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Catseye (Dipple #1)

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,166 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
The big cat cried "danger!" Troy Horan heard it with his mind just as he had heard the fox's warning and the kinkajou's. He didn't understand how he could communicate with the animals or why they were contacting him. But from the moment he began work at Kyger's pet emporium on Korwar he was enmeshed in a perilous intrigue... an intrigue that would leave more than one man d ...more
Paperback, 189 pages
Published 1961 by Ace
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Feb 25, 2016 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Knowledge could be both a weapon and a defense.”

Slow start, but Norton delivers. Her character and world building are leisurely, but do the job. Satisfying end to this story with hooks into the next. A skill rare among today’s writers.

“Look, listen and keep your thoughts to yourself—the law of survival”

One can’t help but think Norton was writing about more than man’s relationship with animals formerly kept as pets when this was written. (I’ve tried to say more three times, but quit because anyt
Feb 25, 2010 Raj rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, childrens
Troy Horan is a Dippleman, a refugee living in a restricted area on a planet after his own world was "appropriated" as a military base during an interstellar war. He gets a short contract working with a luxury pet shop and finds himself slowly dragged into a murky web of plots and subterfuge in which imported Terran animals seem to play a central role.

I felt that this was quite sophisticated for a children's book. The world building was quite good, with a lot of depth and the characters were all
Norton's classic outsider story. Norton's early books are almost completely romance-free and sex-free - the main characters never show any sign of interest, and there's only the slightest hints that anyone ever does (usually the vaguest allusions to pleasure girls). This one, however, is also known as "the one with the gay subtext". There's no definite romance, but you can certainly see Troy/Rerne following many of the standard romance beats - the meet cute, the getting to know, the estrangement ...more
Morris Nelms
Oct 02, 2014 Morris Nelms rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: all-booked-up
Old school Sci Fi, originally published in 1961. Andre Norton writes with the lightest touch, and that is evident here. Unpretentious, fun, unique, and charming are the first adjectives that come to mind.
The ending was a bit pat, but the section from pages 120-200 was excellent. The story centers on human/animal communication, which of course also shows up in The Beast Master, a 1959 novel by Norton.
I should also add that anyone who loves animals will probably enjoy this.
If we could talk to ou
Feb 24, 2016 Frances rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I hate to say I have a new Norton favorite, because Year of the Unicorn will always be my first love, but this one has definitely hit my top five best Nortons and is one of my favorite books already. There's a reason Norton is my go-to author and she never disappoints. Catseye had me spellbound from page one until I'd devoured every last word.
Like Iron Cage, this one also deals with themes of captivity and inter species understanding, and just like Iron Cage, I couldn't get enough of Catseye.

Jun 09, 2008 Nell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favourite Andre Norton books. It's more what it doesn't tell you than what it does so the story lodges in your subconcious.
Mary Catelli
Troy Horan lives in the Dipple, where the refugees of the war were dumped -- and left when the peace treaty signed away their worlds. His father had enlisted in the war, and his mother died when the Big Cough struck. Troy is still trying to eke out a living as casual labor, rather than sign a contract that lets him be shipped off in cold sleep, or join the Thieves' Guild.

Luck strikes. His rural background lets him get a job at Kyger's an animal store catering, like so many businesses on this wor
Most people remember their 1st Norton Book--this was mine. My mother gave me a different edition, saying I might like it.

As a teenager, I didn't question the police state nature of the luxury planet of Korwar--now I'm more sensitized to how little freedom ANY of the people have. The escape to the Wilds by Troy Horan et cie is arguably the only chance any of them have to achieve freedom--and that's iffy, at best.

I should note something general about Norton--aside from Earth and the Witch World, s
B. Zedan
Feb 03, 2015 B. Zedan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Folks who'd like a twist on the mid-century "space cadet" tale
Shelves: real-book
Day labourer Troy Horan lucks into a job at an exotic pet shop that caters to the rich and powerful. Jumping at the chance to escape the ghetto of non-citizens and off-world immigrants called the Dipple, he is quickly caught up in a tangled scheme that centers around the mental powers of imported Terran pets.

When Troy finds the paths of communication open between him and the animals, he must navigate between safety, lost hopes of his war-torn home world and the creeping ancient horrors that lay
Kilian Metcalf
Jun 23, 2015 Kilian Metcalf rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a tendency to confuse this book with Beast Master. Both have similar themes of men separated from their homelands, using their ability to communicate telepathically with animals to help them survive. In this book, the hero is unaware of his ability at first. In Beast Master, the ability is perfectly honed, and the man/animal team functions smoothly. Both are good stories. I love Andre Norton and consider her one of the best SF/Fantasy writers ever.
Mar 18, 2016 Chessa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not a very long book - but nevertheless, it felt like a full story, without question.

