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The Collector

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  42,171 Ratings  ·  2,702 Reviews
Withdrawn, uneducated and unloved, Frederick collects butterflies and takes photographs.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.
Kindle Edition, 305 pages
Published December 1st 2012 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 1963)
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Stefania Lazar Because having disturbing content and being a good book are not mutually exclusive. I wouldn't go as far as calling it one of the best books of the…moreBecause having disturbing content and being a good book are not mutually exclusive. I wouldn't go as far as calling it one of the best books of the 20th century, but it was very well-written. The psychological abuse, the description of both the villain's and the victim's attitudes vs. thoughts, the games and strategies each of them devised to try and control the other... it was very disturbing, but at the same time a riveting read.

I'm not sure what PG-13 means. If it means ”appropriate for anyone over 13”, I don't think it is. The psychological abuse depicted here is pretty strong and the ending is veeery creepy. I think it would be too shocking for a 13 year-old kid. Hell, it shocked me a lot, and I've seen many seasons of Criminal Minds :) 15-16 year-olds, yes, maybe. Then again, it always depends on the kid.(less)
Elizabeth I know you asked this two years ago, but it was Leonard Lake and Charles Ng.
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Pouting Always
Apr 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fredrick is a clerk and butterfly collector who wins some money that lets him retire. Fredrick is lonely and has trouble getting along with others, the only people he really has are his aunt and cousin. He watches an art student named Miranda who starts to become his obsession. When he suddenly has a lot of free time and money on his hands, his daydreams about Miranda turn dark and he plans to kidnap her and hold her hostage in the cellar of an old cottage he buys until she gets to know him and ...more
Apr 06, 2010 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
Petra X
Jun 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 25, 2016 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 psychol
’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
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the first dark psychological thrillers--at least in modern times (though depending on how you categorize them, James or Poe or even some of the ancient Greeks might usefully be described this way, too). A tale of obsession and art and butterflies--need I say more? Wonderful for those who take their fiction black. What's especially interesting here is the sheer banality of Frederick's evil. He kidnaps Miranda, then doesn't really know what to do or how to relate to her as an actual person ...more
J.A. Saare
Jul 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh boy what did I just read?! This was most definitely a strange sinister and creepy story. I know I wasn’t meant to sympathise with Ferdinand/Frederick/Caliban but he is such a pathetic useless character! Beyond the obvious depraved strangeness of the whole scenario he had no backbone! Nothing going for him. So he wasn’t a complete monster, he seemed to have some qualities that you could call human but it was a such a weird situation and my thoughts changed throughout, between pity and rage, ba ...more
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
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
It's hard to believe that after so many novels and films about sociopathic kidnappers, I would still be shocked by a book written in the early 60s. The Collector is a traumatizing novel about a guy who kidnaps a young woman, although Clegg is not your typical kidnapper and Miranda is by no means your typical kidnapee. What really makes it exceptional is the uniqueness of the two characters and how this shows through the alternating narratives. It soon becomes clear that neither of them is totall ...more
Feb 12, 2017 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

Frederick Clegg is a simple man who led a lonely life. Working as a town clerk, Frederick tries to make friends, but his oddities prevent any real connections. Self-conscience about his social class and education, Frederick believes his luck will change now that he’s won the pools. With his winnings, he finds the monetary means and fortification to execute his dream of securing a companion – a beautiful young woman he’s admired for years, but rather than woo her, Frederick plans her capture.

Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

2.5 Stars

The Collector is the story of a man named Frederick – a bit of an odd duck and a collector of butterflies – who, upon winning a rather large pool of money, decides to collect and observe a new specimen – the lovely Miranda.

Here’s yet another book that’s been on my TBR for an eternity that I never bothered to read. I have, however, read/watched many of the stories that were inspired by this 60+ year old tale and I’m sure many
Oct 31, 2016 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.

That ending gave me chills. A deeply unsettling (but very good!) read.
Jan 23, 2014 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
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
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ενας διαταραγμενος νεαρος (ο συλλεκτης) , απαγαγει μια νεαρη κοπελα και την φυλακιζει στο κελαρι ενος απομακρυσμένου σπιτιου με σκοπο να την κανει δικη του.με την κυριολεκτικη εννοια..την εννοια του συλλεκτη..αυτη υποτειθεται οτι ειναι με μια πρωτη αναγνωση η υποθεση του εργου .ετοιμαζεις τον εαυτο σου για ενα απιστευτο κυνηγητο με αγχος, φοβο και εντονα συναισθηματα.ωστοσο ουδεμια σχεση με αυτο εχει η ιστορια..
Το πρωτο μερος εχει σαν αφηγητη τον συλλεκτη-απαγωγεα , το δευτερο την κοπελα που απη
Sep 04, 2007 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
Paquita Maria Sanchez
Oct 14, 2009 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.
Bel Rodrigues
Com licença, eu volto aqui pra escrever algo decente quando a minha pressão sair do meu pé.
Uzun zamandır yorum yazmıyordum, suyumu yanıma aldım başlıyoruum...

John Fowles ile tanışmayı bir süredir istiyor fakat erteliyordum. En sonunda başladığımda ise -özellikle ilk bölümde- elimden bırakamadım. Donanımlı bir eğitmen, 'mit ve gizemi gerçekçilik ve varoluşçu düşünce ile birleştiren' bir yazar olduğunu bildiğimiz yazarın ilk romanı olan Koleksiyoncu'nun Fowles ile tanışmaya çok uygun olduğunu düşünüyorum.

İki bölümden oluşan Koleksiyoncu, tüyler ürpertici satırlara ve betimlemelere sahip
Andrei Bădică
Dec 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Prima parte mi-a plăcut cel mai mult.
Feb 01, 2013 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
Fiona MacDonald
I wasn't a fan of this story. I was a fan of the writing but not of the story! And the main character needed a massive punch in the face! You can tell John Fowles is an incredible writer though, he has such a way with words that you are captivated by everything he says. I just found the plot so unjust and infuriating that I can't rate it higher.
Oct 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, thriller, debut, english
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 15, 2008 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
Nandakishore Varma
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Play Book Tag: The Collector/Fowles - 5 stars 11 35 Jun 18, 2018 06:02PM  
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The Collector by John Fowles 3 58 Jul 24, 2017 01:02PM  
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John Robert Fowles was born in Leigh-on-Sea, a small town in Essex. He recalled the English suburban culture of the 1930s as oppressively conformist and his family life as intensely conventional. Of his childhood, Fowles said "I have tried to escape ever since."

Fowles attended Bedford School, a large boarding school designed to prepare boys for university, from ages 13 to 18. After briefly attendi

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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.” 226 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.” 190 likes
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