02 October 2011

Book Review

Attached by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller

Those who are students and/or enthusiasts of Game will find that Attached is, for the most part, a rather interesting book that correlates strongly with the assessments that Heartiste and others have made of relationships and how they work.  In many ways, Attachment can be seen as a watered-down version of Game wherein women (moreso than men) are given helpful pieces of advice for dealing with relationships.  Advice like “don’t date a psychopath or an asshole.”  This sort of advice will undoubtedly prove helpful to many women, assuming they a) read it and b) follow it.

Attached is less helpful to men since the advice for men wavers between “act totally beta*” and “be Athol Kay.”  In fact, the book seems less geared toward men and more geared toward women, an assessment I make and proudly stand by in light of the fact that this book reads more like a therapist’s notebook than a book on the neurology of attraction.  Actually, I was quite disappointed to see that there is no attempt to explain the neurological science that motivates attraction.  I suppose that neurology has not advanced enough, as a science, to even begin to provide that answer, but it is disappointing nonetheless to find a book with such a promising title be wasted on a Gladwell-esque book of pop psychology.

I did not read the whole book, in part because I had little use for the myriad self-help tests and in part because the book ceased to be interesting after chapter five.  There are certainly some aspects of the book that are interesting, but overall the book simply does not merit its length, or the time necessary to read it.  Attached starts by providing an ex post description of behavior, but makes no attempt to explain it other than by tautology and then wastes the observations by failing to make anything other than the most boring (and obvious) predictions.

Attached can be summarized as follows:  Some people go out of their way to avoid intimacy because they fear becoming dependent on someone else, some people go out of their way to seek intimacy because they equate it with having a meaningful relationship, and some people seek intimacy without being unhealthily dependent on it; be/become/date those belonging to the third group.  I’ve just saved you from reading four hours’ worth of mind-numbingly boring psychological drivel.  You’re welcome.

* This is a loose paraphrase, but accurate nonetheless.

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