Thursday, 9 June 2016

Review: The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships by Neil Strauss

Title: The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships
Author: Neil Strauss
Publisher: Dey St. Books
Pages: 448
Genres: Non-fiction, Memoir

The Wrath and the Dawn
Neil Strauss became famous to millions around the world as the author of The Game, a funny and slyly instructive account of how he transformed himself from a scrawny, insecure nerd into the ultra-confident, ultra-successful “pickup artist” known as Style. The book jump-started the international “seduction community,” and made Strauss a household name—revered or notorious—among single men and women alike.

But the experience of writing The Game also transformed Strauss into a man who could have what every man wants: the ability to date or have casual sex with almost every woman he met. The results were heady, to be sure. But they also conditioned him to view the world as a kind of constant parade of women, sex, and opportunity—with intimacy and long-term commitment taking a back seat. That is, until he met the woman who forced him to choose between herself and the parade. The choice was not only difficult, it was wrenching. It forced him deep into his past, to confront not only the moral dimensions of his pickup lifestyle, but also a wrenching mystery in his childhood that shaped the man that he became. It sent him into extremes of behavior that exposed just how conflicted his life had become. And it made him question everything he knew about himself, and about the way men and women live with and without each other.

He would never be the same again.
I had read the author's earlier book, The Game prior this year and I was equal parts morbidly fascinated and disgusted. I am so glad I read The Truth as it is an inspiring sequel and really closes a chapter in the author's life that began in his previous book. I don't think that The Game needs to be read first though by any means, The Truth works great as a standalone.

Where to start with this fascinating journalistic-style memoir focusing on one man's journey exploring sex addiction, rehab, non-monogamy and ultimately finding his inner self. It certainly is extremely uncomfortable to read at points and absolutely hilarious at the same time. I just cannot believe that Neil Strauss went through it all, it seems like far too much for any one person to handle.

Neil starts the book in rehab for sex addiction as he has just cheated on the love of his life, Ingrid. Neil doesn't take rehab very seriously at first and reluctantly tries his hardest to engage but ultimately he decides that monogamy can't be natural (as he finds it just too difficult) and he wants to explore non-monogamous relationships. The story unfolds from there and I really felt like I was experiencing Neil's journey alongside him as he went from one crazy situation to the next. It was just brilliant.

Near the last third of the book, the real inspiring soul searching begins and I was so emotionally invested in Neil and Ingrid that I just enjoyed every word. There is plenty of interesting things that are discussed such as alternative relationship styles, therapeutic techniques, psychology, spirituality - it was a very insightful read.

I would highly recommend The Truth to everyone, I found it funny, inspiring and it is the perfect book to read after reading toxic books such as The Game that explores the 'pick-up artist' culture.

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