Withdrawn, uneducated and unloved, Frederick collects butterflies and takes photographs. He is obsessed with a beautiful stranger, the art student Miranda. When he wins the pools he buys a remote Sussex house and calmly abducts Miranda, believing she will grow to love him in time.
I first heard about this book back when I was in school, so it’s been a long time coming. Over the years I’ve built this book up in my head which usually leads to disappointment when you finally get to reading it. This was exactly the case with this one.
I’m a morbid soul, I enjoy disturbing books more than I enjoy any other kind of books. There is no doubt this one is disturbing, it’s a deep dive into the psyche of a vacant, deadened, soulless, and evil man. I guess I was hoping for more violence in this book, which maybe is a weird thing to hope, but hey, don’t judge my reading preferences alright?
If I had read the reviews for this one beforehand I would have known it was a slow-burning story with a focus on the psychology of a deranged man and I probably would have enjoyed this one far more, so it’s really my own fault, not the books, that I didn’t love this one. In a parallel universe, I can see this one having had the effect on me that A Pleasure and a Calling did.
I can, and did, appreciate the writing in this one. We are treated to POV’s from both of the characters and it was easy to distinguish between them – Fowles created two very different and in-depth personalities. And while I liked the two personalities, I didn’t entirely enjoy how they both told us the story through their own eyes. I understand why it was done, so we could view the events through the eyes of a cold-blooded psychopath and an innocent young girl and see how the stories differed, but it did grow a little tedious.
Overall, not the worst book I’ve ever read, but neither the best. The gore-lover in me simply grew a little bored with this one. I would, however, definitely read more from Fowles if the opportunity ever arose.
Edition Published: October 21st 1998
Goodreads Av. Rating: 3.99