Some books I read

June 27, 2019

I’m not making an attempt to review every book I read but some people have shown interest in my reading list and thoughts on books. I’ve read ninety so far this year. Here’s a list of the first thirty, along with casual remarks.


1. Dennis Wheatley – Contraband: Very clearly an early Sallust tale because it’s full of young-man’s fire and precious little subtlety. There’s a dastardly plot involving Parisian gangs smuggling into the UK and Sallust has to give them a severe reprimand. Okay, but if you’re new to Wheatley save this till later or you won’t appreciate how good he became. 6/10

2. Bernard Cornwell – Sharpe’s Devil: I like how Cornwell has dedicated a career to mythologising the heroics of English fighters. Though Sharpe is a disgruntled and onery redcoat, he’s still heroically inclined and gets stuck in. I like how the shadow of Napoleon, in final exile, hangs over this tale of pirated and greasy Portuguese in Chile. Really funny how the two main dastardly Portuguese turn out to be bum bandits. It lacked a page-turning suspense sadly. A light read. 6/10

3. Michael Avallone – The Case of the Violent Virgin: If you read a book series long enough you see the author develop the character from book to book and can easily grow to like him. I’ve read so many of Avallone’s Ed Noon series that I’ll have to see it through to the end. This one is about mafia hoods and a famous sculpture. Typical hard-boiled fare. 7/10

4. John Creasey – The Mark of the Crescent: Set in 1930s Britain, a secret society of drug addicts is taking over positions of power. They can be identified by a curious mark left on their wrists (sounds like an oversight by the architects of the plan to me). It’s silly nonsense full of stiff upper lip and derring do. 5/10

5. Donald Hamilton – The Devastators: I seem to have settled into a few different series that I’ll follow through to the end. This is more hardboiled 1960s spy action where Matt Helm yet again walks into traps in order to smoke out the opposition, bangs birds, and then mercilessly slaughters the enemy. 8/10


Mafia Fix

6. Warren Murphy – Mafia Fix: These Devastator books are such utter childish nonsense with Remy the superhero assassion and his little Mr Miyagi sidekick who murders people for interrupting his watching of daytime soap dramas. Can’t remember the story. Probably some Italian hoods causing a stir. 5/10

7. Josh Kaufman – How to Fight a Hydra: Upon reading I immediately recommended it to my daygame friends. Kaufman tells a first-person tale of a young man setting off to fight a hydra and ruminating on the self development it triggers. Probably the non-daygame book most applicable to daygamers. 9/10

8. Stefan Molyneux – Essential Philosophy: This has all the insufferable Molyneuxrisms of the YouTube channel but bear with it and Stefan has a good go at solving all the problems of philosophy in one book. He fails, but it’s a good try and a highly ambitious goal. He seems rather naive over the power of logic to change the world. 7/10

9. Alexandre Dumas – The Companions of Jehu: The first of the Saint-Hermain trilogy features a young Napoleon Bonaparte as a main character, freshly on the run from the English navy having drubbed him off the coast of Egypt. It’s a romance in the style of The Three Musketeers and not far below his best. A good read. 8/10



10. Oreste Pinto – More Exploits of Spy Catcher: Real life stories of WW2 counter-espionage agent Pinto as he discusses cases referred to him. In each case it’s a real conundrum whether the suspect is a spy or not. It is all presented like Sunday afternoon crossword puzzles, until Pinto finished a story with “so then we hanged him”. 7/10

12. Warren Murphy – Dr Quake: Really dumb action about a mad scientist attempting to trigger a huge earthquake on the San Andreas faultline. Written in the early 1970s, this was a bad thing. Compare that to now, if you knew someone was going to destroy all of San Francisco. Hand on heart, would you really try to stop him? Some weird characters, such as the scientists’ buxom twin nympho helpers. 5/10

13. Michael Avallone – The Crazy Mixed Up Corpse: More of the usual hardboiled action, neither more nor less entertaining than the others. A quick page-turner. Avallone is getting better at capturing Noon’s irreverent and quarrelsome personality without it being abrasive to the reader. 7/10

14. Donald Hamilton – The Betrayers: This time Helm is on Holiday in Hawaii when his boss tells him a former agent is acting suspicious. It turns out the ChiComs are trying to set off a false flag nuke to bring on war. Just as twisty-turny and brutal as the other Helm books. I feel sorry for the junior agents. They always get killed. 8/10



