The Collector by John Fowles

Tonight I finished The Collector. It is an absolutely astounding book. It really is.

It is perfectly written by John Fowles. I thought it was so well written. I’ll admit when I was reading I was a little bit annoyed that it just started again from Miranda’s perspective half way through but upon reflection it was completely necessary and made me like it even more by the end. It just added so much character to the story. You also found out what Miranda was thinking…the reader kind of saw her go slowly crazy. It is about a man, Fred who has an obsession with a girl called Miranda. It portrays his mental disorder. He wins the pools (lottery) and plans an intricate kidnap, involving chloroform, and makes her live with him in a house far away from civilisation. I won’t say anymore…other than the fact it is creepy and amazing all at the same time!

I read this book with some friends. I know that sounds weird, but we have reading times. It’s nice because they usually do no reading and it gives me people to discuss it with. While reading this one of my friends summed reading this book up (although it can be related to reading other books). They said that it was good because although the book had been written so long ago it was unfolding before us…it was new to us. I thought that was a really nice way of describing reading a book. The words and the story never get old. Once it’s been written it’s always there.

I felt sorry for Fred at the same time as being worried about what he was going to do next. He was so lovely to Miranda and I was worried he would snap at her at some point and then that would be the end…but he never does. In various parts of the novel he tried to do the right thing but just couldn’t bring himself to part with Miranda. He means well…in his own way…but it just isn’t the right thing to do. Fred is definitely misunderstood. When I was reading it with my friends they said…it’s clear how this story is going to end….he is going to rape and murder her. But that didn’t happen at all. The ending is fascinating. It was not at all what I was thinking and was more frightening than if he had just raped and murdered her.

I’ll admit I usually find main characters somewhat annoying at times and Miranda had the potential to be annoying and self-absorbed but she wasn’t. She was intelligent. She didn’t feel sorry for herself to an excessive degree, although she had a right to. In fact near the end of the novel she says that she is glad she had the experience because it would make her a more grateful person and that she had learnt to much from the experience. I liked her and her outlook on life. I liked the way she liked GP. I liked that she had morals and hated sex. I loved how she was non-conformist. The way she saw the world was just different, but in all the right ways.

While I was looking at websites before I read this post I saw that a film of this book had been made in 1965. I watched the trailer out of curiosity and those who enjoyed the book, don’t even bother. We all know that the book is better than film and this is true in this case. Even in the trailer it showed how they made up random scenes and changed a lot of it. I will not watching it.

I honestly don’t think I have read a book as good as this in a while. You know them books that just get your entire attention, ones where you feel like you are absorbed with the characters and genuinely want to know what happens at the end. The reference to collecting butterflies added to the whole theme of the book, kind of made it more sinister. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone, it is non-gender specific and engrossing. Now you know that it is a physiologically disturbing thriller you know you’re just too curious not to now have to read it!

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