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Tuesday, September 06, 2016

The Collector (1963) by John Fowles

Book Review
The Collector  (1963)
by John Fowles

  Only now am I facing up to the fact that I need to go back and read the books in the 1001 Books project which I previously skipped because I'd already read them.   Sure, it's an abstract question, whether I can complete the 1001 Books project without rereading previously read books.  Before the 1960's it was an insignificant group of books, mostly books I'd read as school assignments.  However, once the 1960's started, I was in very familiar grounds.  There are perhaps 15-20 titles in the 1960's section which I'd not only read before, but were actual important books in my development.

  The Collector is the first book I've reread as part of this project where I was actually disturbed that my adolescent self found said book "important."  The story of The Collector is the now familiar tale of a suddenly wealthy middle aged man (via winning the weekly English football pool) who decides to kidnap a young, female art student who he has long obsessed over.  The story then alternates between his perspective and hers, hers being revealed in the form of a journal written during her captivity.

  The fact that Fowles omits the grosser sexual elements of a May/December kidnapping does little to mitigate the creepiness of The Collector.   Bearing in mind that my adolescent self really enjoyed reading The Collector, I ended up with a lesser opinion of that adolescent me.   

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