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Soul Catcher Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 1979
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In all his writings, Frank Herbert had a way of getting to the core of ideas of the spirit. In "Soul Catcher" he managed to convey the meaning underlying the actions of Charles Hobuhet in such a way that I was able to set aside my cultural preconceptions. Even though I wanted Hobuhet to free the captured boy, I began to accept where his spirit world was leading him. I've read very few authors who could accomplish what Herbert did in this small novel.
A mark of a good book is when it haunts you for years with flashes of memory. This one does.
The narrative deals with Charles Hobuhet, a hurt, sensitive and vindictive young native american man and his kidnapping of a young white boy that he intends to sacrifice in reparation for all of the wrongs done against his people. It's also a dark look into the human spirit, and the bond that forms between captor and captive. The ending of this novel will stay with me until the end of my days, and I reccomend it for anyone in search of challenging and meaningful literature.
Like many Herbert novels, it features a young central protagonist (David Marshall) who is both threatened and taught by a mentor figure. In this case, his mentor is also his kidnapper-- Charles Hobuhet, a disturbed young Native American who becomes Katsuk (the avenger) after his sister is brutally raped by loggers.
While written with Herbert's usual sensitive feel for character and motivation, Soul Catcher lacks much of the complexity found in other Herbert titles. While in some places the simplicity feels intentional and fable-like, in other places it seems as though the novel were essentially unfinished. Certain aspects of Katsuk and the Marshall family are hinted at and never developed. Herbert's typical trope of scattering external viewpoints (newspaper clippings, past writings of the characters) throughout the book is present, but erratically employed and nearly fades out completely by the end.
The very simplicity of the book may make it as appealing for some readers as it may disappoint fans of Herbert's more political offerings (Dune or The White Plague). I would not recommend it as an introduction to his novels. However, it is an interesting digression in his career and contains many of the elements that make his overall body of work so impressive.
They came from across the sea, fell in love with the land and took it by all means necessary. From the People, and yet they called themselves people too.
Now in a hoquat state and hoquat society, where but a few of the People remain true to the old ways, a man raises. Charles Hobuhet, imitation white man. But the spirit world knew him as Katsuk, the avenger, balancer of heaven and earth, the center of the universe. He had set out to teach the world a lesson, a one that wouldn't soon be forgotten. All he needed was an Innocent, one David Marshall, his 13 year old hoquat captive.
Deep, masterfully portrayed characters with the ease only the great ones possess. Intriguing, well paced, immersing a reader in a dark, eery, eye opening glimpses of human soul, spirit and character. Enthralling read, leaving you without the need to understand it all, as you feel it, giving you a chance to surpass the hoquat flaw, of thinking about it with words.
Not a sci-fi book as such, but never the less a great one that reminds if not teaches that: " Science doesn't liberate from the terror of gods."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read this book many years ago. The story had the most amazing, surprising ending, completely unexpected. Never saw it coming honestly. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jerry M. Rowe
I read it a very long time ago and recently bought it to re-read and pass on to a friend.Published 16 months ago by M. Baudry
I read this book a long time ago and it's journey is a still path today. It is a great challenge to be adrift in two spirit worlds connected as one and this book is able to guide... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Me
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.
Charles Hobuhet, an intelligent doctoral student in anthropology, is a Native American who holds a secret grudge against the... Read more
I am a great fan of Frank Herbert's science fiction novels, especially his Dune saga, but also his other works. Read morePublished on December 7, 2013 by Screamingecko
With an embracing fold Herbert slides through the words of a collective unconscious. One of his close friend (Nobel Prize Winner) .... Read morePublished on February 26, 2013 by royden irvine
1st this is not science fiction. This book is about a Native American in the USA--No Aliens! No weird Alien ecology! That said..... Read morePublished on April 12, 2012 by G. A. Lafayette
This book was like a car wreck, in a way, for its allure. I didn't want to finish it because I was afraid of what would happen in the end but I couldn't stop from reading it. Read morePublished on December 28, 2008 by Jimmy P