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The Collector
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April 2018: Strong Women > The Collector/Fowles - 5 stars

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Anita Pomerantz | 6758 comments Ever since reading and really enjoying The French Lieutenant's Woman by the same author, I've been interested in trying another one of his books. This one did not disappoint.

The description sounds more like a sordid thriller, but it's actually neither of those things. Frederick collects butterflies, but when he sees Miranda, he becomes obsessed with her. The book relates the story of a kidnapping from both the perspective of the kidnapper and the kidnapped. And in the telling, it manages to address life, love, art, class and more from a more philosophical perspective. For some readers, this may detract from the storytelling itself, but I really thought that this approach made the book unique and more than just a suspenseful plot.

Both characters, Frederick and Miranda, are very well drawn, and Fowles helps you empathize with Frederick on some level. Miranda has incredible will to live and uses her wit to attempt to manipulate Frederick. Interestingly, in order to survive, in some ways she needs his company even though he is her captor. Another aspect that I found fascinating is that Miranda alludes to a relationship with a mentor that has sexual overtones, and in which she allows herself to be "trapped" in a different way by a man who objectified women and manipulates her.

The book just has a lot of layers under the veneer of a thriller style plotline. There are literary allusions as well and having not read The Tempest, I was not well prepared to appreciate all of them, but it's just another layer of literary deliciousness that Fowles serves up.

****
In my mind, Miranda was a strong woman. She attempted to outsmart and outmaneuver her kidnapper. I'll leave the results a mystery for fear of spoiling, but overall, I think it qualifies for the tag. If other readers disagree, please let me know.


message 2: by Joi (new)

Joi (missjoious) | 3834 comments Oh look, a review for the book you guys were just talking about!

Are you also reading a bunch of distrbing books? American Psycho, the Turtle girl one, this one? They all seem to fit my listopia also, lol.


message 3: by Book Concierge (last edited Apr 30, 2018 01:59PM) (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6407 comments Great review, Anita. And I absolutely agree with your assessment that Miranda is a strong woman.

I read it ages ago (in the '80s?) and I don't have a review or rating on Goodreads.


message 4: by Susie (new) - added it

Susie | 4488 comments I simply must read this soon now!


Anita Pomerantz | 6758 comments Joi wrote: "Oh look, a review for the book you guys were just talking about!

Are you also reading a bunch of distrbing books? American Psycho, the Turtle girl one, this one? They all seem to fit my listopia a..."


It was more a matter of weird luck, Joi. The randomizer chose My Absolute Darling for one group and the randomizer in ANOTHER GROUP entirely chose The Collector. Granted, they were both from lists I created, but it still was an interesting stroke of "luck".


LibraryCin | 9085 comments I really liked this one, as well. Can't recall reasons why, but I'm thinking possibly different reasons, but I still really liked it! :-)


message 7: by Karin (new)

Karin | 7482 comments Oh, how I wish I read this back between the ages of 16-21, when no doubt I'd have liked it. I even liked The Magus back then. However, I couldn't stand The Magus last year even though it was for a discussion, and gave up about 1/3-1/2 of the way through.

I just read The French Lieutenant's Woman and KNOW I'd have liked it way back then. Too late for me, but he really does write well.


Nicole D. | 1497 comments Love Fowles. So glad you loved this one. It was such a great take on this story


Anita Pomerantz | 6758 comments Karin wrote: "Oh, how I wish I read this back between the ages of 16-21, when no doubt I'd have liked it. I even liked The Magus back then. However, I couldn't stand The Magus last year even though it was for a ..."

Interesting you see it as an age related thing . . .I don't think my younger self would have liked this differently (more or less).


Anita Pomerantz | 6758 comments Nicole D. wrote: "Love Fowles. So glad you loved this one. It was such a great take on this story"

I definitely liked this one very much. Want to read The Magus now.


message 11: by Karin (new)

Karin | 7482 comments Anita wrote: "
Interesting you see it as an age related thing . . .I don't think my younger self would have liked this differently (more or less). .."


For me it is. 1. I no longer like dark or twisted novels, and 2. I am fussier about certain things with building characters, and 3. the odd games, etc, in The Magus caught my attention fully when I was really young, but now I hate them, etc. Probably a few more things, too. I had a wider reading range back then.


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