‘Writers like to write about the things they like to think about,’ noted Martin Amis of the obsessive frequency with which Vladimir Nabokov’s work turned to a sexual fixation with adolescent girls. To which we might add that so much contemporary culture lingers pruriently over the abuse of young women that this choice of subject matter begins to seem artistically lazy, as well as morally queasy. Two recent novels about stalkers negotiate these problems with varying degrees of success.
Memoirs of a Stalker, by debut author Thomas Hodgkinson, plays them for laughs. Narrator Jack, a struggling writer, is left ‘shipwrecked’ when dumped by his girlfriend, Mills. He loses his job, grows a beard, even contemplates seducing her mother. Having followed Mills home one night, Jack notices an open basement