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The Collector

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  34,804 Ratings  ·  2,159 Reviews
Miranda, a beautiful young art student, is the object of obsession here. She becomes the ultimate prize for the psychopathic Frederick, the butterfly collector who has watched her for years. Then one day, chloroform in his pocket, he takes her to his cottage miles from no where. "What happens is both symbolic and all too real, beautiful and sickening at once... as resonant ...more
Hardcover, 295 pages
Published January 1st 2002 by Barnes & Noble Books (first published 1963)
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Alberta Tesla Hi, Sam!
PG-13 means that if you over 13 you can read it. Yes, you can. There is no adult-rated material (so far that I remember). BUT it is disturbing…more
Hi, Sam!
PG-13 means that if you over 13 you can read it. Yes, you can. There is no adult-rated material (so far that I remember). BUT it is disturbing like Stefania wrote. I read it when I was 17. I was okay after it, but it did make me think a lot. Also, I am not collecting anything after that. I think it made me more independent of "stuff", like things you like and cannot let go. Mind-boggling, thought-provoking, mentally uneasy. I think a 13-14 year old might have very dark thoughts after it and just not finish it. You know, you have to be of a certain age in order to appreciate a book.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Petra Eggs
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 for
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 readi
Apr 06, 2010 Brenna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
’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
J.A. Saare
Jul 04, 2010 J.A. Saare rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 25, 2016 Fabian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 12, 2017 huzeyfe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
John Fowles'un okudugum ikinci romani ama kendisinin yazdigi ilk romani. Ikisinde de ayri lezzet aldim ve bu beni ucuncu kitabi -sanirim en iyi romani- Buyucu okumak icin daha da sabirsizlaniyor.

Basindan sonuna kadar surukleyici bir kitap buyuk bir kismini iki gunde bitirdim kitabin ama sonunu biraz da bilerek yavas okudum tipki Fransiz Tegmenin Kadini kitabinda olduugu gibi.

Alintilacak ya da ornek verilecek o kadar cok sey var ki. Fakat, kitabi okumamis iseniz alacaginiz lezzet duser diye korku
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 ...more
Oct 31, 2016 Khadidja marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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.

Sep 04, 2007 MacK rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, brit-lit
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 sty
That ending gave me chills. A deeply unsettling (but very good!) read.
Jan 23, 2014 Greg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Paquita Maria Sanchez
Oct 14, 2009 Paquita Maria Sanchez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
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 a tranny. Nor does he aspire to be.
Feb 01, 2013 Krisz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: loved-it

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
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 portion about class, money and society wh
Düzeltme: Hangi kafayla bu yorumu yazmışım ben? Yeniden okuyunca bazı yerleri ben bile anlamadım; okuyanlar kusura bakmasın. :)

Durum güncellememde de belirttiğim gibi bir süredir kitap okumayı bile istemiyordum. Şöyle çok etkileyici bir şeyler bulabilsem keşke derken haydi bir John Fowles okuyayım dedim (bundan önce hiç okumamıştım). Ne de doğru bir tercih yapmışım! İlaç gibi geldi diyebilirim.

Kitap başta salt bir psikolojik gerilimi kitabı izlenimi uyandırsa da bu kitabı sadece "psikolojik geri
Nandakishore Varma
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Şununla başlayayım: Vay Arkadaş!

Son sayfaları hayretler icerisinde okudum. Sasırtıcı, sürükleyici bir eserdi.

Ekip okumaları kapsamında listeme almıştım. Iyi ki okumuşum, iyi ki ekip okumasına katılmışım.

Eser roman kategorisinde olsa da insan psikolojisine oldukça derinden yaklaşmış.

Temponun hiç düşmediği kurguları seviyorsanız mutlaka okuyun.
Jan 15, 2008 Tara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone with a brain!
This book first came to my attention randomly when I worked in a used book store, and it became one of those rare books I'll never let go of. It's the story of a rather dull, self-righteous, tedious British clerk whose only joys in life are collecting butterflies and keeping a close eye on a lovely art student he follows, yet has never met. When he wins the British equivalent of the lottery, he decides that he will add the girl (Miranda) to his collection.

The book is divided into three parts, b
Andrei Bădică
Dec 09, 2016 Andrei Bădică rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Prima parte mi-a plăcut cel mai mult.
Jun 27, 2007 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A tough book to rate: it's an easy four-star except for the (very long) section two, in which a daring POV switch from collector to prisoner becomes demoralizing once you flip ahead and realize that section re-narrates the entirety of the book up to that point. This is a rather big mistake (see quote below), yet it begins so well that I was actually willing to read 150+ pages thinking "this is a mistake, this is all a mistake" to get to the last ten pages back with the original narrator. And the ...more
Jan 05, 2017 José rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Podés encontrar esta y otras reseñas en mi blog.

