Author: Fowles, John, 1926-2005
Title: The Collector / John Fowles
Publisher: Pan Books in association with Jonathan Cape, London
Printing: 3rd Printing 1966
Description: 282 p. ; 18 cm.
ISBN: 0330295683 (pbk)
Condition: sl. wear to edges, front cover sl. spotted (s. pic), otherwise good condition
As stark as a police report, this novel opens with the confession of a young suburban clerk who has kidnapped an art student from outside her home in Hampstead. In his own colourless yet curiously expressive words Frederick Clegg tells how he held her prisoner in a remote house in the country, which he had bought for the purpose with money won in the football pools. Leaving nothing to chance, he is as meticulous ovr the details of his complicated plan as he is with the layout of his butterfly collection. At every turn he justifies his actions - ' I only wanted to do the best for her, make her happy and love me a bit' - until the outcome seems horrifyingly inevitable.
The girl, thoughtful, yet impetuous and eager for life and to him a creature from a different world, surreptitiously records Clegg's feelings of inferiority and his pathetic attempts to make her understand him. Desperately she tries to persuade him to release her.
A remarkable feat of imagination, The Collector is a novel of suspense and disquieting perception whose cumulative effect is all too memorable.
'Compulsive reading... I cannot urge you too strongly to read it.'
'Terrifying authenticity... horribly brilliant'