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Book Review: "Danger and Play: Essays on Masculinity" by Mike Cernovich

My wife and I were out looking at a house today while one of my legit friends who refers to himself as a “multifaceted redneck” was examining the home for any deficiencies.  I had my nose down on my iPhone, reading heavily and using a stylus to highlight certain passages. 

“What are you reading?” asked the realtor. 

“It’s a book called “Danger and Play: Essays on Masculinity.”

“I don’t think I would want to read a book of essays on masculinity.”

“That’s fine, and from what I gather, Mike Cernovich wouldn’t care if you did.”

I’ve made no bones about telling all those who will listen “Gorilla Mindset” stopped me from committing suicide.  Going through the complete “brain reboot” of that book put me in a place where people who know me honestly wouldn’t recognize my mental or emotional state right now, and if you go through the book, follow the principles in the Gorilla Mindset, and commit to it, you will live a better life. 

“Danger and Play: Essays on Masculinity” takes the foundation that is “Gorilla Mindset” and gives those who dare open its pages additional insight into aspects of the reader’s life they never knew existed.  I’d further posit that if “Gorilla Mindset” were a well-constructed house, “Danger and Play” is an expertly-crafted extension on that house. 

Yes, there are parts of the book that will make people cringe and say “Oh Mike is discussing pickup artist material.  What a douchebro.” Yes, because those are subjects he thought about on a certain occasion and knew men wanted to hear them.  He doesn’t give a shit what you think.  The “Masculinity” section is geared to a world that doesn’t want men to be men, and Mike fearlessly approaches his thoughts on masculinity from the same focus that he always has: his own. 

If you keep reading (and you should), then you will learn ways to build solid friendships and keep them.  Mike will teach you his methods for success in business.  He’s done the work for you by going to seminars hosted by Jordan Belfort and Tony Robbins and shares his thoughts and experiences. 

Keep reading, and you will learn what your past says about you.  You will learn some uncomfortable truths about your place in the world and just how much entitlement you have to aspects of life.  You will learn what your frame of mind is and how to change it.  You will reframe concepts of fear, shame, and what rules life set on you. 

I had a lot I planned to do today, but when I got to the “”The Wolf of Wall Street” Jordan Belfort’s “4 Keys for life success” portion I became obsessed with finishing the book today.  I reached one point where I highlighted this as a quote, and left it there, because it hit so strongly with me. 

“You are not your past, you are the resources and capabilities you glean for it.  That is the basis of change.  If you survived the worst of the worse and are still breathing, you can learn from that.” 

Being someone who nearly died due to past decisions, that hit home with me. 

As someone facing uncertainty right now over a paycheck, the same with Mike’s observations on “Disowning Fear.”

When you reach the end of “Danger and Play,” you will be disappointed, just like with “Gorilla Mindset” because it’s over.  But you will have reached, read, and comprehended some of the most powerful observations that can enrich your life. 

You can buy Mike’s book here. 

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