15. Ellery Queen – The Player on the Other Side: An old suspense tale in inter-war NYC about a kooky family living in four houses in the same square, held together by the terms of rich deceased daddy’s inheritance. They fall one-by-one, as strange notes keep the caretaker up to speed. A very interesting take on a whodunnit but excessively slow-paced. 7/10

16. Harry Harrison – The Stainless Steel Rat’s Revenge: I notice lots of sci-fi paperbacks seem like normal earth-bound adventure stories, just with added flying cars and spaceships. This is one such book. A good buccaneering adventure story that is quaintly locked in the technology of the time it is written. 7/10

17. Mickey Spillane – The Delta Factor: It seems everyone wanted to do James Bond in the 1960s. The celebrated hardboiled writer tries to kick off a new franchise here in which a super criminal is captured and sent to Cuba in a deal with the Feds: catch so-and-so and have his sentence quashed. It plays out like an Oceans Eleven heist. 7/10

18. Alexandre Dumas – Joseph Balsamo vol. 1: The top-tier Dumas stories are fantastic and easily available in paperback. Drop down to the second tier and suddenly you have a challenge just finding a decent English translation. I read half of this before realising I had an awful translation that cuts out half the chapters and much of the Dumas magic. So I started again with a better translation. The plot is that a globalist Illuminati has hatched a conspiracy to overthrow France’s rulers and install a godless republican government dedicated to world communism. Bear in mind this was written in the 1850s, talking about the French Revolution. I’ll bet Dumas never expected it to happen again in the 21st century. Great book but slow paced. 8/10

19. Edgar Wallace – The Ringer: A 1920s mystery about a master assassin who has returned to London to claim revenge on a former colleague who betrayed him and now has a strong police guard. Trouble is, no-one knows what he looks like. Bumps in the night and everyone is a suspect. 7/10



20. Luke Short – Hands Off!: A frontier western from the 1950s about gold prospectors in a mining town. The black hat wants to screw the white hat out of his claim. Good stuff, with clear story, good scenes, and a taste of the Old West. 7/10

21. Francis Wellman – The Art of Cross Examination: Probably interesting when first written, a hundred years ago, but old hat to anyone who has watched a few courtroom dramas. 5/10

22. Warren Murphy – Death Therapy: Is it even worth describing the plot? Some larger-than-life freaky bad guys are killing people so Remy is sent in to investigate. He shags the birds and kills the baddies. Childish mindless super-agent thrills. 5/10



23. Peter Cheyney – Another Little Drink: This is a dark subtle counter-espionage story set during the war. The main character is a washed up drunk asked to root out a double-agent in the Secret Service. Very cleverly done and a pervasive air of dissipation throughout. I like Cheyney’s work. 8/10

24. Michael Avallone – The Voodoo Murders: Ed Noon gets drawn into a voodoo troupe’s show at a dance club and threats and murders fly. He winds up in the Caribbean hostage to a cult. Silly action and the second half is a wild departure from the wise-cracking urban sleuthing of the series. 7/10

25. Donald Hamilton – The Menacers: Matt Helm spends a lot of time in Mexico and it’s interesting to read pre-Cartel fiction. This time there’s strange tech surfaced below the border and the Russians are after it. Helm must protect a witness, or off her if the Russians seem likely to capture her. As good as usual. 8/10

26. Dennis Wheatley – The White Witch of the South Seas: Gregory Sallust is in Rio and attends a tribal dance, gets talking to a Raj, and persuaded to help hunt underwater treasure in the Pacific. But wait! Some baddies want it too! A globe-trotting page-turning adventure that blindsides you with twists every dozen chapters. 8/10


27. Alexandre Dumas – Joseph Balsamo vol. 2: This is a long series loosely following Marie Antoinette from her marriage to Louis XVI right up to getting her head lopped off in the final book. The two Joseph Balsamo volumes are probably the highlight, with a mesmerist Count Cagliostro hatching nefarious plans and strong characters throughout. 8/10

28. John Creasey – Thunder In Europe: The sixth Department Z thriller this time with an imaginary East European state (that sounds awfully like Latvia) having it’s top spymaster trying to take over the world. Quaint old-English nonsense from a time before James Bond changed the genre. Rather silly. 6/10

