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Soul Catcher

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  950 Ratings  ·  178 Reviews
Cain is a scarred but proud man haunted by a terrible skill—the ability to track people who don't want to be found.

Rosetta is a runaway slave fueled by the passion and determination only a mother can feel. And she will risk everything for the promise of freedom.

In the perilous years before the Civil War, their fates will intertwine in an unforgettable journey—one of hard
Audio CD, 16 pages
Published September 24th 2007 by Tantor Media (first published 2007)
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Dec 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Soul Catcher is a phenomenal book about slave catcher named Cain who is hired to catch a runaway slave named Rosetta. The novel takes place in the mid 1800s before the Civil War, in a time when slavery was still alive and the racism against black people in the South was strong and violent. Eberly is a slaveowner and plantation farm owner who is DESPERATE to have Rosetta, a young slave who runs away while pregnant with Eberly's child! Eberly is a cruel man who will stop at nothing to get her back ...more
Nov 22, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in antebellum America, this novel gives a penetrating look at the pursuit of runaway slaves by bounty hunters, the slave owners who funded them, the abolitionists who opposed them, and the deep emotions evoked by slavery.

Augustus Cain is one of the best hunters, or "soul catchers" as they are called by the blacks and northerners. He wants to quit the business and go west to California, but after losing his prize horse in a gambling debt, he is obligated to pursue one more slave girl. He bear
Dec 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After a dodgy opening few chapters that read like a tedious Western, this book opens out a sweeping storyline that makes a riveting read as well as giving an insight into the conlicted and conflicting views of the two sides as they slip inexorably towards the American Civil War. The prospect of a slave-catching, gambling, drinking, laudanum addicted anti-hero may not immediately appeal, but Michael White writes him as a nuanced character, with a colourful backstory, capable of soul searching and ...more
Will Byrnes
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emery Lee
Jan 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was rather slow moving but over time developed deeply. The era is pre civil war and the protagonist is a "Soul catcher," a man employed to track runaway slaves and retreive them back to their "lawful"owners. He doesn't like his job, but sees himself as providing a service in accordance with the law. Although his conscience tugs, he prefers not to dwell on the deeper moral issues until he meets the likes of Rosetta.

I enjoyed this book, and digested it very slowly. It's gritty and real w
Jan 03, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another book I may not have choosen if it was a book club selection but I'm so glad I did. Told during the Cvil War era this story tells about the life of a man who catches run away slaves, a legal practice then. Turbulent times in every way and brutally honest about the treatment of slaves. Heartbreaking to know that the generalization is true although this man's story is fiction.
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book. Thought provoking and informative. Good storytelling!
Mar 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Miles by: Mateo
Shelves: reviewed
Soul Catcher is a solid adventure tale set sometime between 1855 and 1859, following the changing fortunes and heart of a slave hunter. I enjoyed reading it for pleasure, and as a part of my study of the craft of writing historical fiction. If the theme interests you, it's worth your time to read.

That said, I have two problems with the book. The first concerns the figure of John Brown himself, whose life is sufficiently well known to make it impossible to imagine a time in which he would persona
Oct 02, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Michael White's Soul Catcher starts out with a big liability: It's not Cold Mountain. Soul Catcher--the term refers to men who caught runaway slaves--covers much of the same ground, though: a wounded soldier traversing the Civil War-era South, facing demons both external and internal. That's a tough comparison, because Cold Mountain was a tour de force; still, once the comparisons are left behind, Soul Catcher is a pretty decent read. White has a fine eye for landscape--grouse exploding in a clo ...more
Shonna Froebel
Nov 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This saga of slave catcher Augustus Cain takes us from the Mexican-American War through to the civil war as Cain looks back on a life running from his past as he engages in what he intends to be his last job as a slave catcher. He has been drawn into the occupation due to a skill in tracking and finding slaves that he first identified as a young man.
Rosetta is the runaway slave that he has been hired to find. She runs from a master who has taken his ownership in every way he could and runs to sa
Donna Brown
Jan 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book, well written and with a simple yet compelling story. White manages to portray his characters well and also makes the plot and situations within the book realistic and believable.

