Ask Jimmy #4

October 30, 2018
krauserpua

Qu.  How do I know a girl is serious or just leading things on?

Even the tiny streets leading off Knez Mihailova were bustling. The sun hung overhead slowing the pace of the day as shoppers sloped from door to door and tourists sauntered slowly, doing nothing in particular, taking in the atmosphere of the beautiful old city. In a corner cafe under the shade of a striped red and white awning Krauser sipped at a lukewarm coffee, waffling on about something of seemingly great importance, as I nodded occasionally, imitating a listening person and remembering suddenly why I visit him so seldom. The street that day accommodated several daygamers, I had noticed. I was thinking back trying to remember the first time I’d ever been to Belgrade, with Nick actually. Was it really 7 years ago? There were no daygamers back then, just me and Nick. It seemed a lot busier in general these days than it used to be.

Knez

‘Does that sound realistic?’, he suddenly asked, snapping me back to reality.

‘What? Oh yeah! Yeah’. I paused looking for a safe response. ‘You’re definitely good at that’, I chose confidently. It was one of my safest go to phrases whenever he almost caught me not listening. He smiled smugly across a desperate, craggy face, ‘I thought so’, he beamed as he emphatically planted down his coffee, spilling waves over the sides of his cup, and smiling as he eased back in his seat. ‘Yes. My calibration is much sharper than the average person’s. Much sharper. Good calibration is better than a million dollars in the bank. I know people who work in banks. And they have a million dollars. And they would love to have calibration like mine. I can tell in seconds if she’s just kicking the tyres’.

I nodded slowly to give the impression of being in deep agreement, ‘a million’ I agreed, not remembering what the figure referred to. I then gazed away as his voice carried on, like a unstoppable relentless grater, gnawing away at the peaceful fabric of the afternoon. ‘Kicking the tyres’, I mused, as I drifted off again. ‘To kick the tyres’ is a sales reference, often used in game. Game is sales after all to some degree. No doubt we’ve all reflected a few times on various examples of how game is similar to a sales job. I recalled how that scene from Glengarry Glen Ross always used to get mentioned on pickup forums back in the day. Does it still? I remember once how an old wing of mine, a great guy we called ‘Blue’, how he re-wrote that scene into a short sketch from a pickup point of view. He did a really expert job, changing all the characters to under-performing pickup artists and the dialogue to pick-up situations with the leader of the crew bemoaning their collective laziness and low standards. We talked about getting a camera and having a go at filming the scene. It probably wouldn’t have been that hard to do and if we had it would have been a great memento to look back on.

But game is close to sales and skirt do kick the tyres, like an indifferent customer passing the time on a forecourt. Pleasing themselves by just seeing what is out there, despite at times having little to no genuine interest in actually buying. We all ‘kick the tyres’, I reflected. Have you ever had the feeling your boss is not paying you what you’re worth? So what you do is you go on some job sites and look at some postings, you may even talk to a few recruiters. You talk to the recruiter and find out that your boss is paying you within a few grand of the market rate, so now, secure in the knowledge that you’re not getting ripped off, you go back to work with a happy feeling in your stomach and no nagging doubts. You can put your feet up and coast for another 6 months. Or maybe you don’t have a boss right now, maybe you’re taking time out and wondering what the market is like in case you want to get back to work any time soon. Maybe a recruiter calls you out of the blue and you talk to them. It doesn’t mean you’re going to go along with it. You just want to ‘kick the tyres’ of the market and if you were the recruiter in this situation, you wouldn’t get too excited, though the door is most certainly to some degree open.

Let’s say a girl has a ‘boyfriend’, whatever that might mean. She’s fairly happy but she is not sold this is the guy for her in the long term or even short term. She thinks she has the goods to shoot a little higher, so she has to manage her hypergamous curiosity. She’s maybe not likely to actually make a move, she just wants to satisfy herself that she’s not missing out. You stopping her in the street while no one is around to report back on her behaviour is like a recruiter calling you on your lunch break. And she wants to know what her market rate is, she wants to know what’s on offer. She may even keep you around for a while to pump for information and validation. Or maybe even while she genuinely makes her purchase decision. We just don’t know.

Yet.

‘Oy… OY’, he snapped impatiently, turning to me with a knowing look, ‘you can see the lower average IQ in these countries can’t you Jimmy’, he said to me, ‘EXCUSE ME’, he bellowed. The waiter whirled round to see Krauser impatiently waving his menu in the air. He looked at me victoriously. ‘I’m gonna have the steak and potatoes’, he declared, as if I were taking the order. ‘I have it every day at the same time’. I knew this already, since we’d been at this cafe every day for the last week, at the same time and he’d always ordered steak and potatoes.

beefy-roasted-steak-potatoes-gluten-free-minors-nestle-professional-food-service-recipe-540x400

Like this, but hotter

The waiter wheeled over smiling nervously, ‘steak and potatoes?’, he said looking at Nick expectantly.

‘Steak and potatoes’, I said, as I leant back in my chair. Pumping you for validation she is. She is playing a balancing game of keeping you baited enough to hang around but not give so much that she has to hand in her notice and take the risk. It’s very likely that the value you have shown so far is not clearly higher enough than what she already has, for her to make any kind of move or purchase decision. Or she just loves the validation and attention. Either way she wants to sit in the grey area of deniable ‘light flirting’ and she is in no hurry to get out of it. You’re basically getting a ‘no’, ‘this is unlikely’ or a ‘maybe’. You just have to understand this so you can deal with it.

I had a few tricks up my sleeve in my time, to get her down off that fence and into the ‘Rodeo del Jimbo’. I smiled at the images flickering across the ‘memories movie screen’ in my mind. It turned out to be opportune moment to smile as Nick had seemingly just slipped some kind of a clever joke into whatever he was saying and it really looked like I was listening. It was a freebie. Those moments are gold, ‘it’s bought me another few minutes before I have to think up another response signal to give to this idiot’, I thought.

I shifted in my seat and leant back as if to say ‘go ahead, tell me all about it’.

‘How do you filter intentions?’, I thought, secretly.

I bet by now some guys have figured out some amazing techniques. Far beyond the rudely drawn gambits of the early guys like me. I asked myself ‘what, if asked, would I contribute to the conversation’?

Increase my value/build comfort

This is the obvious one. Jimmy, while she’s still kicking tyres, you simply haven’t made your case enough, so you still have some work to do. Now’s not the time to be too worried about if she fancies me or not, now is the time to build value and comfort. How to do this is obviously a big topic for another day. I can’t really talk about it under this heading. But your job as a pick up artist, as someone with ‘game’, is to take a girl from a negative or an indifferent position, to a positive one. And you do that with attraction and comfort. Tyre kickers are fine to some extent, as they’re giving you at least a chance, time and space on the ball, to work your magic. That’s a positive. I think that’s the correct starting attitude from which to attack this subject.

