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Koleksiyoncu

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Koleksiyoncu, İngiliz edebiyatının önde gelen yazarlarından John Fowlesun, birçok yayınevinden geri çevrilme talihsizliğini yaşayan; ama yayımlandığında kendisine bugünkü ününü getiren ilk romanı. Fransız Teğmenin Kadını, Yaratık, Mantissa ve Büyücü gibi başyapıtların habercisi... Koleksiyoncu, bir kelebek koleksiyoncusuyla, aşık olarak kaçırıp zindana kapattığı Koleksiyoncu, İngiliz edebiyatının önde gelen yazarlarından John Fowles´un, birçok yayınevinden geri çevrilme talihsizliğini yaşayan; ama yayımlandığında kendisine bugünkü ününü getiren ilk romanı. Fransız Teğmenin Kadını, Yaratık, Mantissa ve Büyücü gibi başyapıtların habercisi... Koleksiyoncu, bir kelebek koleksiyoncusuyla, aşık olarak kaçırıp zindana kapattığı bir resim öğrencisi arasındaki "mecburi" ilişkinin romanıdır görünürde. Ama Fowles´un olağanüstü üslubu ve ustalığıyla, bu ilişki, başka birçok ilişkiye de gönderme yapmakta, ahlaki kaygılarla baskı altına aldığımız yabanıl doğallığımız içinde, aslında neyi nereye kadar haklı ve geçerli bulabileceğimiz gerçekliğiyle bizi yüzleştirmektedir. Farklı yolculuklara açık bir kurgusu olan bu roman, sadece kendimize göre haklı olan bir tutku adına yapabileceklerimizin ikna edici ve masum bir anlatısı olarak okunabileceği gibi, içimizdeki "iktidar" ve "teslim olma" isteğinin hangi şartlarda ortaya çıkabileceğinin anlatısı olarak da okunabilir. Ya da iki ayrı sosyal tabakanın birbirine yakınlaşma çabalarının, aslında alt sınıfın üst sınıfa yaranma, üst sınıfın ise öğretmenlik kisvesine bürünerek "yığınları" mümkün olduğunda kendisinden uzak tutma kaygısından başka bir şey olmadığının çarpıcı bir anlatısı olarak da yorumlanabilir. Sadece bir psikolojik gerilim romanı olarak okunduğunda bile inanılmaz tatlar alacağınız Koleksiyoncu, bunun ötesine geçmekten ve kendi karanlıklarıyla yüzleşmekten korkmayanlara... Ya da Fowles´un dediği gibi "Her insan kendisi için bir giz olmalıdır" sözüne inananlar için. "Bu bir işkence öyküsü değil; Heyecan verici aşkın en güzel kanıtının ötekine ve onun arzusuna saygı göstermek olduğunu kim söyleyebilir? - Jean Baudrillard, Baştan Çıkarma Üzerine "Dehşet verici güzellikte bir ilk roman; son derece kendinden emin ve sıkı... Acımasız, marazi ve kesinlikle ikna edici." - Richard Lister, London Standard


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Koleksiyoncu, İngiliz edebiyatının önde gelen yazarlarından John Fowlesun, birçok yayınevinden geri çevrilme talihsizliğini yaşayan; ama yayımlandığında kendisine bugünkü ününü getiren ilk romanı. Fransız Teğmenin Kadını, Yaratık, Mantissa ve Büyücü gibi başyapıtların habercisi... Koleksiyoncu, bir kelebek koleksiyoncusuyla, aşık olarak kaçırıp zindana kapattığı Koleksiyoncu, İngiliz edebiyatının önde gelen yazarlarından John Fowles´un, birçok yayınevinden geri çevrilme talihsizliğini yaşayan; ama yayımlandığında kendisine bugünkü ününü getiren ilk romanı. Fransız Teğmenin Kadını, Yaratık, Mantissa ve Büyücü gibi başyapıtların habercisi... Koleksiyoncu, bir kelebek koleksiyoncusuyla, aşık olarak kaçırıp zindana kapattığı bir resim öğrencisi arasındaki "mecburi" ilişkinin romanıdır görünürde. Ama Fowles´un olağanüstü üslubu ve ustalığıyla, bu ilişki, başka birçok ilişkiye de gönderme yapmakta, ahlaki kaygılarla baskı altına aldığımız yabanıl doğallığımız içinde, aslında neyi nereye kadar haklı ve geçerli bulabileceğimiz gerçekliğiyle bizi yüzleştirmektedir. Farklı yolculuklara açık bir kurgusu olan bu roman, sadece kendimize göre haklı olan bir tutku adına yapabileceklerimizin ikna edici ve masum bir anlatısı olarak okunabileceği gibi, içimizdeki "iktidar" ve "teslim olma" isteğinin hangi şartlarda ortaya çıkabileceğinin anlatısı olarak da okunabilir. Ya da iki ayrı sosyal tabakanın birbirine yakınlaşma çabalarının, aslında alt sınıfın üst sınıfa yaranma, üst sınıfın ise öğretmenlik kisvesine bürünerek "yığınları" mümkün olduğunda kendisinden uzak tutma kaygısından başka bir şey olmadığının çarpıcı bir anlatısı olarak da yorumlanabilir. Sadece bir psikolojik gerilim romanı olarak okunduğunda bile inanılmaz tatlar alacağınız Koleksiyoncu, bunun ötesine geçmekten ve kendi karanlıklarıyla yüzleşmekten korkmayanlara... Ya da Fowles´un dediği gibi "Her insan kendisi için bir giz olmalıdır" sözüne inananlar için. "Bu bir işkence öyküsü değil; Heyecan verici aşkın en güzel kanıtının ötekine ve onun arzusuna saygı göstermek olduğunu kim söyleyebilir? - Jean Baudrillard, Baştan Çıkarma Üzerine "Dehşet verici güzellikte bir ilk roman; son derece kendinden emin ve sıkı... Acımasız, marazi ve kesinlikle ikna edici." - Richard Lister, London Standard

