partly right. There was a relationship that changed them all for him, but there
Oct 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Full review here

The takeaway from The Game Changer shouldn't be that polyamory is bad, or good. It shouldn't be that everyone needs to go and find three boyfriends or girlfriends right now, or that we need to go give up all hope of ever finding a perfect romance. The takeaway should be that whatever type of relationship is right for you, know that it is going to be challenging. It will require work. It will require you to be aware of people around you, be
Nov 14, 2018 rated it did not like it
So many issues here.
Gabriel Alvarado
Apr 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I felt represented by this book in some parts. As I discover how to live non monogamy I realized that some of the things I experienced in my relationship were sometimes represented by the author. This made me feel that I wasn't the only one, which was good.

On the other hand, sometimes the author tend to assume what his partners were feeling or thinking, which let me with this idea that I need to read the other side of the story, the one told by his partners.

Overall I think it's a good book.
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
The author, Franklin Veaux, is the grandfather of modern polyamory in my opinion. His memoir highlighted all his struggles with navigating non monogamous relationships when there was no such thing. He made errors that I'm grateful for, sad to say. Those errors made it a lesson on how to treat your partners ethically and with compassion along with not losing who you were ultimately.
His wife Celeste, was a classic example of someone who had a lot of insecurities about herself. Later on in the boo
Troels Axholt
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
A very easy book to read. The story is okay, even though it is very linear and lacking any surprises.
Since it is a biography of the author himself, I expected it to be subjective. However, I didn’t expect it to be this one sided and lacking of any other perspective than of the author himself.

The author does a poorly job of self reflection, and I don’t remember him taking any responsibility, for any of his former experiences.

Read it if you want a perspective of Polygami. But be aware that “me too
Topher Ritchie
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I could not stop reading it!

I didn't know what to expect when I started this book. After the first chapter, I was captivated. Franklin Veaux's coming of age story of how a socially awkward boy became a man who finally said goodbye to fear in his romantic relationships is as compelling as it is quirky.
Misty Albaugh
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
The subject of polyamory came up a few weeks ago over drinks with friends. We’ve seen shows like Sister Wives, but that’s on a whole different level of polygamy. I got curious & looked up the name for the type on non monogamous relationship I was thinking about & then bought the two best books related to it on Amazon.
I am very open to a lot of things, and firmly believe, to each his own. What makes one person happy isn’t what will make another. I enjoyed reading this book. I find it interestin
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was a bit different than I expected, more of a life story than More than Two which is a guidebook. But I enjoyed hearing and seeing the evolution of the polyamorous community through the eyes of someone who had been involved for many years.
Candice Brothers
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved reading this memoir by Franklin Veaux. Since he was first navigating being polyamorous before the age of the internet, it's fascinating to read about his experiences and how they've helped him grow. ...more
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
It warmed up to me once I had a shift in how I viewed Franklin as he presented himself in the book.
Jalen Lyle-Holmes
Feb 12, 2018 rated it liked it
didn't get super engaged but it did hold my attention. made me think about the possible pitfalls of rules in/about relationships. ...more
Thoughts pending

Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I. AM. SHAKEN. This book is a game changer.
Sergey Antopolskiy
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
An enlightening view on love life of someone very much different, and at the same time so similar, to most everyone I know. The side stories about computer geekery were also very heartwarming.
Mounir Bashour
Jul 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
A good book to read in combination with more than two.
Oct 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh man. I've never met the author, but I want to buy him a beer or a cup of tea. Many states away, I was making a lot of the same mistakes in polyamory for different reasons. (view spoiler). Like the author, I did it, that was fifteen years ago now, and I've regretted it ever since -- I feel terrible about having treated my erstwhile partner so badly through no fault of ...more
Patrick Rauland
Nov 21, 2016 rated it liked it
After reading More Than Two I enjoyed learning a bit more about Franklin's life. I think it adds some context around important pillars of polyamory. Ex. you can see where the secondary bill of rights comes from.

My notes:

“Sexual intimacy can be a gateway to emotional intimacy. Even when it’s confined to text over a computer screen.”

We started talk about sex but also about our hopes and dreams, our past loves, the millions of little details that make up our lives.

"Life rewards people who move in t
Maya Reid
Oct 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
I knew this book was going to scare me, as the monogamish partner of a polyamorous person who isn't very comfortable with the whole idea of loving multiple people, and it did. Though very different from More than Two, I think this is a very well-written book. I wish that we had been able to see more of how Celeste actually felt and what she actually thought, instead of just Franklin's interpretations of where she was coming from emotionally. As he states himself multiple times in the book, he do ...more
Allie Kleber
I read this for my book club (which focuses loosely on themes around sex, kink, alternative relationship models, gender and sexuality). From briefly scanning the summary before I began, I expected something much more didactic, but instead it's an engaging and forthright memoir, describing the author's exploration of relationship models over several decades. (Incidentally, it also chronicles his participation in the development of various aspects of computer technology and the formation of online ...more
Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
A great read! I was reading this because polamory fascinates me. I am not currently polyamorous, though I am not strictly monogamous, either. My partner and I are exploring who we are currently, and this book looked interesting to me as we go through our current adventures. I am definitely recommending this book to my partner, so we can talk about it. If you are interested in more of an experience, a view, into this unique way to love, this is a good book for you. It may turn you off to this typ ...more
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