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

The Game by Neil Strauss
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Feb 18, 2009

really liked it
Recommended to PlatKat by: Sean, Dan, Balki, etc etc
Recommended for: Everyone

I watched the TV show, "The Pickup Artist," a couple of years ago, and this book got rave reviews from some men I know very well. Some wanted to gain an edge when talking to the average woman (ugh) and others just read it for entertainment value. As someone astutely questioned, why am *I* reading it? Well... "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles." (Sun Tzu)

I watched some of the show with mixed feelings and found myself feeling the same way about the book: proud of these men for taking their life into their own hands and learning how to communicate with people they used to find intimidating, but also annoyed with the misogynistic trickery that went along with it.

I actually recognized the tactics of "The Game" from my own past experience in bars, clubs, and even just leaving the house. As the author insists, they do work on a certain type of girl. I'm happy to report after extensive "field-testing" that I am NOT that type of girl.

A few examples of hapless misplaced "sarges":

I was having drinks with a colleague in a hotel bar when an older man interrupted us to demonstrate a magic trick involving a coin and my participation. He had one too many directions for my liking, so I finally asked him to just explain the expected outcome. Hoping to bait me further, he refused to tell me, so I turned around and ignored him. He proceeded to drop his coin on the floor and touched my legs while he was down there. Suffice it to say words were exchanged with my rather large male colleague, and his friends saved him what could have been a good physical beating on top of that.

I was at a club with some friends when a younger guy approached me, asking if I'd seen the fight outside. He assured me that it was still going on and I should go check it out. Several of my friends were dancing and I wanted to keep our seats for when they returned. I told him I wasn't interested, but he kept nagging me. I told him if he didn't go away and leave me alone, I'd punch him in the neck. I don't remember all of what happened after that, but it was confirmed that I made good on my promise.

I was waiting at a bus stop when a guy asked me to "settle a bet" because he thought he could guess my name. It was an obvious ploy to talk to me, and I had to be aloof because walking away meant missing the bus. He kept trying to talk to me, even though I was wearing sunglasses and headphones and a posture that screamed, "Don't talk to me." I finally ended it by saying, "You are out of guesses. This conversation is over."

I didn't know these approaches had been hand-selected from a book, but something about them felt contrived and wrong. These were "openers," lines and scripts that were premeditated and designed to lure me in. *sigh* I wish it were that easy.

Perhaps my broken female brain isn't wired to heed such pithy calls to action, even when I'm in my regular state of three sheets to the wind. I don't mind idle chat as much as I used to, but I still don't enjoy talking to strangers who have nothing to say.

This hostile mindset does not make me particularly smart or even astutely aware of my surroundings. It more likely means I was bred with a level of skepticism that is unlikely to change. The book is about how to open the lines of communication leading up to seducing the opposite sex. Do I want to be seduced? Of course, more than anyone would believe. But since I'm apt to loathe the regular tricks and immediately search for a true connection or at least clever conversation, it's going to take extra effort from whoever feels they are up to the challenge.


Yeah, I thought so.

I appreciate that the author notes: "If I didn't get the phone number, I didn't blame it on the girl for being cold or bitchy, as so many other sargers did. I blamed myself and analyzed every word, gesture, and reaction until I pinpointed a tactical error."

This is not common for most men, both in his experience and mine. This calls to mind a particular instance when I was using my laptop in the lobby of my apartment complex, again minding my own business, when a guy approached me and asked if the lobby had free wireless. I looked up and replied, "Yes." And the guy turned to his two friends and loudly exclaimed, "Man, Seattle women are BITCHES! I just asked a question! Why are girls here such BITCHES?!?" He proceeded to mimic my answer as he stormed out of the building. Um... yeah. Boy was I missing out.

The author also points out a sad truth: "Most men make the mistake of believing that an attractive woman who doesn't talk to or acknowledge him is a bitch. Most of the time, however, she's just as shy or insecure as the less attractive women he's ignoring—if not more so."

I often think something along those lines when talking to people I don't know very well. They could feel just as uncomfortable not knowing me as I feel not knowing them, so I should give people the benefit of the doubt and appear as happy and confident as I can.

Anyway, this book obviously did its job. It got me to think about the social dynamics between men and women, and it entertained me too. Even if you're female, not interested in dating, married, or a hermit, you'll likely find at least some value in this book.
1 like · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Game.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Darren (new)

Darren what's a nice gal like you doing on a website like this :-)

message 2: by Darren (new)

Darren Ouch! I just broke one of my acrylic fingernails!

back to top