Top positive review
8 people found this helpful
Endlessly inventive and entertaining
on 18 February 1999
This is a novel written from the point of view of an antique bowl that "collects" (or, more accurately, catalogues) the people that collect it - hence the title. From this fanciful "fly on the wall" perspective, Tibor Fischer constructs an endlessly inventive and entertaining tale. In the main narrative people that appear normal later turn out to be deranged in a variety of interesting ways, and those that initially appear to be bizarre turn out to be behaving quite rationally. As if the interplay of characters in the present day were not enough stimulation, the book is liberally spiced with flashbacks into fantastical highlights from the bowl's observations over the previous 4000 years. The only flaw (if it is one) is the bowl's tendency to assign everything to ranked lists (e.g. "I equivocated about whether to place her at 133 or 132 on my list of people-readers"). This is initially amusing, then irritating, and finally ignorable. Overall, highly recommended.