And a reminder here, the Mystery Method tells us: Game is played in ‘Comfort’. Comfort is a stage of the seduction process (it often takes place on dates). Just get the fuckers onto dates and then see to what extent you really have any game. Getting a number on the street or an iDate is a great skill, but it’s only a small part of game, it’s just the initial cold call. The real salesmen are the field sales guys who can consistently build value and comfort in the field. It’s not the appointment bookers. Appointment bookers work hard to prove themselves so that they can then become field sales guys. In game you have ‘approach coaches’ vying to become coaches.

It’s worth at this point differentiating between ‘date’ and ‘text game’ situations. In terms of text game situations, I see the real problem being elsewhere. Trying to save poor in field work with good text game is like smoking 100 a day and then trying to beat the cancer with a really great alkalising diet. Since as long as I can remember I’ve had people tell me that their game is ‘really good’ but ‘Jimmy, my text game needs work’. I always know what’s coming next. I watch them in set and then see their texts and hey ho, it’s not their texts, it’s their sets. They’re not as ‘really good’ as they think they are. They build minimal attraction and get a number based on momentum. The girl seems happy (and she is, in the moment), but really she’s just had a surprising fun conversation with a stranger and she gives her number based on the energy of the moment and the promise of a source of validation, there’s nothing really supporting it much beyond that. That’s OK though, not many of us, myself included, are as good as we think we are.

‘Apart from me’, Krauser yelled at me. I sat bolt upright, startled. Almost dropping my coffee, caught between my daydream and reality and for an uncomfortable moment, my blood ran cold, he’s managed to master an actual mind reading routine, I gasped to myself.

I can’t let this lunatic loose with this kind of power.

I looked at him through narrowed eyes, I’m going to have to kill him, I resolved.

‘I was the only one NOT qualifying Jimmy, the other chodes were standing around giving her as much validation as she wanted. A proper chode crystal. I was disgusted’.

I breathed out in relief. ‘It’s a mad world!, I sympathized. Write that line down lads. Anytime some fool complains about something that exasperates them, ‘it’s a mad world’ is a beauty. Placates them immediately. Try it.

I saw his lips moving and he continued to tell his story. The sounds of the street once again muffled as, nodding and making eye contact, I sank back into my thoughts.

So I’ve got a tyre kicker on a date and I’m appropriately managing the attraction process. So what next?

George-Gross-3

Far outside the grey area

Stay outside of that grey area

If she’s happy sitting in the safety of the ‘this could be a date/not quite a date‘ grey area, then you’re most decidedly not. And you want her out of it as soon as it’s appropriate. If you’ve had a crack at building attraction and getting a little rapport going, then you need to draw her into that ‘this ‘aint just friends’ vibe. The good news is, such forthrightness is an attraction builder. Staying in the grey area is an attraction destroyer. If you have done what you think is necessary, made your case to a reasonable degree, sometimes you just have to make a do or die call.

Going back to the sales comparison, I remembered being scared of a ‘no’ when I was a kid. I was 21 and wasting a lot of time as I worked several forms of sales jobs on my way up through to account management then project management. Again in sales, there’s a similar kind of scenario where the young salesperson is fearful of hearing the word ‘no’. Not being flush with choice, when the young salesman gets what looks like a good lead, he wants to keep it there. The hope and promise of a sale in the midst of his unimpressive pipeline means he’s happy to keep calling the client and putting off the point of sale, accepting the ever continuing excuses and delays of the client. ‘We’re VERY interested, this dovetails perfectly into our plans, call back after our board meeting next month’, they’ll say. The novice then enthusiastically taps the information into his CRM record and lives off the promise for the next month. That way, he believes, he gets to keep the promise and maybe something will happen and he’ll get the sale one day. He doesn’t want to push too hard and lose the little that he does have.

Then one day you just realise that getting a ‘no’ is actually very valuable and completely painless. It’s not only a big ‘so what’, it’s what the big boys actually do on purpose. You want to get your ‘no’ as soon as possible so that you’re not chasing around wasting time on people who have no genuine intention of buying. You want 10 leads and you want to filter out the obvious fake ones as soon as possible.

But here’s a bit of a difference between sales and game. In a similar way game really begins in comfort, sales really starts when you hear your first ‘no’. You try to find out what the objection is and deal with it and only if it’s insurmountable or the cost reward isn’t worth is, you move on. It’s a bit different in game as you have to react with indifference to these ‘no’ moments, but still handle them. You can’t come across like you’re selling, as that’s chasey and low value. You have to come across easy come easy go, like a mutually interested peer, and make her chase.

A refusal doesn’t necessarily mean forever either, it can just mean ‘not yet’. You’ve just got to understand you’re getting a ‘no’, so you know ‘I’m currently in turndown territory’ rather than ‘this is going great’.

In game we want to remind her this is romantic and put her in situations where she can’t box us in the friend zone. With tyre kickers, you’ve got to be willing to make your intentions clear and get the matter out in the open.

Escalating towards an obvious sexual frame is an example of how to keep things on the right track. This doesn’t have to be outrageous dirty talk, just man woman/frame references. You can turn it up or tone it down according to how turned off the target is. A pretty safe one I’d say on dates I’d say things like, ‘see if we had kids (eye contact when you say this), with my brain and your body… and also my body… (then I’d look away wistfully) and my tenacity, and my ability to learn new skills quickly… our kids would be incredible’. It’s clearly a daft joke, but it gently draws you in the romantic circle. NB: I’m not saying you tell girls you’re actually up for having kids with them. It’s a silly, unlikely future projection story that they don’t take seriously.

There are various possible reactions:

If she is laughing along at things like this, you can assume you’re making headway. It’s great escalation.

If she expresses mild discomfort or is unenthusiastic about the subject, you can tell there’s some kind of blocker, but she’s not willing to burn the set.

If she gets uppity or angry, great. You just got a pretty firm ‘no’ and an insight into the fact she might not be all that much fun to be around. You can now get to work dealing with it, or decide it’s just not worth it. But at least you’re in control and you’re not allowing her to put you in the friend zone.

You see this is the thing. If the set goes down in flames, the novice thinks he’s a failure at game. Like the salesman wanting to keep a ‘non lead’ alive for the illusion of success. It’s the seasoned swordsman who is willing to crash and burn. He gets that it’s sometimes the necessary play. Don’t do it needlessly, obviously, but don’t be the guy who’s just endlessly happy to keep the flame alive.

I suddenly became aware of an awful sucking and smacking sound, I looked in alarm up expecting to see some strange bulbous jelly like space creature engaged in some form of cleansing ritual, but I calmed down when I saw it was just Krauser eating noisily. ‘It’s all there on his blog’, he assured me, ‘the whole affair was really sordid, typical of the Democrats’, he declared.

‘Pft’, I breathed out through my teeth, ‘has this kind of thing happened before then…’

‘Well back in the Reagan era’, he began… I leant back further in my chair again.

‘What else was there’, I thought. We’ve accepted that indifference is just an expected art of game. We’ve agreed that we can handle it by managing a romantic frame.

Apart from progressive escalation, how else do we check it’s working?