29. Michael W Simmons – The Rothschilds: Reading this you’d think the Rothschilds didn’t do nuffink wrong. They waz good boys. Lots of biographical info showing how the family were dragged out of the ghetto by utilising every Jew’s favourite weapon: ursury. Nathaniel took some outrageous risks but eventually his Jew tricks have European royalty under the thumb and he’s kingmaking and choosing which wars get fought. The author is extremely sympathetic to the subject family but it has me thinking we need a Fourth Reich. 6/10

30. Ross Lockridge Jr – Raintree County: Allegedly a “great American novel” and it’s pretty good. My abridged paperback edition was still a massive 600 pages, that’s after half of it is cut. It’s a gamma male’s long self-indulgent ramble full of purple prose but a sweeping epic nonetheless. Just a shame Lockridge didn’t write it ten years later, when he’d matured a bit. 8/10

Balls Deep – Reader Review #1

June 18, 2019

As any writer can tell you, there’s a stage of the process that comes just after release of a new book. You ask yourself, is it as good as I think it is? Will people like it? Will they see what I was trying to accomplish? Those same writers will also tell you that actually getting people to write reviews is difficult. Lots of readers will enjoy your book, speak positively of it if asked, but won’t trouble themselves to review it.

Nothing wrong with that. I’ve read 83 books this year and haven’t troubled myself to review them either. It’s normal.

So, anyway, I’m rather glad Steven was willing to share his thoughts in the comments to an earlier post. I’ve elevated them to their own post because it’s nice to have detailed feedback. I’d encourage any other readers to share their thoughts, if only casually in the comments. Anyway, here’s the unedited text of Steven’s review. Thanks!

Balls Deep is the story of Nick Krauser, Pick-Up Artist. But who is Nick Krauser? Was he born to be a man that women want to sleep with? And if not, how did he come to be this way? This book goes into the background of the man, his childhood, formative years, his life as a young adult in University and eventually getting into a professional career in finance. But importantly, it gives the reader more than a glimpse into his personality, early romantic relationships, his marriage to an attractive Japanese dancer and how that marriage came to fail, very much against his wishes. This is the backdrop for the journey that follows in which Krauser manages to completely turn his life around.

When his wife walked out on him and wanted the divorce, all his achievements, high intelligence, ambitiousness, natural self-confidence and masculine hard-dominance seemed to count little. The life that he had built and heavily invested in was turned on its head and he finds himself at an absolute emotional low-point that would last for months. Not the least of his concerns nagging him at the time was how to ever get a girlfriend that he could actually like. He was now in his mid-thirties after all, lacking the automatic proximity to attractive women that being in school and University brings. And despite the individual strengths he brought to the table, he was also rather unremarkable in terms of looks, height and athletic talent. Not wanting to succumb to his projected future of involuntary celibacy or maybe worse, a life with an imagined overweight, foul-mouthed, feminist lawyer-girlfriend, he turned to Pick-Up Artistry and Game, the applied sciences of male-female sexual relations. Thus begins an absolute roller-coaster ride between doubt and hope, constant rejection and persistence in the face of it, repeated failure and occasional small successes until the slow, gradual self-improvement lets our hero see light at the end of the tunnel. Having still not succeeded in sleeping with a single girl despite having tried it on with literally hundreds of them, he could however see himself getting ever closer. And eventually the flood gates opened and what followed went far beyond the wildest dreams he may have started out with. But even after finding success, having multiple pretty girls to date and sleep with, among them his first trophy girl, a catwalk model, he still had not found happiness again. So his journey of Pick-Up was to continue…

Krauser makes it easy for the reader to follow him along on his adventure, the writing is clear, lively, humorous and often downright funny. The narration flows seamlessly between recollections of events, insights into his thought-processes at the time and bits of explanation of the theoretical underpinnings of it all. The many stories contained of his womanizing experiences are truly eye-opening and instructive about the sexual nature of women and the dynamics of male-female relations. And yet the book never reads like a dry attempt to be didactic. The learning happens because the story draws you in, you empathize with the characters, you hope for the narrator to overcome his challenges and for happy endings. This is an honest, authentic, fascinating and highly entertaining account of a modern day seducer that did not just get those abilities as a gift by nature. It’s rather a story of a man making the best of the cards he was dealt and being rewarded handsomely for his determination. And yet it is also a reminder about the fleeting nature of happiness and how success is just as much about dealing with your inner demons as it is about taking action and achieving objective results.

