I wrote this review back in 2019 when I first started my blog. I’ve updated this post to reflect my current review format.
The Collector by John Fowles
Publication Date: 1963
Publisher: Dell Publishing Co.
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Withdrawn, uneducated and unloved, Frederick collects butterflies and takes photographs. He is obsessed with a beautiful stranger, the art student Miranda. When he wins the pools he buys a remote Sussex house and calmly abducts Miranda, believing she will grow to love him in time. Alone and desperate, Miranda must struggle to overcome her own prejudices and contempt if she is understand her captor, and so gain her freedom.
Hailed as the first modern psychological thriller. The Collector is the internationally bestselling novel that captured John Fowles into the front rank of contemporary novelist. This 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.
I’m the type of book reader that will walk into Barnes & Nobles and choose a book based on the cover, the blurb on the back or by the first page of the book. The cover of this book got my attention for sure. The Collector by John Fowles ticked the genre I am interested in reading as well so I figured that I’d give it a shot. It originally published in 1963 and I had not read a book, aside from school assigned books, that were that old. The format is different than modern books so it takes a bit to get used to but this book..this book is spectacular. It’s a book that will remain a part of you after you’ve read it. I haven’t read this book in over a year but I can remember it. That’s pretty awesome to me.
I love making, I love doing. I love being to the full, I love everything which is not sitting and watching and copying and dead at heart.John Fowles – The Collector
The Collector tells the story of a lonely man, Frederick, obsessed with a girl from his town, Miranda, that he’s fantasied about for a long time. He’s made up a version of her in his mind and thinks that she’s the one for him. He comes into money, buys a home and sends his aunt on a cruise. His obsession takes a turn when he builds a room in his cellar and kidnaps the girl of his dreams with the thought that if she could just get to know him, she’d fall in love with him.
This book feels a little like “You” in that it’s told from the perspective of the stalker. He’s a sad man, not overly attractive, never been in love or had a relationship. Lives with his aunt who kind of babies him. He feels like he can have a real life with Miranda. But the thing that makes this book unique is that it’s also told from Miranda’s perspective. You get to learn what she’s really like, how she feels about what’s happening. Her opinion of him and what she tries to do to survive the situation that she believes is going to end in her death.
I don’t want to give too much away about this book because you really need to experience it, because my words don’t do the story telling justice. I felt for Frederick, who just wants love. Desperate for it that he creates and idea of Miranda by just watching her. I felt for Miranda because her life has its own twists and turns and ups and downs, how she adapts to this situation as well it’s empowering. She isn’t a weak female, she’s more than he thinks she is and it’s great to read.
The ending of this book though. I remember reading the end and having a physical reaction. This ending will change how the entire book is viewed, at least it did for me. I can’t recommend this one enough! Especially for how long ago it was written, it’s superb!
I’d love to read your thoughts on this book. Have you read it? Did you like it? Hate it?
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