Friday, March 25, 2011

Neil Strauss

Last night I ventured out and made the climb up to the Haight for a Neil Strauss book signing at Booksmith. I read his book Emergency not long after it came out with mixed thoughts but completely enjoyed it and got more than enough out of it to make it both and entertaining and worthwhile read as well as to recommend it to others who in turn got a lot out of it. Emergency served very well in one particular way I felt had been lacking from the survival/self reliance canon, it's a real story about someone going from little or no knowledge to being an expert in a number of areas. Neil was human and forthcoming without be self deprecating or fake. Emergency is often billed as a how-to, I think it's more, and more importantly; a why-to. The book won't turn you into Jason Bourne but it might actually inspire you to learn a few things that'll save your hide. Or in my case, become a NERT volunteer so I can save someone else's hide. Thanks go to Neil for that if nothing else and motivating someone to take a more active role in their community is always a big deal.

Last night was a signing for his new book Everyone Loves You When You're Dead. It's not something I'd typically read but I'm glad I went. Incidentally, I had been on Neil's very inclusive VIP mailing list from when I signed up for something related to Emergency and got switched over for reasons I can't remember. I've been mildly curious about The Game but as of yet have not read it. To be candid, I've spoken with a few people who've been curious about The Game and we've all felt we would be a little embarrassed to be caught reading it. We've also all been in long term committed relationships since becoming aware of the book and feel that reading a book on picking up women might not be a good relationship move when you are currently in one. That said, The Game and Neil's other books are well liked and no doubt worthwhile, Neil is a talented writer who has had every bit as much a rock star life as the people he writes about, it's just not my genre and I've historically gotten into more than enough trouble on my own.

Maybe not personal but Personalized!
Anyway, to get on his new list, the VIP list is closing, you need to buy a copy of his new book Everyone Loves You When Your Dead, or ELYWYD in it's handy acronym form. I was slightly hesitant as I am generally resistant to that sort of marketing but it was clever and I'd wanted to meet Neil for a while. He didn't disappoint in person. I'd have liked to chat with him a little further about some things in Emergency but he seemed pretty beat from his book tour and I was admittedly off my game last night.

My one question after meeting Neil in person is, why did he ever have trouble getting the kind of attention from women he wanted. He came across as genuine, interesting and real as well as not threatening or too much of a bad boy. Maybe that's today's Neil Strauss and I simply don't know the old Neil but from our brief meeting I'd have been surprised to learn he ever had bad luck with women and maybe that's the point of The Game.

Either way, I'm enjoying the ELYWYD and looking forward to email discussions about The Game as it relates to something other than pick up artists while I try to find a bookstore that isn't perpetually sold out of it.

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