Neil Strauss

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Neil Strauss
NeilStraussJan2009.jpg
Strauss in January 2009
Born Neil Darrow Strauss
(1969-03-09) 9 March 1969 (age 45)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.[1]
Nationality American
Other names Style, Chris Powles
Ethnicity Kittitian American
Citizenship American, Kittitian
Occupation Writer
Notable work(s) The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists

Neil Darrow Strauss, also known by the pen names Style and Chris Powles, is an American author, journalist and ghostwriter, with both American and Kittitian citizenship.[2] He is best known for his best-selling book The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists, where he describes his experiences in the seduction community in an effort to become a "pick-up artist". He is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone and also writes regularly for The New York Times.[3]

Education and initial career[edit]

After graduating from high school at the Latin School of Chicago in 1987,[4] Strauss attended Vassar College,[5][6] then transferred to[7] and subsequently graduated from Columbia University in 1991.[8] While in school he began his career writing for Ear, an avant-garde magazine, and editing his first book, Radiotext(e), an anthology of radio-related writings for the postmodern publisher Semiotext(e). He moved on to the Village Voice, where he did everything from copy-editing to fact-checking before becoming a regular reporter and critic.[9] He was invited by Jon Pareles[10] to become a music critic at The New York Times where he wrote the Pop Life column and front-page stories on Wal-Mart’s CD-editing policies, music censorship, radio payola, and the lost wax figures of country-music stars.[11]

He was then invited by Jann Wenner to become a contributing editor at Rolling Stone where he wrote cover stories on Kurt Cobain, Madonna, Tom Cruise, Orlando Bloom, the Wu-Tang Clan, Gwen Stefani, Stephen Colbert, and Marilyn Manson.

He won the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for his coverage of Kurt Cobain's suicide for Rolling Stone and his profile of Eric Clapton in The New York Times Arts & Leisure section. Strauss also contributed to Esquire, Maxim, Spin, Entertainment Weekly, Details, and The Source in addition to writing liner notes for albums by Nirvana and others.[12] He has also appeared in Beck's music video Sexx Laws which also featured Jack Black, and he made a brief appearance as a cancer patient in episode 4, season six of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

The Game and the seduction community[edit]

After leaving The New York Times to ghostwrite Jenna Jameson's memoirs, Strauss joined a sub-culture of pick-up artists known as the seduction community, creating the persona of "Style" in 2001[13] and pseudonym of "Chris Powles", eventually publishing an article in the New York Times about his experiences in 2004.[14] In 2005, he published The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists (Regan Books, 2005), a book about his transformation into "Style", a pickup artist under the tutelage of Mystery. In addition to documenting his experiences with pickup artists like Mystery, Steve P, Rasputin (Hypnotica), Ross Jeffries, and numerous others, it also describes his seductive interactions with celebrities including Britney Spears,[15] Tom Cruise, and Courtney Love.

The book made a month-long appearance in the New York Times bestsellers list in September–October 2005, and reached the #1 position on Amazon.com immediately after its release in the United States. Strauss appeared on various TV shows, including The View and ABC Primetime, and he participated in many book signings.[16][17] It was optioned to be made into a film by Spyglass Entertainment, with Chris Weitz adapting and producing.[18] Alexandra Jacobs noted there was an awkward switch between misogynistic comments and feeble self-awareness and also wrote "But he does come to perceive one curious thing about the P.U.A.'s: They seem far more interested in spending time with fellow P.U.A.'s, amassing, refining and discussing the game, than actually getting to know women. Call them S.L.B.'s (scared little boys)".[19]

After publishing the book, Strauss temporarily retired as a pickup artist and settled with a longtime girlfriend Lisa Leveridge, who played guitar in Courtney Love's all-female band The Chelsea.[20]

An article in the Sunday Mirror, suggested that Leveridge broke up with Strauss in February 2006 to date Robbie Williams.[21] Strauss denied the Williams rumor, but confirmed his breakup with Leveridge on his mailing list a few months later.[citation needed]

His follow-up book, a controversial graphic novel How to Make Money Like a Porn Star, came out in 2006 on September 26. By 2006 Neil Strauss also came out with "Shoot", a short film about becoming a rockstar that he co-wrote, directed and performed in. That same year, in collaboration with Dave Navarro and Entourage writer Cliff Dorfman, he created a one-hour TV drama The Product for FX.[22] In 2007, he released a follow-up to The Game, Rules of the Game, a two-book boxed set.

