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The Collector by John Fowles
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The Collector (1963)

by John Fowles

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Showing 1-5 of 91 (next | show all)
I am confused by this book.

The subject matter seemed promising - a disturbed individual who is a collector of butterflies who then decides one day to collect a woman. I thought maybe this could be a story about being inside a disturbed individual's mind - or maybe it is a story of hope or survival or an unconventional tale of how the woman survives. It was neither.

Fred/Ferdinand - whoever he was, was as bland as a sheet of paper. Miranda was silly, helpless and chose to spend her time obsessed over an older artist and art or obscure politics in general or how many things she could get - and she also felt one dimensional. Nothing really happened. Fred collects Miranda and she stagnates in a room. Thats literally it. The author could have ran with so many different concepts and ideas but nothing happened at all. I was so completely underwhelmed from this book which supposedly had a
controversial subject matter. I was expecting it to be at least interesting. ( )
  4everfanatical | Feb 5, 2016 |
This book gave me the heebie jeebies, in a good way - I've read books written from the perspective of abusers/criminals before, but never one that presented the perspective of the victim too, which really brought the book from a decent middle-of-the-road thriller to a great, complex little novel! I also really liked that Fowles never really needed to rely on sexualized violence; it never felt like "sexy murder porn" even from the psychopath's perspective and was all the more interesting for it. ( )
  okrysmastree | Jan 16, 2016 |
Frederick Clegg, a young man who may or may not have some kind of personality or social anxiety disorder, has become obsessed with Miranda, the young woman whose family lives across the street from his office. When he wins the lottery, he quits his job, buys a house in an isolated area, constructs a hidden room in his basement, and kidnaps her. He doesn't want to hurt her or rape her, he just wants to have her with him. As Frederick is an avid collector of butterflies, Miranda becomes very much like one of the butterflies he traps in jars before killing and mounting them.

Frederick is the narrator in the first part of the book, and I got so into his perspective that it was a shock when Fowles switched gears and made Miranda the narrator in the second part. I did eventually get used to her point of view, but I still think the first part of the book was stronger. Frederick's many faults are obvious, and I read his sections with complete acceptance of that because he was the bad guy. Miranda is also far from perfect, but it takes longer for her faults to be revealed, and I had trouble liking her because I kept feeling like she should have been a better person because she was the victim in that situation. It's hard to keep in mind that she's too young to have had the time and experience necessary to mature fully, therefore she should exhibit the faults that so many young people have. For me, the book got less and less enjoyable as it went on, but Fowles did redeem himself with the ending which was quite good and mostly surprising. I would recommend this book to others. ( )
  AmandaL. | Jan 16, 2016 |
Kind of bored me in the middle when the POV was Miranda's, but overall it was decent. I thought the very ending was pretty good. ( )
  ER1116 | Jan 13, 2016 |
This eerie tale follows a man as he transforms from odd and creepy into true deviant criminality. The writing-- switching from kidnapper to victim-- is brilliant. Recommended. ( )
  technodiabla | Dec 30, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 91 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Fowlesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Schouwen, Frédérique vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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que fors aus ne le sot riens nee
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When she was home from her boarding-school I used to see her almost every day sometimes, because their house was right opposite the Town Hall Annexe.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
This is a tale of obsessive love-the story of a lonely clerk who collects butterflies and of the beautiful young art student who is his ultimate quarry - remains unparalleled in its power to startle and mesmerize. (0-316-29023-8)
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Ferdinand has always loved collecting butterflies, but when he becomes obsessed with a young college student, he decides to add her to his collection, against her wishes.

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