How to Stop a Stalker
by Mike Proctor
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
How to Stop a Stalker / 1-59102-091-3
My edition of this book was published in 2003, and I don't believe there is a more recent edition currently available. So keep in mind that a lot has changed in the realm of online stalking since this book was published - changes that I certainly don't fault this book for failing to predict and account for. Having said that, if you're buying this book to gain insight on how to protect from online stalking, you'll find very little here - the three cyber-stalking cases presented here are of the "meet online and then in person" variety. There is little to no discussion of the non-physical, yet still destructive, types of cyber-stalking and cyber-harassment; again, not the book's fault, but if that's the information you need, this book won't supply it.
As far as old-fashioned physical proximity stalking goes, this book definitely does deliver on the safety and vigilance tips. The section on home security alone is deeply comprehensive, and I strongly recommend it for anyone - even if you aren't being stalked physically, there's a lot of good home defense information here that you may never have thought about. (For instance, how sturdy is your front door?)
If there's anything I dislike about this book, it would be the overall tone and presentation. The author has a very snitty tone and seems to think very highly of himself - there's a certain tone of "what was this idiot thinking?!?" in some of the anecdotes that didn't sit well with me. I'm firmly of the belief that authors should be able to write however they please, but considering that many of the target audience for this book will be victims or intended victims of stalkers, it seems a little cold (and potentially triggering) to berate victims for being too trusting. For that matter, the author gives a few too many details, in my opinion, in his anecdotes - when describing how a woman met up with an internet stalker and was attacked, why not just leave it that she was assaulted? It seems...strange, somehow, that the author is so careful to detail how many times she was raped, or which of her teeth were knocked out (and forced to swallow!, he adds). What's the point of that? Again, it's triggering and seems to focus less on "how to stop a stalker" and more on "there's a lot of scary people out there, and you need me to protect you".
If you can get past the horrific anecdotes and their strangely specific level of detail, this is a useful book on home security and physical vigilance. It's a niche book, and it could have been written better (and more tightly edited), but if you have the need, this book will help.
~ Ana Mardoll
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