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Publisher's Summary

Withdrawn, uneducated, and unloved, Frederick collects butterflies and takes photographs.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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • Sharon
  • APPLE VALLEY, CA, United States
  • 06-04-13

Masterful narration

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Perfect Performance

What did you love best about The Collector?

This is a masterpiece of a first novel.

What did you like best about this story?

Bizarre and powerful. A compelling portrait of intriguing self-delusion.

Which character – as performed by James Wilby – was your favorite?

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Slightly Disappointed

This book is made up of the parts, first and last is through Ferdinand's perspective and the second is told by Miranda. I enjoyed the first section; however, having to listen to Miranda drone on and on and on was quite monotonous.

Regarding the narration. Again, I enjoyed Ferdinand's character, Miranda was a bit whiny...and when there were two male characters at once, I really couldn't keep up with who was speaking.

Overall, our was a just okay read for me.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Creepy!

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • moo
  • brooklyn, NY, United States
  • 08-10-14

Fantastic first person book, amazing narration

Any additional comments?

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 08-11-12

You DON'T tell a Disease its Name

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.

20 of 26 people found this review helpful

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Bored halfway through

It started out strong and interesting then it switched narrators and told the same exact story again. I finished it but just barely. The narrator gets all the credit for that one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Gary
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 01-31-14

Bravo James Wilby!

Where does The Collector rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

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%.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Collector?

When the story switched from the kidnapper's to the prisoner's point of view.

What about James Wilby’s performance did you like?

He was masterful! Perhaps the finest reading performance I've encountered.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • J.Means
  • SOUTH PORTLAND, ME, United States
  • 01-06-14

Exceptional performance of a gripping novel

Where does The Collector rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best audiobooks I've heard. Couldn't stop listening - finished in two days.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mo
  • 11-20-15

Twisted and chilling

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."

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • RabbitLemon
  • 05-10-16

Perfect reading

Perfect . The reading was excellent to unwind the story. Loved it. Irritating having to carry on writing review on iPhone while walking in traffic. In order to write enough to send 5 stars

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Hannah
  • 12-26-14

A horrifying, realistic tale of obsession

Would you listen to The Collector again? Why?

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.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Miranda is very brave, resourceful yet flawed young woman. She is an accurate depiction of a desperate woman in her position.

What about James Wilby’s performance did you like?

His commitment and clear diction.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Beware of the quiet ones...

Any additional comments?

This story is not for the fainthearted but is worth persevering though to the harrowing and unpredictable end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Cat
  • 12-01-14

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!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Stevan
  • 07-26-17

amazing

compelling and full of ideas. this book is great and preformed impeccably, a must listen.

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  • Krzysztof
  • 06-09-17

Gruesome insight into dark side of human soul

This is horryffying portrait of a man falling into abyss, not finding strentgh to hold on to what is good in him but finding excuses at avery step of descending into darkness. It is not a pleasent listen, but it is powerful portrait of how one find himself unable to turn away from evil. Deeply moving book, forcing deep self reflection.

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  • Tatyana Cornell
  • 04-27-17

Gripping story

Really enjoyed listening to the story. The reason I gave it only 4 stars was because I didn't like the way the narrator read the girl's part of the story.

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  • The Wolf
  • 11-10-15

Unpleasant

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.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Julie
  • 08-25-15

Chilling

Where does The Collector rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The best this year

Have you listened to any of James Wilby’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No but I have already put some more of the books he has narrated on my wish list.

Any additional comments?

The writing is completely engrossing with extremely well developed characters. A chilling and fascinating read

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  • carey
  • 11-11-13

Dull

What disappointed you about The Collector?

Both characters are dislikable, plodding and repetitive storyline. I can't wait for it to be over.

Would you ever listen to anything by John Fowles again?

No

How did the narrator detract from the book?

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.

0 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Amanda
  • 06-09-15

Loved it. Beautifully written. wonderfully read.

Loved the psychology in this one. Could listen to James Wilby all day. Highly Recommend.

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  • K. Nash
  • 01-27-15

Great use of unreliable narrator

This book uses unreliable narrators to play on your sympathies and the audiobook took it to another level. The extra component of believability, thanks to the vocal performance, further encourages you to feel sympathetic to the narrator despite everything going on in the book and continues to play with your emotions as you try to distance yourself. Great book and great audiobook.