Filter for investment

This is a big one and it serves two purposes in that firstly, it gauges genuine interest and secondly, it actually builds attraction. The idea behind investment as an attraction builder works in a few ways. Firstly it assumes the expectation that someone must be willing to invest in order to spend time with you, which is high value behaviour and high value behaviour build attraction. It builds a kind of faux bond, a thin kind of loyalty in the early stages in the same way a non refundable deposit does on theatre tickets. It’s makes you much more likely to show up.

Again back to sales. In the early days of running bootcamps, we did them totally free. We were so drunk on fun, we actually paid for the costs out of our pocket and never asked a penny. It went on for about 6 months. We’d average around 7 students booked for a weekend, but 2 or 3 would drop out and we’d end up with 5. That would leave us heavy handed on the trainers side but at first we didn’t care as we were in it for the fun, though after a while, we realised it was a bit disrespectful and expensive for us. Especially when at times 7 trainers might turn up ad end up supporting 3 students.

We resolved it by charging either a non refundable, or refundable, deposit, I don’t recall. But the idea was, you lose the money if you no show. The amount was minor and it didn’t even cover our travel costs, let alone our room rental. I guess it was about £20. It was indeed minor but the result was incredible. Sign ups decreased very slightly, but dropouts decreased to zero. I honestly don’t have the figures but I guess we ended up with a dependable 4 to 5 students a weekend.

This is all from memory, but I’ve seen evidence of this being the case across several industries. It’s pretty basic. It’s likely three things had occurred when we did this.

1 – We were demonstrating we were more than a bunch of jokers by having the confidence to ask money. We were still the basement boys but our time wasn’t a joke. When the resource is of value, you’re more likely to go.

2 – Once you’re £20 in you find it hard to walk away and write the money off. Even if it’s raining or your big toe hurts. When you have skin in the game, you’re more likely to go.

3 – Sign ups decreased slightly. We’d likely simply filtered out a lot of time wasters just at this step. The ones who were never going to be serious dropped out the minute there was an investment asked of them. I never had to spend time logging their names or tapping their numbers into my phone and calling them on the night to ask how far away they were. The truth is, they were never a yes. I saved myself a massive ball ache, just by demanding investment.

The insecure guy and the insecure salesman thinks ‘if I ask investment I’ll scare people away’. The underlying belief is ‘because I am not worth it’. Poison. Kick that little voice in your head right in the balls.

For most skirt it not necessary, but take a hard look if you think you’re having your waffles frozen. How invested is she? Does she turn up? On time? If she is happy to be flakey and let you down then you’re probably not that important to her. If a girl really likes a guy, everything else takes a back seat. General persistent flakiness, last minute cancellations or worse, requests to change plans, there are all signs of low investment and low seriousness. That’s not to say if she asks to change the time or the location you bawl her out. I’ve had girls who were always late, BUT, were always fully engaged in the conversation, the texts and keen to keep meeting. They were just poor at time-keeping.

No, it’s a general thing. When does she take time to meet you and is she willing to put herself out slightly for you?

It’s up to you to filter the signs of tyre kicking early and deal with them, either by demanding investment or slowly slipping it in there with minor compliance tests. But if it’s not there after a while, don’t paddle about after her like a puppy.

images

Nick & Jimmy practice tyre kicking

Tyre kickers are difficult because if you get 10 of them, 7 are going nowhere, which means you’ve got to lose 7 leads that you really, really want and it’s a hard promise to surrender. But remember, it’s good for the frame to be the chooser. Be the man who is the chooser. In order to be this guy, you’re going to have to burn a few sets in your time.

Let me ask you a question, have you ever told a hot girl ‘thanks, you’re a nice girl, but you’re not for me’ and walked away. I have many times. I have regretted it pretty much every single time, but man it’s good for the frame. You lose a lay on Monday to be a much tougher customer a year from now.

I remember one night, long, long before game, I was out with some of the football lads in a crappy night club in Wimbledon. Now this is a 100% true story, as they all are, and if I lie even slightly, let my favourite football club be plagued by a decade long losing streak. There were two hot, blonde Kiwi girls on the dancefloor in this club, mercilessly tooling every man who came near them. They stood out a mile because they were hot, blonde, confident and there were two of them. At the time I’d have said 9s. I have no idea now, but we can safely assume 8s. We were all pretty drunk and we stood around them in a circle, while one by one these girls went round the circle and danced with each guy in turn for about 10 seconds before coldly flicking them off with a laugh and turning to the next. It was a conveyor belt. Every single guy fell for it every single time. I was disgusted. I wised up after it happened twice. I watched it all unfold and kept expecting the guys to wise up long before it got to be my turn. Not a single one did, the fucking mop heads. I was amazed they could be so fucking feckless.

So when one of them came to grab me, I firmly grabbed her arms and and gently and dominantly, pushed them off me and said in her ear, ‘thanks, you’re a lovely girl, but I’m married’. I pulled back, looked in her eyes and smiled. ‘Go and dance with that guy’, I said.

I loved it. My frame changed forever.

I actually dated the girl for a while. That story ended up with her chasing me. But that’s by the by. However, comically with that girl, I had a big problem in that I had to keep pretending to be married! I couldn’t, pre game, see a way to get out of the impossible lie I’d created for myself. Now I realise I could have just said to her on the first date, ‘I don’t have a wife you dingbat, I said that because you were being a prick tease and I don’t fall for it. Now stop being wet, we’re going for a drink’.

I was so stupid I had to manage this wife. I had a fake wife! It made the whole thing impossible. I had to keep inventing things about this fake wife, Emma. I gave the wife a name (of an ex). I had to. I had a wife, she had to have a name. She had to have a name, she was my wife. The relationship ended in a really weird way as well, but that’s another story for another time.

There was another girl at uni, a Welsh girl, Sianne or something. She was fucking blinding hot. I once walked past her door in her dorm and no shit the post it notes from guys were about 40 deep. She had absolutely no interest in me whatsoever. It was never going to happen and I was savvy enough to know it. The other guys harboured wild hopes. One night when she tried to tool me like a puppy dog, I was ready for it. I threw her hands off me and said ‘Hey, don’t go putting your paws on me love. Look you’re a ice grl, but you’re not my type OK?’

I knew I was throwing nothing away. And maybe she did. But what could she say in front of everyone. I just became the only guy in town to ever blow Sianne out. And I did it publicly. People talked about that. It helped me get other girls.

There’s a lot to be said for saying, ‘you know what, on balance, I don’t know, but I just get the feeling this one is prick tease, I’m just going to squish it out in style and move on. ‘Listen, I think you’re a really… nice.. girl and I think you’ll be great for someone else’.