No recuerdo bien cuándo fue que me enteré de la existencia de este limbro, pero me vinieron ganas de leerlo después de terminar Wicked Little Words, ya que en ese libro el psicópata asesino menciona que «El coleccionista» es una de sus mayores inspiraciones.

A pesar de que es considerado por muchos como una novela de terror, yo creo que se trata más bien de un libro de suspenso con pequeños toques de terror psicológico. Aunque esto me decepcionó
Feb 02, 2009 L.S. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
I found this book very hard to put down. If I did not have to go to work I would have read it in 1 day, 2 at the most. It is a thriller. It is pathological. It is human. I am listening to synesthesia by porcupine tree. At first sight I did not like the ending, I was expecting something more. But I realized that this is not a romance or a love story, this is life. It is a perfect ending, it is like the end of a Hollywood movie in which the psychopath is out there and ready to find another victim. ...more
This is one weird psychological crime novel. It is told from two from kidnapper Freddie, a lonely unappealing bank clerk and butterfly collector (poor dead butterflies) and the other from his captive Miranda, a beautiful young art student. When F wins a sizable gambling pool, he purchases an isolated old house, prepares a room in the cellar for M, and plans his attack.......he can now have the woman he has watched and worshiped for years (but does not know) and make her love ...more
فهد الفهد
جامع الفراشات

أول قراءة للروائي البريطاني جون فاولز، وقد أفسدتها للأسف الترجمة المرعبة لعبدالحميد الجمال، وطباعة طوى التي تعج بالأخطاء، هذا كتاب لم يخضع للحظة مراجعة، تم نقله كما هو، لهذا كان مستوى الأخطاء الطباعية فيه مخجل، لا يليق إلا بصحيفة من ستينات القرن الماضي.

على أي حال بعيداً عن الترجمة والطباعة المثيرة للغيظ، تتناول الرواية موضوعاً مهماً، ألا وهو شخصية المختطِف، لأول مرة اقرأ رواية تحاول التغلغل في نفسية المختطِف والمختطَف، ففي كل مرة يتم فيها استنقاذ ضحية من سجن تحت الأرض قضت فيه سنوا
Apr 05, 2015 Nahed.E rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: أمريكي

حقا كانت قصة في منتهي الغرابة ، ولا أعلم لماذا اخترت أن أقرأها الأن ، فحقاً لم أكن في حاجة لمثل هذا السرد الحزين ، والنهاية المؤلمة ، ولكني قرأتها واستمريت في قرائتها ، لأعرف النهاية رغم التنويه عنها في بداية الرواية .. !

تحكي الرواية عن شاب غريب الأطوار يهوي جمع الفراشات ، يقع في حب فتاة لا يعلم عنها إلا القليل ، ثم يقرر أن يخطفها ، ليعيش معها ، املا في أن تحبه يوماً ما حين تكتشف شخصيته يوماً بعد يوم !

إلا أن الأمور تسير علي نحو مختلف تماما .. فهو مريض نفسي إلي أبعد حد .. ولا تدري أثناء القراءة ه
Oct 06, 2016 Betül rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my fastest reading experiences. I needed to intervene and stop myself many times. Fowles is a great depictor, Fowles is a great storyteller and Fowles is a great shocker! Until the last pages of the book, owing to Fowles' impressive psychological depiction of a kidnapper's (Frederick, "The Collector") inner world, i really empathized with him. Many times, I felt like watching a film of Pedro Almodovar, who's always succesful in making me try to understand people with illegal acts. But the ...more
The Collector is about a guy who kidnaps a young lady and keeps her imprisoned in his basement. The two main characters are well-drawn. The woman, Miranda, is intelligent and resourceful. She thinks clearly and unsentimentally about her predicament and she never gives up. She's a little bit awful and pretentious, and I'm not sure whether Fowles intends me to think that. (Probably.) The man - Frederick Clegg, whom she calls Caliban - is pathetic, more dangerous than he knows.

The book, the first
Oct 22, 2015 Robin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, 2016, debut
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 (an
Jan 14, 2012 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jim by: Bonnie
Shelves: classics, horror
My skin is still crawling when I think about this book, days after finishing it. Extremely well written, creepy, and mesmerizing - this was my first experience of reading a John Fowles book, and I will definitely read more of them.

I got onto this one after reading the excellent review by Bonnie, which I strongly recommend. She said it much better than I could.

Fowles makes very skillful use of first-person points of view here, alternating between the two main characters from one section of the b
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John Robert Fowles was born in Leigh-on-Sea, a small town located about 40 miles from London in the county of Essex, England. He recalls the English suburban culture of the 1930s as oppressively conformist and his family life as intensely conventional. Of his childhood, Fowles says "I have tried to escape ever since."

Fowles attended Bedford School, a large boarding school designed to prepare boys
More about John Fowles...

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“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.” 193 likes
“I think we are just insects, we live a bit and then die and that’s the lot. There’s no mercy in things. There’s not even a Great Beyond. There’s nothing.” 159 likes
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