30 review for Koleksiyoncu

  1. 4 out of 5

    Brenna

    Rather than go into the plot details I'd rather touch on the larger metaphors of the book in this review. Although the basic plot is chilling enough on its own (A man kidnaps a beautiful and intelligent young girl) the parts that truly disturbed me had to do more with what I believe Fowles was saying about modern culture and the rise of the middle class. Though this book is decidedly "British" in many ways, I think the issues he raises are applicable to any society where a large middle class is Rather than go into the plot details I'd rather touch on the larger metaphors of the book in this review. Although the basic plot is chilling enough on its own (A man kidnaps a beautiful and intelligent young girl) the parts that truly disturbed me had to do more with what I believe Fowles was saying about modern culture and the rise of the middle class. Though this book is decidedly "British" in many ways, I think the issues he raises are applicable to any society where a large middle class is created in a relatively short amount of time. For me, this book is asking whether financial stability really leads to morality and more fulfilling lives (as in Major Barbara) or if perhaps we actually lose our souls once our bellies are fed. As some have mentioned in other reviews, Miranda is the stereotypical posh young artist. Born rich, it's easy for her to dismiss the complaints of the lower classes while at the same time hurling scorn at the society that produced her. I've met many people like Miranda (especially during my Masters at Columbia School of the Arts where trust fund babies were the norm, I went to school with a Pulitzer heiress for goodness sake) and usually found them boring and shallow, quick to namedrop an artist or recite tired rhetoric. But as her story progressed I began to like her more and more; Miranda is extremely self-aware, and I sensed that given time, she would grow out of her naivety and become a truly amazing woman. She is only 20 after all, barely an adult, and for all her idealistic pretension she is trying to evolve and grow (something that's can't be said for many of my Columbia peers). That's where the butterfly metaphor becomes even more apt; it's not just that she's a butterfly that Frederick has collected, it's what a butterfly represents: metamorphoses. It's almost as if Frederick has trapped her right when she was about to break out of her cocoon, halting her true beauty right before she was about to spread her wings. Which brings me to Frederick as a stand-in for middle-class mediocrity. Reading this book, I was often reminded of the idea that the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference. Frederick is indifferent to everything: art, war, sex, etc. The only thing he seems to respond to is a fleeting type of beauty, and all he wants to do with that beauty is possess it. Not love it, not understand it, just possess it. His need to possess is similar to the middle classes need to buy buy buy with no thought as to why it’s important to own the largest house, drive the nicest car or watch the most expensive television. As we’ve seen with the rise of divorce, prescription drugs, therapy, suicides and the general malaise of the populace during the latter half of the 20th century these things rarely produce happiness, if anything they produce more anxiety as credit debt rises while wages fall. What Fowles seems to be asking is “what are we doing with all this money and success, are we living more stable fulfilling lives, or are we turning into something just as bad or worse than the elite we despise?” Frederick’s winning the lottery should have been an opportunity for him to live the life he wanted free of economic worries, not a chance to commit evil. Similarly, the rise of the middle class in America and the UK should have been a renaissance of ideas once our bellies were fed. In many ways it was (the civil rights and feminist movements come to mind), but in others, like the rise of reality television, celebrity culture and punditry news, our success has just made us comfortable and indifferent to human suffering. We go on collecting pop music, techno gadgets, houses, cars, spouses, designer clothes, with no question or investigation as to why. With the internet we have the opportunity to learn about anything and everything, for the first time in history the entire history of the world is available at our fingertips. Why then does misinformation and stupidity seem to be on the rise rather then the reverse? Why then are we becoming less literate rather than more? Why when given the world, we’re choosing the slum instead? I agree with Miranda when she says art collectors are the worst offenders. The idea that art is merely an investment (just like the idea that a house is merely an investment rather than a home you share your life in) is abhorrent to me. I could never stand to look at an ugly painting in my home just because it was worth money, nor could I ever live with myself if I hoarded Picassos or Bacons or Kirchners purely for my own benefit. Because the true lover of beauty (and not all beauty is beautiful as Bacon proves) wants to share that beauty with the world. They want everyone to see, hear, taste, feel, and enjoy that beauty so that others lives may be enriched as well. They want everyone to feel as passionately as they do about what they love, but more importantly they just want others to feel. (the example of the American soldier in the book comes to mind) Anyone, regardless of class, money, status etc., is capable of living passionately and truthfully. Frederick is a perfect example of someone who chooses not to, or worse, just doesn’t really care either way.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Pouting Always

    Fredrick is a clerk and butterfly collector who wins some money that lets him retire. Fredrick is lonely and has trouble getting along with others, the only people he really has are his aunt and cousin. He watches an art student named Miranda who starts to become his obsession. When he suddenly has a lot of free time and money on his hands, his daydreams about Miranda turn dark and he plans to kidnap her and hold her hostage in the cellar of an old cottage he buys until she gets to know him and Fredrick is a clerk and butterfly collector who wins some money that lets him retire. Fredrick is lonely and has trouble getting along with others, the only people he really has are his aunt and cousin. He watches an art student named Miranda who starts to become his obsession. When he suddenly has a lot of free time and money on his hands, his daydreams about Miranda turn dark and he plans to kidnap her and hold her hostage in the cellar of an old cottage he buys until she gets to know him and falls in love with him. I really enjoyed the book personally, I liked the writing style and even though its about something macabre Fowles doesn't make it exploitative or gore-y to shock the reader. A lot of the focus is on the characters change and development as well as their thought process through out. I think it's really well done, both the Fredrick and Miranda parts are distinct and feel like two separate people. Everything unfolding the way it does felt so real too, the way Fredrick distances himself from what he's doing and tries to justify it, insisting he doesn't mean to do it until he does it even though everything is being meticulously planned. Also Miranda's conflicted feelings over Fredrick and her slow breakdown from living confined and alone. I originally read this book because I was listening to last podcast on the left (which I recommend to anyone who likes cults or serial killers but isn't sensitive to jokes that may be considered offensive) and they mention Leonard Lake being obsessed with the book. I checked and there are multiple murders associated with the book and so I just wanted to see what about this book was causing all these people to feel like yes killing is great. Anyways the only thing I can come up with is that since the book was published in the 1960s there wasn't as much about sadistic killers or people doing crimes like these out there so it appealed to them and Fowles does such a good job capturing a certain kind of personality in Fredrick that people really identified with it. It also gave them a good model of how to escalate to the point of doing things like kidnapping and murdering because really in the book Fredrick just starts off by dreaming about it and it goes from there. That's all I've got because (view spoiler)[ Fredrick never really hurts Miranda or forces her to do anything especially at first, he kind of just likes having her (hide spoiler)] so I'm not sure why that would inspire Leonard Lake to want a slave that he can use for sex and to take care of the house? The author in interviews said that the book is about social class and money and I do see that much more clearly in the book than any message about how its a good idea to kidnap women. I'm not sure how much I agree with the social commentary though probably because it has been decades since the book has been written. I do understand the point that money and idle time given to people can lead to them doing things they might not have otherwise but I don't think the class or money is the problem so much as the person themselves.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Petal X Planet

