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3.43  ·  Rating details ·  1,945 ratings  ·  309 reviews
Caught begins with a prison break. Twenty-five-year-old David Slaney, locked up on charges of marijuana possession, has escaped his cell and sprinted to the highway. There, he is picked up by a friend of his sister’s and transported to a strip bar where he survives his first night on the run. But evading the cops isn’t his only objective; Slaney intends to track down his o ...more
Hardcover, 314 pages
Published May 24th 2013 by House of Anansi Press (first published 2013)
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Average rating 3.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,945 ratings  ·  309 reviews

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Mar 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Caught frustrated me, made me smile, awed me, but mostly frustrated me.

Lisa Moore is a fantastic writer, and I think her skills are far better suited to a meditation like February than an ostensible adventure like Caught. Don't get me wrong - the writing in this book is astonishing. Moore has an ability to capture instants like no other author I've read. She's perceptive, incisive, unsentimental, and her ability to capture how we actually experience time - in sputters, jolts, and drawn out etern
J. Robinson
May 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Don’t wait to pick up a copy of Lisa Moore’s new novel, Caught. It may strike you as a departure in terms of subject matter from her earlier work—if not for its high literary quality it might inadvertently be slotted simply as a detective novel--but anyone who loves good writing will revel in the novel for many reasons. Each sentence in Caught is so carefully constructed—each word has clearly been chosen with thought and meticulous care, and yet not so much as to negatively affect the pacing. Th ...more
Nov 10, 2013 rated it liked it
I know Lisa Moore best as a short fiction author. I think that is a style that suits her perfectly, and one that she cannot completely shake off in this novel. The precision with which she writes, all the hidden metaphors and images throughout the story, they all look like they come out of short story. Only I’m not sure that it really works in a full scale novel. You just read novels a different way, or at least I do.
Sometimes there is paragraph that really catches your attention though, like th
Sep 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A classic cat-and-mouse story in which a Canadian drug smuggler escapes from prison to score another load of marijuana from Colombia. Moore paints Slaney and Hearn as “modern-day folk heroes,” and her writing elevates what could have been a plain crime story into real literature. From the title onwards, the book is heavy with foreshadowing as Moore exploits the dramatic irony that readers know the police have a sting operation trailing Slaney the whole way. Indeed, the most remarkable thing abou ...more
Michelle Sheaves
Jul 04, 2013 rated it liked it
One thing that bothered me about this book was that I couldn't understand why anyone would want to go all the way down to Columbia to smuggle pot into Vancouver. Come on, really. There's practically a grow op on every block in Vancouver. This would make as much sense as Alberta buying its beef from Florida. Also, marijuana would be awkward to smuggle. Its stinks and its not worth a lot of money per pound. I don't understand why they weren't smuggling cocaine instead. Because of this I found it h ...more
Megan Edwards
Apr 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book started out with some promise, and surprisingly, the author kept my attention throughout most of it. But I never felt like I got to know or understand the characters. And the dialogue was super distracting. People talked in a kind of shorthand that was hard to follow. Plus, the author didn't feel the need to use quotation marks, which drives me crazy! So, you're not always sure who's talking or if someone is even speaking aloud. Why do writers do that? It doesn't advance or add to the ...more
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The first real page-turner for me in a long while. The prose is compelling, yet profoundly layered. The title itself is a sort of spoiler. "The best stories, he thought, we've known the end from the beginning." And yet, every moment is a surprise.

This book is particularly relevant as we are one week away from Cannabis becoming legal in Canada. What a huge waste of lives and resources, this ridiculous war on drugs.
May 31, 2013 rated it liked it
"Chussled". It's a lovely word.
As in, , "The leaves of the lupins chussled like the turning pages of a glossy magazine."
Descriptions are precise, unexpectedly shining light on small details, illuminating the reality. The reality is mundane and unforgiving, but Moore portrays her characters with sympathetic understanding.

