For Roosh, Poosy Paradise represents two steps forward and one step back.
I mean this in the nicest way possible. Poosy Paradise is a good book, an interesting book, a well-written book. It’s a book that displays Roosh’s evolution as a man and a social critic. But it falls short of the mark. In contrast to the straight-shooting, unpretentious style of Roosh’s previous memoir Why Can’t I Use a Smiley Face?, Poosy Paradise is marred by constant lapses into preachiness, which rob it of a great deal of emotional impact. To be sure, it’s not half as bad as the sentimentality of A Dead Bat in Paraguay, but that was also Roosh’s first memoir.
He shouldn’t be making the same mistakes five years later.
Maybe I’m just in a small minority, but I hate didacticism. Stories that try to force a moral or lesson down my throat make my skin crawl. I don’t know where it came from—maybe it was being forced to read David Foster Wallace in college, or maybe I was just born without the churl gene—but whenever a writer feels the need to ram a message down my throat, I dive for the exit.
A good writer lets his stories speak for themselves, he doesn’t speak for them.
I was hoping Roosh was starting to learn this lesson: as I mentioned already, Why Can’t I Use a Smiley Face? was just about perfect on this front. But I suppose I should have seen this coming with all the short stories he’s been posting in the past year, all of which have some kind of hackneyed moral or lesson. His best by far is “The Rat Mobility Experiment,” mostly because it’s the only story that is handled with subtlety. Poosy Paradise is unfortunately on the other side of the pool, wearing kiddie floaters and splashing water all over everyone.
The book concerns Roosh’s two-month stay in Romania, as he screws the local women and deals with newfound fame. One of the running threads throughout Poosy Paradise is Roosh constantly being dogged by local media. The story literally begins with him being interviewed by a Romanian TV crew, and throughout the book, Roosh becomes a minor celebrity, a fact that both helps—and hurts—his game:
“I’ll let you walk me halfway, and then when we are at a safe point, I will let you go and then walk home alone.” Interesting countermeasure, I thought. Other men must have successfully used the bathroom line on her. Her logical brain was dominating the interaction, so my best move was to make her horny. I stopped her along a thin alley and grabbed and kissed her. She resisted slightly at first but then got into it. I tried to press my boner into her body but through our coats I don’t think she felt it. After the kiss I said, “Let’s go for a walk this way so we can grab a drink.” I conveniently left out the fact that the drink was at my apartment 15 minutes away. It would be a tall order to get her back, but why not try?
The big thing that separates Poosy Paradise from Roosh’s previous books is that his behavior displays a certain maturity. Gone is the hopeful struggle of Paraguay or the despondent alienation of Smiley Face. Now, picking up girls is in the job description. There’s no anger when they flake, no disappointment when they play stupid games, and not even much pleasure when it finally comes time to bang. This is poosy paradise: the end game of more than a decade of trying to crack the dating code.
And if this is heaven, Roosh doesn’t know what it’s for.
That’s the ultimate point of Poosy Paradise: it doesn’t exist, or at least it doesn’t exist in a physical form. There is no country or land on Earth where any man can go and be instantly satisfied by the womenfolk. Poosy paradise is a state of mind, the result of your outer situation aligning with your inner desires. Do you want to bang a lot of girls? Thailand, Japan and the Philippines are your poosy paradise. Do you want wifely girls who desire to be the mother of your children? Eastern Europe is where you want to be. Do you want to be treated like a king by all the girls you meet? Try Africa. Poosy paradise is as real as green cheese on the moon.
Now if only Roosh could learn to make this point in an adult fashion.
Poosy Paradise’s narrative momentum is constantly halted by his obsession with going on paragraph-length dirges on the meaninglessness of life. You can’t go three pages without Roosh taking you out of the story to expound on some revelation about women, sex or the nature of human existence. And every single time this happens, his ordinarily gripping prose style falls apart, as he tries to ram his square peg into the round hole of didacticism:
There seem to be natural limits in banging a lot of girls where constraining factors appear and prevent you from achieving rock star status, forcing you to adopt an equilibrium state. A lot of sex often sucks out all of your horniness and motivation to bang more. Or it exhausts you, forcing you to rest. Or it puts a big dent in your wallet, forcing you to focus on work. Or you get a minor STD and need to heal up. Or, more commonly, your standards go up to where girls who were beautiful before are only average now. The 6s you banged were great, but why bang another 6 if you can try for the 7? Then you bang a couple 7s and now you want an 8, but there are not many 8s out there that can fill your pipeline as easily. If your game improves then your quality also improves. You become spoiled, reluctant to slip back down into average quality that satisfied you so easily before. Most girls, however, are average. Your rockstardom fades just after it begins. A cruel fate indeed.
At times, reading Poosy Paradise is like thumbing through one of those old-fashioned Calvinist children’s books, where the bad kids always get punished by drowning or being eaten alive by rats. It’s unpleasant, particularly because I know Roosh is smart enough not to fall for this bathetic bullshit. Writing a good story, fiction or nonfiction, is like air-drying laundry: you need to let it breathe if you want it to work. Instead, Roosh sucks up all his book’s oxygen and wastes it on telling the readers what we already know.
In pointing out these problems, I don’t want to sound too critical. Poosy Paradise is full of some truly remarkable and hilarious moments, as Roosh gives us an intimate look at the life of an “innovative casanova.” One segment near the end of the book, where he seduces a girl with a homemade “sex potion,” is both funny and poignant, because it gets across its point—a girl who consciously knows the “sex potion” is bogus, but chooses to believe in it anyway, a la Blanche DuBois’ cry “I don’t want realism, I want magic!”—without hammering you over the head. Had Roosh written the entire story like that, Poosy Paradise would be a shoo-in for one of the best books of the year.
Instead, we have the equivalent of a heavyweight getting clowned by a lightweight.
If you can look past its ham-handed moralizing, Poosy Paradise is an entertaining memoir and a depressing look at the state of modern love. But honestly, Roosh can do better. It’s painful to watch a guy I’ve seen steadily improving as a writer lapse back into these freshman-level errors. Here’s hoping his next work is a big improvement.
Click here to buy Poosy Paradise.