Thought by some to be the first psychological thriller, this book left me slightly wanting.
The Collector is broken into three parts. The first part is from Clegg's point of view. Clegg is a man obsessed with a young woman and decides to "collect" her, much as he collects butterflies. The second part is from the woman's point of view, once she's been "collected". This was the part that I found unsatisfying. There were some observations in this portion about class, money and society which probably were more pertinent in the 60's, (which is when this book was written), than they are now. I found this portion slowed down the pacing considerably. The third part goes back to Clegg's point of view.
Clegg is where this book lives. The peeks inside his mind, while presented as normal thoughts on his part, are truly chilling to us readers who are sane. I shivered to read some of the things he was thinking. These psychological tics and the detached way in which they were presented were what made this book great. (You can see how I'm torn here between being unsatisfied, while at the same time finding some portions of The Collector to be outstanding.)
To today's jaded horror readers? This might not be the book for you. But to fans of stories like Silence of the Lambs, or even Red Dragon, I think this book will appeal, even though some of the themes are a bit outdated. It's to them that I recommend The Collector.