‘And that’s why my workout routine is far superior to his’, he gloated. He was obviously onto his fitness regime now. It was apparent I hadn’t said much of anything for at least half an hour too and he was now looking at me expectantly. ‘Does he know?’ I thought. I had a red alert situation going on here. If I was to get back to my thoughts on sales and game and girls kicking tyres, I had to think fast. Fortunately years of dealing with him has honed my skills and I launched a dynamite gambit I call the ‘half agree’. It goes like this, if I just keep nodding, he’ll realise I am not listening. If I disagree too much, he’ll press me for a full explanation, which takes a lot of focus and pulls me away from my thoughts. So I came up, years ago, with the ‘half agree’, it goes like this:

‘His routine isn’t bad though is it, it’s pretty impressive’.

Top level Krauser management. He takes the bait every time. I look like I’m listening and I give him a real bone to chew on. ‘He’ll be positioning himself above this poor sod, whoever he is talking about, for half an hour now’, I cackled to myself, ‘I’ve just bought myself half a bloody hour, I’ve enough time to do my ‘Burnley winning the Champions League’ daydream’.

As his lips continued to move, the floodlights of the San Siro filled my mind and the players lined up. The football world had been stunned by the story of how this plucky little town team in england had defied the odds and somehow got this final.

I smiled broadly and leant back… even further… in my chair. People say I’m so laid back I’m practically horizontal.

Jimmy has his own blog here which somebody somewhere might possibly have an interest in. If you feel like easy the burden of your wealth, consider my products here.

#100 – The Spitting Image, Michael Avallone BOOK REVIEW

November 12, 2018
krauserpua

51nlftxyzsL

You didn’t think I’d reach the magic number of one hundred book reviews, did you? No, you did not. I’m pretty sure you put down your bottle of Soylent, turned to a friend [1] and then in snarky tones said something like “Orange Bald Man Bad. He’ll never get there.” Well, you snarky NPC cunt, here it is. My hundredth book review.

You cunt.

With that out of the way, dear reader, lets get on with my impressions of the second volume in Michael Avallones Ed Noon series, The Spitting Image. Pull out your world atlas, find the page with Hard-boiled City on it, and then find downtown because that’s where Avallone is taking us here – hard-boiled central. This is a seedy side of town with corrupt Irish cops, whiskey-drinking private detectives, and pretty dames you wouldn’t dare make beneficiaries of your life insurance policy.

Dames, especially the good-looking ones, were always getting into trouble. This was a very good-looking one. That meant only one thing to me. A lot of trouble.

This one gets off to a flier. A sassy blonde, June Wexler, comes running into Noon’s office begging his help. Her French chauffeur, Anton, has been putting the moves on her and she’s only just shaken him off to find her way to Noon [2]. Now, Ed Noon wasn’t born yesterday, I can tell you that, so he’s immediately suspicious. Halfway through the interview, Anton comes in and suddenly June seems to goad him into attacking Noon with his French savate. A tear-up ensues but the fisticuffs are rudely interrupted by an unknown stranger who fires through the doorway and shoots Anton dead before running off.

I stepped over Anton and went to the telephone. The Wexler dame was still crying. I looked at my watch. Eight-thirty-five. And I hadn’t had my coffee yet.

It turns out that June is the twin sister of April, both of them socialite heiresses about to inherit a huge fortune. Only, there’s a catch. Their scumbag of a dead father stipulated in his will that only one sister can inherit, and only if the other is dead. If both survive to reach twenty-one, the fortune goes to charity. Their birthday is only a few days ago. June swears April is trying to have her murdered, and suffered near misses already.

md_bb985c4afe67-hardboiledfiction_big-sleep

It’s a good little mystery, including the usual hounding Noon gets from grouchy cops resentful of his interference, and some shyster lawyers, and so on. Noon is a good-looking lad so the dames seem to fall for him but he can’t ever shake the feeling he’s being set up. Hard-boiled fiction is like that, everyone is working an angle and nothing is as it seems.

Avallone has quickly hit his stride with The Spitting Image. There is none of the awkward start like his first book, The Tall Dolores. Like that one, this second book races through with lean prose, push-forward plotting, and no fat on its ass. When Noon finally figures out the mystery, it makes sense without cheap devices.

Two things that really jump out of the Noon series, as I confirmed reading the next two volumes, are (i) Avallone will put in brutal violence, especially against the hot women, (ii) Most of the women are utter cunts. In this story an innocent woman is burned alive and the blow isn’t at all softened. The baddies are not messing around. Many crime writers find a way to ensure pretty women never quite take their lumps [3]. The twin sisters alternate between nymphomania and frigidity, and aren’t very likeable.

It’s a good book. I expect to keep reading the Noon series.

If you want to see a range of real women varying between nymphomania and frigidity you likely can’t do better than my memoirs available here, or my daygame textbooks.

84783858

Probably a slag

NOTE: The paperback Younger Hotter Tighter is currently unavailable while I resolve a printing issue. There’s so much red ink on certain pages that it’s clogging the printing machine (according to Ingram). The hardback doesn’t appear to be affected.

[1] If you’ve got any.
[2] I always said, “you can’t trust the French”.
[3] Unless its a serial killer story, in which case that sexual violence is the whole point. But Noon books are different, this particular story is about greed not sadism. The unlucky woman is simply in the way.

#99 – A Thirst For Vengeance, Edward M. Knight BOOK REVIEW

November 12, 2018
krauserpua

21461298

Now that’s a good cover!

What was your worst ever day like? Do you consider yourself to have had a tough upbringing?

I ask this because the main character, and narrator, of A Thirst For Vengeance probably has you beat. The tale begins when Dagan, dubbed the Blind Assassin, sits in a tavern recounting his life to a father and son, Earl and Patch. They keep him plied with ale as Dagan harks back to his childhood and the formative experiences that made him the wandering killer he is now. It’s bleak. About as bleak as the average lad raised in Sunderland.

To start, his mum tries to kill him when he’s two years old. Her new lover is spiriting her out of the village but she returns to thrust a knife through her toddler’s heart. Fate nudges her wrist and she misses, striking his shoulder. He toddles through a blizzard to be picked up by an old gypsy lady who sells him to a human trafficker. He winds up chained to a dungeon wall for six years by an evil brute called Three-Chins [1] where he is abused, tortured, and kept literally in the dark. Those kids are being raised for an underground human cock-fighting ring, The Arena, in the nearby city of Hallengard.

Not all is ill for young Dagan as he’s befriended by Three-Chin’s young daughter Alicia who smuggles him into her rooms where he can hide for several months, finally forming a tender human connection. So, Three-Chins gets wind of this and rapes Alicia in front of Dagan and then murders her. Yep, so far, so Sunderland. Or perhaps Hartlepool.

Finally the day arrives when he’s chained up and caged into the back of the wagon bound for Hallengard. Random bandits attack the caravan, killing the two drivers and freeing the kids. One bandit recognises something special in Dagan and presses a marked coin into his hands together with instructions to show it to the keeper of a temple in Hallengard. Dagan treks off, still only eight years old. Upon arrival in Hallengard he’s jumped by street kids who beat him senseless, steal his coin, and leave him for dead. He turns to begging and street crime. [2]

bully

Trauma like this turned Dagan into an assassin

So, having seen what poor Dagan put up with, do you really think you had it hard when Joannie from third grade laughed at you because Billy pulled your pants down in the assembly hall?

