I thought of On The Road often as I read this. It has that same obsession with exploration; the induction of the reader into a new world; Mystery as a modern kind of Dean Moriarty; Kerouac’s wanderlust transposed as our lust—that’s all that’s left. It’s hard not to think about what The Game could have been: it could have defined us. If only it were a little better (or at least shorter!). If only Mystery crawled out of the pages more, infected us more. If only—for all its grinding—something better was forged.
Don’t get me wrong: it’s a book about getting laid! It’s funny and filled with juicy pop-psych tidbits. It has jargon and a nerdy obsession with procedures: algorithms for seduction. I read the first 100 pages without blinking. It’s only when it settles down to the business of becoming a novel that the target starts to lose interest.