Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “El coleccionista de libros” as Want to Read:
El coleccionista de libros
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

El coleccionista de libros

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  971 ratings  ·  180 reviews
En la Inglaterra eduardiana, Violet parece llevar una vida de ensueño: un marido caballeroso, un hijo adorable, una lujosa residencia... Pero la creciente obsesión por uno de los preciados libros que colecciona su esposo —un misterioso volumen de cuentos de hadas guardado bajo llave— hará que su idílica existencia comience a tambalearse. Asediada por unas perturbadoras alu ...more
Kindle Edition, 208 pages
Published March 14th 2018 by Siruela (first published November 5th 2015)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about El coleccionista de libros, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Calli Johnson Emotionally mature teens that have had the birds/bees good/evil talk.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  971 ratings  ·  180 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of El coleccionista de libros
Amalia Gkavea
'Once I have owned a book I am longing for the next one. Collecting is a creative act. One of perpetual longing and desire. One is never fully fulfilled. Collections live in dread of satisfaction. There is that brief, transitory moment of satisfaction and then it disappears like dust in the air. We live to long after something, we know and accept the power of longing and desire. We are under no illusion that what we want is the unobtainable.''

Violet is a young woman living in Edwardian Engla
With echoes of books such as The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter, this reads like a creepy fairytale-esque parable about madness and one's man obsession with collecting. Sometimes the writing style felt a little stilted, but other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this!
This book continuously makes me recall the experiences of The Yellow Wallpaper and Rebecca. I liked that while just telling a very entertaining story, the book also explores some of the darker sides of both sexes. It reaches beyond just the surface and digs into some very serious and deep fears.

I wouldn’t say Thompson has a particularly fantastic writing style but she has quite an imagination when it comes to vivid imagery. Some of the scenes are actually squirm-worthy, which made for an all the
Zuky the BookBum

This was one of those books that I didn’t do much research into before buying it. I had seen it described as a classic and creepy gothic novel and that’s the only convincing I needed to get it. Unfortunately, this didn’t live up to my expectations. In the end, the cover was what I liked most about it.

Personally, I found this novel was lacking something. There’s no doubt that it has beautiful gothic imagery and themes, and that’s all well and good, but when the story doesn’t flow and
Review originally published at Nudge.

From the moment nineteen-year-old orphan Violet meets the urbane Lord Archie Murray outside a London café, she is swept up in a story straight out of a fairytale. The only problem is, as the narrative often reminds us, she doesn't know which fairytale it is...

The tale of The Book Collector is a familiar one, reminiscent of both the aforementioned fairytales and the classics of gothic romance. Violet quickly marries Archie, gives birth to his son Felix, and l
Scottish author, Alice Thompson’s grisly, gothic tale’s set in Edwardian England where penniless Violet meets and marries handsome, wealthy Archie. For Violet her new life and then the birth of her son make her feel like someone whose romantic dreams have come true. But when she discovers an oddly-bound volume of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales, hidden away in Archie’s extensive library, cracks in her idyllic existence start to appear. Thompson’s romance quickly reveals itself as closer to ...more
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, gothic, horror
A delightfully creepy novella that's reminiscent of du Maurier's Rebecca, and which does a terrific job of exploring gender roles in fairy tales. The writing at times is a bit simplistic and the plot rather predictable, but for the gothic and sinister atmosphere I really enjoyed reading this. ...more
Oct 08, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: z, owned, novella
I'm honestly surprised to see that no one on Goodreads has rated this book less than three stars, because I thought it was... not good. The writing felt almost amateuristic (surprisingly, because this is by no means Thompsons first novel), the characters were paper-thin and the plot was predictable from start to finish. I enjoyed the creepy atmosphere and the fairytale references, but I feel like it could have been so much more in the hands of a different author. I doubt I would have finished th ...more
Britta Böhler
Although I am not a big reader of gothic/horror fiction I picked up this book because the story sounded interesting. I enjoyed reading it but the genre still isn't quite for me. However, for fans of (weird) fairy tales, or gothic thrillers this is certainly a good choice.