I highly recommend this book, it’s well worth the price for 680 pages of great story-telling from a guy with a proven track-record. In case it needed to be said, the production quality of it is excellent, the layout is very professional, the type is well set for readability and the graphics are beautiful. Within the various chapters you’ll find original, not-so-professional photographs, but they accompany the narrative nicely and add to the feeling of authenticity. In conclusion, this is a must-read for players and especially those dealing with the hardships of becoming one. For everyone else this could still be a very entertaining book, if not an educational one.

Memoir Update – Girl Junkie

June 4, 2019

Girl Junkie Front Cover

Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated. While I’m a bit lax on the blogging front, you monkeys dear readers will hopefully be pleased to hear that the next volume in my epic memoir series is almost ready for release.

Just last night, I sent the final text to my interior layout designer. I already have the girl caricature art and – as you no doubt noticed – the cover. That means all I do now is wait for my contractors to submit work, and give it a little nip and tuck. All the hard work is done.

Girl Junkie is the fifth memoir and covers the calendar year of 2015. It’s 164k words, making it just a hair shorter than A Deplorable Cad. Hopefully, I have continued to make progress in my writing ability and it will shine through in the published work. You dickheads dear readers will be the judge of that.

My best estimate is that Girl Junkie will be on sale at the end of this month.

In other news, Rollo and Anthony Johnson have split leading the former to be kicked from The 21 Convention. Naturally, people are asking what I think about it seeing as I accepted the invitation to speak due to Rollo’s overtures. Well, I don’t know what I think. As yet, I know nothing more than what is in Rollo and Anthony’s respective public statements. I don’t know what caused the split and if it related to something I’ll have to take a position on. When I know, I’ll announce it.

Balls Deep, 2nd edition on sale now

May 10, 2019

I’ve been a busy man of late. Bodybuilding remains my primary focus and I’ve now hired a personal trainer to help me to get jacked or die trying. I’ve coached two residentials in April [1] and also one other thing. What other thing? Why, the subject of today’s announcement. Silly!

The second edition of Balls Deep is now on release.

Balls Deep

Yes, you magnificent bastards, I’ve finally reached the end-point of my original 2014 plan to release a four-part memoir [2]. Though very proud of the original first edition of Balls Deep when I released it in 2014, I’ve since grown embarrassed of it. Too amateurish, too fast-paced, too full-of-myself. It was understandable because it was my first time attempting a memoir and I was groping in a fog trying to shape the story. Almost five years later, I know how my memoir is meant to look. So, I’ve rewritten it.

The new Balls Deep is a massive 210k words, up from the 130k of the first edition. Every single paragraph has been rewritten. I’ve re-ordered the structure to better organise a chronological progression. I’ve added thirteen entirely new chapters covering my pre-game life. I’ve commissioned new art and a new layout. Oh, and did I say it’s now in full colour?

Fucking look at the size of it you cunt

six-hundred-and-eighty-bastard-pages, yesterday

All four volumes are now available on Amazon in their final full-colour premium editions. The hardback will follow in a couple of weeks. This is it, lads. My life in Game laid out for all of you to pick over, learn from, and disagree with. It’s already the longest and most detailed pick-up memoir since Casanova. And, unlike him, I’m not a bi-sexual Italian faggot who paid cold cash for half of his lays.

Interior shite

Fucking lovely innit
I’ll probably write more about Balls Deep in the coming weeks. Go to Amazon to get your copy and, if you like it, I’d appreciate you doing me the favour of leaving a review

[1] My apologies to the lads currently mailing to ask about coaching. I’ve been mad-busy but I’ll get on it presently.
[2] And promptly hatched a new plan to expand it to seven volumes, which I’ll talk about soon.

