Neil Strauss' The Game: Book Review

   According to a recent article in the Daily Mail , a number of students at our highest esteemed universities regularly indulge themselves with a series of misogynistic activities including one rather unsavory "game" known as "whaling".

   The object? To find and sleep with the ugliest lady possible and then, no doubt, relay the explicit details of such an encounter to one's peers.

   "Whaling", and indeed a whole host of other "games" partaken by the young and the foolish, represent a rather worrying trend where individuals are no longer sleeping with each other for love or simply for the thrill of doing so. Instead, many young men sleep with other women to get closer to other men; sex is nothing but a bonding tool with the lady involved nothing more than a subject for an after-the-fact anecdote.

   One "game" lead to another in my mind - The Game, a rather miserable and tawdry book by Neil Strauss , is another example of pathetic young men who see women as nothing more than a tool by which to communicate with other men.

   The premise of the book (Strauss an author with no success with the opposite sex trains to be more attractive to women) suggests a writer who may profess to love women; the content across the books' pages suggests the exact opposite.

   As he and a rag-tag collective of Pickup Artists (men who strategise and practise techniques to improve their chances with women) concoct a series of lies, ploys and plays to achieve success with ladies who may have once been seen as "out of their league", they end up spending more and more time thinking about the other men in their community. Their seduction charades seem to be created with the exclusive aim of impressing their male peers.

   The arc of the book sees Strauss, a man who is immensely less charming in print than he seems to realise, mutate from toady with no female contact to slimeball surrounded by men discussing women with throngs of other men. It's a creepy metamorphosis and rather than feel envy for the would-be Casanovas, as I'm assuming Strauss would have liked us to do, the cast of creeps and geeks are represented as being below contempt.

1 comment

  1. I haven't read the book but I watched a documentary about it (The Rules of Seduction - it's on 4od) and found it really depressing! One particular guy started out seeming like a nice, shy guy who struggled with girls and by the end he was able to get girls but he no longer had any respect for them and really did just treat it all like game. It made me really sad actually!

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