Re-read October 2018: I liked it more the second time around: 3,5*
Nancy Oakes
I'll be posting more about this book shortly, but for now, had this book been even slightly more fleshed out, it could have been really, really good in a Victorian/gothic sort of way. The combination of its short length with too many plot elements to cover made the book feel rushed and the story sort of squeezed together. I figured things out way too early and we all know that in my case, that is not a good thing.

On the other hand, I love the ideas behind it, especially the concept of reality a
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, woman-writer
The Book Collector

This is a strange evocative novella with echoes of The Yellow Wallpaper. A tale of a series of fairytale inspired murders. As with Angela Carter however the heroine comes into her own power in a cataclysmic manner
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is off to a good start this year! Although it took me about a month to finish the book, that was mostly to do with my reading slump. I picked it back up yesterday and finished the last half in one go. It was super thrilling and an absolute page turner. It had the perfect Victorian/Edwardian feeling and although I found out the plottwist quite early on, I couldn’t wait to find out how everything would fall into place. I loved how the writing style made you feel confused and dazed as the main ...more
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Disturbing but phenomenal!!!
Beth (bibliobeth)
Aug 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had never heard of The Book Collector before until the wonderful booksellers at Mr B's Emporium Of Reading Delights recommended it when my sister and I went there for one of their glorious reading spas. Apart from it having the most gorgeous, eye-popping cover art, I knew I had to have it as soon as I heard the words fairy-tale, dark, disturbing and gothic. The Book Collector was all of these things and so much more besides and managed to pack in so much drama, intrigue and delicious murkiness ...more
Karen Mace
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was book 5 on my list of #20booksofsummer

I have been intrigued by this book ever since I saw it on BookTube so I bought a copy online and as it was only a small book - 224 pages in paperback - it was a perfect read for me today sitting in the June sunshine!

I thought this was a fascinatingly creepy read! Violet was a 19 year old orphan when she is swept off her feet by Lord Archie Murray, and within a year they are married and have a son Felix. Archie has a very controlling personality and s
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, gothic
A gothic story about books, asylums, and fairy tales...I just had to read it.

It had a lovely creepy atmosphere, and I did really enjoy it, but I just wish the characters had been more developed. It is a short book so there was plenty of space to flesh it out, and I feel it would really have benefitted from that.

Criticism aside, it was still a lovely little gothic tale.
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i want to read all of alice thompson's books now. this one was so different from everything i've been reading lately & i don't even know if i can explain exactly why. but it was very ethereal, fever dream-like, creepy but like not horror movie creepy. just an overall impending sense of doom. the setting was a beautiful english estate with flower gardens and green grass fields and old asylums down dirt roads. 🙌🏼💐🌺☠️

the writing wasn't great in the sense of sentence structure and i did notice a few
Feb 01, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this book. Unfortunately though, the writing ruined it for me. To be blunt, the writing is cringingly bad.

On top of this I found the characters to be two dimensional and the plot predictable and over simplistic.

My favourite thing about this novel is the cover art.

*Adds it to the growing pile of disappointing Booktube recommendations :/
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An unusual book. Written in a poetic way with a really interesting plot.
Acacia Ives
I sat down and read this in one sitting. The positives it described the feeling of feeling mad almost perfect as far as fiction goes. I did like the main character and feel for her. The end I saw coming and was disappointed to be right. 3.5 - 4 rating
Kylie Rae
Jan 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
3.5 stars
Sam Law
Read More Book Reviews on my blog It's Good To Read

A gothic horror story, set in Edwardian times, with a sub-plot of real life echoing fairytales.

Main Characters:

Violet: The protagonist, she is the second wife of Lord Archie Murray. Much younger than her husband, we are with her as she changes, and becomes less innocent as the book progresses.

