The Collector Summary | GradeSaver
Much of her writing mirrors the events that occur in Part 1, but she also reminisces a good deal about her life back in London, especially her affection for an older artist, G. Miranda thinks about how much G. Miranda is alternately kind to Clegg and exasperated with him, now conciliatory and now furious.
She desperately wants to be set free. While at times she feels defeated, by the end of her narration she is full of life and ready to experience the world outside. Her section ends as she descends further into sickness, beginning to rave and worrying that she will die. Part 3 switches back to Clegg’s narration. He reveals that he never got a doctor for Miranda and that, after an agonizing several days of severe pneumonia, Miranda died. Clegg contemplates killing himself, thus lending their story have a tragically beautiful ending, much like the conclusion of Romeo and Juliet.
In Part 4, however, Clegg has a change of heart. He buries Miranda without much emotion and sets his sights on a new victim, one who will be more pliable once captured. The Question and Answer section for The Collector is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel. Sites like SparkNotes with a The Collector study guide or cliff notes. Sites with a short overview, synopsis, book report, or summary of The Collector by John Fowles.
The Collector by John Fowles. Read Time:. They’re both unlikeable, and yet one feels for both of them. The collector has a complex repressive psychology – he knows what he wants, but doesn’t. And she is highly impressionable, as her accounts of longing for her insufferable mentor, the Picasso-like womanizing artist, G. The battle of wits here is good, and is well handled in the movie as well.
I had hoped that Fowles would not have stated so obviously through Miranda’s voice that the collector was someone who treated her the same way as the butterflies in his collection, in such an aloof way, under glass, suffocating and snuffing out what he supposedly loved. This is easy enough to glean without the author’s help. And this is the way I feel about my friend, the record collector – he has tens of thousands of LPs, but cannot play them, won’t listen to them.
How can one ever choose from such a collection? Merely the having of them sates him, for the moment, for he is never sated. What does he want out of it? He doesn’t know. He has the object, but can’t ever fully appreciate the true essence of what’s inside it – the music. And so it is with the collector, whose idealized view of Miranda trumps the reality of who she is. So, yes, this is a great story, well and cleverly told in plain language, often with thoughtful insights.
And yet, somehow, I never felt like I was in the presence of great literature – even though I felt I was in the presence of a writer capable of it.
Perhaps the dispassionate tone of the collector’s account made me feel this and yet Graham Greene is largely dispassionate and I feel great passion in his work. Fowles’ partisans suggest that “The Magus” is his great contribution to literature, so someday hopefully I can check that out.
Anyway I’m still absorbing what I’ve read, so all the aspects of the book I’d like to comment on will likely be unstated. I tend to move on.. View all 5 comments. I thought this was just a brilliant novel by John Fowles. Very unsettling, and very chilling, with enough plot twists to keep you guessing.
Highly recommended. When a book is being lauded as some kind of bible for a number of murderers and serial killers, then of course it will attract my attention. The Collector follows a butterfly collector who diverts his obsession with collecting onto a beautiful stranger, an art student named Miranda. I was so sure The Collector would become a new favourite, the premise is deliciously dark and disturbing, a man obsessed with a woman, intent on kidnapping her and making her fall in love with him.
I felt like I just wanted it to go further The first half is fantastic, as we are inside the mind of the collector, Frederick. But the ending is pretty strong, so you do finish on a high note!
All in all, really glad I read it. Incredibly well-written and crazy addictive for the most part. Oh boy what did I just read?! This was most definitely a strange sinister and creepy story. Beyond the obvious depraved strangeness of the whole scenario he had no backbone!
Nothing going for him. Strange strange. Obsession, power and a beautiful captured butterfly in the form of Miranda and you get a wicked little story with plenty of arty metaphors to chew on. I almost loved this book but not every second of it. The story flagged for me once the perspective shifted to Miranda. This was a little weird and slightly uncomfortable but throughly entertaining and memorable.
It’s hard to believe that after so many novels and films about sociopathic kidnappers, I would still be shocked by a book written in the early 60s. The Collector is a traumatizing novel about a guy who kidnaps a young woman, although Clegg is not your typical kidnapper and Miranda is by no means your typical kidnapee.
What really makes it exceptional is the uniqueness of the two characters and how this shows through the alternating narratives. It soon becomes clear that neither of them is totall It’s hard to believe that after so many novels and films about sociopathic kidnappers, I would still be shocked by a book written in the early 60s. It soon becomes clear that neither of them is totally reliable and what truly matters is what each decides not to tell as well as how they do or don’t tell it.