    I read this when I was very young. Young enough that anything with a sexual connotation was interesting to me. Even really perverse deviations like this. A collector of butterflies 'collects' a girl and holds her prisoner. His deviation is far deeper than merely sex. But of course, sex is implied all the time. There are two sorts of kept women, those gold-diggers who actively sought it, and those trophy wives who had never planned for it and had been actively courted. This is a trophy I read this when I was very young. Young enough that anything with a sexual connotation was interesting to me. Even really perverse deviations like this. A collector of butterflies 'collects' a girl and holds her prisoner. His deviation is far deeper than merely sex. But of course, sex is implied all the time. There are two sorts of kept women, those gold-diggers who actively sought it, and those trophy wives who had never planned for it and had been actively courted. This is a trophy wife by force, not a sex slave but a 'wife'. It's a very original story, writing at it's finest. And it's creepy, very very creepy. Thanks to Loederkoningin> for inspiring me to write this review. There are a lot of excellent reviews on GR about this book, but in my opinion they all give far too much away. The book is like an onion. The outside skin, then the world within, layer upon layer. And at it's resolution, quite unexpectedly there is a tiny green shoot. Every detail you know about the story or the characters will take away a layer for you. 5 star read, a gold five star.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    This is one of those boy meets girl, chloroforms her, throws her in the back of the van and stuffs her in his basement type stories. I knew that already and so I was really not expecting to be coshed on the head and chucked down in the basement as well, and tied hands and feet, and gagged, so that all I could hear was the quiet reasonable voice of working-class loner Fred Clegg, aged 22, explaining how he’d fallen in love from afar with the unattainable art student Miranda Grey, & since he w This is one of those boy meets girl, chloroforms her, throws her in the back of the van and stuffs her in his basement type stories. I knew that already and so I was really not expecting to be coshed on the head and chucked down in the basement as well, and tied hands and feet, and gagged, so that all I could hear was the quiet reasonable voice of working-class loner Fred Clegg, aged 22, explaining how he’d fallen in love from afar with the unattainable art student Miranda Grey, & since he was much too shy to go up & speak to her, the only way he could figure out how to meet her and get her to really see the kind of person he was (a good person with proper values, not the upper class idiots she was hanging around with) was to chloroform her and stuff her in his basement. Normally a lowly clerk could not do any such thing, but Fred had a stroke of luck, he won the modern equivalent of £1.6 million on the football pools (1960s version of the National Lottery) so he could ditch his family & buy an isolated cottage with a lovely big cellar. Fred explains (for 122 pages) how attentive to her every whim he was, how this was the gentlest form of kidnapping ever, and aside from the initial drugging & throwing in the van and the alas necessary gagging and binding from time to time (otherwise she’d escape, probably, as she had not yet come to see what a good person with proper values he was) all she had to do was express a casual desire for Mozart quartets, caviar and Beaujolais and he would roar off in the van and get it. Fred is the sweetest psycho ever! The kindest and most attentive! He doesn’t even want to perform any kind of carnal irregularities with Miranda – he thinks that sex before marriage is wrong! No slurping and grunting at all! Anyway, after 122 pages of this fascinating and truly awful yet completely believable reasonable you-would-have-done-the-same mad droning, suddenly there’s a jump cut & we get 150 pages of Miranda retelling the whole story in her secret diary. This is nearly the hardest part of the novel to read because Miranda turns out to be a ghastly art snob with a fixation on an old enough to be her father boho painter-shagster & so one is torn between being horrified at her bleak situation which increasingly looks as if it will not end well (I mean, really, when a relationship starts with chloroform and basements it is has probably got off on the wrong foot) and being horrified at the seething embarrassments of class and sex and posturing, pomposity and pettiness revealed in these seemingly neverending jottings. This is a brilliant stroke by John Fowles and really messes with your mind. As does the whole book. After that things just go badly.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dana Ilie

    This novel was unlike anything I’ve read before and the character of Frederick will certainly leave a lasting memory. I don’t think there’s been a character that’s made my skin crawl or forced me to talk back (shout!) at a book on so many an occasion – well done Fowles!I definitely think Book Readers should have this book on their shelf.

  6. 5 out of 5

    smetchie

    Impotent sociopath kidnaps beautiful art student. Told (partly) from the sociopath's perspective. That's my jam! I should have loved this book! But something left me cold. I suppose it may have been all the bitching and complaining the beautiful art student did in her stupid diary. What a helpless twit! Not to imply that I'd be brave and cunning or anything...if someone kidnapped me. In fact, I'm pretty sure I'd be a helpless twit as well. But I'll be goddamned if I'd expect anyone to enjoy Impotent sociopath kidnaps beautiful art student. Told (partly) from the sociopath's perspective. That's my jam! I should have loved this book! But something left me cold. I suppose it may have been all the bitching and complaining the beautiful art student did in her stupid diary. What a helpless twit! Not to imply that I'd be brave and cunning or anything...if someone kidnapped me. In fact, I'm pretty sure I'd be a helpless twit as well. But I'll be goddamned if I'd expect anyone to enjoy reading the daily chronicles of what a helpless twit I'd been. The ending really made me smile, though. The creepy ending made it all worthwhile. Crazy fucker.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Fabian

    This novel is over fifty years old (!), and it holds up very well. It is the rudimentary skeleton that is upheld (fleshed by current events, given a brain by contemporary writers) ad nauseum by CSI, Law and Order, Law and Order SVU, Medium, Criminal Minds et al. Though its semi predictable, the end is nonetheless terribly terrific. That there are two strands of narrative is sometimes a revelation, sometimes an encumbrance (like living through a terrible ordeal not once but twice!). Both psycholo This novel is over fifty years old (!), and it holds up very well. It is the rudimentary skeleton that is upheld (fleshed by current events, given a brain by contemporary writers) ad nauseum by CSI, Law and Order, Law and Order SVU, Medium, Criminal Minds et al. Though its semi predictable, the end is nonetheless terribly terrific. That there are two strands of narrative is sometimes a revelation, sometimes an encumbrance (like living through a terrible ordeal not once but twice!). Both psychological documents are wondrous to behold; "The Collector" is a story we've seen usurped once and again in multiple films, TV & novels.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie

