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Give Me Everything You Have: On Being Stalked

Give Me Everything You Have On Being Stalked A true story of obsessive love turning to obsessive hate Give Me Everything You Have chronicles the author s strange and harrowing ordeal at the hands of a former student a self styled verbal terror

  • Title: Give Me Everything You Have: On Being Stalked
  • Author: James Lasdun
  • ISBN: 9780374219079
  • Page: 429
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A true story of obsessive love turning to obsessive hate, Give Me Everything You Have chronicles the author s strange and harrowing ordeal at the hands of a former student, a self styled verbal terrorist, who began trying, in her words, to ruin him Hate mail, online postings, and public accusations of plagiarism and sexual misconduct were her weapons of choice and, asA true story of obsessive love turning to obsessive hate, Give Me Everything You Have chronicles the author s strange and harrowing ordeal at the hands of a former student, a self styled verbal terrorist, who began trying, in her words, to ruin him Hate mail, online postings, and public accusations of plagiarism and sexual misconduct were her weapons of choice and, as with conventional terrorist weapons, they proved remarkably difficult to combat James Lasdun s account, while terrifying, is told with compassion and humor, and brilliantly succeeds in turning a highly personal story into a profound meditation on subjects as varied as madness, race, Middle East politics, and the meaning of honor and reputation in the Internet age.

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    About "James Lasdun"

    1. James Lasdun

      James Lasdun was born in London and now lives in upstate New York He has published two novels as well as several collections of short stories and poetry He has been long listed for the Man Booker Prize and short listed for the Los Angeles Times, T S Eliot, and Forward prizes in poetry and he was the winner of the inaugural U.K BBC Short Story Prize His nonfiction has been published in Harper s Magazine, Granta, and the London Review of Books.

    517 Comments

    1. Changing this from 1 to 5 stars, based on the author s writing alone The few relevant phrases from my original review should explain why quite easily See below autiful writing adoredhis cross country train trip, his reflections on D.H Lawrence, his beautiful retelling of Sir Gawain A genius writer I loved it and couldn t put it down My God, what a writer Obviously, I thought the book was fantastic, but I had some problems with it that I couldn t articulate without going into a goddamn frenzy.My [...]


    2. Given that this is a true story, it is a horrifying piece of work Lasdun is forced to relive the moments leading up to and during a verbal online assault on him, his family, his publisher, his employers, and his work by a demented student An individual has no real protection from defamation, and the problem continued for years, infecting every version of himself as Lasdun twisted and turned, desperate to avoid the slings and arrows This book was published in 2013 Lasdun met his aggressor in 2003 [...]


    3. This is a disturbing story of cyberstalking Lasdun was a fiction professor who was verbally terrorized by a former student, called Nasreen, who became obsessed with him and vowed to ruin his life Not only did she threaten him and his family, sometimes using anti Semitic language, but she also threatened his publisher, his colleagues and other writers Nasreen also made scathing accusations against him, posting hateful comments on , and magazines where Lasdun published his work Lasdun sought help [...]


    4. I m adding this so I don t forget it I m going to need to let my review simmer for a while Probably have to get bourbon buzzed again to try to recapture the brilliant discourse I was laying on my husband about this book the other night Okay, so on the one hand, I am trying to sympathize with Lasdun It seems to me that there s a slight yet very real danger present in befriending someone that isn t often acknowledged Lasdun even includes a helpful George Eliot quote to illustrate The last thing we [...]


    5. This reads like an attempt to clear the author s name than the exploration of the psychology and mechanics of stalking in the modern age that I was hoping for.Lasdun conspicuously avoids telling the reader if he was attracted to Nasreen when they first met And the way he sort of internally recognizes and enjoys Nasreen s flirtation and romantic feelings, while outwardly ignoring them I ve done that before When I started receiving post rejection nasty emails and floods of texts and instant messa [...]


    6. This book left me feeling unsettled, but not for the reason I thought it would The stalking of James Lasdun, though by all accounts horrible, unpleasant, professionally and personally damaging, and undeserved seemed to be of a vehicle for the novel or memoir that Lasdun wanted to write but for whatever reason, was unable to We get hints of it throughout the book his father as an architect, his life as a teacher, a visit to the Western Wall in which he attempts to reconcile with or connect with [...]


    7. A riveting, digressive and at times rather terrifying account of a years long online harassment campaign that left the author shaken and questioning his own character A memoir so intimately honest, so effortlessly literary, that you will be drawn into the whole unsavory tale caught up in the emotions classical tragedy induces terror, pity, but ultimately relief that this nightmare isn t happening to you I have published some extensive, personal musings on this title at Nudge And still I wonder, [...]


