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on 29 October 2013
Rollo Tomassi is one of the Big Names and Elders of the Manosphere. But before you read his advice and theories, here's some context.

In the UK, forty per cent of marriages end in divorce over a twenty year period, and thirty per cent of marriages end in divorce within ten years. Almost one in three children are raised in single-parent families, of which 85% are headed by the woman: nearly 5m boys and girls are growing up without even the presence of a father-figure, and it's been that way since the mid-1990's (UK Labour Force Survey 2012). One out of the next three twenty-somethings you meet won't know what it is to have a man in the home. At the other end of the scale, 10%-20% of married couples under 50 have perfunctory, once-a-month-or-less sex lives (Kinsey 2010) right alongside 60% or so of under-29 single men.

Sounds terrible, a society in the course of destroying itself.

Except that there are 11m boys and girls growing up in functional two-parent families, parents who, to judge by the statistic that over half the married couples under 59 have sex on a weekly basis, are in decent, mutually satisfying relationships. So the glass is more than half-full, not broken on the floor.

More than half the world is Normal and has a reasonably satisfactory life, and the remaining fair chunk is some kind of mess that can range from a mild lack of social skills to the nightmare of a violent bi-polar partner. What doesn't come out in the numbers is that the two worlds rarely intersect: Normals raised in functioning households almost only ever associate with other Normals who were raised in functioning households. The Others - the screw-ups and socially-inept, the addicts, drunks, head-cases, users, abusers, shrews and swine, the Entitled Princesses, petty criminals, Daddy's Girls and Mommy's Boys - can only associate with each other, because the Normals simply don't go there. The emotional pain, the loneliness, the rage, anger and hopelessness, the euphoria, giddiness and lust, the booze, drugs, food, self-harm, obsessions, ONE-itis, fear, emptiness and confusion... everybody in Otherland has felt a lot of it from time to time.

This is the world Rollo is writing about. I live there and I prefer to describe and think about it in moral terms. Rollo prefers a scientific - or at least evo-psycho - approach. He sees all those messed-up behaviours, especially the awful behaviour of women, and the way men are exploited by society to women's benefit, and thinks there is a pattern behind a lot of it. He mines, more deeply than anyone else, two ideas: a behaviour pattern called hypergamy and a social structure called the Feminine Imperative.

Put these ideas together and we have a nightmare vision of a society in which, because all women are hypergamous, none of them are loyal, none can be trusted, all of them will challenge and test at any random time over any random fictitious issue, and any of them might detonate the marriage and family on a whim. In Rollo's relationships men do not have a moment's respite: like Bruce Springsteen's cab driver, we have to prove it to the boss every day, to the wife every night and to the kids at the weekend. Women are not supporters and comforters, but wilful, demanding drains on a man's time and energy. Keeping a marriage going means acting Alpha all the time - like the State's security forces, a husband must always be "on", while his guerilla-warfare wife can take time off to recuperate, build up strength and then make her next strike.

The Feminine Imperative is the idea that society, economies and legal systems are not organised to benefit a small number of rich and powerful people, but rather to finance the needs and random whims of mostly privileged white women who create laws, policy guidance and media programming to propagate the idea that Anything She Wants, She Should Have, And Men Should Pay For It. Just as "hypergamy" is Rollo's take on "all men are bastards", so "The Feminine Imperative" is his twist on "The Patriarchy".

Read The Rational Male with that context and it's okay: read it as if it's an explanation of every woman's behaviour, and the way you would expect your sister's suitors to behave, and you're going to start throwing the book against the wall. Unless you live in Otherland as well. I need to add that Rollo does not believe in Normal as I've described it: he really does seem to think that all wives are hypergamy-bombs only prevented from exploding by sufficient amounts of Alpha husbanding.

<Digression mode on> Attempting to explain crazy is always a mistake. The point about crazy is that it can't be explained: that's what crazy means. The worst behaviour in Otherland is crazy, much of the rest is simply rude, crass and thoughtless, and what's left is just klutzy. None of that needs complicated explanations. The evo-psycho stuff in the book is optional, and I prefer to treat it that way.

Life in Otherland has two basic shapes: I can join in with the chaos and abuse to whatever degree I can tolerate, or I can withdraw as much as possible and live a self-disciplined life. That is where MGTOW comes from: MGTOW's are avoiding the crazies and the users, and since they live in Otherland, that's a lot of the women. Rollo doesn't recommend MGTOW, but he does have a lot of other advice: some of it may strike you as paranoid, but remember he's advising men who don't have the radar to avoid relationships with full-blown DSM-V personality disordered women. <\Digression mode off>

The Red Pill / Blue Pill thing? In the movie, the Red Pill is what forces the Matrix to reject you. Understanding that you live in Otherland, where the women are potentially toxic and an entire chunk of the legal system and popular culture is devoted to serving their needs and making you think they are actually "normal"... that's a Red enough Pill. But what's really going to bake your noodle later on is, asking why an entire chunk of the legal system is dedicated to supporting dysfunctional people, and why so much popular culture seems to be devoted to the portrayal of the dysfunctional lives of Otherland, and especially to making men look stupid. (Here's a clue: follow the money.)