Once more, Fowles builds his characters in perfection. The way they both struggle to gain power over each other is thrilling and the reader is in a constant effort to understand the motives behind their deeds. There is also a powerful symbolism here, as Frederick and Miranda represent two opposite forces that were both blooming in England at the time.
Old vs new, modern vs archaic, art vs lack of it, imprisonment vs freedom, and ultimately, as Miranda puts it, The New People vs The Few. Miranda is the power of life and art is the ever-blooming means through which it is expressed.
Nothing is served in a plate in The Collector , which makes it truly rewarding in the end. Although, by then, you will probably be too numb to actually feel anything except a growing sort of uneasiness. It’s heartbreaking in the least cheesy way imaginable. The idea, the execution, Fowles’ extraordinary portrayal of the characters’ psychologies, its darkness and all those feelings it gave me are worth nothing less than all the stars I can give.
Jul 24, Richard Derus rated it really liked it. Real Rating: 3. It was a dark and stormy day in Austin, Texas, in This book deeply unsettled me, left me trying to comprehend what the heck I was experiencing. What a great way to get a something passionate reader to buy all your books! Now, reading them This was the oldest book of hi Real Rating: 3. This was the oldest book of his I could find after reading A Maggot , which also blew me away. But these words, this exceedingly dark book, this awful nightmare of an experience from Miranda’s PoV anyway was just so very very unsettling I couldn’t go deeper into this strange and disturbing psyche.
I might not sleep, and that’s a lot more serious a problem than it was in my 20s. Have fun, y’all. Feminists: Avoid. Dec 22, P. An adept stalker is keeping you up to date with his observations.
An amateur lepidopterist, he is now on the hunt for a completely different species. And make no mistake, he is acutely methodical about putting down the evolution of his fixation. Let us call him Fred. Fred’s father, a travelling salesman, died on the road when he was 2.
His mother went off shortly after her husband died, leaving Fred to his uncle and aunt. In turn, Uncle Dick died when F. From now on, he is taken care o An adept stalker is keeping you up to date with his observations.
From now on, he is taken care of by Aunt Annie. A remarkable example of helicopter parenting, of the prig sort, and lives with his resentful disabled cousin. Apt combination for a decent, lasting guilt trip. Later on, Fred comes to work some time as a clerk in the Town Hall Annexe. Fred wins out a formidable sum of money in the football pools. Then, Fred quits his job and is able to indulge in any of his whims and fantasies. He decides to buy a country house, one hour from London.
Then in turn to adbuct Miranda and keep her captive in the cellar until Miranda grows fond of Fred. The book is divided in 4 parts, mostly 2 sections : the narrative from Fred on the one hand, Miranda’s diary on the other hand. Fred I found compelling the way John Fowles designed Fred’s personality.
A general, cursory portrayal could be : grandiose but outwardly polite, mildly quaint, meek, subdued even. For starters, he is a nostalgic, or better, he seems to be stuck, in the past or somewhere else. Also, from the beginning he is intending to keep past events under constant check. Fred holds very clear-cut, sharp opinions on people, some of whom you should dispose of. A natural-born voyeur, he likes photography and enjoys some occasional smut, that is, when it is unnoticed by Aunt Annie.
Clinical, judgmental, Fred thinks lowly of everyone ; he looks down on lots of fellow humans and coworkers which, by the way, he does not consider he belongs to. Yet, these are not the most alarming traits and behaviour Fred harbours, miles from it.
They have yet to surface. Self-deceiving, looking for reasons, pretending and telling himself stories, rationalizing and never doubting he can tell the right from the wrong. You can’t figure out Fred, he hardly can himself.
Dismissive, Fred is not taking responsibility for any of his acts, and his narrative feels off from the beginning, as though he was describing another man’s life.
In his own words : ‘As they say ; I was only like it that night ; I am not the sort. Finally, the way Fred winds up overtly self-centered even more as you could think of a adbuctor is sheerly unnerving and hateful. His very idiosyncratic use of the English language all along is only reinforcing this increasing hostility you feel in the guts towards the lowly bastard. Finally, along with his particular upbringing, a belief in sheer luck and blind patterns is lying at the core of his worldview and conveniently makes him what he is.