    ’I am one in a row of specimens. It’s when I try to flutter out of line that he hates me. I’m meant to be dead, pinned, always the same, always beautiful. He knows that part of my beauty is being alive, but it’s the dead me he wants. He wants me living-but-dead.’ The Collector is the story of Frederick Clegg, an extremely odd and lonely man who also collects butterflies. He’s obsessed with a middle-class art student named Miranda Grey and as he continues admiring her from a distance a plan slowly starts ’I am one in a row of specimens. It’s when I try to flutter out of line that he hates me. I’m meant to be dead, pinned, always the same, always beautiful. He knows that part of my beauty is being alive, but it’s the dead me he wants. He wants me living-but-dead.’ The Collector is the story of Frederick Clegg, an extremely odd and lonely man who also collects butterflies. He’s obsessed with a middle-class art student named Miranda Grey and as he continues admiring her from a distance a plan slowly starts developing in his mind that he would like to have her; like one of his butterflies. He makes preparations by buying a house out in the country, purchasing assorted objects and things he knows she will need, convinced that if he can only capture her and keep her that she will slowly grow to love him. The first part of the novel was told from Frederick's point of view and it was rather alarming at his thought process. In his mind, there is nothing morally wrong with what he intends to do (and what he actually ends up doing). He recognizes that Miranda is a human being as he takes care of her and provides her everything a human would possibly need, but she’s inevitably nothing more than an object or a collectible item to him. He doesn’t mean to harm her at first; however, it’s evident that as time progresses, he enjoys having power over her and almost finds humor in her attempts to escape. The second part of the novel was told from Miranda’s point of view through diary entries that she hides underneath her mattress. She writes about G.P. often, a man she met and who ended up having a huge impact on her thoughts and ideals. To Miranda, G.P. was everything she wanted to be and his opinions and thoughts became a set of ‘rules’ for her. At first I had a hard time determining the relevancy of these recollections, but it essentially just became another disturbing piece of the story to see how influential G.P. and his ‘rules’ really were to Miranda. ’He’s made me believe them; it’s the thought of him that makes me feel guilty when I break the rules.’ It was almost expected, however still just as shocking when it becomes glaringly obvious that Miranda slowly begins to take pity on her captor. She starts feeling bad for the harsh things she says to him and she also unconsciously prevents herself from doing him excessive harm during an escape attempt as she feels that if she does she’s descending to his level…It was as if she had simply accepted her situation, and that was the most heartbreaking part. ’And yes, he had more dignity than I did then and I felt small, mean. Always sneering at him, jabbing him, hating him and showing it. It was funny, we sat in silence facing each other and I had a feeling I’ve had once or twice before, of the most peculiar closeness to him—not love or attraction or sympathy in any way. But linked destiny. Like being shipwrecked on an island—a raft—together. In every way not wanting to be together. But together.’ The third and fourth parts of the novel were the most disturbing parts of the entire book. Suffice it to say, it gave me goosebumps. It was not the ending I had anticipated, but I still felt that the author was successful in creating the everlasting effect I believe he intended. Obviously, you understand the severity of Ferdinand’s actions; however, not until the end do you fully understand just how abnormal he really is. This was certainly not a happy book, but one that I’m glad to have read and one that I will likely not forget.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Char

    3.5 stars! Thought by some to be the first psychological thriller, this book left me slightly wanting. The Collector is broken into three parts. The first part is from Clegg's point of view. Clegg is a man obsessed with a young woman and decides to "collect" her, much as he collects butterflies. The second part is from the woman's point of view, once she's been "collected". This was the part that I found unsatisfying. There were some observations in this section about class, money and society wh 3.5 stars! Thought by some to be the first psychological thriller, this book left me slightly wanting. The Collector is broken into three parts. The first part is from Clegg's point of view. Clegg is a man obsessed with a young woman and decides to "collect" her, much as he collects butterflies. The second part is from the woman's point of view, once she's been "collected". This was the part that I found unsatisfying. There were some observations in this section about class, money and society which probably were more pertinent in the 60's, (which is when this book was written), than they are now. I found this portion slowed down the pacing considerably. The third part goes back to Clegg's point of view. Clegg is where this book lives. The peeks inside his mind, while presented as normal thoughts on his part, are truly chilling to us readers who are sane. I shivered to read some of the things he was thinking. These psychological tics and the detached way in which they were presented were what made this book great. (You can see how I'm torn here between being unsatisfied, while at the same time finding some portions of The Collector to be outstanding.) To today's jaded horror readers? This might not be the book for you. But to fans of stories like Silence of the Lambs, or even Red Dragon, I think this book will appeal, even though some of the themes are a bit outdated. It's to them that I recommend The Collector.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    One of the first dark psychological thrillers--at least in modern times (though depending on how you categorize them, James or Poe or even some of the ancient Greeks might usefully be described this way, too). A tale of obsession and art and butterflies--need I say more? Wonderful for those who take their fiction black. What's especially interesting here is the sheer banality of Frederick's evil. He kidnaps Miranda, then doesn't really know what to do or how to relate to her as an actual person One of the first dark psychological thrillers--at least in modern times (though depending on how you categorize them, James or Poe or even some of the ancient Greeks might usefully be described this way, too). A tale of obsession and art and butterflies--need I say more? Wonderful for those who take their fiction black. What's especially interesting here is the sheer banality of Frederick's evil. He kidnaps Miranda, then doesn't really know what to do or how to relate to her as an actual person instead of as an object.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    "Oh", said a friend, taking this novel off my shelf. "This sounds like a boring topic for a story!" She thought it was a story about collecting butterflies, as that is what the title and cover suggest. And I answered: "It is not about that at all, and it is one of the most suspenseful and scary novels I ever read!" But then I thought that it actually is about collecting butterflies after all. One just rarely thinks of the fact that you kill them and pierce them with a "Oh", said a friend, taking this novel off my shelf. "This sounds like a boring topic for a story!" She thought it was a story about collecting butterflies, as that is what the title and cover suggest. And I answered: "It is not about that at all, and it is one of the most suspenseful and scary novels I ever read!" But then I thought that it actually is about collecting butterflies after all. One just rarely thinks of the fact that you kill them and pierce them with a needle to be able to look at their beautiful wings at your leisure instead of chasing after them flying free. So the cover and title say it all, just not straightforward. I guess this book made me a strong supporter of butterflies' right to fly ...

  12. 4 out of 5

    J.A. Saare

    Other reviewers have said what I would say about The Collector. It's haunting, disturbing, and impossible to forget once you've finished. While not a typical "horror" story, it is one that probably occurs more often in the real world than not, and the person(s) involved could be a distant relative, a sibling, a son or a daughter. Allow me to state right now that it's not an easy read. As someone who derives enjoyment from books of this nature, I was determined to remain objective from Other reviewers have said what I would say about The Collector. It's haunting, disturbing, and impossible to forget once you've finished. While not a typical "horror" story, it is one that probably occurs more often in the real world than not, and the person(s) involved could be a distant relative, a sibling, a son or a daughter. Allow me to state right now that it's not an easy read. As someone who derives enjoyment from books of this nature, I was determined to remain objective from the onset. I wanted Frederick to earn my disdain, just as I wanted Miranda to garner my sympathy and support. Little did I know just how masterfully John Fowles would pen the book. Written in four sections, you are given Frederick's POV, then Miranda's (via her diary), and finally two final portions (of which the last seems like an epilogue). The format doesn't seem to be all that special, but in truth, it is what makes The Collector so powerful -- your emotions, quite literally, are used against you. Frederick is a gentle -- yet, due to his fears and compulsions, dangerous -- man. In the beginning, you want to understand his desire to earn Miranda's "love." It's not until things progress that you learn that Miranda isn't truly a person to him (even he doesn't recognize this) but an object to collect. Even more tragic is that as much as you dislike Miranda(I'm ashamed to confess this, but almost the entire portion written from Frederik's POV I didn't care for her) when it's her turn to speak, you are presented an entirely different picture -- of a girl with hopes, dreams, and the realization that the choices that were of such importance in her life -- namely her inability to choose to reveal her love for another man, as well as her faith in God -- are made all the more heartbreaking in light of the predicament in which she finds herself. Of course, when you delve into the third and fourth parts, it's just devastating. I can't say much as not to spoil, but I know this book will remain with me for an EXTREMELY long time. It's disturbing in a multitude of ways, but it's the ending that drives the final nail in the coffin (no pun intended). Suffice it to say, those last few words gave me chills and even now I can't stop thinking about them.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Evan

