Books, movies, etc. about obsessions needed...

I really happen to like stories about people with deep-seated and disturbing obsessions with a particular object or person, having negative effects with their personal relationships.

I guess the biggest point of reference would be Captain Ahab in Moby-Dick, and another early example would be Mr. Dick’s King Charles’ Head in Dickens’s David Copperfield (although that book isn’t necessarily about that, it is a good point of reference for what I’m looking for). And no, contrary to my examples, it doesn’t necessarily have to have anything to do with ‘dick’. More modern examples would definitely include Tobias Hill’s The Love of Stones (though I don’t know if that will be very helpful since I’m not sure many have read that), might include things like the baseball sub-plot in DeLillo’s Underworld, and possibly even the movie Manhunter, which I get the same sort of vibe from even though I’m not sure it exactly qualifies. Trying to obsessively solve some sort of problem could qualify, The Rule of Four I might put into this category.

Basically the thing I like the most about Moby-Dick is how everything relates to the obsession. In that book in particular, everything from etymologies and essays on the colour white to church sermons and technical books on whaling are involved to illustrate the obsession. And then of course there’s the lone and obsessive pursuit of the whale in that book, which I would put The Love of Stones in that similarity.

So anyway, now that I’ve completely con-fused everyone about what I’m exactly looking for, does anyone have any ideas for me?

John Fowles’ The Collector.

Thanks, that sounds right up my alley!

Also, I thought of a couple more that have the same feeling for me. House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski and Popco by Scarlett Thomas.

:eek: Good one!

Kind of on those lines, the movie Boxing Helena.

Patricia Highsmith, This Sweet Sickness (delusional obsession with a person).

Man, Dung Beetle beat me too it. The Collector is the archetypal novel about obsession. Great introduction to John Fowles, who is something of a modern master I think.

I’ve not read it, but isn’t Perfume by Patrick Suskind a good example of this genre?

What about the movie One Hour Photo?

A classic (and true) story of obsession: The Story of Adele H.

There’s the Star Trek : TNG novel Vendetta, which revolves around the obsessive quest by a woman for revenge against the Borg. Since she’s armed with a New and Improved version of the Planet Killer from the original series’ The Doomsday Machine things get messy. One of the better novels based on the series.

The movie 23, in which Jim Carrey’s character becomes obsessed with the number 23.

The movie The Fountain, in which Hugh Jackman’s character is obsessed with finding a cure for cancer and more (and is cinematically gorgeous, to boot).

The movie Memento, in which Guy Pearce’s character is obsessed with avenging his wife’s murder (and is an interesting exercise in storytelling, as a head injury prevents him from forming new memories, and the entire film is experienced from his befuddled perspective).

The movie Pi, in which the main character, a mathematician, is obsessed with the number pi.

(This post, in which I shamelessly abuse the phrase “in which…”)