Archie: Lord Murray, outwardly the perfect gentleman, but possessed of a dark secret.

Clara: The nanny, brought in to help Violet with her o
Megan (ReadingRover)
This book has been on my TBR forever. It’s a slow burning gothic tale of suspense about a woman who’s grip on reality is as tenuous as her knowledge of her husband. Is Violet suffering so badly from delusions or does her husband just want her institutionalized? When the book starts it all seems muddled but then things start to sort themselves out. Archie only wants Violet to be well and to protect their son but why does he keep a book dedicated to his first wife in a safe long after she died? Wh ...more
May 20, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021
A gloriously dark novella.

The Book Collector is written from the point of view of Violet, a beautiful young woman who feels content with her life until the birth of her son. The postpartum 'madness' she is afflicted with forces her to see her perfect life for what it really is. She begins to question her husband's obsession for collecting books and she becomes increasingly curious about the parts of his life he keeps hidden from her...

Thompson interweaves elements of the Gothic genre with fe
Helen Carolan
Nov 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was wonderfully Gothic and an ode to books so was right up my street. Violet recently orphaned by the death of her parents meets Archie a book collector and after a whirl-wind courtship marries him. Moving to his country estate she becomes obsessed by a book of fairy tales he keeps hidden in his safe. After the birth of their son her obsession worsens leading to paranoia and delusions which land her in the local asylum. When released she discovers her husband has hired a nanny who seems ful ...more
Marivi Sanz
This was a deliciously creepy gothic story.

We follow the life of Violet, a 19-year-old orphan that meets Archie Murray, a book collector. Soon, they decide to marry, and everything felt like a fairy tale until their son Felix is born. Since then, Violet starts experiencing strange visions, and the fairy tale turned into a nightmare.

Beautifully written, in short chapters that made me fly over the pages, unable to put it down until I knew what happened in the end. It's full of fairy tale reference
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Often confusing The Book Collector had too many ideas with no satisfying conclusions. What the point was I'm not sure. With a 'wife is supposedly unstable and the husband is being super mysterious' plot it didn't offer anything new. ...more
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Creepy and delightful.
Nov 19, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommendation from chboskyy Book Tube Channel - 10/22/2017
Lady R
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The perfect way to finish up a great reading year. This is an absolute gem of a short spooky gothic novel - I devoured it in one sitting. 4.5 stars. I can’t wait to read this author’s other work now too
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • El relojero de la Puerta del Sol
  • Bodies of Water
  • It's Like This, Cat
  • La señora Wang y las tres rosas de jade
  • Things We Say in the Dark
  • A flor de piel
  • The Warlow Experiment
  • El club de los lectores criminales
  • Le Quatrième Mur
  • The Shape of Darkness
  • Ventajas de viajar en tren
  • A prueba de fuego
  • Que ta volonté soit faite
  • Little Book of Bees: The Fascinating World of Bees, Hives, Honey, and More
  • This Is Pleasure: A Story
  • Platform Seven
  • Body Language
  • Hôzuki, la librería de Mitsuko
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Alice Thompson is a Scottish novelist.

Thompson was educated at St George's School, Edinburgh then read English at Oxford and wrote her Ph.D. thesis on Henry James. In the 1980s she played keyboard with rock band The Woodentops.

She has a son and lives in Edinburgh. Her novel Justine was the joint winner of the 1996 James Tait Black Memorial Prize. She has also won a Creative Scotland Award in 2000

News & Interviews

Believe it or not, we're halfway through 2021! As is our tradition, this is the time when the Goodreads editorial team burrows into our data to...
113 likes · 81 comments
“And for an insane moment she thought, this is no different from normality, just women existing and surviving, this is what happens to women who don't fit into a world created by men.” 2 likes
“Don't become the object of affection. It's dangerous. Certain men want to possess you entirely. Men will do anything to satisfy their desires and this can lead men down paths they are powerless to resist.” 2 likes
More quotes…