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The Cat Who Walks Through Walls by Robert A.…

The Cat Who Walks Through Walls (1985)

by Robert A. Heinlein

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Lazarus Long (4), World As Myth (3)

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3,762361,385 (3.51)70
Recently added byBruceRights, tnilsson, scottcholstad, private library, rsmaalouf



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Why, why, why? Why am I so stupid? After I finished my last Heinlein book some months ago (can't remember which one, sorry), in my review I said I'd never read another one of his books, I was so disgusted with him as a perverted writer. I mean, he's a De Sade pervert. Dirty old man. And I'm no prude. But I don't want to pick up a decent seeming sci fi book only to find it full of nothing more than gratuitous sex and little else, likely designed to shock and titillate. It's stupid and, frankly, boring. I think Heinlein has written a couple of decent books I've liked over the years, but generally he's very overrated and he's really a disgusting person. So I can't explain what made me stop in the bookstore this weekend while browsing through the shelves and pick this book up and look at the back cover. But the synopsis made it sound interesting and since it was a decent used price, I thought why not. So I did. And regretted it.

The book is about Dr. Richard Ames, who is a resident of Golden Rule habitat, which is a space colony near the moon. One night, he is out to dinner with his soon-to-be wife Gwen Novak when a strange man is killed directly in front of him at his table. Before he knows it, he's running for his life from an unknown enemy or group of enemies. The thing that made me want to stop reading this book, which I did, was that so many unlikely things happened to Ames and Gwen in a 20 hour period, that it was completely unbelievable. The murder, the three minute cleanup and disappearance of the corpse, the assassination attempt, the evictions, the other murder, the murder frame up, the chase, the rip offs, the sabotaged space ship which crash lands, etc. It's just too damn much. If half of this stuff would happen to anyone in a 20 hour period, they'd have a nervous breakdown. It's not believable. To make matters worse, the dialogue is so damned "proper" and so, frankly, stilted, it's not to be believed either. Gwen takes the assassin under care to turn him into a proper person by educating him in his speech patterns, because one needs to learn how to speak properly if one wants to get ahead in life. Seriously? He just tried to kill your husband. WTF? That's beyond stupid. And their dialogues and "witticisms" (if you can actually call them that) during their stressful flight from authority stretches imagination. No one talks like that. At all. Ever. No one. It's beyond stupid. And so I stopped reading. Bear in mind my comment that Heinlein is a perv. So I read some reviews of this book after I stopped reading and to my total lack of surprise, this book turns into a giant Penthouse jerkoff complete with orgies and incest and tons of naked women throwing themselves at Ames throughout the book and why am I not surprised? I know a lot of sci fi writer geeks are a little sex obsessed, probably because they never got any growing up, but damn, what the HELL is wrong with Heinlein? He's a sick bastard. OK, I learned my lesson. I should have stuck to my guns. No matter how good the back cover sounded, it was Heinlein and bound to be bad, so this was definitely my last Heinlein book ever and he can kiss my ass. What an overrated writer. What a bad excuse for a sci fi author. What a freak. Definitely not recommended, both for the plot and the porn. ( )
  scottcholstad | Nov 9, 2015 |
About a hundred pages into this "late Heinlein" novel, I stopped to wonder where all the nonstop action and escapes were going. When I found out, I almost stopped reading. I am rapidly becoming a convert to the school which says RAH's later work is junk. I find the "meta-verse" device--the idea that all characters and stories are true in alternate universes--potentially interesting but not so much in Heinlein's treatment here. I am also kind of tired of polyamorous inest, etc. Heinlein is not a sexy writer, he is a writer who writes tediously of sex. Reading this has put me off RAH's later work for the time being. I shall have to find a copy of "The Star Beast" or "Have Sapcesuit, Will Travel". ( )
1 vote nmele | Jun 15, 2015 |
This was one of those rollicking adventures with lots of ideas to impress a teen - I'm sure I read it a few times. I'm not sure I'd like it so much now. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
I probably would have liked this more if I had read his past work more (such as The Number of the Beast, which is about many of the events this book refers to). The only Heinlein I have read is Stranger in a Strange Land (which has characters from that novel appearing in this one) and Have Spacesuit Will Travel. I liked the World is Myth concept, but I felt lost because I didn't know all the backstories. Will read those, and then revisit this book and see what I think. ( )
  VincentDarlage | Jan 30, 2015 |
I enjoyed many parts of the book but there were some racist points that I thought were not needed. As well I did not really know if the main characters were bantering in a satirical way or if Heinlein was expressing his true views. Some parts were confusing and were written as (Spoiler) changing timelines would have been and therefore expressed how the protagonist, Richard, would have felt. ( )
  Noonecanstop | Mar 2, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert A. Heinleinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Ah Love!
could you and I with Him conspire
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire, Would we not shatter it to bits - and then
Re-mould it nearer to the Heart's Desire!

Quatrain XCIX, Fifth Edition
(as rendered by Edward FitzGerlad)
'Whatever you do, you'll regret it.' Allan McLeod Gray 1905-1975
Jerry and Larry and Harry Dean and Dan and Jim Poul and Buz and Sarge
(Men to have at your back)

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'We need you to kill a man.'
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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From Publishers Weekly
As the old guard of SF ages, we are getting more novels of nostalgia. Heinlein is less sentimental than many of his generation but his new book resembles both the latest Bradbury, in making the author the protagonist, and the latest Asimov, in returning to a popular series from early in his career (Future History). Like Heinlein, Richard Ames is an ex-military man turned writer who fancies himself a pundit. An assassination attempt precipitates his marriage to Gwen Novak and sends the newlyweds scurrying to the Moon and then to the planet Tertius, headquarters of the Time Corps. The action, though, is largely beside the point in a novel that is predominantly a dialogue between the protagonists. Their foredoomed attempt to become the Nick and Nora Charles of space (with a bonsai standing in for Asta) is sabotaged less by Heinlein's endless elbow-in-the-ribs wisecracks and more by his inability to convincingly portray a sexual relationship. Given the increasing popularity of his recent, similar work, it is unlikely that the book's short-comings will limit its potentially large audience. November 11
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the back:
IN The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, he creates his most compelling character ever: Dr Richard Ames, ex-military man, sometime writer and unfortunate victim of mistaken identity.
When a stranger attempting to deliver a cryptic message is shot dead at his dinner table, Ames is thrown head first into danger, intrigue, and other dimensions where Lazarus long still thrives, where Jubal Harshaw lives surrounded by beautiful women, and where a daring plot to rescue the sentient computer called Mike can change the direction of all human history.
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Join forces with a swashbuckling duo of inter-galactic space rogues struggling to save the future and history of civilization.

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