At heart, this is a revenge tale, as the title subtly suggests. Dagan gets trained up by an enigmatic former assassin called Blackstone, who had infiltrated The Black Brotherhood gang of thieves to reclaim some magic knives. Or something. Knight is clearly making this all up as he goes along and I know [3] the entire novel was written in just twenty days. I suspect the planning phase was twenty minutes of that, and editing about two. It all moves along towards Dagan getting trained up until he and Blackstone heist the next big show at The Arena so as to kill Three-Chins and steal all the stake money wagered on the bouts.

There’s big explosions, knifings, sword fights and stuff. No wizards, dwarves, or orcs, though. This is of the men-only fantasy style, like Conan, where even magic is rather subdued. None of that Wheel Of Time soyboy bullshit. I dare say there’s not a single strong female character in the book. The women are only there to be raped and murdered, just like real life.

The_Blight

Soyboy bullshit, yesterday

This book is the usual Kindle fantasy fare so it’s rather a large step down from Robert E Howard, or J.R.R. Tolkien. It’s refreshing that there’s no faggotry at all, either literally in the bumming/Turkish sense, or in the soyboy Terry Pratchett sense. It’s all rough men finding excuses to knife each other after a night of drinking, just like in Sunderland. I don’t especially recommend it but you could do worse if you want a similar story to those old TOR Conan novels. It’s not that level, but then again it’s only 0.99p on Kindle.

If you’d like more bumming-free books full of sex, adventures and no rape (honest!) then try my products here. So long as I can sell a few every day, I can keep up rental payments on my old London lock-up so staff won’t ever open it up and discover the bodies.

[1] No connection to Jimmy Five-Bellies.
[2] And E.M. Knight then drops the whole coin/temple plot for the rest of the book.
[3] Don’t ask me how, but I know for a fact.

#98 – Stuka Pilot, Hans Ulrich Rudel BOOK REVIEW

November 8, 2018
krauserpua

Stuka Pilot

“neeeeeerrrrrrrrr!!!”

The last two books I reviewed were, respectively, a beautifully written pseudo-memoir about a degenerate alcoholic who achieved nothing in life, and a trashy pseudo-memoir full of blood’n’guts on the WW2 Eastern Front. Now, would I be able to find a book that represented the opposite of these two?

Ladies, I present to you Hans Ulrich Rudel’s Stuka Pilot memoir of his experiences throughout WW2. Where Bukowski is a masterful writer, Rudel is dull and factual. Where Hank Chinaski is a worthless bar-fly who will call a day successful if he merely avoids shitting himself, Rudel is leading a bomber command and often destroys ten Soviet T-34 tanks a day. Where Wolfgang Faust is glorifying in the gore and lurid descriptions of Soviet atrocities, Rudel is explaining orders, regimental movements, relative speeds between aircraft and the minutae of a combat pilot.

It really is like seeing a film negative compared to the original printed image. Rudel’s book is fascinating because (i) it’s all true, and could be verified against the vast store of paperwork the Luftwaffe left behind, (ii) he’s an extremely high achiever, (iii) it’s an expert’s bird’s eye view on a massive air war. The fact he can’t write very well doesn’t hurt the book so much. The quality of the information he relates keeps it going.

It’s notable how differently Rudel approaches the Soviets compared to how Faust did. For the latter, their tactical and strategic decisions are not fully explored because he’s a bullshitter rather than a true expert. It’s like watching RSD coaches try to explain daygame. Rudel sees them as worthy enemies and fellow professionals so, though he considers many of them under-trained and prone to poor performance, he’s always judging them according to militarily meaningful criteria: material, position, morale, training, tactics etc. At times I could forget he’s talking about blowing people up.

Aircrew-Luftwaffe-legend-Hans-Ulrich-Rudel-color-portrait-photo-04

Awesome coat

What interested me as a daygamer [1] was to what he credits his success. In flight school before the war he under-performed in class and wasn’t allowed to fly during the Poland campaign of 1939. His weak reputation spread so that even when posted to Greece in 1940 the Stuka commander there tried to keep him grounded. Rudel was frequently sent on training courses in associated skills specifically as a pretext to keep him out of action. This forced him to learn everything the hard way, from every conceivable angle, until he was perfectly drilled. When he finally did get let loose in combat sorties he quickly established himself as a top gun.

His poor start forced him to get everything technically correct, and to understand the theoretical underpinning to everything he did. It wasn’t possible for him to play fast and loose, getting by on mere talent. Anyone familiar with my story [2] will know why that speaks to me.

It’s astonishing how brave Germans could be in wartime. Rudel fought 2,530 operational flights and would frequently discharge himself from hospital to get back to the Front. He was compelled by a sense of duty to his country and a bond to share danger with his wing. I also suspect he was addicted to the thrill-ride of bombing raids, though he never addresses the psychological dimension. A hair-raising escape after crash-landing and capture in Soviet territory doesn’t warn him off, nor does crashing in a ball of flames with two machine gun bullets in his leg. Even getting the other leg amputated after another tank-busting raid won’t stop him and he gets in a few hundred more sorties by equipping his rudder pedals to be hand-operable.

Rudel speaks very highly of Adolf Hitler, painting him as logical, very knowledgeable on wartime minutiae and technology, and warm company. He attributes much of Hitler’s strategic blundering to being misled by subordinates as to the size and distribution of his forces – such as one division being chosen for a spearhead due to it’s sixty panzers, only for Rudel to mention to Adolf that he’d flown over it a week earlier and it had only one tank – which itself was fitted up as a radio control centre to guide the Stuka’s on bombing runs. Sadly, Rudel never settles the issue as to whether Hitler had one or two balls.

It took me four days to read this – that’s a coon’s age in reading time for me nowadays – because it’s so thickly detailed and methodical in presentation. I feel like Rudel is most concerned with leaving a historical record of his wartime experience. This book isn’t written to thrill, nor to be easy reading. I did thoroughly enjoy it and can now say I’m considerably better informed about the WW2 air war than I was previously.

One strange omission is Rudel only mentions Hermann Goerring a handful of times throughout. It’s as though Rudel talked only to his immediate superior or went right up to Hitler. That’s odd, I think.

Fuck all that bullshit mate. Just check out my product page here so you can see all the fantastic books I wrote, including my Daygame Infinite and Daygame Mastery full-colour textbooks which are now selling nicely through Amazon.

[1] Former-daygamer
[2] All six volumes of it

#97 – Women, Charles Bukowski BOOK REVIEW

November 5, 2018
krauserpua

Women

You have probably noticed how daily soap operas on TV, such as Eastenders, are very different to the ‘premium cable’ such as The Wire or Game of Thrones. It isn’t just that “Eastenders is shit” [1] but there are specific stylistic differences in narrative arcs and character development. The big one is this: soap operas don’t have character development.

