The main character (aka Clegg) is a middle aged man who has suffered from family neglect when growing up in the lower class suberbs of London. Clegg observes a young art student, Miranda, while at work and continues to stalk her as his obsession with her grows. After winning the lottery he sees that now he has the money to do whatever he likes. Clegg plans to take her and lock her up in a house far in the country side where he plans to make her fall in love with him. Through out this experience Miranda spends her time thinking about life and travels down a path of self spiritual discovery. It all ends with death of Miranda, caused by illness, and to what the reader finds most disturbing is Clegg starting all over again with his obsession with another girl, and the cycle continues...
This report prepared by anonymous
Fowles's first published book is a compact thriller related in turn by each of the two characters -- a lower-class fellow who captures a pretty art student and holds her captive in a basement in the hope that she will eventually grow to know and love him, and his victim. Although it can be read as a mere thriller, the narrative encourages the reader to meditate on the differences between the privileged and elite (not only in terms of class and economics, but native talent and ability) and the masses, and what each may owe or offer to the other.
This report prepared by David Loftus