There’s nothing. Miranda The Collector proves also to be a story of power dynamics between captor and captive, when Miranda thinks up many tricks and ways to establish a sort of foothold on his captor. Actually, for the most part, she seems to be the one setting the pace! Soon enough, a nasty little game ensues, with nasty little rules, provisos, promises from both parts. A nasty piece of make-belief from both. I found Miranda’s standpoint to be a convincing rendering of the wariness, the uncertainty, the strain of time, the frustration, the impatience to live, also the fascination that are likely to be part of such a ghastly predicament.
She has some fancy, irritating sentences closing entries in her diary. And also considers her fate at some point as martyrdom for the cause, for the artists, for the Few. For all her principles and eduction, she still has difficulties trying not to treat people as part of a class, or compare them as if sheer abstract types.
At some point, she also misses Fred when he doesn’t come, out of deprivation of human contact. All of the above make her a particularly convincing character. As someone who writes a diary to keep track of events and personal states, if there had been any disbelief lingering around, I have been specially willing to suspend it! Two renditions Indeed you can see you are bound to have two conflicting accounts on the gruesome events.
It becomes keenly startling when you set to compare them with one another. First off, Miranda freely admits she embellishes things she have said or done. She is openly putting an act to herself in her diary, sometimes, somewhat. Only, in her case, it is avowed, contradictory, changing, she questions her shortcomings, some questionable decisions she made in the past. Whether she can live up to her principles and survive. Also, she drawing comparisons with characters from The Tempest by Shakespeare, from Emma, from other novels by Jane Austen Somehow trying to keep alive her capacity for wonder?
Her memories involve G. Opiniated, judgmental, outspoken, brazen, he seemed to me a manipulative, authoritarian old man. At the same time, Miranda expresses ideas about what an art should be. She is also expressing jealousy towards him for having a complicated sexual life So there is jealousy, and also a kind of guilt-trip involved here. Isn’t G. However, for all he is, G. He teaches her something about the deep nature of love and human relationships.
It may amount to a consistent explanation as to why Mirand tries to have her way in nearly every way possible with Fred: coercition, persuasion, violence, sympathy, lameducking that is, exerting herself to be kind with him. It does explain some of her contradictory thoughts about her using disloyal methods and violence towards the madman. And why I found the whole attrition and the way it ends particularly horrid In the end, I hold this book as both an absorbing novel about alienation and a fairly impressive story about story-telling.
View all 13 comments. Jun 24, CC rated it it was amazing Shelves: bbs-challenge , classics , damaged , thriller-suspense-mystery , darkish-to-depths-of-hell. Frederick Clegg is a simple man who led a lonely life. Working as a town clerk, Frederick tries to make friends, but his oddities prevent any real connections.
Her life seems to be bright and full of potential until she encounters Frederick. Waking bound and gagged in a cellar, her life drastically changes. To her credit, Miranda is determined to take steps necessary to survive. Not his. Not selfishness and brutality and shame and resentment.
However, his need to keep Miranda overrides any sense of morals as he provides everything she wants given she remains his possession. At first, she seems snobbish and demanding, and in some ways she is, but she is resolute about doing what she must to ultimately escape.
When Vanessa eventually invites Josie back to her house to hang out, Josie doesn’t question it. Not even when Vanessa takes her into the woods, and down an old dirt road, toward the very house Grandma Jeannie had warned her about. As Josie gets caught up in her illicit friendship with Vanessa, Annie is caught in the crossfire.
What follows is a chilling tale of dark magic, friendship, and some verrrrrry creepy dolls. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published August 28th by Scholastic Press first published More Details Original Title. The Collector 1. Other Editions 9. All Editions Add a New Edition.
Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Collector , please sign up. The Collecter is a great book its scary and i wanna know if the made a movie so im trying to find the movie to watch it but i cant find it? Kate There are a few movies titled “The Collector”, but they are not based on this book. And are certainly not for kids.
Nevaeh Hicks A scary doll and 2 sisters …more A scary doll and 2 sisters less. See all 12 questions about The Collector…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. Sort order. Start your review of The Collector The Collector, 1.
This book deserves a strong 3. Josie always liked it when she went it visit her grandmas house with her mom and little sister Anna. But when her little family was forced to move in, her life changed forever. Her grandma has some very strange rules. Never leave your windows open after dark. No dolls in the house. Never, ever go by the house in the woods.
