I'm not fully sure I understood this story, though. I'm rating it with three stars, but I'm not sure how to rate it. It wasn't the best, as I didn't fully get it, but I also enjoyed this very short story, and I liked hearing a little bit about the worlds Philip created in His Dark Materials. So I did enjoy that a whole lot, but didn't love it. Yet it wasn't that bad. And the cover is gorgeous. Sort of liked it.
In this interview thingy with Philip Pullman, it is said that The Collectors features a painting of Mrs Marisa Coulter from when she was younger. Which is in this story. Along with a monkey figure. Which is described as really ugly, which I did not see that her dæmon in His Dark Materials were. It is said that she was eighteen when this painting was painted, and that she had visited another world. But I.. Well. When I read The Subtle Knife I understood it so that she had never seen another world? I'm confused.
I'm also a bit confused with the timeline. The Collectors is said to be set in 1970, our world, I think. Yet it was talked a lot about when this painting was painted, and when this man met her, and I do not know. The time confused me. Sigh. But even so, I did find this short story to be pretty exciting. And I did like listening to it. Hearing about Horley and Grinstead was interesting. And I did like how it ended, pretty brutal. Just wished it had been a little bit clearer, as it left me confused. Sigh. But still a good story :)