Bookmarks Magazine's Reviews > The Soul Thief

The Soul Thief by Charles Baxter
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Feb 05, 2009

Charles Baxter's ability to play with his own identity consistently impresses reviewers. Author of the 2000 National Book Award finalist Feast of Love, he has proved adept as a novelist and short story writer, as well as an inventor of forms somewhere in between. The Soul Thief is one such example. It is almost short enough to be a novella, yet it spans 30 years. Its plot hinges on a short story kind of "twist," yet its characters are intriguing enough to have novels to themselves. Critics' reactions depended on how well they tolerated this inventiveness. Those who enjoyed it found The Soul Thief a compelling investigation into how identities are lost and found over a lifetime. Those who were less patient with Baxter's narrative devices were also intrigued by the theme of identity, but they left the novel feeling robbed of solid characters.

This is an excerpt from a review published in Bookmarks magazine.

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