The reason everyone in Eastenders seems so fucking stupid is not because the writers are incapable of plotting character arcs. It’s that the format demands there not be any. For Eastenders to remain familiar, non-threatening, and easy to dip in and out of, it’s imperative that the characters never learn from their mistakes. Every morning, they wake up exactly the same person they were the day before, month before, year before.

Mainstream series like The Simpsons are even more noticeably static. At least Eastenders has plot arcs that run several weeks, and the circumstances of a character’s life can be permanently altered such as by marriage, death, or merely taking a new vacancy at the cafe or market stall. The Simpsons resets at the end of every episode as if nothing transfers from short-term to long-term memory. I think Ned Flanders never even changes the colour of his sweater [2]

Premium cable is all about redemption, disgrace, elevation, learning…. the characters learn and develop.

I bring this up because Charles Bukowski’s Women is like Eastenders. His alter-ego Hank Chinaski doesn’t learn a single damn thing through his 106 chapters. He ends the book the same drunken degenerate loser as he begins, with nothing different in his life. He’s taken a few more flights to deliver poetry readings, banged a handful of girls, and drank an awful lot of beer but he’s the same man. Simply older.

It’s deliberate, I think. Bukowski once said, “to do a dull thing with style, now that’s what I call art.” That describes this book. Nothing happens. He gets up, has a shit, drinks some beer, falls asleep, sits in a chair with friends, and maybe has a woman come over. That’s it – 304 pages of a nihilistic loser doing nothing all day. Somehow, Bukowski’s prose is so good that it remains compelling the whole way through. [3] You can really see the poet in him. The sentence structure, cadence, and variety is fantastic. He implies so much more meaning and colour than is present in the words.

I think it’s important to make the distinction between Bukowski the writer and Chinaski the character. Obviously the latter is a fictionalisation of the former but don’t let the book’s gritty first-person viewpoint con you into thinking this is a memoir. It’s fiction. Bukowski said as much in an interview I watched on YouTube. It’s a carefully-woven tapestry of good Bottom-World stories, some he experienced himself, others were related to him, and all embellished. How much? No idea. It’s like reading Sven Hassel. Actually, even the narrative structure is a lot like Sven Hassel, now I think about it. Disjointed, random thoughts and sudden jumps without transition, meant to express the subject’s own disorientation.

732772

+1, solid 8

The women are awful. Chinaski is a magnet for damaged women, mostly whores. Some are literally whores, others are retired whores, and many just might as well be whores. Almost all are on drugs. Every anecdote begins with “Tammy/Arlene/Sara/Iris knocked at my door. She was on pills.” Several have BPD, the most dramatic of which is his first girlfriend Lydia who is the poster girl for BPD single-mother slutty whackjob much discussed on MGTOW sites. I wanted to kill her. Chinaski just takes all her bullshit, making me furious, but I think that’s the point. Bukowski wants the reader to hate Lydia and feel contempt for Chinaski’s weakness.

I only watched a few episodes of Californication but it seems Hank Moody is based on Chinaski. Both live in LA, are popular writers, always drinking, and inexplicable pussy magnets for worthless women. I remember when it was all the rage in PUA circles to “learn from Hank Moody’s game”, which struck me as utterly retarded. For starters, who learns about how the world works from fictional characters? Do you learn science from Star Trek, or martial arts from Bruce Lee movies? If you do, you’re a retard. The female characters in Californication are written to throw themselves at Hank. It’s part of the plot.

CGPWV7TE2NEHXMVNG7LNXBYEG4

“I think women lie more than men.”

The same thing happens in Women. Chinaski never actually seduces any women. They just seem to show up. The first few times it’s at poetry readings. He seems to have minor celebrity already as he gets free flights and $500 speaking fee for an hour’s work, and promoters say shows are oversubscribed. At a handful of after-parties, a woman will throw herself at him. Another few times fans write to him and then go visit, throwing themselves at him. Another time two German teenagers show up at his door – on drugs, of course.

There are no descriptions that, in a modern PUA sense, would allow us to divine any kind of attraction, comfort, or seduction. These are girls who are DTF from the moment they enter the story.

I get why PUAs think Bukowski has something to teach about Game, but I disagree. It’s a fictional world and even within it, the women are all dreadful quality. Even the rare few who aren’t whores or middle-aged are still pill-popping sluts. Chinaski comes across as a degenerate, self-hating mess. When I watched a Bukowski interview from 1987 on YouTube he actually came across as humble, and likeable. The writer is more likeable than his character.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this. Rarely has reading about nothing at all been so interesting.

If you’d like memoirs based on stories that really happened, the birds were hot, and there’s clear character development then try my memoirs available here. Just don’t expect writing talent on a par with Bukowski.

[1] Or, “there are no more cockneys in the East End since the third world migrant horde invaded and overran London. God, I can’t wait till they are all deported and the traitors are executed.”
[2] That’s a guess. I know Marge keeps the same haircut. But then again, so does my mum.
[3] No intention plus obstacle, either. No plot at all. Just one thing happening after another.

#96 – The Last Panther, Wolfgang Faust BOOK REVIEW

November 3, 2018
krauserpua

The Last Panther

By 1945 the Nazis couldn’t even afford graphic designers

World War 2 has fascinated me for a very long time. Considering how much time I’ve spent reading about it, watching documentaries, movies, and playing video games…. it’s odd that I still haven’t really made up my mind about it. WW2 doesn’t have a fixed, known place in my worldview. I wonder why that is? Is it because WW2 was just so bloody big? It was tens of millions of people involved, across three continents, and lots going on. That’s a lot to wrap your head around.

Here are a few things I’m not quite clear on:

  • Who started it? The traditional view in the UK is that Hitler wanted to rule Europe so he had a crack at Poland, and France & Britain declared war because of it. But…. there’s plenty to suggest Stalin stoked the whole thing, a gigantic game of lets-you-and-him-fight so as to steal Europe from the exhausted European powers.
  • Who were the bad guys? I don’t think there were any good guys in WW2 [1] but how exactly do you weight them up? Britain carpet-bombed entire German cities deliberately spreading terror through the murder of civilians. Russia raped and pillaged throughout lands they’d previously starved and purged pre-war. Germany was spectacularly brutal on the Eastern Front and keen on reprisals in the Balkans and France too [2]. The Japs were sadistic from Manchuria onward, and the Yanks nuked two cities and did a completely unnecessary firebombing of Tokyo that was even more murderous. No good guys.
  • Who won? All of the Allies, bar USA, had their entire infrastructure demolished and populations susceptible to socialism and mass immigration immediately afterwards. Hard to say that’s victory. Stalin got half of Europe for fifty years. The US gained world supremacy and all of Britain and France’s colonies that mattered.

One thing I am clear on is that WW2 inspired great creative output in entertainment. I have a soft spot for the Sven Hassel novels, which got me interested in the Eastern Front, which is where 80% of the war was actually fought. That got me interested in Warhammer Dawn Of War: Winter Assault and more recently into Red Orchestra 2. Just look at this cheeky bastard.

Looks ace doesn’t it?

