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on 9 February 2014
Reading this - and I had to stop about halfway because I couldn't read any more - was like sitting on a long plane journey next to someone who won't stop talking about herself and who cannot take any of your nonverbal hints that you've really had enough. While her points are initially well made on the nature of what she terms a 'dark soul', she repeats them again and again using grammar that becomes increasingly haphazard as she becomes more impassioned. I couldn't be sure that I hadn't missed something when she first started talking about her 'dark soul' Oliver, because she seems to introduce him as a married man, and his first error is to not be leaving his wife for her. For this book to work, we really needed a complete portrait of him ...apart from her hints that he was obviously very good-looking and self-enamoured. I cringed when reading about her family problems and it just all seemed somehow very self-indulgent and personal, whilst not really having a coherent link with the points she was trying to make. She comes across as a very, very mixed-up lady, and not one I'd enjoy sitting next to at a dinner party.
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on 17 September 2013
Having read widely on the subject in order to aid my own recovery, I have found this book interesting, and helpful in some ways but it contains nothing other, better, books do not contain, other than sensationalism and hyperbole which may cause the subject to be taken less seriously than it deserves. Terrible grammar, scarce punctuation, constant repetition and excessive use of jargon mean the writing loses meaning. I fully respect the author's intentions, however this book reads like the ramblings of a very (probably justifiably) angry individual, and would be better placed in a blog.
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on 2 February 2011
"Dark Souls" is an extremely well written and couragous insight into what it is like to be in a relationship with a disordered personality.
The book is well articulated and the advice that Sarah gives is invaluable and I would suggest that therapists and professionals read this book as a part of their training and development.

I have read many books as an aid to my own healing and "Dark Souls" is by far the most accurate and useful in terms of education and self healing.

To stay alive a survivor needs good sound practical advice and Dark Souls gives that,reading this book and learning from it is a unique opportunity to make a positive difference and save either your own life or someone else's.
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on 20 May 2012
This is a very good book about the social predators who are called psychopaths/sociopaths/malignant narcissists. It covers Sarah's own story and also information to help you deal with the problems that occur when you are mixed up with these "energy vampires" - particularly if you have the misfortune to be in a relationship with them. Sociopaths have mesmeric charm and a predatory lifestyle and so tend to suck their victims dry and move on. Let's assume 3% of people are sociopathic, non-violent predators. This means that YOU are probably interacting with one or more sociopaths at work or in your social life - if they decide you are their next victim you are going to experience a lot of pain and grief. Awareness is the only defence, so this book is very useful along with anything by Robert Hare, the Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout and Zero Degrees of Empathy by Simon Baron Cohen.

Highly recommended.
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on 7 February 2014
Oh my.

My first ever amazon review (a bit lax of me considering I read voraciously) but it had to be done. I don't read many non fiction books and so firmly believe that I only came across this when I was ready to read it. And boy was I ready. There are so many parts of this that could have been written about my past relationship. So many "holy crap on a cracker, are you writing about him? Are you writing about me?" moments. And it was so very reassuring to realise that what I felt - the "hole", the grief, the confusion, the stress, the fear - that I wasn't going crazy, that I am not alone and most importantly THAT IT WAS NOT MY FAULT.

Sarah's holistic overview isn't always in alignment with my way of thinking, but that is irrelevant overall. Her humour, her observation, her honesty and her recovery are inspiring. Anyone who has been through this will recognise it oh so much.

The bags under my eyes are worth it!
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on 19 February 2014
A very interesting subject but not done justice here - the writer seems to have a very tenuous grasp of basic grammar and punctuation. I found it a frustrating experience reading it and there seems to be a load of 'cut and paste' stuff from experts in the field. A shame, because the writer obviously had a hard time but really ... didn't the publishers do a bit of editing on the thing? Seems not.
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on 11 August 2013
I fully understood the book as the author explained everything in layman's terms and in a very comprehensible manner. There was humour, which I love and it gave her story perfectly! So much of it resonated with me and it has helped me so much. Thank you Sarah Strudwick,
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on 8 July 2014
I found this book helped me understand the behaviour and thought process behind my ex partner whom I can now comfortably say had a personality disorder. I felt the book put words to my confusion; I learned that actually I was not to blame as my ex would have had me believe. The has given me freedom from that relationship and enabled me to start healing and move on. This book has helped me to understand the signs of a 'psychopathic personality' and how to steer clear of them in the future. A must read for anyone who is in a relationship with someone who is abusive, controlling and that creates confusion in their life.
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on 13 December 2013
...it's horrible...I just couldn't get into it and I don't like the writing style at all...I just personally can't recommend this book.
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on 24 December 2013
I am only 16% into reading this book on Kindle and one word 'bravo'. A very informative book, if you feel you need any help in validating that you are in a toxic relationship read this book...
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