Nikki's Reviews > The Collector

The Collector by John Fowles
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May 29, 09

bookshelves: contemporary, horror
Read in May, 2009

The Collector isn't exactly a comfortable novel to read. I remember we read an extract during my English Literature A Level and everybody hated it, because the narrator is a creep. Having read The French Lieutenant's Woman, though, I wanted to try some more of Fowles' writing. It's very readable and interesting, despite the disconcerting themes.

I don't really like the fact that you have to read the whole plot through both points of view, but it makes sense. They're both unlikeable, actually. Frederick because of what he does, and Miranda because of the way she writes. 'La-di-da' is a good way to put it. Not that that should make anyone think 'she deserved it', but it does make her less of a martyr figure, and more real.
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Ellie I read it the first time seven years ago, maybe even eight, and by the time his p.o.v. was coming to a close I was pretty frustrated with the book because it seemed so limited. Truly it felt like a novel-length description of a deranged man's fantasy, an ideation of a sort, with the only female character coming across as dreadfully bland and one-dimensional. For me, the introduction of her viewpoint really saved it and it suddenly made sense as both a novel and a complete account of there characters' story.

I also felt both were unlikeable, but in a very human way, with him obviously portrayed as a sort of amalgamation of psychopathic and sociopathic traits with a propensity towards behavioural repetition, and she as someone borderline narcissistic. They just seemed like anyone off the street with secrets, whether pathological or otherwise. I would have completely hated it if he were twirling his dark moustaches and she were a shrieking mess who fell for him at the end or something equally disturbing.


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