    A great pal of mine, who shall remain nameless, is a collector. Truly and obsessively one. His house is filled from floor to ceiling with records and CDs and other bric a brac. It's a very large, sprawling ranch with a half floor up as well as a basement. It should be a spacious and roomy abode, but when you walk in there it's like squeezing through the Fat Man's misery section of Mammoth Cave - you have to turn sideways to get through. He shares this space with a half dozen cats. It's filthy. R A great pal of mine, who shall remain nameless, is a collector. Truly and obsessively one. His house is filled from floor to ceiling with records and CDs and other bric a brac. It's a very large, sprawling ranch with a half floor up as well as a basement. It should be a spacious and roomy abode, but when you walk in there it's like squeezing through the Fat Man's misery section of Mammoth Cave - you have to turn sideways to get through. He shares this space with a half dozen cats. It's filthy. Reading this, I wondered too if he might have a lady squirreled away in the basement, but dismissed this notion. There is simply no room down there to do any such thing, every inch is piled with stuff. He compares himself to the Collyer brothers (see Wikipedia), whose obsession with collecting proved fatal. And so it is in Fowles' "The Collector," but how that is so constitutes a spoiler. There were no spoilers in it for me, as I'd seen the William Wyler 1965 film for the first time in the early '70s on TV, and I think what caught my eye and kept my interest then was lovely Samantha Eggar, as Miranda, a role in which she was well cast. I think she captured the character of the book. I've since seen the movie again and it holds up, though reading the book I think that Terence Stamp may have been too glamorous looking to play the role of "The Collector." The film is a very faithful adaptation, at least as the story itself goes, but is structurally different, since the book takes a His vs. Hers approach to the telling of it, which is not the strategy of the film, that simply incorporates both these into a straightforward narrative. So yeah, I'm reading it and the story seems to end halfway through and I begin Miranda's diary and I begin to think, goddamn, I have to read this story all over again?! Son of a bitch. But it's a very clever trope and in many ways Miranda doesn't make a very good case for herself in her diary account. She's young and arrogant just the kind of snob that the collector ascertains. None of this justifies what he does to her, of course, and that's one of the strengths of the book, toying at the readers' sympathies for both characters. They're both unlikeable, and yet one feels for both of them. The collector has a complex repressive psychology - he knows what he wants, but doesn't. And she is highly impressionable, as her accounts of longing for her insufferable mentor, the Picasso-like womanizing artist, G.P., suggests. The battle of wits here is good, and is well handled in the movie as well. I had hoped that Fowles would not have stated so obviously (through Miranda's voice) that the collector was someone who treated her the same way as the butterflies in his collection, in such an aloof way, under glass, suffocating and snuffing out what he supposedly loved. This is easy enough to glean without the author's help. And this is the way I feel about my friend, the record collector - he has tens of thousands of LPs, but cannot play them, won't listen to them. How can one ever choose from such a collection? Merely the having of them sates him, for the moment, for he is never sated. What does he want out of it? He doesn't know. He has the object, but can't ever fully appreciate the true essence of what's inside it - the music. And so it is with the collector, whose idealized view of Miranda trumps the reality of who she is. So, yes, this is a great story, well and cleverly told in plain language, often with thoughtful insights. And yet, somehow, I never felt like I was in the presence of great literature - even though I felt I was in the presence of a writer capable of it. Perhaps the dispassionate tone of the collector's account made me feel this (and yet Graham Greene is largely dispassionate and I feel great passion in his work). Fowles' partisans suggest that "The Magus" is his great contribution to literature, so someday hopefully I can check that out. Anyway I'm still absorbing what I've read, so all the aspects of the book I'd like to comment on will likely be unstated. I tend to move on.. (like the collector??)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

    Oh boy what did I just read?! This was most definitely a strange sinister and creepy story. I know I wasn’t meant to sympathise with Ferdinand/Frederick/Caliban but he is such a pathetic useless character! Beyond the obvious depraved strangeness of the whole scenario he had no backbone! Nothing going for him. So he wasn’t a complete monster, he seemed to have some qualities that you could call human but it was a such a weird situation and my thoughts changed throughout, between pity and rage, ba Oh boy what did I just read?! This was most definitely a strange sinister and creepy story. I know I wasn’t meant to sympathise with Ferdinand/Frederick/Caliban but he is such a pathetic useless character! Beyond the obvious depraved strangeness of the whole scenario he had no backbone! Nothing going for him. So he wasn’t a complete monster, he seemed to have some qualities that you could call human but it was a such a weird situation and my thoughts changed throughout, between pity and rage, back and forth. I don’t know how to feel! Strange strange. Obsession, power and a beautiful captured butterfly in the form of Miranda and you get a wicked little story (with plenty of arty metaphors to chew on). I almost loved this book but not every second of it. It’s twisted, got me thinking (you could have a field day dissecting this!) and it provided me with a memorable character I won’t soon forget. The story flagged for me once the perspective shifted to Miranda. I didn’t connect with that part of the story and the tone didn’t feel right to me as I was so utterly absorbed by Frederick and I wanted more from his side. Anyway sorry about my blathering I’m at a loss for better words to describe what I just read...I’m going have to ponder further for a final rating. Can’t deny what a masterful author Fowles is...

  15. 4 out of 5

    F

    Loved - so creepy!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Chris_P

    It's hard to believe that after so many novels and films about sociopathic kidnappers, I would still be shocked by a book written in the early 60s. The Collector is a traumatizing novel about a guy who kidnaps a young woman, although Clegg is not your typical kidnapper and Miranda is by no means your typical kidnapee. What really makes it exceptional is the uniqueness of the two characters and how this shows through the alternating narratives. It soon becomes clear that neither of them is totally reliabl It's hard to believe that after so many novels and films about sociopathic kidnappers, I would still be shocked by a book written in the early 60s. The Collector is a traumatizing novel about a guy who kidnaps a young woman, although Clegg is not your typical kidnapper and Miranda is by no means your typical kidnapee. What really makes it exceptional is the uniqueness of the two characters and how this shows through the alternating narratives. It soon becomes clear that neither of them is totally reliable and what truly matters is what each decides not to tell as well as how they do or don't tell it. Once more, Fowles builds his characters in perfection. The way they both struggle to gain power over each other is thrilling and the reader is in a constant effort to understand the motives behind their deeds. There is also a powerful symbolism here, as Frederick and Miranda represent two opposite forces that were both blooming in England at the time. Old vs new, modern vs archaic, art vs lack of it, imprisonment vs freedom, and ultimately, as Miranda puts it, The New People vs The Few. Miranda is the power of life and art is the ever-blooming means through which it is expressed. Nothing is served in a plate in The Collector, which makes it truly rewarding in the end. Although, by then, you will probably be too numb to actually feel anything except a growing sort of uneasiness. It's heartbreaking in the least cheesy way imaginable. The idea, the execution, Fowles' extraordinary portrayal of the characters' psychologies, its darkness and all those feelings it gave me are worth nothing less than all the stars I can give.