Although this is not a period of history I am particularly familiar with (it is set in pre-civil war America), the details seemed convincing and set a good tone throughout the book.

In summary of the plot, Augustus Cain is a 'soul-catcher', making a living from catching runaway slaves. He convin
I love a good Civil-War-era/1800s-in-the-U.S. historical fiction novel. And this *was* a good one. Cain is a man who’s more than a little bit lost. He’s basically sleep-walking through life, drunk on either whiskey, laudanum, or both, and gambling for money to live. Except he’s not always a great gambler, and now he’s gotten himself into a debt he can’t run away from. When the man he owes money to wants him to use his tracking skills to bring home his runaway slave, Rosetta, Cain doesn’t really ...more
Mar 31, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Frankly, I was disappointed that it didn't have the supernatural sort of undertones that I expected from reading the description. I'm a sucker for that kind of stuff.

What I found interesting is that one can gain a feel for the mentality of the southerner and how slavery could be one could come to appreciate Cain,the main character in the book. He never really seemed like a villain even though he was a soul catcher(or slave catcher).

By the end of the book, the moral question of
May 26, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, history
This book has some strengths. The setting is Virginia just before the Civil War. Augustus Cain is what the slaves call a soul catcher. He tracks down runaways and returns them to their owners. He’s a complicated fellow but never really thinks about slavery until he kidnaps a feisty, female slave in Boston and is returning to her Virginia master. She is appealing but less than believable, too modern. I gained real insight into the internal self deceptions that allowed otherwise honorable men to o ...more
May 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2010s
A classic chase/adventure story of a man on a mission and his prey, with the hunter wrestling with his conscience. Perhaps the conscience-wrestling got a bit tedious for me, or we are reassured a few too many times what a good man the hero Cain is despite the fact that he is tracking down a runaway slave, Rosetta, in freedom in the North to return her to her (call central-casting) sadistic owner. A host of adventures and interesting minor characters await them on the journey home, which I won't ...more
Kerry O'Connor
Nov 13, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Whoever compared this novel to Cold Mountain needs a reality check. This author only wishes he could write in that league. His prose is repetitive and stilted, vocabulary limited, his characters never rise above the stereotypical and mundane. He does not credit his reader with much ability to read between the lines either, but then there's really nothing to read in to the story. I've read Part 1, and that's all he gets of me.
May 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Soul Catcher is a slave catcher and it's set in pre civil war south about a beautiful slave girl who runs away. She's captured by the slave catcher and he and fellow slave catchers take her on the long journey back to captivity, or try to. I loved this book. It was the first Historic Fiction I've ever gotten all the way through. That's because it's a real page turner I couldn't wait to find out whats gonna happen next. I highly recommend Soul Catcher.
May 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Michael White has convincingly conveyed a transformation of a character. Cain is a conflicted individual who is very good at the strange skill of a Soul Catcher, but also has been exposed to many thoughts that do not support the concept of slavery. While Cain is the lead in this play, the key person is Rosetta whose presence and personality truly captures Cain's soul. Great plot, exceptional character development, wonderful prose. Would be an interesting movie.
tish Ramsey
Nov 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I learned a lot of interesting facts about pre-civil war history while reading this novel. The story is fast paced and full of action but at the heart of the story is the relationship between a conflicted slave catcher and a intriguing runaway slave. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in this era of American history.
Western movie

When not in kind of boring flashback mode this book read like an old western movie with bad guy turning to good guy Clint Eastwood as the lead. Predictable.
Sam Sattler
Aug 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just prior to the Civil War, slaves were a big part of the Southern economy in many ways, some of which have not been often considered in Civil War fiction. In addition to providing the labor that made it possible for the United States to dominate the world cotton market, escaped slaves provided a living for the slave catchers and "blackbirders" who personally profited from their desperate flights northward. Slave catchers, called "soul catchers" by blacks of the era made their money by tracking ...more
Jonathan Gruber
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Near perfect historical fiction. Writing is a bit pedestrian and it gets repetitive in a couple spots. But overall great characters and a fascinating time piece
Laura (booksnob)
I am going to write this review as a resume for the main character Augustus Cain. A major theme of Soul Catcher is Cain's profession.

