Written by Joe the Revelator
Being badgered into reading a book will often taint the experience. I'm not a fan of self-help give-yourself-to-the-universe-guides, or motivational guides, or anything that involves soup (chicken or otherwise) being applied to the soul. I think the only exception to this is Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People, and even that book made a lot of generalizations.
The Mystery Method guide was something of a curiosity at first. Most self-help books never hit my radar until someone's trying to shovel it in my face. Before cracking the cover I realized I had seen Mystery Method on recommended lists before; billed on blogs as the ultimate algorithm guide for attracting women. Though I have no intention on becoming the next Casanova, greased-back hair and gold medallion hanging against my fakely tanned skin, I have to admit it appealed to me on some level to crack the code of modern courtship.
See Chart A:
What I got was five hours of staring at over-complicated charts and wading through made-up technical jargon. Negs, IOI's, IOD's, sarge, 2-set, 3-set, moves, time bridges, and bounces; phrases used to bolster the voice of authority for the author. Mystery (the pseudonym of the author), an ex-magician, seems to suffer a lack of confidence in his academic qualifications, peppering his speech with words suited to heavy duty science texts.
I also made the mistake of flipping to the back cover when I was halfway through the book and saw a picture of Mystery. It almost made me stop reading. The author peers at the reader from the glossy back panel. His oversize, fuzzy, novelty hat, painted nails, and bracelet-heavy wrists encroach his face enough to hide most of his features, aside from his eye-liner lids.
So this is what he is prescribing to the reader? One must become a hot-topic commercial to follow his example? Despite my trepidation, I read on.
The meat of comedic timing:
So, I've finished the book. Am I a master of attraction yet?
Absolutely not. The Mystery Method outlines the simple procedure and repetition of making a cold introduction to a group of people, usually at a nightclub or bar, followed by 3 minutes of your set (canned speech involving witty stories). His complex charts and tables then explain the process of nonchalant meeting, getting the attention/attraction of a woman, and finally setting up a future date.
Mystery's focus is on the repetition of the game. He says a newbie must go out to the club scene at least four times a week. And each night the newbie must engage multiple groups, not expecting to score a date or a number, but to practice material on a live audience. To this end you're essentially becoming two things: A comedian, and a cold-reader. Your stories must catch everyone's attention, though his own examples of speeches are borderline retarded, and your assessment of the woman's/group's reactions must be dead-nuts-on.
To the author's credit he mostly glosses over the sexual exploits of his routine and sticks to the basic facts of attraction, which are actually quite insightful. He talks about how effective backhanded compliments can be when dealing with vain, highly sought-after individuals. He mentions self esteem, and how your quality of life must be balanced before you can climb the mountain to the disco bar. And about presentation (pea-cocking), and the merits of looking ridiculous to prove how immune you've become to immediate social pressures.
A dance Milady?
The function of this book is, in essence, to drag men back into Victorian cocktail parties and peerage. Instead of brandy snifters and ascots, where men would entertain groups of young petticoated women with witty repartee'; the Mystery Method clowns it up with outrageous mall attire and gender-bending cosmetics, encouraging guys to be the entertainment.
And the sad fact is... it works. I can recommend this book to anyone whose goal is to meet their next mate in a techno frenzy, or across the bar of some neon-lit hotspot. The social cues given by Mystery and his flow charts are pretty accurate if the user practices them a couple thousand times.
But then again, couldn't you just as easily practice anything else at nausea to get good at it? Must it be in a bar? Must I dress like I got lost in the wardrobe room of an Aerosmith concert?