BOOK REVIEW: Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation, Sally Hogshead

TITLE:  Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation
AUTHOR: Sally Hogshead
PUBLISHER: Harper Collins
PREMISE: Using the 7 Triggers – Lust, Mystique, Alarm, Prestige, Power, Vice and Trust – one can fascinate anyone, gain their trust, loyalty, love and devotion; and obtain power over others. The power that a person who is “fascinating” wields is plenary and inexplicable but intense and consequential. Those who are fascinating can persuade others to follow wherever the fascinating person leads, for example. Those who are fascinating exert great influence over others.
WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH DIVORCE?: Everything. Because even though the author never mentions the word divorce even once in the 266 page tome, she lays down certain ground rules and takes a formulaic posture that teaches the reader, literally, how to fascinate, how to exert influence over others and how to captivate others and get them to buy your “brand.”
So, got me to thinking, who better to captivate that one’s spouse? Over whom could one possibly want to exert more influence? I am willing to bet that a spouse who is fascinated with the other is less likely to want a divorce than a spouse who is not fascinated and who may even be bored. Look at Brad, Angelina and Jennifer as an example:
Obviously, Brad left Jennifer and took up with Angelina because he was fascinated by Angelina and because he thought her pastures were greener. Like a “Mercedes Maybach” with all the bells and whistles (not to mention those tattoos and the single engine airplane), Angelina exuded most, if not all the triggers Hoghead talks about in her book, to wit: lust, mystique, alarm, prestige, power, vice and arguably, trust (she came this close to having her very own hagiography written by Kitty Kelly I do declare).
Angelina arrived on the scene at a critical time in Brad’s marriage to Aniston, which was fatigued after 5 years. At that point, Brad had started to grow a weird beard and he probably thought that Jennifer was, oh, just a little bit boring even though he’d never admit it. Aniston was probably aware that her mystique as the star of Friends was fading fast for her restless husband, but was powerless to do anything to stop her his ennui and lust for new adventures. Or, maybe she just got comfortable in the marriage and mistakenly thought she no longer had to be so “fascinating.” After all, she’d snagged the sexiest man alive and had him in her bed every night. What more work was needed? And look what happened. Look at the result. Look at the denouement. As we say where I come from, the Good Will Ambassador to the United Nations snuck in and “stole” Jennifer’s man right from under her nose.
Of course, five years hence, Angelina finds herself in her own petri dish of boredom. Brad has long stopped seeming all that “fascinated” with her and has begun to grow his beard again. Now, I could be totally wrong about what I’m witnessing, but just like the public could feel the electrifying heat between those two in the beginning of their relationship, now we can also feel the ice. It doesn’t matter how many foto ops they subject us to of the two of them and their boatload of kids looking like one big happy family. Something is missing. Even the blind can see it. And it is what Hogshead talks about in her book: lust, mystique, alarm, Prestige, Power and Vice, aka FASCINATION. Heck, when was the last time Angelina was photographed flying her single-engine plane? Where’d all her vice go? Heck, for that matter, when was the last time Brad was photographed flying the plane? In the beginning he couldn’t get enough. So much excitement. So much heat. So much fascination, lust and alarm. Where is all of it? All that is left is six kids, and two people who look aged beyond their years.
Can either one of them captivate each other again? Can they regain that mystique? Not if Hogshead is correct. She ways once you lose that mystique, it’s gone forever. I don’t mean to be the bearer of bad tidings. But once that happens in a marriage or relationship, it’s over. You just can’t allow yourself to lose your mystique. You just can’t.
Not to be devilish but have you observed Jennifer lately? Now, there’s a woman who has mystique going on. It’s as if she’s drinking from the fountain of youth. She looks better and better every time she steps out. Have you seen her in People Magazine April 26th, 2010 issue on Page 14? She exudes stuff Angelina used to exude – mystique, lust, prestige, power…. Even vice. A woman’s got to be viced up to continue to pick the guys Aniston picks. Why is she so fascinated with these morons like John what’shisface and the other guy who stuck his finger up her bum in Paris? She definitely fascinates some losers. But still. She’s fascinating. She’s captivating. Plus, that Mona Lisa smile she carries around, as if she knows something about Brad and Angelina that the rest of us will find out any day.
These three are a text-book case on fascination. Hogshead is spot on in her observations. And after reading the book, I came away thinking that it definitely is something married people ought to read as a hedge against divorce. Think of your marriage as a brand. If you want to hang on to it and your spouse,  never stop being fascinating….so what’s your F-score?
On a scale of 4, I give this book 3.8 stars.