    8. UPDATE Four plus years after reading this book and posting this review I received an unexpected comment In case it s not still there when you, fellow Goodreader, happen upon this, here is the link to which it directed me mrnesandnoble w writing and madness in a time of terror afarin majidi 1127631208 ean 2940158864254 Just wanted to leave this here It feels disingenuous somehow to give such a low rating to a book written by a man who is still being cyber stalked by his former student 5 years on, [...]


    9. This account of the cyber terrorist attack on a writer by his former pupil sounded such an interesting read As a former victim or stalking I really find it therapeutic to read accounts from other people, and have done so for years Fascinating to see how differently stalkers operate on their victims But sadly the author seemed interested in rambling about completely pointless and unconnected stories than about focusing fully on what happened to him I would say roughly that the book is 25 30% sta [...]


    10. I m only halfway through this book but I have very strong thoughts and opinions concerning the hundred or so pages that I have read.Let me beginThis is a manual on how NOT to write a memoir.This is also a good example on how you shouldn t rebuild your reputation if your good name is besmirched For that, try google Google probably has much better tips than James Lasdun s sad attempt at vindicating himself.I ll tell you what this book is actually about This is a book on how to make your readers de [...]


    11. It only stands to reason that when a book is titled Give Me Everything You Have On Being Stalked, that the content is, indeed, about being stalked.James Lasdun, though, has a far ambitious agenda This book, in his own words, is a larger story woven from memories, journeys, portraits, observations all the stray psychic material that had been drawn into orbit around the drama that had monopolized my consciousness for than three years now It s important, I believe, for the reader to keep this in [...]


    12. To take Lasdun s gripping account of being terrorized, online, by a former student as a mere true crime, autobiographical thriller in which the writer, according to some reviewers, makes inexplicable forays into literature, history and religious politics is to miss the point entirely Give Me Everything You Have is a terrific story, beautifully told It s also a courageously transparent, insightful, rich and incisive exploration of our unsettled and unsettling lives Painfully, deeply relevant to a [...]


    13. What a waste of a good intellect The author is so bright yet staggeringly clueless about what he did to exacerbate the stalking situation, and I did not enjoy his pointless mind trips about the nature of anti semitism and how stalking is depicted in literature If he spent just a fraction of his efforts looking inside himself to explore how he not only failed to discourage the stalker, how he missed countless opportunities to nip the situation in the bud, it might have been enjoyable to read, bu [...]


    14. Ugh If you re in the mood for a rambling narrative full of self praise and the author s own endless attempts to prove his intelligence, with a story that really goeswhere, this is the book for you I m troubled, too, by the lack of the author s own emails We see many excerpts from Nasreen s emails, but few if any of the author s own Instead, he tells us what he wrote to her, but doesn t provide the proof It s a quick read, made quicker by the fact that you can skip dozens of pages at a time witho [...]


    15. Chilling, brave, captivating I heard about this book on Fresh Air, where it was reviewed by a college professor like James Lasdun She got my attention when she pointed out that James Lasdun has lived and documented every professor s every writer s worst nightmare I was riveted by most of the book, especially Lasdun s descriptions of Nasreen s descent into all out obsession and no holds barred harassment of him, and then his colleagues and family Having been stalked to a lesser degree by a border [...]


    16. Purports to be a story of how the author was stalked and the effect on his life Instead, it s a navel gazing comp lit essay with a few tidbits of crazy emails scattered throughout I skipped about 1 4 of it because it meanders off into COMPLETELY UNRELATED stories about his travels to Provence, or to Santa Fe, or to Jerusalem No story arc No real feeling that the author was ever actually in danger BORING.


    17. Well I liked this, and I m glad to have read it There s a dubiety to Lasdun s apparent lack of culpability, and other reviewers have brought it up, but he does talk about having his own sense that he must somehow deserve the shadow of guilt which now follows him around That it s still possible to question him I d suggest is down to the fact that this is a true and therefore messy story, and valuable for that Besides, if it were the story of a woman pursued aggressively by a man, there d be no q [...]


    18. This is a starkly honest and gripping memoir about James Lasdun s experience with an obsessive former student, Nasreen, who tries to ruin him with a virulent cyber stalking campaign involving anti Semitic rants and accusations of plagiarism Lasdun s attempts to make sense of the obsession by drawing connections between it and his favorite pieces of literature is fascinating, as is his own self scrutiny.Lasdun questions his own culpability in the course of events Was I an objective, impartial obs [...]


