BN.com Gift Guide
Customer Reviews for

The Soul Thief

Average Rating 3.5
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(5)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 1
  • Posted August 31, 2011

    The Soul Thief

    It's a good thing this was an audio book. Had I actually had to read it, I don't know if I'd have been able to finish it. While Baxter may be a remarkable wordsmith, I found the story to be uninspiring. I didn't feel anything for any of the characters, felt nothing when they were confronted with conflicts and was relieved when problems were resolved only because I figured that would be a good place to turn off the CD. To give the man credit though, his descriptions are fantastic.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2008

    A Novel Rich in Imagery and Style

    Charles Baxter is mining new territory in his latest novel THE SOUL THIEF, and while his trademark keen character development ability remains in tact, he takes a step further into the realm of spiritual surrealism - and makes it work on every page! Nathaniel Mason is the character with the 'available soul', a graduate student whose life is operating on a subsistence level, partially due to circumstances beyond his control (loss from his father's death, and his sister's accident that has left her isolated and mute), and partially due to his misjudgment of relationships. He encounters the beautiful Theresa on a rainy Buffalo, NY night, is enchanted by her beauty and her presence, but also conflicted by the fact that she openly admits to being in a relationship with the bizarre Jerome Coolberg, a strange lad whose writing is as bizarre as his interaction with those around him. It is Coolberg who sets about hiring a thief (Ben) to enter Nathaniel's humble apartment to rob him of anything pertinent to Nathaniel's character -clothes, personal items, and anything that will allow Jerome to appear as Nathaniel, including his writings, his ideas, and his style. Oddly, caught in the act of the aborted robbery, Ben and Nathaniel become 'friends' - Ben hangs out at a soup kitchen where Nathaniel cooks and serves the indigent. Also working at the soup kitchen is lesbian artist Jamie with whom Nathaniel forms a somewhat symbiotic relationship and soon the players - Nathaniel, Theresa, Jamie, and Jerome - become involved in the gradual 'theft' of Nathaniel's soul. Nathaniel is not a stable personality and Jerome's very personal 'robbery' drives him into a state of psychological dissolve. The story jumps forward in time to a Nathaniel who has survived his breakdown (due largely to his sister's regaining her voice to read to him when he is in his near comatose state). Nathaniel has married, has children, and subsequently re-encounters Jerome Coolberg, his soul thief, and the changes in the two men's personalities and lives bring the story to an end. Yes, there are moments almost supernatural that test the reader's ability to stay with the story, and the concept of stealing (or selling!) a soul is not a new one: Goethe comes to mind throughout the narrative. But the strangeness of the story allows Baxter the freedom to rise above the pure narrative and wax philosophical, a technique that feels new to his work in comparison to previous novels. 'No one knows who we are here, in this country, because we're all actors, we've got the most fluid cards of identity in the world, we've got disguises on top of disguises, we're the best on earth at what we do, which is illusion. We're all pretenders.' Toward the end of the novel there is a statement that seems to echo the experience most sensitive readers will experience after reading THE SOUL THIEF: 'Is there anything more restorative than the act of one person reading a beloved book to another person, also beloved?' Reading Charles Baxter's latest novel is enriching and wholly satisfying. Grady Harp

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2008

    A reviewer

    The Soul Thief is a dazzling, mysterious tour de force. I read it in one sitting, awed by Baxter's command of language, the realism of the characters, the grand mystery of the whole damn thing. Buy this book today -- you will be stupefied by the power of story to suck you in. Still.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 1