In The Game, Neil Strauss delves into the bizarre underworld of ‘pickup artists’ – men who have devoted their lives to different techniques of seducing women. These are men with their own vernacular and codes of honour, who operate online and in person, who are so committed to honing their strategies that they give each other seminars and live together in shared houses – or ‘Projects’, as they like to call them. Neil Strauss lived amongst the players and survived – but not before he became one of them. In the course of two years, he transformed himself from a self-confessed balding, skinny writer into the quick-thinking, smooth-talking Style, a character irresistible to women, half psychologist, half magician. He became friends with the other players. He used his Game techniques on Britney Spears. By turns jaw-dropping, poignant and side-splittingly funny, The Game is a gripping portrait of a mad, self-referential community in the process of slow implosion. With guest appearances from Paris Hilton, Tom Cruise (whose character in Magnolia is based on a real-life pickup artist) and Courtney Love, who lived with Neil in ‘Project Hollywood’ for a while, The Game is also the most sensational relationships manual since The Rules – essential reading for men and women alike.

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