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Soul Catcher

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  1,094 ratings  ·  79 reviews
Soul Catcher (1972) is a novel by the science fiction writer Frank Herbert. Soul Catcher is about a Native American who kidnaps a young white boy and their journey together. It is a story of vengeance and sacrifice. In the conflicted anti-hero, one may see many truths to the feelings harbored by those who were conquered.
Many Native American myths are touched upon; e.g. th
Paperback, 216 pages
Published September 15th 1987 by Ace (first published 1972)
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Average rating 3.69  · 
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 ·  1,094 ratings  ·  79 reviews

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...The real controversy about Soul Catcher is probably the ending. In Dreamer of Dune (which mentions the end of the novel explicitly so if you don't want it spoiled read the novel first) Brian Herbert mentions Frank got a lot of responses either confirming the ending as something Katsuk would do or that he got it all wrong. Even the Native American community seems to disagree on it. From a literary point of view I'd say it works very well. It's one of those endings that will stick with you, alt ...more
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
A few years ago, I decided to read the most important other Herbert novels before starting a reread of the Dune series. A review of Children Of Dune on the always thoughtful Gaping Blackbird, made me eager to start that reread. That review focuses on the Nietzschean inspiration of CoD, and it led to an interesting discussion in the comments. So, I was eager to dive into Dune again, but as I still had Soul Catcher on my TBR, I started that.

Yesterday, after finishing Soul Catcher, I decided to kic
Jul 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Reading this I can clearly see why I fell in love with Dune in the seventh grade. Herbert write in The Soul Catcher a beautifully poignant modern day story of a young Native American man who kidnaps a white boy -- a privileged, innocent white boy. We follow their journey to the bitter end and still we are left with interpretive choices. Is the Native American crazy, going through a psychotic break? Or has he really been chosen by his people's gods to punish white people? Can it be both?

Herbert w
Sep 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
along with the white plague this is one frank herbert's best books that is not in the dune series. a native american man's sister is raped by a gang of white men and then commits suicide. he decides to take revenge, by making a sacrifice of a white child. he kid naps an adolescent boy, and brings him on a journey, preparing him to meet his creator. the book is nothing like anything else herbert has written, and proves he was a fantastic writer in any genre. it has great character development. i ...more
Apr 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
i tore through this in three days. i put off reading it for about 4 years, because honestly, the synopsis did not seem interesting to me. it looked boring. but it's definitely a poetically written thriller. the entire book is absolutely unpredictable. the ending left me speechless.
I remember vivdly the experience of reading this book back in the day, shortly after its publication.
I read it way too fast, bowled over by the articulated rage and the justification it allowed the protaganist for his violent acts.
This time I read it with the attentive consideration this book deserves.
Once again I was bowled over, and quite shocked to find that, although I retained a fair memory of the plot, I had completely erased the ending and somehow substituted my own outcome.
This is a co
Sep 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
I read this book as a kid and I remembered it filled me with so much turmoil both emotionally and intellectually that now 25 years later I sought it out to read again. The emotions are still there, the shame of what was done to the Native Americans, hope, torn between wanting David to escape and wanting Katsuk's message to be delivered. The intellectual battle between wanting to believe in the spirit world against the science of the hoquat is there as well. While Frank Herbert is best known for ...more
Michael Tildsley
Jan 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Having read a good deal of Herbert's Dune books, I was astounded at how different and bland this book is. The setting and characters feel flat, though the story itself is pretty interesting. I feel like the main problem I have with this book is with the ending. Without spoiling anything, I felt like the last 10 pages or so did not really fit with the character development up until that point. The final decision of the characters was a bit of a jump in logic, in my opinion.
TJ Shelby
Jun 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Will he or won't he? Masterful story-teller weaves an unbelievable tale hitting on so many themes and emotional triggers.

Spoiler (read after you've finished the book)
My soul has been crushed. Emotional trauma mixed with religious brainwashing equals pain and suffering.
Stephanie Ricker
May 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
Coming off of the high of the Santaroga Barrier, I was excited to try Soul Catcher. I admire Herbert's ability to write about such drastically different subject matter. This ain't a scifi novel, that's for sure, although there are elements of Katsuk that might remind the reader of a Native American Paul Atreides gone wrong. The book (particularly the ending) is somewhat controversial, and I had very mixed feelings about it myself. The book seemed both stereotypical in some ways and too avant gar ...more
Nov 09, 2012 rated it did not like it

Blegh. Finished the last twenty pages in an annoyed sitting, because I'm just cloyingly, cherry tree honest enough that I can't say I've 'read' a book until I know for sure that I've read every bit of it. I smoke my cigarettes to the nubs, too.

It was like shredding a dandelion.

