Withdrawn, uneducated, and unloved, Frederick collects butterflies and takes photographs.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. Alone and desperate, Miranda must struggle to overcome her own prejudices and contempt if she is understand her captor, and so gain her freedom.
©1963 John Fowles (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
It's a powerful story of obsession and delusion. The perpetrator seem to see himself as the victim. I suppose he was the victim of a delusional mind. Hats off to James Wilby for his wonderful narration.
This is a masterpiece of a first novel.
Bizarre and powerful. A compelling portrait of intriguing self-delusion.
Wilby slips into the role so effortlessly that one easily forgets that it isn't actually Ferdinand Clegg telling the story. Wilby should be nominated for an award.
But I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - J.D. Salinger ^(;,;)^
I loved this novel of obsession, passion and control. While at the plot level it seems like (what now is a basic, but when it came out was revolutionary) psychological creep thriller (see Criminal Minds, Law & Order, Misery, etc.), this novel is much, much more. It is an exploration and a nuanced look at class struggles, art, power, religion, money, etc.). It is a novel that resonates on several levels. It reminded me of a some weird love-child of Vladimir Nabokov and Thomas Harris. But, perhaps that is just the whispers of all those moths and butterflies talking to me. The narrator bugged at times, but overall did a good job.
The Collector is one of the best first person books I've listened to. The narration is fantastic. The main character is painted with such clairty, creepy, chilling, fantastic book.
One of the best audiobooks I've heard. Couldn't stop listening - finished in two days.
No sleep for the deranged. This story had so many twist and turns! I can not believe how insane our main character is! What's even more creepy is that he feels that his actions along with his psychotic thinking is justified! I loved the flow of this book! It really allowed me to be inside the heads of both characters. Halfway into the book we switch perspectives and see things from Miranda's eyes. Having this taking place, can cause one to get second dosages of what was already read. This annoyed me slightly! Also there were moments when Miranda went on about G.P. and other things that seemed a little irrelevant to what she was going through. As a whole this was very enjoyable and quite creepy to a certain extent! Definitely a close relative to James Burnside's "The Dumb House."
The story starts out creepy & stays that way right until the end. John Fowles has done a brilliant job of creating these characters, particularly Frederick, who seems as though he ought to be as harmless as the butterflies he collects - but who is anything but.
"Gripping" would be a good adjective for this one. It is a remarkably well written story, my favourite so far of the Fowles books available on the Audible book store. It's compelling from beginning to end.
As much as I enjoyed The Collector, I've listened to so many wonderful books--mostly classics--I'd say it's in the top 50%.
When the story switched from the kidnapper's to the prisoner's point of view.
He was masterful! Perhaps the finest reading performance I've encountered.
Can't say that was a page turner, so to speak. I doubt I would have ever finished it if it weren't being performed for me. There was really never any climax, or anything that remotely piqued my interest.
"A horrifying, realistic tale of obsession"
No, I couldn't put myself through such an uncomfortable listen again, just because the writing is that spine chilling and believable! Let me be clear, this is a very well written book, and an extremely compelling story, but one of the characters is so repulsive, it is so hard to hear the tragic story from his warped perspective.
Miranda is very brave, resourceful yet flawed young woman. She is an accurate depiction of a desperate woman in her position.
His commitment and clear diction.
Beware of the quiet ones...
This story is not for the fainthearted but is worth persevering though to the harrowing and unpredictable end.
"I listened in two days!"
Absolutely fabulous. Loved the characterisation that made my skin crawl, and Fowles has the incredible talent of making one almost feel sorry for the protagonist's situation, before realising the extent of the delusion. An excellent psychological thriller that I've already listened to three times in two months!
I love The Magus so thought I'd give this a listen. The narrator is very good but part 2 is boring and the way it all pans out is very unpleasant.
Not a book I'll ever return to, unlike The Magus.
The best this year
No but I have already put some more of the books he has narrated on my wish list.
The writing is completely engrossing with extremely well developed characters. A chilling and fascinating read
Both characters are dislikable, plodding and repetitive storyline. I can't wait for it to be over.
The volume seems to go from very quiet to screaming. Which is actually a positive as it wakes me up if I am nodding off.
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