When Neil Strauss - a self-proclaimed AFC (average frustrated chump) - withdraws $500 and signs-up for a workshop with notorious pick-up artist Mystery, he embarks upon a life-changing journey into the bizarre underworld of 'players'. Creating their own vernacular and codes of honour, these are men that have devoted their lives to perfecting techniques of seduction. In the course of the next two years Neil transforms himself from a frustrated, insecure journalist into the quick thinking, smooth talking Style, a character irresistible to women. Then, as he is voted The World's Number One Pick-up Artist, he falls for a woman who could beat him at his own game. With guest appearances from Britney Spears, Tom Cruise, and Courtney Love.
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Is it for real? Is The Game by Neill Strauss an assiduously detailed, highly entertaining exposé of a fascinating secret society -- the international community of pickup artists who have refined their talents for getting women into bed to the nth degree? Or is it an extremely funny hoax? Early drafts of the book had people wondering, and men in particular speculated if the book would deliver some valuable ‘how to’ tips as an aid to entering a sexual wonderland. In fact, it doesn't really matter whether you take the basic premise seriously or not: Strauss’ wonderfully diverting book delivers great entertainment whatever your point of view.
According to Strauss, the clandestine society of men he describes here take wagers in clubs and bars throughout the Western world over just who can chalk up the most Casanova-like quantities of pickups and seductions. But this isn't merely for the thrill of an army of sexual conquests -- all of this is coded and organised according to an almost military-style ritual, with an elaborate series of rules and regulations that the participants rigorously follow. Strauss went undercover in this glamorous world, and learned the secrets of these top-drawer seducers. But, for him, there was a useful corollary affect: Strauss found himself transformed from a nerdish, unconfident journalist into a silver-tongued Lothario, quite the equal of many of the ladykilling males he had been enjoying the company of. For him, the ultimate accolade was being noted The World's Number One Pickup Artist -- and then he made the mistake of setting his sights on a woman who could give every bit as good as she got.
The world of excess presented here is not one most of us move in, but (if the truth were told) it has its irresistible attractions. Strauss wheels in such celebrities as Tom Cruise and Courtney Love, and this unblushing peek into a secret world where sex and seduction are treated with cool scientific detachment is mesmerisingly readable. --Barry ForshawReview:
"The funniest book I have read this year." Tony Parsons * 'Loving it!' - Elle Magazine * 'A narrative of daredevil sexuality.' - Guardian * 'Touching and witty.' - Time Out"
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