  17. 4 out of 5

    CC

    Frederick Clegg is a simple man who led a lonely life. Working as a town clerk, Frederick tries to make friends, but his oddities prevent any real connections. Self-conscience about his social class and education, Frederick believes his luck will change now that he’s won the pools. With his winnings, he finds the monetary means and fortification to execute his dream of securing a companion – a beautiful young woman he’s admired for years, but rather than woo her, Frederick plans her capture. “All right,capture. Frederick Clegg is a simple man who led a lonely life. Working as a town clerk, Frederick tries to make friends, but his oddities prevent any real connections. Self-conscience about his social class and education, Frederick believes his luck will change now that he’s won the pools. With his winnings, he finds the monetary means and fortification to execute his dream of securing a companion – a beautiful young woman he’s admired for years, but rather than woo her, Frederick plans her capture. “All right, you think I’m not normal keeping you here like this. Perhaps I’m not. But I can tell you there’d be a blooming lot more of this if more people had the money and the time to do it.” Miranda Grey is a vibrant twenty year-old art student from an affluent middle class family. Her life seems to be bright and full of potential until she encounters Frederick. Waking bound and gagged in a cellar, her life drastically changes. To her credit, Miranda is determined to take steps necessary to survive. “I must fight with my weapons. Not his. Not selfishness and brutality and shame and resentment.” Told in four parts, the book begins in Frederick’s POV where he explains his thoughts and justifications for his actions. Quickly, it becomes clear that Frederick isn’t treated well by many, even Miranda issues demands to him, and this causes a bit of a sympathetic view. However, his need to keep Miranda overrides any sense of morals as he provides everything she wants given she remains his possession. “Don’t look like that,” she said. “What I fear in you is something you don’t know is in you.” With a shift to Miranda’s perspective, the tone dramatically changes and creates an alternate view of her belief system, hopes, and how she tries to survive captivity. At first, she seems snobbish and demanding, and in some ways she is, but she is resolute about doing what she must to ultimately escape. Reading about her coping mechanisms is compelling, along with her ideas of beauty, love, violence and art which make broader statements about the state of society at that time yet still relevant today. The way Frederick treats Miranda is perverse in certain ways, being a butterfly collector by hobby, she becomes his prized aberrational specimen. Though he believes he wants unconditional acceptance, it becomes clear what Frederick wants. Additionally, his own behavior is contradictory in that he has become what he’s always looked upon with disdain. Ultimately, the truth about Frederick is revealed leaving a lasting impression. In this novel, the dynamic between captor and captive is deeply complex. While misguided love seems to be Frederick’s motivation, obsessive qualities soon appear. The dichotomy between creating worlds to justify reality was also fascinating and the author used these elements with exacting precision. And, the character references to The Tempest are skillfully apt. The Collector is a book that resonates long after reading the last word. A psychological thriller in genre, and perhaps one of the earliest of its kind, it delves into the minds of its characters and offers brutal honesty even when the reader is hoping for an alternative reality. I highly recommend! For more reviews/reveals/giveaways visit:

  18. 4 out of 5

    Richard Derus

    Real Rating: 3.5* of five A truly disquieting read that has left me a little leery of reading Fowles. It was a dark and stormy day in Austin, Texas, in 1984. I was traveling to San Marcos to go to Southwest Texas State University. This book deeply unsettled me, left me trying to comprehend what the heck I was experiencing. What a great way to get a 20-something passionate reader to buy all your books! Now, reading them...well...it never quite happened at that moment. This was the Real Rating: 3.5* of five A truly disquieting read that has left me a little leery of reading Fowles. It was a dark and stormy day in Austin, Texas, in 1984. I was traveling to San Marcos to go to Southwest Texas State University. This book deeply unsettled me, left me trying to comprehend what the heck I was experiencing. What a great way to get a 20-something passionate reader to buy all your books! Now, reading them...well...it never quite happened at that moment. This was the oldest book of his I could find after reading A Maggot, which also blew me away. But these words, this exceedingly dark book, this awful nightmare of an experience (from Miranda's PoV anyway) was just so very very unsettling...I couldn't go deeper into this strange and disturbing psyche. Daniel Martin and The French Lieutenant's Woman still reside on my shelves. I'm not all the way sure I need to read them even now, at *cough*ty years old. I might not sleep, and that's a lot more serious a problem than it was in my 20s. Have fun, y'all. Feminists: Avoid.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Clumsy Storyteller

    i have watched the movie long time ago,The ending was so sad it made me hate everything about it, but still i found it a very interesting story packed with drama and action! :D and i'll read the book soon. i have watched the movie long time ago,The ending was so sad it made me hate everything about it, but still i found it a very interesting story packed with drama and action! :D and i'll read the book soon.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ 2.5 Stars The Collector is the story of a man named Frederick – a bit of an odd duck and a collector of butterflies – who, upon winning a rather large pool of money, decides to collect and observe a new specimen – the lovely Miranda. Here’s yet another book that’s been on my TBR for an eternity that I never bothered to read. I have, however, read/watched many of the stories that were inspired by this 60+ year old tale and I’m sure many of you Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ 2.5 Stars The Collector is the story of a man named Frederick – a bit of an odd duck and a collector of butterflies – who, upon winning a rather large pool of money, decides to collect and observe a new specimen – the lovely Miranda. Here’s yet another book that’s been on my TBR for an eternity that I never bothered to read. I have, however, read/watched many of the stories that were inspired by this 60+ year old tale and I’m sure many of you have as well. The theme has become a fairly common one . . . . And it tends to be a winner for me – the most recent example I can think of being The Butterfly Garden. So why the “meh” reaction to this original? Unfortunately it can all be blamed on Miranda . . . . Yeah, she was the worst. I would have never been interested in her viewpoint to begin with, but to make her an insufferable asshole was just the icing on the cake. The magic in The Collector is held by Frederick alone – changing the narrator for the middle portion of the story made the wheels fall off a bit for me. That ending saved things, though . . . . . Creep level = EXPERT!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Greg

