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Memoirs of a Stalker based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
There is a nursery rhyme that seems to summarize the problems with this potentially interesting book: 'I do not like thee, Doctor Fell, The reason why, I cannot tell But this I know, and know full well, I do not like thee, Doctor Fell.' Poised as a Memoir about a Dental student/Dentist who wandered into the territory of stalking, author Darren Willing (most likely a nom de plume for security reasons) has written an outline of a young lad who develops problems with interpersonal relationships as a child, despite his apparent gifts as a fine student and athlete, and enters a school to study dentistry carrying this baggage in a valise concealed by a cocky, opinionated, know-it-all attitude. He is unable to tolerate the rigors of graduate training, substituting his own methods of achieving his questionable goal of becoming a dentist with methods that alienate his classmates and eventually his one live-in love. With the good fortune of finding friends who support his modus operandi he manages to survive and graduate from dental school - with a path of unsuccessful alliances with women in his past. He ultimately encounters a beautiful younger girl and attempts to alter his learned, unsuccessful approach to forming bonds with women and becomes obsessed with the drive to have this 'perfect mate' - a flaw that results in his crossing the line and becoming labeled as a stalker. The apparent reason for writing this memoir is to explain how desire can go astray and to advise readers of the pitfalls of poorly planned and executed courting adventures. Darren Willing may or may not be the 'stalker' of his book: we are growing accustomed to confessionals that are billed as autobiographical memoirs only to be later exposed as fiction. Willing makes some odd choices in his writing, choices that do not add to the flow or suspense of the book. His Dental School is associated with a Medical School and the name of the city location is transparently changed to 'Veiltown'. The name of his 'stalked' victim is simply 'C', creating more a sense of obvious anonymity than simply assigning a new name for her. But the real problem with the writing is the concentration of the first two thirds of the book on the idiosyncrasies of the 'confessor' that tend to make the reader both not like the this young dentist's character traits and behavior patterns, and eventually, not really care about his decline into the label of a Stalker. We, then, grow into the above rhyme of 'I do not like thee Doctor Willing...'. The concept of the book is a valid one, an opportunity to see inside the head of a person who 'inadvertently' gains the label of stalker. For this reader the book would have been far stronger had the author simply written a fictional account of this particular obsession rather than labeling it a 'Memoir', only to cover up all the parts that could have made for a very interesting read. A clue from the very fine front and back cover photography and design by Keenan Henson suggests that the topic deserves a re-think from the author (it is his first book!). Grady Harp