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I really can’t explain what exactly makes this book so disturbing, but I think that may be part of why it works as well as it does. Fowles’ writing gives the characters a substance that makes the whole situation not only accessible but relatable, which in this circumstance only makes the story more potent. The reader is exposed to both the nonsensical calculations of a sociopath and the desperate machinations of his victim, and in both there is a sense of futility that creates a feeling of foreboding and doom. This is the tale of two people who are being carried along by the tide of their respective situations, and no matter how hard they try there is really only one possible outcome. This is a dagger of a novel that plunges directly into whatever part of you that believes in the goodness of humanity and the benevolence of fate and leaves you a little more shaken than you were before. A true classic of the horror genre, there is no escape from this story and the characters you meet in it, and it will haunt you the way true nightmare fuel should.
"A superb novel...Evil has seldom been so sinister." --Time
Hailed as the first modern psychological thriller, The Collector is the internationally bestselling novel that catapulted John Fowles into the front rank of contemporary novelists. This tale of obsessive love--the story of a lonely clerk who collects butterflies and of the beautiful young art student who is his ultimate quarry--remains unparalleled in its power to startle and mesmerize.
"A bravura first novel...As a horror story, this book is a remarkable tour de force." --New Yorker
About the Author
John Fowles (1926-2005) was educated at Oxford and subsequently lectured in English at universities in Greece and the UK. The success of his first novel, The Collector, published in 1963, allowed him to devote all his time to writing. His books include the internationally acclaimed and bestselling novels The Magus, The French Lieutenant's Woman, and Daniel Martin. Fowles spent the last decades of his life on the southern coast of England in the small harbor town of Lyme Regis.
"A bravura first novel...As a horror story, this book is a remarkable tour de force."
"There is not a page in this first novel which does not prove that its author is a master storyteller."
—New York Times Book Review