Troy Horan is a man without a home - having been exiled from his home planet in the face of war, he is trapped in a ghetto for sub-citizens called The Dipple. When a job comes through for work in a very exotic pet shop in the retail section of the town - he jumps at the opportunity. Thus begins a strange journey which includes special animals, conspiracy, treachery, contact with mysterious (and creepy)
Jay Van emmenis
Nov 21, 2014 Jay Van emmenis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: norton
Andre Norton never disappoints, loved the connection between animals and human, have you noticed how there nearly always a cat type animal in her stories? As I am also a cat lover myself I love that they're included in her stories. My first Andre Norton was Year of the Unicorn I was hooked from then on, I will always read and re read Norton books, they're so interesting and they never date, Andre Norton was a Visionary
Jan 01, 2013 Keith rated it it was amazing
I read this engaging novel when I was a teenager in the 60's. It is an interesting story about a poor young man who gets a 'good' temporary job in a pet shop. During the stories development he discovers some of the animals are not just "pets". He is able to contact the minds of the animals. Deep trouble comes his way as a result.
Montzalee Wittmann
Catseye by Andre Norton is an older story but just as good the second time around! I loved it as a young girl and love it now. It brings out the need to fight for the underdog, or cat, and whoever else is downcast in this society despite species, skin, fur, or colors and to make things right for them. An orphan is with many animal species, esp. cat-like creatures, and traders with no good intentions. An exciting story with an excellent plot, great dialogue, and well developed, unique characters. ...more
Caryn Block
Feb 08, 2012 Caryn Block rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first favorite book. I loved the idea of a man working together with animals and having a psychic connection. I still keep a copy in my library after reading it in high school.
Feb 11, 2011 Caitlyn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This story had potential but ended at a weird point; it was like just when the book was starting, it stopped.
I feel like it deserved to be fleshed out far more than it was.
May 03, 2016 Beverly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a well written story but it was too short. Good characters and good plot.
Mary Dulaney
Feb 06, 2016 Mary Dulaney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Classic Andre Norton. I read this many, many years ago and still love it.
Christopher Bunn
Jul 29, 2012 Christopher Bunn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first started reading Andre Norton's science fiction back when I was in junior high. I loved how she managed to turn space into the Wild West. Her writing, to be honest, isn't dense, deep literary stuff, but that's alright. Sometimes all I need is a quick, airy read, and Norton does that perfectly. She reminds me of Louis L'Amour in a lot of ways.

Catseye is one of my favorites from Norton's canon. Classic underdog, odd companions, quest. What's not to like? I just wish the typical Norton paper
Mar 04, 2015 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
1978 grade B+
Edward Fenner
I liked it. It was a fun read. I read it the first time about 40 years ago. It was one of the first sci-fi books I found and enjoyed.
Future fantasy more than science-fiction, Norton brings an embarrassing world of telepathy between a man and animals to the table. Contemplation on caste systems and the human capacity for objectification and preserving dominance over other species save this from being overwhelmingly insipid but Norton's obvious enjoyment of storytelling can overcome the talking cats and simple plot twists. Charming in an old fashioned way.
"Catseye" is a book which I will re-read every couple of years, falling completely in with the strange, almost alien voice Norton uses in this book. A complex galaxy is effortlessly sketched around the vividly proud loneliness of the main character. It's a short, almost eerie story and a great introduction to Norton's worlds.
Jul 19, 2012 Doris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like many of Norton's space fantasies, we have a young orphan displaced by war, who is relegated to what amounts to the ghetto, with little hope of breaking free.

One of the powerful things I always appreciated about Norton was that her downtrodden were all species and colors, having in common not skin but condition.
Good world building, but it moved a bit slow in some places. It was very good for a short plane ride though, kept my attention even through some turbulence.
Read as part of the Masks of the Outcasts omnibus.
Dec 15, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another of my real favourites from my childhood. talking to animals and science fiction, and I never noticed that there were no female characters at all!
I quite liked this book, though I started reading it a few months ago and only just finished it. I liked the premise and it was an interesting book.
Aug 31, 2013 Zigzag rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have a diary entry being so excited about reading this book, but sadly I can hardly recall it now. I must re-read it someday soon.
Nov 03, 2007 Timnah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first adult SF book I ever read. I really don't remember how well it is written, but the images of the story still linger.
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Alice Mary Norton always had an affinity to the humanities. She started writing in her teens, inspired by a charismatic high school teacher. First contacts with the publishing world led her, as many other contemporary female writers targeting a male-dominated market, to choose a literary pseudonym. In 1934 she legally changed her name to Andre Alice. The androgynous Andre doesn't really say "male" ...more
More about Andre Norton...

Other Books in the Series

Dipple (5 books)
  • Night of Masks (Dipple, #2)
  • Judgment on Janus (Janus, #1)
  • Forerunner Foray
  • Masks of the Outcasts

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