Strauss has continued to be involved with pickup artistry through his dating coaching company Stylelife Academy, founded in 2007. Most of the coaching is done by employed coaches, rather than Strauss himself, though he does make appearances at yearly conferences and in some video products sold by the company.[23]

In 2012, Strauss released a board game/party game as a follow up to "The Game" and "Rules of the Game" called "Who's Got Game? The Game with Benefits."[24]

On August 31, 2013, Strauss married the model Ingrid De La O, whom he met in 2010. Before the wedding, he held a funeral-themed bachelor's party, laying to rest his 'Style' persona.[25]

Emergency and subsequent writing[edit]

On March 4, 2009, The New York Times wrote that Strauss (along with rock biographer Anthony Bozza) had started his own publishing company, Igniter, as an imprint of HarperCollins. Igniter's first title was The Man Behind the Nose, published in 2010. It was followed by Satan Is Real: The Ballad of the Louvin Brothers, published in 2012.[26]

Strauss's book, Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life (Harper, 2009), for which he spent three years amongst survivalists, tax-dodgers, billionaire businessmen, and the government itself,[27] was hailed by Rolling Stone as an "escape plan" for the current world crisis.[28] It entered the New York Times bestseller list at #3.[29] The rights to the movie were picked up by Columbia, with Robert Downey Jr. attached as a producer and likely star.[30] In 2010, Strauss received the James Joyce Award from the Literary & Historical Society of University College Dublin.[31]

Neil Strauss's latest book entitled Everyone Loves You When You're Dead: Journeys Into Fame and Madness was also a New York Times bestseller.[32] Released March 15, 2011, the book is a compilation of 228 celebrity vignettes conducted throughout Strauss's career as a pop culture journalist.

Bibliography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Strauss, Neil (2009). Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life. Harper. p. 407. ISBN 978-0-06-089877-9. 
  2. ^ Leddy, Chuck. "Infiltrating the survivalists", The Boston Globe, March 21, 2009.
  3. ^ "Times Topics – Neil Strauss". The New York Times. Retrieved Jun 17, 2011. 
  4. ^ Latin Magazine, Fall 2011, p. 46
  5. ^ The Game, p. 77
  6. ^ The metrosexual as lion, review of The Game by Bernard Chapin, January 9, 2006
  7. ^ "Regrets of a pick-up artist", The Age, March 28, 2011, by Robyn Doreian
  8. ^ Columbia College Today, May/June 2006: "The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists by Neil Strauss ’91."
  9. ^ Slushpile interview with Strauss
  10. ^ Interview with Strauss on MediaBistro
  11. ^ Strauss, Neil (November 12, 1996). "Wal-Mart's CD Standards Are Changing Pop Music". The New York Times. Retrieved May 20, 2010. 
  12. ^ [1] Chicago Tribune, "Nirvana Box Set Stunning
  13. ^ Neil Strauss (Style), Dating Skills Review
  14. ^ Strauss, Neil (January 25, 2004). "He Aims! He Shoots! Yes!!". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 12, 2011. Retrieved May 12, 2011. 
  15. ^ http://www.esquire.com/features/what-it-feels-like/ESQ0805WIFL_100_14
  16. ^ Neil Strauss Book Signing Video from Los Angeles, Calif
  17. ^ Neil Strauss on ABC Primetime Live
  18. ^ http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/search/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002074610.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  19. ^ Jacobs, Alexandra (11 September 2005). "'The Game': Come Here Often?". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  20. ^ Emma Forrest: "All the right moves." The Observer, September 11, 2005
  21. ^ Euan Stretch (February 19, 2006). "Exclusive: She's the 6ft One". SundayMirror.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2006-07-21. 
  22. ^ Daily Variety, August 18, 2006, "FX amps up rock drama" by Denise Martin
  23. ^ Neil Strauss's Stylelife Academy About Page
  24. ^ "http://www.huffingtonpost.com/neil-strauss/book-into-board-game_b_1250397.html"
  25. ^ "'The Game' Scribe Neil Strauss: My Single Life Is Dead"
  26. ^ HarperCollins Puts Its Money on New ‘It Books’ Imprint
  27. ^ "Neil Strauss is ready for any emergency". Los Angeles Times. 10 March 2009. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  28. ^ Rolling Stone Emergency review
  29. ^ [2] The New York Times bestseller list, March 29, 2009
  30. ^ An 'Emergency' For Robert Downey Jr., Los Angeles Times, October 20, 2010
  31. ^ Neil Strauss Receives the James Joyce Award
  32. ^ [3] The New York Times bestseller list, April 10, 2011

External links[edit]