Should you read the book and the blog? Not if you are female. Unless you have worked with manipulative and dysfunctional women as a social worker or psychiatrist, nothing in your life can prepare you for the world Rollo describes, and you will never recover from the shock. If you are a regular middle-aged bloke who has marital intimacy on a weekly basis, the chances are you will wonder what kind of world and people need to read and think this stuff. If you are one of the men whose wives have stopped having sex with them, if you can't get over The One, if you don't understand why some girls say you're nice and then sleep with the Bad Boy, if you wonder where the positive male role models are in popular culture, if "you've felt...your entire life, that there's something wrong with the world. You don't know what it is, but it's there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad" then Rollo is your Morpheus.
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on 18 January 2016
I have been looking for a properly useful book on what makes the modern woman tick for years now. This one opens up the female mind for all to see and as the author himself asserts; its not pretty.

If you are young and wondering what you are doing wrong in your "Game" with women, or older, like me, and wondering what the hell has happened to them in the age of feminism this book will explain all.

Women of course will loathe this book. But it's not for them. It's for Men only (isn't that a shocking phrase these days). Most of what Tomassi has to say about women's minds and behaviours will be met with howls of protest and derision in our femcentric world. But it is the truth.

It is truly wonderful to realize that the thrilling ideas of the PUA (Pick Up Artist) as exemplified in Strauss's magnificent "The Game", that I read a few years back, has morphed into a much deeper critical examination of women, men and the what our increasingly feminized society is doing to us.

Tomassi does indeed talk much about "Game"; but on a much deeper level than merely Pick UP: he encourages us to internalize the mindset and behaviours which will help men to become, well, men; but men completely on their own terms and not in reference to any feminized ideas of what a man should be.

If I had a teenage son I would buy him this book on his 16th birthday so that he would become aware of the "Feminine Matrix" and , hopefully, internalize Tomassi's messages. I believe what he has to say is that important.

Buy this book. Take the Red Pill. Unplug yourself from the Matrix.
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on 6 November 2015
Actually this is a response to the material on his Rational Male website. Rollos' approach is somewhat useful and interesting but focuses too squarely on developing polygamous traits and misses more nourishing, spiritual aspects covered by the likes of David Deida and especially Robert Bly (both authors in the Mens work field) Unlike Feminist material which has whole bookstores devoted to its myriad forms, Mens work per se is limited and remains largely a niche subject. As a result, there is not the kind of critical analysis that would help these ideas develop into something mature and wholesome, yet distinctly masculine. Men need to realise that they have lost touch with something deeper than the freedom to have as much sex as they want, they have in fact lost their Soul. Read Robert Bly;s Iron John which references ancient mythology and touches on the real work Man has to do to regain his power.
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on 22 March 2015
A must have book for every man. Has literally changed the way I view the world. I'm so glad I found it while I'm still young.
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on 18 November 2013
Due to circumstances I won't bother to lay out, I became interested in hearing about what a lot of the concepts the so called 'manosphere' promulgate with the blog of the Rational Male being highlighted as a good first place to look. He has a book? Awesome! Makes my life easier. Anyway The book itself is mainly a collection of his first year of blogging with a bit of extra commentary here and there, unfortunately this proves to be the book's main weak point - ostensibly this book is aimed at the uninitiated (which I was) but frequently it casually throws in potentially alien concepts, like Game, discussed in a fashion that the reader knows full well what he's referring to for a significant length of the book, before he finally gets around to explaining just what the hell said concept actually is. There's also a bit of egregious editing early on in the book where a whole paragraph is repeated in the transition between chapters, which raises questions as to how qualified his proof reader was. I feel he might have been better served crafting a narrative from his available material than doing a copy-paste from his blog output.

And better served he would be because if you're able to persevere with the book it quickly becomes fascinating, it truly is a different way of looking at the world which, no doubt to the chagrin of others, does appear to be quite valid. There's even the danger that Rollo's observations and attendant theories make sense of the 'Feminist Sex Wars' to the point that their happening was an easily predicted foregone conclusion, because Hypergamy. A lot of the advice he gives is pretty decent too, if in some cases rather mundane with a mix of shocking naivety on the part of men; for example his advice on always using condoms contains the idea that it's overwhelmingly women that convince men to not wear condoms because they want to 'feel them', while my own advocacy of condoms has instead hit the wall of men refusing to bother because they want to 'feel them' and instead pushing their girlfriends to take the pill. All in all however if you're looking for something to challenge your world view and change how you look at the world I recommend getting this book.
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on 26 May 2016
Contained within this book are some concepts that have explained so much of the smoke and mirrors s*** that you encounter from women all the time.

I think you will need to read it more than once as there are a lot of concepts to internalise but when you do " swallow the red pill" all becomes clear.
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on 18 August 2014
I pussy footed around whether to buy this book or not, I'm so glad I did. It confirms a lot of what I've been thinking for years and taught me a whole lot more, the ideas and insights held within its pages should be mandatory reading for all men and boys. Absolute gold.
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on 27 December 2015
Just as "Women are from Venus - Men are from mars" is an extraordinary description of men and women written from the female p.o.w (although John Grey is in a male body) this book is “the bible” on Male-Female interaction written from the male p.o.w.
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on 22 October 2013
Great book, should be required reading for every man aged 14 and over. Once you read this book you cannot unlearn the information contained within, and you'll begin to observe things like Social Conventions and Hypergamy in your day-to-day business. Wish this had been released earlier in my life.

Tomassi writes in a sophisticated, but easy to follow style, and the specific chapters make sure everything is relatively well-ordered. Perhaps could have done with a better proof-read, but this is not a serious issue.

4.5/5 stars.
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on 11 November 2013
one of the best books, well worthwhile reading. It really opens your eyes. Can strongly recommend it. First review I have ever written.
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