Happy New Year! It’s January 2,
2014. 2015. Okay, that will happen to me a lot this month.
With Christmas, it was time again to redeem my Barnes & Noble gift card and what did I fill my Nook Glowlight with? Books about stalkers. Upon reading one particular book, I found myself drawn to another and then another, and as it turns out, the more deranged the stalker was, the more intrigued I became. The psychology behind the whole stalker’s mindset is one that I started to study a little bit. Also, the desire girls have to read on and figuratively become the stalker’s victim herself has become a fascination of mine after doing a little more digging. So let’s analyze.
The psycho stalkers in fiction are not the beastly looking guys who lurk and hide and make plans to chain you in the basement. Who they are, exactly, are a combination of princely, damaged and desperately-just-looking-for-someone-to-love-them kind of guys. But please, take note. Stalkers do not look like this:
(That’s Ryan Guzman, Jennifer Lopez’s stalker in her new movie that comes out this month. How many girls in that theater are going to say, “Wow…what a nut. She needs to do something about him.” That boy is why females pick up these books and end up wanting to take the guy home rather than to the police station).
The latest book I read involved quite a psychotic fellow. What I found so disturbing is that the writer made him a handsome bookstore clerk who became smitten with a random woman who walked in as a customer, and he was instantly starry-eyed and in love. Yes, that’s crazy. But it is also how a lot of couples who’ve been married for many years describe the first sighting of their partner. The difference here is when said smitten guy kills other people who interfere, hacks into social media and ultimately changes every aspect of the woman’s life in order to have her. How could any normal woman be okay with that? Well, as it turns out, there are many. All I had to do was go to Goodreads and read the reviews on the few stalker books I’ve just read and the summaries were all the same: they actually felt SYMPATHY for the lunatic because he was…GOOD LOOKING. SOUL-CURSED. And shockingly, I realized I’d started to head in that direction as well. Not about the killing innocent people part, or the scary ways the stalker managed to invade the girl’s life. It was that sad, dejected part of him that made me wonder why? How is someone who looks like that, and is that charming, such a menace? Apparently, I’m not alone in that territory. These authors aren’t writing about serial killers. They’re writing male characters that just-want-to-be-loved. Perfectly flawed characters.
Stolen, The Hypnotist’s Love Story, You, The Good Girl, and my current Nook download, The Twisted Window are all examples of the sympathetic, beautiful stalker. What it comes down to, is that all of the above fictional stalkers should be in prison, with no chance of parole. But throw in the beauty factor, and they all become puppies women want to take home and train to be good after all. Because let’s face it, when someone is stalking you and is obsessed with you, it’s pretty flattering…SAID NO REAL LIFE VICTIM EVER.
Bottom line, is that as females, we want to fix the bad guy. I don’t mean the murderous bad guys. But the ones who feel they need to stalk because they’re so misunderstood. So long as they aren’t completely evil, we want to save them. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case in reality. At least for the victims I read about online and truly felt such sadness for.
So am I strange because I fell into the Stockholm Syndrome category? No, I don’t think so. The whole point of fictional novels are to draw us in and send us into the make-believe minds and worlds of whatever they may be, good or bad. Which is a sign of truly brilliant writing. Don’t feel guilty.
Best wishes for