Neil Strauss – Surviving the Game
Neil Strauss was until 2005 best known for his journalism and ghost-writing. Having written acclaimed features for ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine on seminal artists like Eric Clapton and Nirvana, he had gone on to ghost-write autobiographies for Marilyn Manson and Mötley Crüe, both of which were extremely successful; the latter greatly helping the band revitalise their career in the new millennium and is currently being adapted for the big screen.
Still, despite his successes, Strauss felt there was one area of his life where he’d fallen short: he was unable to meet women. Being a very deep and intelligent man – Strauss claims to reread James Joyce’s magnum opus Ulysses every three years for fun – didn’t seem to help when he didn’t even know how to introduce himself to a member of the opposite sex. He did some research online and found that there was a secret society of men, known as Pick-Up Artists, or PUA’s, who regularly hold workshops to help Average Frustrated Chumps, or AFC’s, like himself to meet women.
Strauss signed up for one of these workshops, held by a PUA calling himself Mystery, and thus began a two year thrill-ride that would eventually be chronicled in Strauss’ ‘The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists’. Less of a how-to book and more like one of the autobiographies he helped ghost-write, it tells the story of Strauss’ ascension within the seduction community, transforming himself from Neil Strauss, LA based writer, into to Pick-Up Artist Style. Incorporating different techniques passed down from Mystery and other authorities like Ross Jeffries, Style eventually became the No. 1 Pick-Up artist in the world.
Some of the techniques, such as the NLP used by Jeffries, seem a bit dubious, and some a bit stupid, but it made for a thrilling read that sent the book to the top of the New York Times Bestseller list in September 2005 and again in September 2007. The book ended on a high note, with Strauss deciding to leave the seduction community after finding true love in Lisa Leveridge, guitarist for Courtney Love’s band The Chelsea.
At the end of 2005, Strauss passed on his own set of techniques, entitled the ‘Annihilation Method’, to 5 selected followers over the course of a three-day seminar at his California home. Recently he sold a limited amount of copies of a DVD, which was only available via credit card from his website and taught the ‘Annihilation Method’; while in late 2007, thanks to huge demand for an actual how-to book; Strauss penned the sequel to the ‘Game’, entitled ‘Rules of the Game’.
Ultimately whether you believe a lot of Strauss’ PUA advice will work or not, or whether you believe the stories contained within the novels are true or not, it does make for interesting reading, and if nothing else, next time you’re out at a bar, you’ll realise why a man asks a total stranger whether she saw the two girls fighting outside or if she would like a rune reading.