    I bought this book at some point, I don't remember buying it. It kept falling off of the pile of mass-market books I have precariously piled up in front of some other books on one of my bookshelves. After maybe the hundredth time picking this book up and putting it back on the top of that pile I thought, maybe I should just read it instead of just picking it up ever couple of weeks. The particular edition I read was the third Dell printing, from May 1965. I don't know if the book had the same co I bought this book at some point, I don't remember buying it. It kept falling off of the pile of mass-market books I have precariously piled up in front of some other books on one of my bookshelves. After maybe the hundredth time picking this book up and putting it back on the top of that pile I thought, maybe I should just read it instead of just picking it up ever couple of weeks. The particular edition I read was the third Dell printing, from May 1965. I don't know if the book had the same cover on earlier Dell editions. Goodreads says this edition is from 1971 I think. By 1971 this particular type of cover had gone a bit out of style. It looks lurid. A bound woman has her arms around a man on top of her. There is a feeling of lust about to be satiated. Explosive Chilling, shocking Evil You'll be shocked It will be difficult to find this book shocking today. The most shocking thing was maybe how many little details Thomas Harris might have taken from the book to make up Silence of the Lambs. In the years since this book has come out it's hard to find the story of a stand-offish type who kidnaps a girl and keeps her in his cellar, showers her with gifts and gives her everything she wants except for her freedom as all that evil. Somewhat evil. Like an Eichmann in the pantheon of guys who do fucked up things to other people. A banal version of a Ted Bundy or a Jeffrey Dahmer. You can't blame the book though that we've become a whole lot more fucked up as a society since the words in this book were penned. Even when the blurbs that decorate this book were written Charlie Manson hadn't yet heard Paul McCarthy screech about riding on a slide. Ted, Just Admit it. I can't adequately put myself in the position of a reader in the early 1960s to see this as particularly sinister or shocking. As an expose of evil, or a thriller or whatever you would want to call this type of book I think it fails. The villain, a mild-mannered loser of sorts who doesn't fit in anywhere wins the lottery. With his new found wealth he buys a house in Thomas Hardy's neck of the woods and fortifies the house as a prison for the object of his affections; a young art student who he has developed a fascination with. So he kidnaps her and keeps her prisoner. He wants nothing from her except that she be his. No sex or even really her love, just her presence. In his basement. In the room hidden behind some fake shelving. The first half of the book is his story. The second half the diary she keeps while his prisoner. The big problem I have with the book is that he never comes alive, and I think this is sort of the point of the book. He's a dead character, he's the Petite bourgeoisie, the lifeless masses of restrained 'good taste'. The collectors of things who never really live. His whole character is a thing rather than a person. It made what he does seem fucked up, but not evil. He's so devoid of any kind of passion or deviancy that he's more just a pathetic loser that comes across as having possibly eaten a few too many chips of lead paint as a child. I felt the main section of this book is Miranda's diary. The device of getting to see the situation from her point of view could have been used quite well to counteract the way that the first person narration of her capture and imprisonment had been shown. If this had been done, it would have been a different book entirely, and it's not really fair to whine that a book doesn't do what you want, so I'm hoping it doesn't sound like I'm doing that. It could have been an interesting way to juxtapose the narrative, that's all I'm saying. Instead her diary turns into mostly an account of her friendship with an older artist who she was both fascinated and repelled by for his unconventional views on art and life. These two figures in her life, her mentor of sorts and her jailer are pitted against one another in the way the world works. Two extremes, the one the unconventional artistic view and the other the so overly restrained 'normal' world that has kept itself wrapped up so tight in it's own neuroses that it results in her captor. Instead of what the 1960's marketing team of Dell made up the book to be, it's really just another novel about a young person wanting to break free from the confines of polite society. Just in this case it's a more literal escape she is looking for. Seen in this light, the novel is ok, but it didn't really do that much for me either. It seems too much like a less pedantic version of a DH Lawrence novel, complete with the priggish hero of individuality--but with a kidnapping. I might have enjoyed this book more at a different time in my life. Currently, I'm a little impatient with the young artist who sees the world as it really genre, never mind the glorification of the asshole artist as exemplar of how to live (not that I think Fowles is doing that here, kind of doing it, but not really doing it, it's more like he's doing it in the contrasting between the two extremes he has created in the two main male characters of the book). I think for the contemporary reader this fails as a shocking novel, and for a novel about 'authentic' living it would be better to just go read some Lawrence or Hesse if this is your kind of thing.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Paquita Maria Sanchez

    This is a tale of a man who kidnaps a girl by conning her into the back of his van. Then he keeps her in his basement. Oh, and he collects butterflies. And he's completely insane. Sound familiar? Why did everyone forget to mention this terrifying 1963 novel when they were praising Thomas Harris up and down? This time, though, you get the story from the Buffalo Bill-esque character's eyes AND from the Cathryn Martin-victim-boohoo perspective. Only the dude's not trans. Nor does he aspi This is a tale of a man who kidnaps a girl by conning her into the back of his van. Then he keeps her in his basement. Oh, and he collects butterflies. And he's completely insane. Sound familiar? Why did everyone forget to mention this terrifying 1963 novel when they were praising Thomas Harris up and down? This time, though, you get the story from the Buffalo Bill-esque character's eyes AND from the Cathryn Martin-victim-boohoo perspective. Only the dude's not trans. Nor does he aspire to be. And the victim is not a total bitch.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Luís C.

    Well before that, it was fashionable to explore the bloody images of sexual psychopaths meanders, John Fowles had the idea to portray one of them and his victim. Locked in an old house in the London suburbs. Like his main character - a child - set up a collection of butterflies - among which he confessed a great weakness for specimens struck by genetic mutations, "freaks" according to the terms of use - the writer found his title almost immediately: "The Collector". Some have mentioned abou Well before that, it was fashionable to explore the bloody images of sexual psychopaths meanders, John Fowles had the idea to portray one of them and his victim. Locked in an old house in the London suburbs. Like his main character - a child - set up a collection of butterflies - among which he confessed a great weakness for specimens struck by genetic mutations, "freaks" according to the terms of use - the writer found his title almost immediately: "The Collector". Some have mentioned about this particular novel "Lolita" of Nabokov. Understandably hurt, and even not at all as if Humbert-Humbert, all pedophile, manages to move the most recalcitrant of its readers, Frederick the obsessed does not reach us. Fowles's talent, even if it is miles away from the blazing poetry of Nabokov, is not in question: in fact, the novelist did not wish something else. Unlikely pedophile Humbert Humbert still has a heart, it was monstrous. The character of Fowles, chilling realism, has more, when we leave, nothing human. The construction of the narrative allows us to access the two points of view, radically contradictory, two "Heroes": Frederick, which renamed itself Ferdinand by reference to the pair of lovers, Miranda/Ferdinand, a piece of Shakespeare , and Miranda, his victim, that inside of herself, eventually nickname Caliban. The devolved part the rapist is by far the most impressive, because with great skill, Fowles makes us see, sliding of a State where, despite everything, he feels still a bit of guilt, after the death of the young woman, this sick mind plans, with absolute coolness, as simply as if he planned to go shopping the next day at the corner market, to repeat the experience with a partner who, this time, will be more docile. Sexual impotence of the character, his desire to hide under a will of "purity" to the strong religious overtones, is the origin of his perversion. As in so many other stories, real or imagined, of the same type, there is also an extremely ambiguous maternal Image. To the text, we can blame a few lengths - especially in the newspaper of Miranda but, after all, the girl trapped in the cellar of the House, must occupy her time, doesn't she? - Some digressions on art and philosophy. It may also be disconcerted by his almost clinical draught. But, all in all, wasn't the effect sought by the author? And Frederick and Miranda are not, in our library, as two specimens that we observe through a literary lens, only for our pleasure to drive-voyeur? A disturbing book. More than a title.