Wizardry and PUA

April 29, 2019

NEWS: I’m on Rollo Tomassi’s live podcast at 3pm PST today (8pm proper time, GMT+1). Go here to watch it:

On a completely unrelated topic….. Those of you following the Vox Day / Owen Benjamin / Scott Adams corner of the livestream interwebs have probably heard the term “wizardry” and it’s close associate “word wizards”. Sounds a bit odd, doesn’t it? I believe in a thing called love wizardry so long as we define it correctly. It’s not so far away from Gandalf and Saruman afterall.


Cabal-inspired Satanic propaganda for kids, yesterday

The concept boils down to this: words change reality.

Now, that’s not literally the case. You look at the fantasy novel version of wizards and they stand on hilltops, grasp a wand, and incant into the winds. Ancient forces are unleashed [1] and with a big whoosh some fireball / lightning / blast smites into the enemy. Fantasy wizards are like fantasy satanists – they are dressed up realisations of a more mundane reality. Just as real-life satanism doesn’t require the elaborate trappings of goats heads, chalices of blood, and black mass orgies, nor does real-life wizardry require magic wands, capes, or flashes of flame.

Wizards are men and women who use words to shape your mind, in order to compel you to act in the world. Thus their words are – indirectly – changing reality. The Jews advertisers of Mad Men are wizards, the Jews propagandists in war are wizards, the Jews creatives in Hollywood are wizards, and of course daygamers are wizards.

Frame control is wizardry. By supplying a compelling series of assumptions upon which a girl interprets a situation, you are word-wizarding her. Bamboozlement is wizardry. By creating musical and hypnotic word salads that switch off a girl’s mind so she rides her feelings, you are word-wizarding her. NLP is wizardry. By controlling a girl’s focus away from anti-seductive thoughts and sensations and heating her up, you are word-wizarding her.

Rhetorical speech is wizardry. Eye mesmer is wizardry. Much of PUA is wizardry.

The good thing about daygame is we self-consciously learn the building blocks of wizardry and then patiently apply them in-field in a real-life controlled experiment until our skills are sharpened. Add some obsessive mind-wank theory junkie digressions on blogs and in books and an enthusiastic daygamer may develop quite an impressive suite of “spells and incantations”. I tell my students that Game is not a series of magical incantations to get into an unsuspecting woman’s pants, but that’s only half true. It sort of is.

I’d suggest my readers deploy their knowledge of wizardry in their own intellectual self defense. The whole world is trying to bullshit you one way or the other. Recently, we’ve seen the borderline-incompetent word wizard Jordan Peterson do a great job lulling millions of credulous men into his spells. Scott Adams openly and self-admittedly wizards his readership. Watch for people trying it on with you.

[1] I never did understand what cosmic rules govern the limits of magic. It always struck me as a literary cop-out.

I’m speaking at Warsaw 21 Convention

April 26, 2019

I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be speaking at the Warsaw The 21 Convention. You can click here to find out more about the event, and ticket information.


Wait…. what? Haven’t you been slagging off The 21 Convention on this very blog? you say.

Um… well… yes. Perhaps an explanation is in order. My primary issue with T21C was that it was purple pill. Speakers would espouse a fundamentally blue pill ideology wrapped up with a little red pill seasoning to make it seem edgy. I didn’t like that so much. Also, I thought the daygame guys featured weren’t credible (e.g. The Natural Lifestyles) and wasn’t shy about saying so.

While I took my eye off the ball, T21C underwent changes. The owner/promoter Anthony Johnson underwent a red pill conversion following a bad relationship (now the subject of one of his talks), then Rollo Tomassi joined the team and lent his expertise to the booking of speakers.

Rollo recently invited me to speak at the Warsaw event. I have great respect for Rollo so when he went into the detail of T21C’s red pill turn and its new direction, I quickly warmed to the idea. “But surely my big mouth has gotten me onto Anthony’s shit list?” I asked. Apparently not. Anthony personally sent me a formal invitation and gave carte blanche for me to publicly air any reservations I still held about appearing at his event.

So, it’s on.

I’ll write more as the time approaches and as more speakers are confirmed. As yet, we haven’t agreed the subject of my talk. I’m quite excited to meet some of the listed speakers, particularly Richard Grannon (who’s YouTube I’ve been watching for a couple of years) and of course Rollo Tomassi himself.

