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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    521
  • 4 Stars
    370
  • 3 Stars
    247
  • 2 Stars
    93
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    74

Performance

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    427
  • 4 Stars
    309
  • 3 Stars
    131
  • 2 Stars
    45
  • 1 Stars
    29

Story

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    399
  • 4 Stars
    262
  • 3 Stars
    171
  • 2 Stars
    62
  • 1 Stars
    61
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Dann
  • Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 06-08-12

Too much dialog.

Too much dialog slows the story way down and makes it confusing. One loses their place in the story by the large blocks of unrelated dialog.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • George
  • Harlingen Tx., TX, United States
  • 05-27-12

Was not expecting a time travel novel.

What made the experience of listening to The Cat Who Walks through Walls the most enjoyable?

The story kept me guessing

Who was your favorite character and why?

The cat

Which scene was your favorite?

the council scene

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes stayed up way to late listining

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not really a Comedy of Manners, but still good.

What did you love best about The Cat Who Walks through Walls?

I confess, the main reason I decided to pick up this book was not the author; I’m not a huge Heinlein fan, though his books are “classic” sci-fi, and I agree he is defintiely necessary to the evolution of the genre. I can admit to his worth as a writer without being an ardent lover of his writing style. I picked up this book on a whim, and because it had the subtitle of “A Comedy of Manners.” If there’s one thing I can almost always enjoy, its a narrative comedy of manners. Add in some science fiction and space travel, and how could I resist?

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

While I loved the initial set-up of the story, I ended up rather disappointed with the end. So many of the mysteries that intrigued me were never answered, or even worse, were poorly answered in awkward exposition that left plot holes an elephant could fall through.

The development of the charming and witty relationship that evolved between Gwen and Richard was put aside in favor of annoying justifications for “free love” and polygamous marriages.

Had the story continued in the same vein as that first third of the book, I think this novel could have won five stars from me, but Heinlein lost the thread of the most important piece: the actual plot. His priorities were obviously more on describing his idea free-love society, and on his World as Myth philosophy. While I did find the latter interesting, I think there may have been better ways to incorporate it into the story than pure exposition and long non-plot centric conversations.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Just not believable

What about Tom Weiner???s performance did you like?

Tom did a very reasonable reading of the story. He just didn't have a lot to work with...

Any additional comments?

I loved Heinlein as a kid. He was one of the authors that introduced me to SciFi, and later got me interested in science as a profession (which I have now done for over 40 years). I was excited to hear another book of his that I had missed as a child of the 50's. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. I kept wanting to continue, because the banter between the hero and his new wife was interesting -- kind of. Unfortunately, it did not ring in the least bit true. Stories I prefer are those that are either SciFi or Mystery, where you are sucked into the environment, and believe you could really be part of it. This story never met that criteria, always feeling artificial and contrived. I stopped listening at about the 3 hr mark. No idea if it ever got better, but I learned decades ago that there are better ways to spend my time than to see if a bad book/movie might get better at the end... When all is said and done, I have to admit this was a bad buy, and I wish I had spent my credits and time on a different book. :(

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Sci fi giant degenerates into dirty old man

I am really disappointed in this book. The interesting concepts about travelling around space-time are completely overshadowed by the 78-year-old author's fantasies about plural marriage with 12-year-old girls. Bleck.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Terribly disappointing

I love most of Heinlein's work. This was the rare exception. The book started off interesting enough, then about a third of the way into it, the flavor completely changes. It went off in a direction that was both dumb and frustrating. The ending especially was disappointing. Try another of his works instead.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

bleh

I love Heinlein and really enjoyed The Moon is a Harsh Mistress audiobook but this was terrible. The plot, if you can call it that, was completely disjointed and incomplete. The original murder mystery premise is completely abandoned somewhere along the way and it just dissolves into a bunch of trivial dialog and spastic time travel. I almost didn't finish it, but I never do that so I tortured myself with the whole thing hoping it would get better, but it never did. Definitely not Heinlein's best work. Narrator was fine I guess, but the story was lacking for sure.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

It's a RAH!

As I write this I'm amazed at this review process. I JUST moments ago clicked on 'Add to cart'. I've not yet even downloaded the audiobook files, yet I'm writing a review. Why you might ask? Simple, it's a Heinlien. For those of you who understand, that makes sense. For the rest of you, read on McDuff.

Robert A Heinline was my introduction to science fiction, as perhaps he was yours, almost fifty years ago (I'm barely 50). RAH is the standard against which I judge all science fiction. I have read this book many times in pulp, I know what's coming as well as I know my own comfy pillow.

My sole criterion when a new Heinlein comes out is simple - who's the narrator and can I stay awake through the narration. In all honesty, that always secondary and even a bad narrator rarely keeps me from a RAH classic. This narrator, previewed in the sample seems up to the task.

If you're already a Heinlein fan, quit reading. My review is already approacing 1000 words and you're wasting your time. You know you will buy. If you're new to Heinlein, have I got a treat for you. Pick ANYTHING with his name on the title and settle in for the ride.

10 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Very Good, But Not Made For Novices

Where does The Cat Who Walks through Walls rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of my favorites.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I could say, "Walker Evans," but that would be cheating! :-)


Heinlein himself turned out to be my favorite character. He was trying to cheat death, and if the place of this book in series is done properly, he actually does it, in a way. I saw one reviewer place the book improperly as part of a "trilogy" when the "set" in which it belongs is actually at least 6 books deep, including Time Enough For Love, Number of the Beast, and To Sail Beyond the Sunset, with a definite nod to Friday and ALL of his other books as well.

Which scene was your favorite?

The ending line, which was in the tradition of Glory Road.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

One of the Grand Master's main points in this book as in others was that while sex is potentially everywhere, real LOVE takes manners and intelligence. He specifically refers to the book as a comedy of manners....like the Emperor's New Clothes, it was built so that people who don't "get" RAH or what he put between the lines, so to speak, won't enjoy the ride AS MUCH as those who have done their homework.

Any additional comments?

I feel no shame at downgrading the reviews of naysayers...when you can point to a Hugo or a Nebula with your name on it, then I'll listen harder. :-)

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

poor, painful,

too much of the witty banter and not enough story.. at times i had to turn off due to frustration... then i,d give it another go thinking it will get better... but no... then it ended and i think well if it did,nt kill me maybe it made me stronger. the narration tried but nothing could really save the author from himself...

0 of 1 people found this review helpful