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The Cat Who Walks through Walls | [Robert Heinlein]

The Cat Who Walks through Walls

When a stranger attempting to deliver a cryptic message is shot dead at his dinner table, Richard Ames is thrown headfirst 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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Publisher's Summary

Robert A. Heinlein wrote some of the best-selling science-fiction novels of all time, including the beloved classic Stranger in a Strange Land. In The Cat Who Walks through Walls, he created 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 headfirst 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.

©1985 Robert Heinlein; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio

What the Critics Say

"Dialogue as witty as Oscar Wilde's, action as rollicking as Edgar Rice Burroughs', and satire as spicy as Jonathan Swift's." (New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (851 )
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4.0 (524 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer Rastatt, Germany 01-31-12
    Amazon Customer Rastatt, Germany 01-31-12 Member Since 2010

    Compulsive reader, or listener... Eclectic tastes.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Great Story, Narrator not so much"

    I have always been a fan of Heinlein since I was a young sprog in the 60s, sadly he did not last as long as Woodrow Wilson Smith.

    This is a interesting tale that brings together many of the characters we know from previous novels, unfortunately the narrator is annoying at best. He sounds like a bad imitation of W.C.Fields as Richard Ames.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DavidOfOz 04-24-08
    DavidOfOz 04-24-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    4
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    "Bundling rather than plot"

    Firstly, the narrator does a magnificent job with all the voices. You know who is speaking before their name is mentioned. Well Done!
    It's a pity the narrator is let down by Heinlein with a slipshod plot concentrating more on "bundling" between anyone and everyone - it seems bundling is a sizable proportion of every character's conversations, actions and motivations. From an interesting start, the story wanders about with inexplicable action and mysterious unrelated antagonists settles into a loose and meandering meaningless conversation soaked middle and finally a rushed non ending. This book attempts to be a third in the Moon series - The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (Very Good), The Rolling Stones (Excellent) and finally this book (Pathetic). Characters have the same names as those in the earlier two books, but their outlook has changed. The moral standards of the Stone Family do not at all belong in the mythos Heinlein created with his "family" structure for Lunies and the free-for-all considered normal in this book.
    As Heinlen often states, "There Aint No Such Thing As A Free Lunch" (TANSTAAFL), which doesn't excuse him from a book without a cogent plot. This is the first audible book I am deleting from my iTunes library.

    8 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Savage Doc Dallas, TX 11-20-14
    Savage Doc Dallas, TX 11-20-14 Member Since 2012

    Savage Doc

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Pretty Good Book, but Too Dated For Me"

    I have always been a fan of Robert Heinlein. I especially loved Stranger in a Strange Land. However, now that I'm older, I think the dated style that Heinlein used is starting to grate on me. This one is done in the noir style of Raymond Chandler, et al. But his cutesy banter between men and women wasn't even realistic in the forties, let alone today. It appeared often enough that I got tired of rolling my eyes and searching for a way to skip past it in the audio-book (too bad they don't have a Skip Forward button!)

    Also, the Everyman Yankee (AKA MacGyver) who can do the most random things that 99% of people can't do (and serendipitously progress the plot) has become less believable as I have grown more experienced. For example, how many readers can really pick a lock?

    The story is pretty good, and the narration was quite good. But I guess I have just outgrown Heinlein. :(

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kctElgin 10-19-14
    kctElgin 10-19-14 Member Since 2013

    kct

    ratings
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    3
    1
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    Story
    "Heinlein on the decline"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The second half


    Would you recommend The Cat Who Walks through Walls to your friends? Why or why not?

    I wanted to blame the later Heinlein on the success of Stranger in a Strange Land, but looking back on the publishing dates he had later books I liked and earier books not so much. My guess is I like branches that lead somewhere and here he seemed to not only want to bring in many of his old characters, but pay homage to other writers.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vanessa Lake City, PA, United States 10-07-14
    Vanessa Lake City, PA, United States 10-07-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    4
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    "The title does match the story."
    What would have made The Cat Who Walks through Walls better?

    This is such a strange book and I do not see where it has anything to do with a Cat who walks through walls. I am not a fan of English dialectic books, they are to hard to follow.


    Has The Cat Who Walks through Walls turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Yes


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    NO and NO


    Any additional comments?

    I would not recommend it as a book to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rincewind 10-06-14
    Rincewind 10-06-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    7
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    "Tell the story"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    RH spends too much time on politics and not enough time on the story. This could have been a decent short story.


    Has The Cat Who Walks through Walls turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No. Only Heinlein.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Frustration.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jack Daniels 09-30-14 Member Since 2008

    Uplinktruck

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An interesting tale of time and relationships"

    This Heinlein classic is a study in alternate relationships, quantum travel and good old fashioned science fiction. We follow a man living in the future as his life is turned upside down by a series of events that lead to ducking everything from local police to shadowy super villains. There are a few twists in the story.

    As it is with most classic science fiction, it is fun to listen to this and compare the technology Heinlein thought up to what we really have today.

    This book is a sequel to the Moon is a Harsh Mistress. It is a good listen and makes the miles go by fast.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin M. Geisler Vista, CA, US 09-29-14
    Kevin M. Geisler Vista, CA, US 09-29-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "This is the worst book ever written in history"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A plot. Any plot would have sufficed, even a bad one, but realistically, there was nothing. There were occasional hints that a plot might begin, but ultimately nothing.


    What was most disappointing about Robert Heinlein’s story?

    If this is a 500 page book, then 490 of them were composed of the worst filler dialogue I've ever heard. The sexual innuendos were non-stop, in situations where such dialogue was absurdly unrealistic, inappropriate, out of context, and just flat out ridiculous. Heinlein got weird as he got old, and in place of a "story" it's just a series of situations advocating all forms of sexuality, both monogamy and plural marriage, with enough hints of incest and underage sex that I think those things were originally in the book, but some editor made him take them out. Notice I did not say "wise editor", because a wise editor would have put this abomination to a merciful death prior to being published. I actually listened to the whole thing, possibly because I'm clinically insane, but mainly because I couldn't believe that a man who wrote masterpieces like Stranger in a Strange Land and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress could write an entire book with a plot thinner than gold foil.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    There were so many characters that the narrator was taxed to come up with enough different voices, but god bless his heart, he really did his best to make this abomination into a story, but he had nothing to work with.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect are forced to listen to poetry so bad they wanted to vomit their brains out. Listening to this book was like that, except worse.


    Any additional comments?

    Run. Run away. Run as fast as you can, and don't look back at this book. Ever.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryan Alley 09-11-14
    Bryan Alley 09-11-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Horrible"
    What would have made The Cat Who Walks through Walls better?

    The book might have been good, but the this off brand George Takei narrator is awful. Even though I only spent $4, I feel ripped off.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Tom Weiner’s performances?

    No


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I don't know, any redeeming qualities are covered up by the horrible narrator.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronald San francisco, US, Canada 01-23-14
    Ronald San francisco, US, Canada 01-23-14 Member Since 2010

    Sol System, Earth, Northern Hemisphere, member of the human race.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    68
    5
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    "ripped off"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    finished the story


    What about Tom Weiner’s performance did you like?

    Tom was great, he has a great voice


    Was The Cat Who Walks through Walls worth the listening time?

    no it was a waste


    Any additional comments?

    Heinlein seemed to start out with a purpose and then left off the last half of the book. Set the reader up for a sequel but never delivered. Lost his mind, died?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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