Slaney is a man helplessly caught in his own stupidity. He got caught trying to smuggle marijuana into Newfoundland. Very little in the book actually took place in Newfoundland,
May 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
I just could not get into this story. I know Lisa Moore's a fantastic writer, so I figure it's me and not the book itself. Even with ties to Newfoundland--often connection enough for me--the characters didn't catch my fancy.

I know Moore's February won Canada Reads a few years back, so I'll give that one a go.
Ian Carpenter
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Read this in advance of the CBC show and it is so good! There's a breezy drift to the narrative that makes it such a pleasurable read but the incredible writing and great characters mean I'll be getting to all her other books. So glad I finally checked it out.
Shirley Schwartz
Nov 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: prize-winners
It all begins with a prison break. David Slaney escapes from prison in Nova Scotia. He had been incarcerated for drug trafficking four years previously (when he was 21). He manages to escape and sets out on cross-Canada tour to his partner in crime who we come to know as Hearn. He sets out to try to recoup his losses by marijuana traffficking from Columbia back to Canada. The book is all about how David Slaney sees the world as he treks across the country and down the Pacific Ocean to Columbia. ...more
Mar 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Now that I have read two books by Lisa Moore ("February" and "Caught"), I realize that she is a very manipulative writer! I mean that in the best way! How she contrives to make us care about both the detective and his prey is very masterful. Throughout this very exciting story, I was rooting for Slaney to get away and also for Patterson to catch him so that he could get his promotion. This is probably what made the novel so much fun to read.

This book is very different from "February" although,
Barbara Carter
Jun 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
I liked this book. Much more than I like her short story collections.
Some will not agree with me on that I'm sure. But just my opinion.
So much has changed regarding the use of marijuana since the 70s, especially in Canada with it now being legal. This story is set in the late 70s when it wasn't legal, and involved getting caught and going to prison for bringing a boat load of marijuana into Newfoundland.
he then breaks out of prison and attempts to do it again.
I found it hard not to want thing
Niki Mclaren
Jun 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: canadiana
Jesus. Lisa Moore sure has a way with words. Against all odds I fell in love with her protagonist David Slaney and found myself constantly yelling at him to stop being such a dunce. My only complaint was that none of the characters truly grew as people or learned a lesson in any way. Minus one star for that. Otherwise, a wonderfully told story.
Jul 02, 2013 rated it liked it
The writing was wonderful: muscular and visceral. I felt the story was somehow slight compared to the writing or maybe it was that the protagonist and the voice were mismatched; I felt that I was reading the author's observations and descriptions and not those of Slaney. Sometimes the excrutiating detail of the observations was, well, excrutiating.
Aug 03, 2013 rated it liked it
I love Lisa Moore but her style of writing (beautiful and poetic) didn't seem to fit this storyline. Slaney's character could have been better developed. Also, the story was slow at times when it should have been fast, and fast when it could have been more detailed. But it was a good read. I read it in a day.
Lisa Moore sure knows how to turn a phrase and bring pleasure to her readership. While I believed in the characters I did have trouble believing some of the details in the story, and that is what prevents me from rating it a 5. Still, another great book from a talented writer.

nothing was as it seemed, not ever, and it was better to be on the alert. p42

Suspense there is aplenty, but the meditative quality of the writing and the psychological insights lift this adventure story outside the run of the mill plot driven narratives. The odd time frame and the minuscule attention to detail give it a dreamy, slightly hallucinogenic resonance which may or may not have something to do with all the pot.

You try to see what's coming but it shifts on you. p17
There was the desire f
Apr 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2017
David Slaney and his lifelong friend Hearn were caught trying to bring more than 1 million worth of marijuana into Canada. Hearn jumped bail while David served his time, at least some of it. He escaped after four years and is on his way to hook up with Hearn again so they can undo the failure, payback money owed and start a new life.

