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Unrequited Love: On Stalking and Being Stalked - A Tale of Obsessive Passion [Paperback]

Gregory Dart
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

7 April 2003
"She won't stop writing to me - e-mails, letters, text messages, cards. But it's not merely because I hardly know her that I no longer reply. Sometimes her complaints seem so plausible that I wonder if I am not the one to blame. At others, it is the pure flame of her hatred that mesmerizes me - and it is then that I begin to feel afraid." "Unrequited Love" is the story of a London University lecturer's unwilling encounter with the spectre of obsession. Not until he himself fell victim to the charms of a virtual stranger did he begin to understand the psyche of his own hopelessly impassioned admirer. Dating, as Gregory Dart finds, has become a dangerous game. Whatever happened to the good old rules of courtship? Are we all potential stalkers now?

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Short Books Ltd (7 April 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904095283
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904095286
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 383,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Gregory Dart is a lecturer in English at University College, London. He is 33, and has published books on romantic literature, art and opera.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unsettling 16 Feb 2005
Format:Paperback
This is a strange little book about the modern malady that is stalking. As you would expect of an academic, Dart's approach is analytical, with a strong literary slant (chapters concerned with Dante and Stendhal, for instance). In fact, given that he is a scholar of William Hazlitt, there's an unsettling parallel with Hazlitt's Liber Amoris. The scholarly parts of the book are well written, but when it comes to writing about himself Dart is a bit arch and starchy, as if he feels uncomfortable in his own skin. Furthermore, it's not entirely clear - as another reviewer has already observed - that Dart was in fact stalked. If we review the way he behaved towards the woman whom he thinks of as his stalker, it looks as if he has to take his share of the blame. In general, the way he talks about his emotions and his social life suggests he is distinctly self-satisfied, and his attempts at self-critique don't always ring true. In other words, this is an interesting, provoking book on an important subject, but it feels in the end inadequate, partly because Dart's approach to the subject is self-consciously intellectual, partly because he tends to bristle with indignation, and partly because the entire premiss of the book seems artificial - there's no obsessive passion here, and not a lot of stalking or being stalking for that matter. Worth reading (another enjoyable and inexpensive title from the impressive Short Books imprint), but a book which will probably arouse scepticism more than anything else.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Implausible and defensive 14 Dec 2003
Format:Paperback
This book has an interesting premise - a London University lecturer gets stalked by an obsessive student, and then goes to the library to read up on the history of stalking and decides to write a book about it. The only problem is, Dart did not get stalked. From what he writes, although it's difficult to know exactly, since he leaves out most of the details that would make him look bad, he led her on (he invited her to spend the weekend at his flat, for God's sake: remember - she'sa student), and then he dumped her. She got upset, demanded an explanation, which he seemed selfishly unwilling to give her, and then he goes into a defensive sulk that he's been mistreated by her! Come off it, James Hewitt: you acted despicably. If you can't stand the heat . . .
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4.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing, enlightening 18 Oct 2013
By M
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book makes you realise at some point all human behaviour can be construed otherwise - and therein lies its disturbing nature. It tells a story of the origins and significance of stalking from the perspective of one who perceives himself to have been stalked - and surely he was 'stalked' as the detail of the story confirms though no rabbits are boiled or axes laid. However Dart is also courageous enough to consider the fine line between ordinary ventures towards intimacy and perception of obsession, including analysis of when his own passions hover over the 'wanted?/unwanted?' divide - as is always the case when trying to forge a way into any new relationship. This is an insightful little book but it leaves harrowing questions unanswered about how judgements of obsession are made.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read a lot of books about stalking and love, books of this type in general. When I saw this one I took an interest in it so ordered it and what a MISTAKE it was to buy it.

Pros:
156 pages long so it can be read in hours.
Has some information on classical writers and poets.
Has nice cover art.

Cons:
VERY droll and boring to read I couldn't wait to finish it and only did because I refuse to leave a book unfinished.

The story line about this author being stalked lasted well under half of the tiny book and went absolutely nowhere, the stalking wasn't even serious it was just an angry rejected woman venting her annoyance.

Has written a load of information found online and in a few cheap text books to pad out the book with stuff that has absolutely NOTHING to do with stalking.

The author seems to think he is some kind of professional sociologist that could never possibly be wrong even when he himself stalked a girl 8 years younger than him.

The author turns out to be a stalker prowling around the streets at night and the early hours of the morning after a 26 year old who he met at the gym trying to find out where she lived, what she did and had even found out her train and bus routes to work! He hassled her through emails until she ignored him and randomly confronted her after stalking (that she didn't know about) for three months and she rejected him again.

All in all this book is not worth the money I am so glad I bought it second hand and dirt cheap because it really isn't worth the couple of pounds I spent on it.
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8 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When love turns on you, it's evol. 24 April 2003
Format:Paperback
If you've ever had your love rebuffed, and let's face it, you probably have, then read this. On the one hand it's an absorbing true story about a bloke who starts getting too many text messages/emails/phone calls/letters from a girl he hardly knows, and on the other, it's a great essay about the history of unrequited love; from an honourable medieval notion of it, to a modern metropolitan perspective, where it's tempting to regard it as something a bit pathetic or even psychotic. Yesterday's unrequited lover, is today's "bunny boiler".
Gregory Dart takes us through a series of real, anecdotal, and literary examples (some thought-provoking, some funny) of obsessional love, all wrapped up with his own candid account of being on the receiving end, and the effect it had on him. What makes it really refreshing though is that he never chooses to condemn this kind of dead-end desire, but instead seeks to show us how we might make sense of it. Indeed, as the book goes on, he reveals how he too is soon to discover first hand how it feels when love goes unrequited.
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