Those of you interested in a huge 4-day high-end event should check out this link. Buying a ticket through this link will support my work, as I receive a % of the ticket price. Tickets begin with a $1,000 early-bird discount that runs out in a couple of days. From there, the price gradually climbs towards the on-the-door price. That said, I’ll be speaking at T21C regardless of how sales go. I also intend to participate in whatever group discussions I’m invited to.

More details will follow. If any of you are already hyped-up to attend, fire me an email and I might be able to do a modest discount.

What I learned from reading 200 books in 15 months

April 14, 2019

I have been on something of a reading binge, having read 136 books in 2018 (and reviewing each and every one of them) and then another 54 books so far in 2019 [1]. I’m averaging better than three books a week and I’ve hoovered up a lot of content. Perhaps it’s a good time to reflect. Here are some observations in no particular order.

1. Abundance allows risk taking

A man who reads only a handful of books a year will be extremely discriminating in what he tries. This will bias him towards authors or topics he’s already familiar with and, depending upon his goals, he may choose 100% entertainment or 100% education. When I was burning through three books a week I felt like the downside of picking a bad book was minimal. No matter how boring it got, so long as I stayed the course for two days I’d be on to the next book. This is not unlike the abundance mentality a player has with girls: if this girl isn’t working out, you can walk away and find another. This freedom to experiment enabled me to try discover different authors and topics, many of which I grew to like.

2. Ideas need time to sink in

On a couple of occasions I read three books in one day [2]. I encountered a bizarre time distortion effect whereupon I’d sink into the world of a book and its characters, only to shut the book and then promptly disappear into the next world. At the end of the day, those first two books felt like weeks in my past. A negative side-effect of fast reading is my brain didn’t have sufficient time to let ideas percolate, test them against my existing world view, and tease out all their implications. Much of that learning comes while lying in the bath, or sitting on a bus, or out walking. Often, I’d be deep into the next book by then, so the prior books wasn’t fully explored before having been pushed out of my awareness by the next.

3. Reading can be insatiable

I soon realised the addictive qualities of mass reading. My attention span lengthened enormously so I’d think nothing of sitting in a chair for six hours straight. Books were answering questions, exploring topics, and introducing imaginary worlds. I’d find myself immersed and not wishing to do anything else. Often lines or phrases would trigger compelling questions that I’d mull over for minutes at a time. It was all so interesting that as soon as I finished one book I’d have a chocolate box selection of interesting titles to try next. I was almost resentful that by choosing one book, I’d have to decline the others, and thus I wanted to race to the end of the current book to minimise the missed opportunities. That made it quite compulsive behaviour for me.

4. Movies and TV are shit

“The book is better than the movie” is true in 99% of cases. The human brain can process words and ideas far faster than physical action and the human voice can articulate them. Thus an hour of reading time packs in far more than an hour of televisual time. Added to that, books are generally far longer than movies and TV shows – the only exception being a premium cable series. These latter shows have the time to develop complex plots and introduce mood-setting redundancy. In a movie, there’s the famous dictum that if you show a gun on the mantelpiece in the first act, it must be fired by the third act. Nothing can be introduced without being relevant. After a while this gets tiresome and predictable. Books can hide foreshadowing better and even create wild goose chases to misdirect you.

Aaron Sorkin made the observation that stories belong in different media. If the focus is physical action, it’s a movie. If the focus is dialogue, it’s a play. If it’s internal thoughts and emotion, it’s a book. This makes books more immersive by nature, as they are a medium for pulling you into the character’s minds rather than observing them from the outside. Lastly, movies and TV are shit because they are pozzed and designed by committee. Books can touch subjects in ways that ((executives)) don’t allow in movies and TV.

5. Writers are good at different parts of writing

As a writer, I’m constantly attempting to improve my own literary ability. One dividing line I often see between writers is between writers of good stories, and writers of good prose. For example, War & Peace has beautiful sentence construction. Judged on a sentence-by-sentence basis its really very impressive. But it’s boring as fuck. It’s just not a good story [3]. In contrast, pulp magazine adventure writers in the early 1920s were often the opposite in that the stories whipped along in compelling and imaginative fashion but the sentences were as painfully crude as music played out of key.

Some writers are fantastic at snappy dialogue, some set a scene well, some tease out human emotion from the strangest places, some set you thinking about how to live the Good Life. Some are competent at everything and special at nothing. Reading lots of books allowed me to see the differences in stark contrast.