The stage is set for Slaney to succeed, to successfully hide out, to make his connections and to deliver the cargo. After some missteps he hitchhikes to where he ne
Nick Duretta
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a taut, tightly rendered story of a lost young man searching for some kind of deliverance. We never quite discover what demons he is battling, as he gets swept up in a scheme to smuggle drugs from Colombia and, after a term of imprisonment, escapes, only to embark on a plan to do it all again. The mechanics of the plot are that of a routine thriller, yet Moore confounds our expectations by getting us into the head of David Slaney, the protagonist, his confederates and, importantly, the R ...more
Doriana Bisegna
Mar 01, 2018 rated it did not like it
I hate to admit this but I have no idea what I've just read!! Either my mind was elsewhere or the story just did not hold my interest! Either way, I was hugely disappointed in this novel! I wanted to read it before watching the CBC series but it really wasn't worth my time! Can't win them all, I guess!
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A potentially fantastic story that got sacrificed on the altar of great writing. And there WAS some great writing, here. Unfortunately, it seemed to come at the cost of characters that were screaming for more dimension and a plot that was uneven.
Janet Hutchinson
Well written, although I found that sometimes, the back and forth between characters and story lines difficult to track. And you always knew it wouldn’t work the way they had planned....
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved the writing in this novel but as others have said, the character of Slaney was hard to figure out. There wasn't enough on him. He didn't seem like such a stupid guy, yet he does stupid things. I stayed with it, though, because I did want to see what happened and the writing was compelling. Found three new words I'll remember: "Chussled," "scrudge," and "hork."
“Slaney had to believe there was a connection between people. He had to believe trust was pure too. It was worth fighting for. He trusted Hearn. He could say that out loud. It would be better that way. And he had no choice. Trust lit up on its own sometimes without cause, and there was no way to extinguish that kind of trust.”

Lisa Moore has an unusual writing style. There is an untutored quality to her writing that feels unique and unpracticed. It makes this reader slow down, and read more thou
Bonnie Brody
Mar 30, 2014 rated it liked it
'Caught' is a literary action novel filled with suspense and wonderful existential dialogue. The book definitely has philosophical leanings towards angst and fear.

David Slaney has just escaped from jail after four years of being incarcerated for smuggling two million dollars worth of pot into Canada. The year is 1978. He is determined to make it to his buddy Hearn in Vancouver to set up a second heist, hoping this time it will go right. Slaney and Hearn were turned in the first time by fishermen
May 04, 2015 rated it liked it
"There are mistakes that stand in the centre of an empty field and cry out for love. (p.6)
He felt the unspooling of time." (p.10)

"A butterfly or comet or silver bullet. Something untouched, inviolate, capable of velocity, flight. He was willing to put it to the test. Take it out for a spin." (p.39)

"Her trust was a magnetic force field. She used it like a weapon; she shot a beam of trust into the dark centre of her forehead and it blinded whatever glanced that way." (p.75)

"A thousand watts of joy
Felicity Gibson
Jan 05, 2014 rated it really liked it

“Caught’ by Lisa Moore. ( Read January 3rd 2014 )

Lisa Moore’s ‘Caught’ is a real page turner. The story is easy to understand: there is a smuggler (escaped from prison), a cop following him, a chase and a supporting cast of rogues and secondary characters. The book starts strong with a hair-raising prison escape in Nova Scotia. David Slaney, partially succeeds because the police want to track him to his partner in crime, who we get to know is Hearn. He crosses Canada to find Hearn and to try a
Oct 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giller, can-lit
The plot didn't really interest me at first glance, but I love Moore's writing so I knew I would read it at some point. This book was really, really good. Well-crafted writing that surprises with its creativity and sometimes reads like prose. Moore's written a friendship between the main character Slaney and his partner in crime (literally), Hearn, that reminds me of the relationship between Ren and Amanda in "Year of the Flood."

Also, interestingly, I had a conversation with my boyfriend recentl
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Lisa Moore has written two collections of stories, Degrees of Nakedness and Open, as well as a novel, Alligator.

Open and Alligator were both nominated for the Giller Prize. Alligator won the Commonwealth Prize for the Canadian Caribbean Region and the ReLit Award, and Open won the Canadian Authors' Association Jubilee Prize for Short Fiction.

Lisa has also written for television, radio, magazines (

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