Matthew's Reviews > The Collector

The Collector by John Fowles
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's review
Apr 17, 2009

really liked it

One of the most chilling books I’ve ever read, the story of an obsessive loner who kidnaps and keeps captive a young girl in the hope that one day she will love him as he loves her. It’s a bit schlocky in places, particularly the passages where Miranda is reminiscing about her past life, but the characters and claustrophobic tension of the situation are brilliantly realised. Although it lacks the gore and gruesome details of later serial killer books, for my money it’s far more disturbing for it. As an added bonus, it inadvertently captures a time and place in England that has long disappeared; the repressed and twisted desires of the ‘collector’ caught between post-World War Puritanism and the emerging freedoms of 60s promiscuity. As well as the solid film adaptation starring Terence Stamp (far too good looking to play the monstrous Clegg), a good cinematic companion piece would be the classic final Michael Powell film ‘Peeping Tom’.

Yes I know this isn’t a pop biography but it did inspire the song ‘The Butterfly Collector’ by The Jam so there’s still a musical connection!
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