  24. 5 out of 5

    MacK

    Other things were supposed to be read first. But I'm finding I'm powerless in the grip of John Fowles. I don't like scary stories, yet I keep reading. I don't much like novels wherein almost all the characters are reprehensible, yet I keep reading. I don't much like admiting that my boss is right about most things, yet I agree with him more and more each book. What's most remarkable about The Collector is that for half the book I was totally unimpres Other things were supposed to be read first. But I'm finding I'm powerless in the grip of John Fowles. I don't like scary stories, yet I keep reading. I don't much like novels wherein almost all the characters are reprehensible, yet I keep reading. I don't much like admiting that my boss is right about most things, yet I agree with him more and more each book. What's most remarkable about The Collector is that for half the book I was totally unimpressed. The plot was engaging but the narrative style was so unlike The Magus so timid, so deferential I couldn't get worked up about it. Then he turns the whole thing on its head, once the novel becomes a diary of the captive, Miranda, it takes on Fowles' more familiar philosophical, introspective overtones, it unites the reader with the victim after so long a familiarity with the captor, Clegg. And knowing the final result isn't a hindrance but an aid, urging the reader to go on depsite the situational irony, to see exactly how she will devolve in time too. And again, Fowles manages to give the reader a vicious case of whiplash turning the one freeing element of Miranda's life into the justification for more imprisonment. I've often thought about the development of monsters or beasts in literature, and in Clegg, everything becomes far more realistic. Dorian Gray may still be the paragon of sinister behavior, but Clegg's innocently diabolical tendancies are mind blowing. A novel as much about art, humanity, and goodness as it is about sex and love and hate it's riveting and sickening at the same time. I don't know how he does it, but on I go in the exploration of his madness.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lotte

    That ending gave me chills. A deeply unsettling (but very good!) read.

  26. 4 out of 5

    J.K. Grice

    Psychological thrillers of more recent times, like Descent and Intensity probably found their roots with the dark character study in books like THE COLLECTOR. I thought this was just a brilliant novel by John Fowles. Very unsettling, and very chilling, with enough plot twists to keep you guessing. Highly recommended.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Raeleen Lemay

    I went into this with pretty high expectations (I love kidnapping stories. I know, I’m weird) and perhaps that’s part of why I didn’t love it. The plot was super flat, and neither of the characters were sympathetic or interesting at all.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    I wonder how much this book influenced Thomas Harris' The Silence of the Lambs, what with the insect/butterfly collecting, kidnapping and keeping a woman in a dungeon plot, etc. Ferdinand is lonely, under educated, repressed, impotent, and psychotic. He also collects butterflies. He kidnaps Miranda, a beautiful art student (who he has been obsessed with for some time) in a carefully prepared dungeon. He doesn't want to rape or torture her - he wants to convince her to love him. An impossible (and very I wonder how much this book influenced Thomas Harris' The Silence of the Lambs, what with the insect/butterfly collecting, kidnapping and keeping a woman in a dungeon plot, etc. Ferdinand is lonely, under educated, repressed, impotent, and psychotic. He also collects butterflies. He kidnaps Miranda, a beautiful art student (who he has been obsessed with for some time) in a carefully prepared dungeon. He doesn't want to rape or torture her - he wants to convince her to love him. An impossible (and very creepy) situation! She is obviously another of his "collection", a trapped and beautiful creature. The first part of the book is told from his point of view, and the second part is told from hers (thanks to the fact that she is keeping a secret diary), then it switches back to his point of view. I loved this technique - seeing the same timeline from the two characters. It added a depth and complexity to my experience. Both characters can be quite unlikable at times (surprisingly, Miranda annoyed me more with her pontificating about art). However, her diary entries became quite introspective (view spoiler)[ She actually grew as a human being to the point of feeling pity for her captor, and developed self awareness to the point where she admits that she would never regret the kidnapping happening (even if she never escapes) because she has become a better person because of it! (hide spoiler)] . The ending is... wow (view spoiler)[ I am SICK that he let her die! Talk about being impotent in every possible way. And his intention to continue his 'collection', what a chilling way to end the book, with the reader knowing with dread what lies ahead for the next girl. (hide spoiler)] . Written in 1963, this book paved the way for many psychological thrillers in a similar vein. I'm interested in reading more by this author.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Krisz

    An unforgetting read :) It's kind of impossible to explain the sensations you experience while reading this novel, because it's that kind of story that feels so wrong, and yet you can't stop reading it, be obsessed about it, love it, hate it, hunt every word with frenzy so you can find out what happens next.. I had one of the most complicated relations with Frederick.. a hate-love-hate kind of situation. I know, you will say "What can one possibly like at this character?". He is a psiho, a crazy man, weard and b An unforgetting read :) It's kind of impossible to explain the sensations you experience while reading this novel, because it's that kind of story that feels so wrong, and yet you can't stop reading it, be obsessed about it, love it, hate it, hunt every word with frenzy so you can find out what happens next.. I had one of the most complicated relations with Frederick.. a hate-love-hate kind of situation. I know, you will say "What can one possibly like at this character?". He is a psiho, a crazy man, weard and broken. But I felt sorry for him sometimes, thought his lonelyness made it this person.. I believed he needed so desperate to be loved, admired, and that he will change at some point, make the right choices, repair all the damage he had done unwillingly.. But I was wrong, because he didn't learn nothing, and in the end, he was the same bastard. I loved Miranda so much, her power, her struggle, her personality. I admire her, she is an impressive character, a strong and yet sensitive woman, an atist.. She lost her freedom but not her judgement. Being captivated didn't changed her that much.. It was perfect that the book had two POVs.. That the first half is narrated by the collector, and the other by Miranda.. This novel wasn't as I expected, I am a romantic and I wanted a love story, but that would have been, besides of wrong, predictable. And John Fowles doesn't write nothing predictable, so I find it perfect the way it is, even with the unexpected, heartbreaking end. This book is a hunting psihological thriller, that had an impact on me..

  30. 4 out of 5

    Fiona MacDonald

    I wasn't a fan of this story. I was a fan of the writing but not of the story! And the main character needed a massive punch in the face! You can tell John Fowles is an incredible writer though, he has such a way with words that you are captivated by everything he says. I just found the plot so unjust and infuriating that I can't rate it higher.

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