    19. Well I thought this would be fascinating but the only interesting and or moving writer in this book is Nasreen the stalker A crowning moment for me was when James Lasdun decides, you know, in his own non medical opinion, that she is NOT mentally ill because if she were ill then he wouldn t really feel justified in writing a book about her Um Nice try.


    20. On Being Stalked, the subtitle of James Lasdun s memoir Give Me Everything You Have, hints at a storyline that is thrilling and suspenseful the tiny little envelope accompanying this subtitle, which also happens to be the only image on the entire cover, hints at the opposite Stalking is a lurid crime based on obsession, drive, and often than not delusion, something rare that requires planning to be done successfully Mail, whether physical or digital daily or instantaneous, based in bureaucracy [...]


    21. I need to let my final reaction to this book marinate for a bit, I think I will say that I initially thought it was brilliant and was sharply disappointed by the end Which feels like an utterly bizarre thing to say about someone s narrative of being unrelentingly verbally and psychologically terrorized for five years, and counting Lots going on here, some of it compelling, a good deal of it less so, especially as the book progresses Textually dense and rather inscrutable when his gaze is turned [...]


    22. Robin Sachs, my favorite reader of all time narrates this book which is how I came upon James Landon s frightening and astonishing memoir of being stalked for years by a former student The writing is exquisite Most of the time I felt like I was in a bad dream The sideline excursions to the main tale were very interesting although a bit random.


    23. I just skimmed this book from about 2 3 through to the end I got it because I thought it would be interesting to hear about how and why this man was pursued by an internet stalker What is really interesting about the story though is trying to understand why this woman would do it Unfortunately, we never get any insight into that though because this is not the stalker s story, it is the stalkee s And while at first you sympathize with his plight and admire the insight he makes into himself and ho [...]


    24. To have someone stalk you must be incredibly scary and frustrating I was really riveted by the story of how a seemingly innocent acquaintance wormed her way into the author s life and terrorized him and continues to do so Unfortunately I don t think Lasdun does himself any favors in the way the story unfolds While the literary musings didn t bother me, some sort of straightforward timeline of events and better explained direct attempts to shake Nasreen from his life would have made for a better [...]


    25. You know a book is written by an English professor when, midway through the book, it veers suddenly into a fifty page long analysis of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.


    26. I have mixed feelings about this book written by James Lasdun and consequently, it is difficult for me to assign it a rating The title is what initially caught my attention but I discovered that the title is actually a bit misleading The story related in these pages refers to specific form of stalking cyberstalking According to Norton Security Center, cyberstalking is the use of technology, particularly the Internet, to harass someone Common characteristics include false accusations, threats, id [...]


    27. James Lasdun s GIVE ME EVERYTHING YOU HAVE ON BEING STALKED Farrar, Straus Giroux, March, 2013 is a paradox of a book Lasdun walks the reader through the experience of being stalked by a student he meets while teaching in an MFA program in New York Though initially quiet and reserved, by Lasdun s assessment, Nasreen as he calls her devolves over time into a by her own definition verbal terrorist who reveals herself to be an unstable, possibly bi polar disaster, waivering between admonitions of l [...]


    28. Wow err Wow.I don t think I have ever hated a book than this.I find Lasdun to be obnoxious and incredibly sure of himself as a person A lot of people have said how beautiful his writing is I think the term I would use is that he waffles a lot.I understand that stalking is horrible and often terrifying if you consider this situation stalking , however I simply cannot understand why he would reply once he had any doubt in this woman s intentions In reference to what I said previously about how I [...]


    29. Tremendously tedious and overwrought Each step of the stalking seems to be mined by the author for literary and psychological insights, to the point where one wonders what feelings are actually organic What is being experienced and what is being produced as material He continually asks the reader to bear with him as he explains why one bit of information and then another are rendered relevant, but it s too much to ask, because ultimately the solution is not interesting As other reviewers have po [...]


    30. Such a brilliant set up that I forgave it a rather digressive third act It unfolds almost like a good mystery novel, but by the end, you don t hate the fact that it doesn t really have a traditionally satisfying resolution The mystery simply broadens sometimes too far and by the end, you re no closer to understanding this specific evil You re simply confronted by the notion of evil itself and the abyss, as they say, stares back.The prose is gorgeous, and if you have the chance, enjoy it in the l [...]


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