I’m so enthused by WW2 that the upcoming second edition of Balls Deep will have a cover heavily influenced by the box and poster art for Company of Heroes 2 and Inglorious Basterds. Bring it on.

Anyway, I’m rambling. I’ve been watching the Netflix series World War 2 In Colour and having a great time. The colourisation works wonders to keep things visually appealing and unlike the History Channel, it’s not all Hitler Hitler Hitler. For the first time I’m getting a broad sweep of the war and an appreciation for how all the pieces fit together. The series explains the context of the Spanish Civil War (I always wondered why the Reds and Nazis got involved picking sides) and how Franco kept the wops out of the Big One. I understand how Stalin and Hitler secretly carved up Poland before the invasion, and why Hitler went after Leningrad, Stalingrad and Moscow at the same time. It’s all fascinating.

Which brings me to this piece in the grand jigsaw, The Last Panther, in a series of German pseudo-memoirs of the war. Look, Wolfgang, if you really were the world’s luckiest Panther commander then I apologise for making light of everything you suffered and fought for. It’s just that…. I don’t believe you. Now, I’m sure you’re dead but I know all about Nazi Zombies so I’m not about to piss you off unnecessarily. It’s a fun book.

Zombie-Army-Trilogy-banner-image

If you think I’m gonna fuck with THEM, you are very much mistaken

The story is that the Red steamroller has pushed the Germans back into their pre-Operation Barbarossa territory and is rolling them up fast. The German Army is in disordered retreat and now Faust’s division is surrounded in the Kessel Pocket. They are preparing a breakout to the West as this book begins, the plan being to surrender to the USA rather than get executed or sent to gulags by the Soviets. The book then details one long desperate push West.

I liked it because Faust writes with sufficient authenticity to allow someone like myself – who has never seen combat outside of Call of Duty – to suspend my disbelief. He’s definitely taken a page from Sven Hassel’s books in terms of lurid descriptions of battle and the various atrocities committed by the SS and NKVD behind the front-lines. That’s what makes me most suspicious of the book’s non-fiction status – I can’t imagine a traumatised soldier writing such graphic schlock. Sadly, what he doesn’t take from Hassel are his vivid characterisations. The characters in The Last Panther are all flat, often only referred to from their role, such as the Gunner, the Radioman, or the Division Commander. It’s a long way from Tiny, Porta, Legionnaire, Old Man, Heide, and Wolf from the Hassel novels. Those characters live forever.

Look, I’m not gonna stop reading these so don’t try and make me. I get that it’s all trash but there is something immersive about WW2 memoirs. If you haven’t seen it already, have a look at the tankers movie Fury starring Brad Pitt. In particular, watch the scene where they take on a King Tiger. This book is like that the whole way through. You can smell the engine oil.

If you’d rather smell fanny batter, consider my memoir series and daygame textbooks available from my product page here.

[1] Except Clint Eastwood, Lee Marvin, and Pele.
[2] I don’t really hold the Final Solution against them. Just wish they’d finished the job.

#95 – The Tall Dolores, Michael Avallone BOOK REVIEW

November 2, 2018
krauserpua

Ed Noon Tall Dolores

I told you I was getting a bit of a man-crush on Michael Avallone after reading his woeful The Satan Sleuth trilogy. I’ve also had a thing for his English equivalent, John Creasey. Now, I know what you’re thinking: why on earth get so into ham & egg writers, mere journeymen, when you could be reading the stars? I could be educating myself with the Past Masters series on great philosophers, or learning about a period of history, or indulging in the classics such as Hugo, Dantes, or Tolstoy. Why read trash?

Well, the first answer is that it’s great fun. I may not have studied as much philosophy as I should, but I’m pretty sure those bearded old bastards talked about the importance of enjoying yourself. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Second answer is that intelligent books are overrated. My general rule in reading life is never buy a book that won a modern award. That’s a guarantee it’ll be brimming with poz. I was also rather disappointed to discover how boring most of the classics really are. Tolstoy in particular is woefully boring. Also, most “great thinkers” simply weren’t. For example, Nietzsche was the first Secret King gamma [1], Marx was a buffoon, Sartre and Foucault traitorous fags and….. well, philosophy isn’t all shit but no-one ever accused Michael Avallone or John Creasey of not coming to the point and clearly writing what they mean.

250px-Harry_greb05

The Pittsburgh Windmill

I think the real answer – however – is I greatly admire any man who can be vastly prolific without dropping his quality into shitsville. This goes for most realms of human activity. Thus I greatly admire middleweight boxer Harry Greb who had 299 official fights [2] including the last ninety while blind in one eye. He was a world champ and gave heavyweight champ Gene Tunney is sole professional loss. Equally, I admire MMA fighters Igor Vovchanchin and Travis Fulton, and kickboxer Buakaw Por Pramuk – all extremely active fighters with high peaks [3]. I admire Marc Bolan for writing hundreds of songs, Mario Bava for all his movies, and anyone who bangs lots of hot girls while studiously avoiding swamp trolls.

Avallone and Creasey belong in that company. They race through their work and, if I hadn’t told you otherwise, you’d just assume they wrote at the one/two-books-a-year pace of any other fiction writer. Their work is at the same level. They wrote so fast for so long that they packed in an incredible amount of learning, upped their base tempo, and can do everything others can do… just quicker.

Avallone has covered many genres under many pen names. These include Bronte Sisters-eque gothic romances, horny super-spy thrillers, men’s adventure, and even eight novelisations of the TV show The Partridge Family. But what caught my eye was his hard-boiled detective series with private eye Ed Noon. They were on Kindle Unlimited so I gave it a go.

Avallone Gothic Paperbacks

Call it a hunch, but I think Avallone’s writing had a theme….

I’ve read a lot of hard-boiled novels so, take my word for it, these are good. Not Chandler-good but they are at the same level as most of Hard Case Crime‘s books (which I also like). I’ve read four now and all of them whip along. The dialogue is fresh and cracks wise, the cadence is lean and street-smart, and the plots hang together without any deus ex-machina required. Avallone really found his footing in this genre.

The first in the thirty-book series is The Tall Dolores and it’s the weakest of the bunch, but I still enjoyed it. Noon is in his office when an amazonian blonde walks in and gives him sass. “Dolores was a hell of a lot more than tall. She was huge, statuesque. A Glamazon. A regular Empire State Building of female feminine dame. And all woman, besides.” Her boyfriend ran off with her $5,000 so she’s hiring Noon to find him and recover it. That boyfriend turned up dead – stabbed to death – on the steps of an NYC museum. Everything about the case smells rotten to Noon and he’s soon on the lam from the NYPD after Dolores sets him up for a chink murder in her hotel room.

I love hard-boiled dialogue. It’s so cheesy. I keep trying to remember all the one-liners to drop into my own conversation.

“Ed Noon – that you?”
“It’s the only name I’ll endorse a check with. What can I do for you?”
“Save the wisecracks, Noon. I’m too big to kid around with.”

