Book Review: The Collector

Title: The Collector

Author: John Fowles

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This book is written from two different perspectives. The first is a perspective of a lonely young man Frederick Clegg or Fred. He lost his parents when he was really young and after that his aunt took care of him. He grew up in a lonely young man, interested in butterflies.

But once he noticed Miranda, who is a lively art student. For a while he’s just secretly observing her but after a while he decides that he has to have her.

The second perspective is written from Miranda’s point of view. Her part in the book is written like a diary entries which she writes while being Fred’s captive. Some day Fred decided that he will put her into his “collection”, kidnapped her and locked her into his basement. He thinks that while spending time together, she’ll get to know him and started to love him. Miranda is locked in a basement without a possibility to escape.


This excellent psychological thriller offers an insight into minds and thoughts of a psychopath while also offering another view – thoughts and feelings of captive. And this is what makes this book so interesting because a reader can read about both sides.

Both characters are very well presented, especially Fred. While reading, I sometimes felt really bad for him, although of course I already knew from the beginning that his actions are inadmissible.

On the other hand, I thought that Miranda is a fickle girl and I didn’t like her that much as a character. I actually never felt sorry for what happened to her (which is really bad). I felt that most of the time she was really conceited and fussy which felt strange because, after all, she was a captive. And her only goal was to show Fred that she’s smarter than him (she wanted to prove this to him constantly). Miranda is a classic beauty, who was born into a wealthy family and was able to achieve most of her dreams  and she was also very popular. She’s like the exact opposite of Fred.

In her captivity, Miranda constantly thinks about her friend G.P., which for some time she thinks she loves him and other time she changes her mind. And it’s actually funny because in her diary entries about him, there were moments when I thought that in some way she’s obsessed with him like Fred is with her. But her obsession never crossed a line because she’s a normal person. While Fred being a psychopath, he doesn’t know what normal relationships are and he just doesn’t know how to act.

Fred is trying really hard to make Miranda love him and he’s convinced that she will eventually start loving him if she’ll spend enough time with him. So he’s offering her everything that she needs and wish for because he has money that he won on a lottery. It was really interesting to read how Fred just doesn’t get human relations. He can’t understand that Miranda needs freedom and not his money and that he can’t force her to love him.

This book was special because it presents both perspectives (the captives and kidnappers) and it was really interesting reading. The only thing that bothered me was how strongly was exposed the gap between rich and poor. The wealthier are educated, open to novelties and free spirit, while those who are poor (Fred) were uneducated and conservative. This may be understandable depending on a time when a book was written, but it really bothered me while reading about it.

Rating: 3/5

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