For a middle grade novel it was quite creepy and eerie. Great Halloween read for anyone who wants a spooky but super easy book to re This book deserves a strong 3. Great Halloween read for anyone who wants a spooky but super easy book to read. BUT with it being a middle grade novel it has little to no character structure, little to no detail, and is such a simple and easy read that it could easily be finished in no time at all. It’s also quite predictable. For a young reader or a very frightened reader I could see this book being a really scary read.
With that being said though I still really enjoyed it. That could just be because it has a certain character that has a certain ability that I absolutely LOVE in books But you’d have to read it yourself to find out what that is! View all 8 comments. Sep 27, McCaid Paul rated it really liked it Shelves: horror. The Collector is one of the more creative middle-grade horror books, with a fair amount of dolls.
I loved that the author didn’t hold back and delivered a truly spine-chilling tale involving all the things from our nightmares. It was a bit rushed in places, but the mystery definitely made up for it. This is one book that horror enthusiasts shouldn’t miss! Jan 13, Amber J rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Ages Lovers of scary stories and quick reads.
Shelves: reading-challenge , 4-stars-of J “There are three rules for living here. View all 5 comments. Sep 16, Kelly Hager added it. When I was in elementary school, Scholastic published a lot of horror novels that I absolutely loved. I don’t think I read all of them, but I probably came impressively close. This reminds me of those. And yes, this one’s definitely meant for middlegrade audiences and not YA, but if you made Josie a little older and had the book be a little longer, it would’ve fit right in.
This book is definitely a good starter read for someone who wants something scary but who doesn’t want to be traumatized f When I was in elementary school, Scholastic published a lot of horror novels that I absolutely loved.
This book is definitely a good starter read for someone who wants something scary but who doesn’t want to be traumatized for life. It’s fun and creepy, but it won’t stick with you while you’re trying to sleep. I don’t think. I’m not a fan of dolls, so we’ll see what happens when I go to bed tonight. This is the season for it, and if you’re in the mood for one good scare, check out this fun middlegrade. Nov 08, Mr. Gottshalk rated it liked it. This book was If I lived with my mother, grandmother, and sister, I would communicate a lot more effectively than these four ever did.
This book is a page turner, and I liked that. Not too much to think about. Mar 24, Christine rated it really liked it. This was a pretty good middle-grade book. I read it aloud to my almost 6 year old daughter.
We read the first pages in one sitting, she absolutely looooooved it. I will be keeping an eye out for this author, I have a feeling The Collector will be a series. Nov 20, Melissa rated it liked it. Josie and her sister, Annie, have moved with their mother to live with their grandmother. Josie has no problem staying away from the woods until she meets Vanessa. With all the strange noises that come from the w Josie and her sister, Annie, have moved with their mother to live with their grandmother.
This is a great quick chilling tale for middle school kids. There is nothing gory, no bad language, and no violence. It does have some scene that may be a bit freaky for younger kids. Everything fit together quite well and made a great story. Oct 30, LG A Library Girl’s Familiar Diversions rated it liked it Shelves: horror , read , acquired-library , format-print , 3-star , middle-grade.
Although Josie loves her grandmother, she isn’t thrilled about moving in with her. She misses Chicago and, since her grandmother doesn’t have internet, she can’t contact her old friends.
However, Josie’s mom recently lost her job, and Josie’s grandmother has been displaying worrying signs of Alzheimer’s, so Josie’s mom decides that this move is for the best. Josie’s grandmother has several odd rules. First, Josie and her sister Anna are not allowed to leave any windows open after dark. Second, Although Josie loves her grandmother, she isn’t thrilled about moving in with her.
Second, no dolls are allowed in the house. And third, Josie and Anna are not allowed to enter the woods behind Josie’s grandmother’s house. Josie’s grandmother also keeps talking about someone named Beryl – Beryl is hungry, and wants to take Josie and her sister away. Part of Josie wants to dismiss this as signs of her grandmother’s Alzheimer’s, but part of her worries that there might be some truth to it, especially after she and Anna have nightmares about a doll and a creepy house in the woods.
But then Josie makes her first friend at school, a girl named Vanessa. Vanessa is kind, cool, and a vegetarian just like Josie. She lives alone with her aunt. Who collects porcelain dolls. And whose house just happens to be located in the woods, and look just like the one in Josie and Anna’s nightmares.
But surely it’s just a coincidence. My eldest niece is now old enough to start recommending books, and this is the first book she recommended to me. I later learned that she probably recommended it because she was in the process of reading it and loving it – my sister told me that she ended up disliking and feeling dissatisfied with the ending.
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