Some of the descriptions are comically inventive as well. Try this on for size.

Dolores came around the bed with the speed of a big ape. She was still half undressed. I shook my head to clear it, brought my arms up to ward off what I saw in her eyes. It wasn’t nice as near as I could make out.
She descended on me like a tree full of the same apes she looked like. Something exploded against my jaw. Lightning struck twice and I was going down. My eyeballs blew up in a crash of pinwheel crazy colours.

Unlike his The Satan Sleuth books, the Ed Noon stories don’t have any padding. Quite the opposite, they are lean and extremely fast moving. There’s nothing in there that doesn’t advance the plot or build the characters. Avallone has a taste for the dramatic. This book has a circus-tall dame fighting it out in the Statue Of Liberty, book #2 has two twins scheming and plotting, #3 begins with a murder on third base in Yankees game, and #4 has one on Broadway. He likes spectacle in his murder cases, does Noon.

Anyhow, I thoroughly enjoyed The Tall Dolores and it was worth every penny I didn’t have to spend on it. I see myself working through all thirty Noon books over the next few years.

I’ve written a whole heap of great daygame books that you can peruse at your leisure here on my product summary page.

[1] No surprise gamma boys love him. He glorifies being an incel shut-in who rants on about being a superman while no-one reads your books.
[2] And a rumoured 200 not correctly sanctioned or recorded
[3] Fulton is mostly a low-level fighter but he did win a one-night World Vale Tudo 8-man bareknuckle tournament in Brazil.

#94 – Around The World In 80 Days, Jules Verne BOOK REVIEW

November 2, 2018
krauserpua

Around-the-World-in-Eighty-Days

“Hurry up, you froggy bastard”

“What do you reckon, my intrepid pal, fancy traveling around the world in eighty days?” I wrote, completely out of the blue.
“What’s that, say you?” replied Jimmy, “that’s a dashing smart idea.”
“We could re-create Mr. Phileas Fogg’s journey. London to Suez by rail and steamboat, Suez to Bombay by steamer, Bombay to Calcutta by rail, Calcutta to Hong Kong then Yokohama by steamer, and again to San Francisco. On to New York by rail, and finally to London by steamer and rail.”
“I’d best book some time off from work, old chap.”
“Eighty days should do it.”

That conversation really happened, but not in those words. You see, I’d been walking along Terezde street past Hotel Moskova and happened to look over a small book stall set up on the street. It was full of the usual local language nonsense but one book stood out – an old 1957 young reader’s edition of Jules Verne’s famous story. Importantly, it had pictures in it.

After having been bored out of my mind reading his 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, I asked myself, what’s the skinny on Verne? He invented the science fiction genre and undoubtedly possessed a fantastic imagination but… based on that book, at least, he was a terrible writer and unable to tell a story. Wouldn’t it be great if someone took a Jules Verne classic, shortened it, kept all the best bits, and trimmed down all of his interminable prose.

Even better, what if they put lots of pictures in it?

Fogg 1

All books should have pictures in ’em

Thus I found myself sitting in Plato cafe eating chicken breast and hummus, while smashing through the Simon And Schuster Golden Picture Classics edition of Around The World In Eighty Days. It came in at 96 pages so a bit slim for a novel, but it certainly whipped through the tale and covered all the key points. It didn’t feel limited.

I’m sure you’re all aware of the basic plot beats. Mr Phileas Fogg is sitting on his arse in the exclusive Reform Club in 1872 when he is drawn into debate with fellow members. At dispute is an article in the morning’s Daily Telegraph [1] laying out a route, with stage times, suggesting one can circumnavigate the globe in just eighty days. I imagine that sounded rather far-fetched in 1872. Fogg is adamant it can be done – his fellows disagree – and soon stakes are raised. He bets £20,000 he can do it, leaving that very night.

Adventures follow.

I really enjoyed Fogg’s characterisation. He’s an obtuse, OCD man of leisure who sticks resolutely to his opinions and to his word. That same morning he’d fired his manservant for bringing his shaving water two degrees below established precedent. He immediately engages a new French manservant who has quit the circus (as a gymnast) to seek a sedantry predictable life. Oh ho ho, what a surprise Monsieur Passepartout is in for! Throughout the upcoming journey Fogg is always quiet, taciturn, and absolutely focused on the task in hand. He’s a proper Victorian gentleman and I’ll tell you this, he wouldn’t have any time for you modern people’s faggots, transsexuals or purple-haired feminists, I’ll tell you that for free, good sir!

Regular readers know that without intention-plus-obstacle there is no drama. So, while the former is clear, how is Jules Verne to provide ongoing obstacles in what is basically a holiday? Sure, the train can break down or bad weather at sea (both happen) but nature isn’t a very interesting antagonist. The solution is great: there’s been a bank robbery in London and the escaped perp has a description nominally similar to Fogg. When a reward is offered, a policeman in British-run Suez matches him to it, investigates, and finds out Fogg left London suddenly with a pile of cash (he withdrew £20k readies to grease the journey’s wheels). So the cop is the antagonist, trying to delay Fogg’s trip while in British-run territory until the arrest warrant arrives.

Fogg 3

He settled into a fishing spot from which to hustle the street

Being a Victorian England book, rule of law is everything. Can’t do anything without a warrant.

Around The World In Eighty Days has the usual fantastical local colour you’d expect, using the set-up as a way into displaying odd customs of other countries and finding plenty of dastardly characters. If there’s one thing I learned from this book, it’s that an Englishman had better not trust Mr Johnny Foreigner. You don’t know what they’ll try, you really don’t. The Indians try burning a rich man’s widow to death on the funeral pyre. It reminded me of a famous Charles Napier quote. Hindu priests had complained to him about the prohibition of this Sati religious funeral.

“Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs.”

Fucking brill!

NAPIER-obit-articleInline

Not this Charles Napier

In the USA their train is attacked by Red Indians and Fogg engages in a shootout, until the cavalry arrive (literally). Sadly, not all national stereotypes are represented. The French manservant never surrenders to Germans, nor does he eat cheese. The Chinks in Hong Kong don’t try to knife him in a back-alley, nor do the Japs try to sell him a schoolgirl’s soiled underwear.

This Simon And Schuster edition was produced in 1957, which the sharp-eyed among you will recognise as being 8 years before the 1965 Immigration Act that began the end of America. This book just assumes you’re white, K-selected, and see foreigners as weird little half-humans who know not what they do.

Kind of like how I feel in 2018.

37-around-the-world-in-80-days-1956

Fogg surveys the big beautiful Wall on the southern border

If you’d like to read a book about adventuring across the world, including many insulting things written about foreigners of literally every race, with the liberal use of racist slurs such as slants, wops, chinks, jocks, niggers, kikes, and goat-fuckers then you’ll absolutely love my memoir series. If you prefer your daygame within the Overton Window, consider my textbooks. Both available from this product summary page.

[1] Now a despicable cuckservative rag that many Brits cluelessly call ‘right wing’ and The Daily Torygraph.