Everything is this thing. Cliches and stereotypes up and down the wall, white guilt and mau-mau-back-to-nature- nostalgie de la boue about the Red Injun, some ol' bullshit about finding true nature
Aug 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, read-2013
Although Soul Catcher is Frank Herbert's only prehumously published mainstream novel, the social, political, ecological, and mythological themes and style of this book are recognizably Herbert.

One of his most powerful stories, Soul Catcher tells the story of a Native American who kidnaps the son of a prominent (Caucasian) politician as reparation for the rape and subsequent suicide of his sister by a group of drunken (Caucasian) loggers.

Since the story lacks any science fiction elements, takes p
Fantasy Literature
Feb 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Charles Hobuhet, an intelligent doctoral student in anthropology, is a Native American who holds a secret grudge against the Europeans who came to America, not only because of what they did to his race, but also because a group of them raped and killed his sister years ago. When Charles is stung by a bee and thinks he’s been given the title of Soul Catcher by the bee’s spirit, he believes he’s been tasked with a mission that will make the whites finally pay for their crimes. Renaming himself Kat ...more
Steve R
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Outside his Dune series, Herbert is the author of several highly imaginative and, I believe, unjustly ignored works combining unique times and places with vexing moral issues. This work is one of these, dealing as it does with native Amerindians, a vengeful quest, an almost Stockholm-syndrome like bond which develops between perpetrator and supposed victim and, above all of these plot devices, a real examination of the disparity between the so-called primitive people's approach to life and belie ...more
John Wiltshire
Jan 25, 2018 rated it did not like it
(view spoiler)
There's not much more to say about this. I couldn't wait for it to end. It was like reading a long, long dream sequence about absolute nonsense. I only stu
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I think this book was an amazing take on the conflicts between white people and Native Americans in the Pacific North West in the 70s. It took the realism of the need for revenge for some natives that has had their loved ones murdered by white intruders, and the Spiritual aspect of Native American culture that helps the main character achieve his goal. Overall I gave this book a 5/5 and you should read it if you haven't. Some things Ive learned from this book is that relationships, as complicate ...more
Vickie Barrier
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in the late 70s, hoping for more Dune-type adventure. Well, it certainly was not that, but it took place in my backyard -- the Olympic National Forest. It's always fun to read a story that takes place in an area with which one is familiar. My only memory of that read was WOW! I tried to find it 30 years later and finally discovered it at a 2nd hand book store. I really had forgotten how it ends, I must have gone into psychological shock. Now, 10 years later, I'm looking for it a ...more
Sep 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Like all of Herbert's work so far, unpredictable. Love when that happens...keeps me interested. This one is a deep examination of the world-view of the Native American contrasted with the tenets of modern living. I found myself reflecting while reading that there might as well be a massive schizophrenic gulf between the two. Herbert is ever Eco-conscious, as always, through this vehicle. The story is short and quite often disturbing.
Apr 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anita
Though Frank Herbert is most well known for writing the Dunes series, one of my ultimate favorite books is by him, and is this book. Very well written and it captures the heartbreaking struggle of the Native Americans.
Jeffrey David
Jan 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who hate white people
Shelves: books-i-ve-read
Did you ever read Dune and think Frank Herebert is crazy? He is. And he's a great writer. The ending is very brave. I'm glad Robert Roedford couldn't make this movie b/c he wanted to change the ending.
Feb 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Years after reading this story (that's stayed with me -- very unusual), I enlisted the help of a sci-fi web site to help me track down the title and author. This is not a sci-fi book. It's a story of people, and change and ... and it still amazes me how I feel about the ending.
Feb 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: culture-conflict
I am wondering why this book is listed as having 0 pages. I have tried to change to other edition. It doesnt want to. I am re reading this profoundly disturbing book on vengance and spirit messages and messengers.I am still reading it.
Allegra Gulino
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This story by the author of the much lauded Dune series, which I also love, is a simple and taut thriller. I very much admire Frank Herbert's use of language and point of view here -- it's an eye-opener!
Feb 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Gift from Dan. Interesting book. All about the soul and mysticism.
Kevin Xu
Jun 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The only novel that Frank Hebert ever wrote!
Harold Sleeper
Jan 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Not what I expected after reading the Dune series, but a great book in its own regard.
Allison Anderson
Sep 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Frank Herbert steps out of the sci fi genre to write a gripping novel with ethical questions. If you're a fan, I highly recommend this one.
Robert Moffatt
Oct 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
what do I think? I think I need a scotch.
May 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Truly beautiful. Full of understanding.
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Modern day Indian kidnaps child. [s] 7 315 Jul 25, 2018 02:28PM  

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Frank Herbert was a critically acclaimed and commercially successful American science fiction author.

He is best known for the novel Dune and its five sequels. The Dune saga, set in the distant future and taking place over millennia, dealt with themes such as human survival and evolution, ecology, and the intersection of religion, politics, and power, and is widely considered to be among the classi

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