Sunday, March 22, 2015

Book Review: Caught by Lisa Moore

After reading and raving about February by Lisa Moore (here's the link to my review), I leapt at an opportunity to meet her in person. (I write about that experience here.) And that's how I got this...

Book blurb:  It's June 1978, and David Slaney can be sure of only one
thing. He can't get caught; not this time. He's escaped from prison and has got to make
good on the heist that went wrong, win back the woman he loves, and make a big enough
profit to buy himself a new life. First, though, he must get himself across a vast country
full of watchful eyes, booby traps, and friends who might be foes. And then, on to Colombia,
where the real test of his mettle begins.

Here are bravado and betrayal, bad weather and worse seas, love, lust, undercover agents,
the collusion of governments, innocence and the loss thereof, and many, many bales of
marijuana. Here, too, si the seeming invincibility of youth and all the folly that it allows.

Caught is exuberant, relentlessly suspenseful, and utterly unique -- an adventure novel the way
only Lisa Moore could write it. 
As I begin to read, Simon and Garfunkel's "Look for  America" plays sweetly in the background. And I am Caught by caught. Before I knew it, I was well into the thick of the story.

The last book I reviewed, for this blog, was Cockroach by Ravi Hage. Whereas Cockroach is about someone living on the fringes of society -- abandoned. Caught is about someone living on the fringes of society -- lionized. 

And we readers too are charmed by Slaney.
I wonder why? Is it because we unaware of his crime or has it more to do with passages like this...

'He was plagued by a premonition of being caught.  As if his capture belonged to him, responsibility he'd been born into, like a title or a crown.' (p. 23)
Watching Slaney struggling to free himself is like watching a rabbit struggle to pull his leg free of the trap. You can't but long for his release.

The theme of being caught -- unwanted pregnancy, serving jail time, etc. -- resounds throughout this book.  

'A fish in one of the buckets on the old man's boat wiggled violently. It bent itself
double and bent back the other way and threw itself up in the air and landed
on the gunwale ... It must have been dead and come back to life and it
lauded on the gunwale and was astonished and then it rolled over and fell
into the water.' (p. 171)

What can we learn from the fish?

Possibly... You can be caught. You can think all is over, but if you continue to believe. If you put forth a might effect. If you strive unceasing for your goal. You can win your freedom. 

My favourite quote...

'The best stories, he thought, we've known the end from the beginning.' (p. 272)

And to summarize this book...

It is a tale of...
two friends:  one of privilege,  one not.
two criminals:  one of privilege, one not.
two justices:  one for the privileged; one for the unprivileged.

'Slaney found...the door was closed.... He wondered if Hearn was on the other side.' (p. 316)

More about Moore and Caught...

YouTube video:  Lisa Moore talks about Caught (a short interview -- approximately 8 minutes long)

YouTube video:  Lisa Moore talks about and gives an author reading from Caught (approximately 50 minutes)

YouTube video:  Lisa Moore and Caught at the Scotiabank Gillar (approximately 3 minutes)

first slug of the year
photo by Leanne Dyck