6. I like dusting off old gems

I’ve got an aversion to reading modern books and popular books. Generally, I don’t like the pozz, the dumbed-down style, and the pretension. I’d rather read the books by the men who created civilisation than the Jews men who try to destroy it. The wonder of books is they transport you into the writer’s world, and thus reading, for example, Edgar Wallace’s Sanders Of The River stories gives you window into colonial Africa from the viewpoint of a Victorian Englishman. You simply can’t get that on TV or movies. Recently I experimented with picking up dusty paperbacks from a second-hand store, selecting for authors and genres I rarely favour. I also try old stuff on Kindle. Lots of it is fascinating. It feels like you’re the only person to read the book in over fifty years.

7. Committing to finish what I start

I’ve had a rule that if I start a book, I must finish it. I’ve only broken that rule one time, on Ernest Becker’s Denial Of Death [4]. A dozen times I’d start a book and be shaking my head thinking “oh fuck, I’ve picked a bad one” but in each case by the end I was glad I read it. Most recently, I finished Martin Butler’s The Corporeal Fantasy. It’s mostly his blog posts and podcast transcripts hastily edited into book format (it really shows), conveying his personal philosophical system based on Spinoza, Schopenhauer, and Kant. For the first thirty pages I thought he was just a rambling old fruitcake [5] but I persevered and by the end I was extremely glad I’d read it because a sentence here, a turn of phrase there, and even entire paragraphs set me off thinking about philosophical issues in directions I’d never before considered. Had I been more judgemental, I’d have deleted it from my Kindle early and missed out. Committing to finish what I start ensures I encounter scenarios, ideas, and styles I might otherwise filter out.

8. Projects get ambitious

Most people who’ve heard of Alexandre Dumas and want to try him will read The Count Of Monte Cristo. If you’re such a man, I heartily recommend it. Those who get a little more ambitious might read his trilogy of which The Three Musketeers is volume one. More ambitious still, you’ll read all FIVE books of that series. I was more ambitious still – I decided to read all of his multi-volume series, namely: The D’Artagnan Romances, The Valois Saga, The Saint-Hermaine Trilogy, The Marie Antoinette Saga. That’s a total of 17 books, most just as long as The Three Musketeers, itself a big book (so far I’ve read 12).

I read his Joseph Balsamo volume 1 halfway through before realising I had a bad translation, so I bought the better translation and read that same half again – on the same day.

When you read a lot, a 200-page paperback seems like nothing. Just a warm-up. I’ve found myself drawn ever stronger towards epic books and multi-part series. I want the greater journey, and greater complexity that demands ample word-count to achieve.

9. You learn things you didn’t expect to

Napoleon Bonaparte conquered Egypt and then, when the British Navy sank his fleet near Alexandria, he deserted his troops and snuck back into France incognito in order to carry out a coup d’etat. I have now read about those events from three different perspectives: Dumas gave the French nationalist version in his The Companions of Jehu. Dennis Wheatley gave the British espionage perspective in his The Sultan’s Daughter. Then I also read the Time Life History Of The World academic summary version. I’ve also ordered a bodice-ripping women’s romance novel covering the events to see how they approach the material.

I never expected I’d learn so much about the conditions of St Petersburg during the Bolshevik Revolution, but I’ve now read two memoirs on it: one from a British spy, and one from an anarchist Jew. My knowledge of the courts of the kings of France is epic, thanks to Dumas and Wheatley, and I know lots of the Bottom World side of that period thanks to Casanova. It’s enlightening.

I may add more thoughts in another post, should they occur to me.

If you still just want to chase skirt and increase your notch count, remember all my best books are on Amazon now, in full colour, and Daygame Overkill is still the best infield instructional video product.

[1] Readers who have read some mathematics books will know 136+54=190 rather than 200. Those who have read some rhetoric books know that a catchy but inaccurate title sells more copies than a clunky but accurate one.
[2] It was raining.
[3] It’s hugely deficient in intention-plus-obstacle. It meanders without purpose.
[4] It’s horrendously insipid NYC Jewish psychoanalytical claptrap. Imagine watching Woody Allen movies on loop into perpetuity.
[5] Maybe he is, you be the judge. He certainly misunderstands Trump and Brexit.