Augustus Cain
Home: Virginia
Year: 1950

Objectives: 1. To own his horse free and clear and pay off all his debts so he can head west and start his life over. 2. To track and bring back runaway slaves Rosetta and Henry. 3. To do this one last job and then quit being a soul catcher.

Qualifications and Skills:
Slave Tracking, hunting, shooting, long distance travel on hors
"Soul catcher" is a nice way of putting "fugitive slave catcher" - although I'm not sure why people who own slaves would think their property has a soul. Anyway, Cain (yep, he's marked) is the first son of a smallish farmer, slated to marry a beautiful belle but he chooses instead to go fight in Mexico, where he's wounded. He's now estranged from his family and catches souls for a living. He also has a tidy little laudanum addiction, he drinks, and gambles badly.

To resolve one debt, he agrees to
Dec 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In someone else's hands this story could have been quite a bust. I wasn't sure I was going to buy it myself at first.

Augustus Cain is a slave catcher. He found from an early age that he had a gift for this work, but as he grew older he no longer wanted to do it. Nevertheless, he was pressured by the threat of the loss of his horse - a horse he valued more than any person he knew - to make one more pursuit. The subjects were an older man and a young woman, from the plantation of a rich man who
17-year-old Augustus Cain lights out for the territory, leaving his father's farm and his betrothed for the adventure of the Mexican-American War. But the carnage of combat strips him of his idealism and the full use of one of his legs. He is rescued from death by a young Mexican Indian and her grandmother. They nurse him back to health and he develops a deep affection for the young girl. But his southern honor force him to return to the war and turn himself in as a deserter. His wounds are trea ...more
Kristal Cooper
This book is set just before the Civil War and is about a guy who is contracted out to track and return runaway slaves. The idea has a lot of potential, but the author blew it, in my opinion.

The first 115 pages were miserable -- populated by six characters that I didn't like at all and had a hard time caring about. I skimmed some of it, then layed it down for nine months until I decided to grit my teeth and finish it off before the year was out. Luckily, in chapter 7, there's finally a little bi
Sep 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Soul Catcher - I love the title! The definition is: a person who is paid to track down and capture runaway slaves and return them to their masters. Augustus Cain is by trade a Soul Catcher. It's not a profession that he's proud of, but one that he's quite skilled at.

The story starts out in the 1850's prior to the civil war. Mr. Eberly, a wealthy tobacco owner, breaks into Cain's room one morning and makes him an offer that he can't refuse. The prior evening, both men were in a card game. Augustu
Kyra Meko
Jun 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Soul Catcher will definitely catch your attention. Throughout this realistic fiction Michael White introduces conflicting themes like possession and the different kinds of slavery (literal and mental), the passing of time and getting older, and the emotions of love vs. lust. By infusing these themes into an action-packed journey, White hooks the reader. Rather than telling the reader, he shows them that slavery of any kind is wrong and love is ultimately better than lust through the conflicts he ...more
Leslie Gudermuth
If you like historical novels and or "Westerns" you will enjoy reading this book. The hero (or "anti-hero) is a slave catcher named Cain ( Biblical reference?) He is hired to catch and return a young slave woman to her master. The time period is one-Click War in the 1850's. Congress had passed a law in 1850 that runaway slaves could be caught and returned to slavery in the South regardless of making it to a Northern "free" state.
Can you imagine traveling by horseback all the way from Boston to
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