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The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid. - Jane Austen

Review: John Fowles – The Collector

20120124-191933I wasn’t sure I was going to like this book after I read the description, but I was pleasantly surprised. Even though it was kind of creepy, and definitely not a book I would have bought for myself in a bookshop, I found it very enjoyable.

A couple of people have said how this sounds like the kind of book they would want to read, so I’ll try not going to spoil the storyline too much.

The first half of the book is written from the point of view of the kidnapper ‘Ferdinand’. The way he speaks is so matter of fact, it’s like he believes that everything he is doing is perfectly normal, of course we can all see that it’s not, and he comes across as very unbalanced. He’s constantly making excuses for himself, like this one after he uses Chloroform to knock her out (and not for the first time):

“I am not really that sort and I was only like it that night because of all that happened and the strain I was under. Also the champagne had a bad effect on me. And everything she said. It was what they call a culmination of circumstances.”

The end of the first half is left on a cliffhanger, and then we are being narrated by Miranda, the girl he has kidnapped. The book goes back in time, and we relive pretty much the whole thing again, but from the opposite viewpoint. I liked that the book did this, the books that I’ve read in the past that have multiple narrators have switched back and forth throughout the book, but this flowed a lot better. We also find out a lot about Miranda and her life, the people she knows and her passion for art.

Like I said, I’m not going to spoil the ending, but all I can say is that after 270ish pages, it didn’t really surprise me, although the last few pages were possibly the creepiest part of the entire book.

I definitely enjoyed this book, I don’t think it will be one of my favourites from this year’s reading challenge, but I’m glad I read it.

4-5

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