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Catseye (Dipple #1)

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  1,340 Ratings  ·  48 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 ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 224 pages
Published August 12th 1984 by Del Rey (first published 1961)
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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeThe Outsiders by S.E. HintonOne Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken KeseySlaughterhouse-Five by Kurt VonnegutCharlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Best Books of the Decade: 1960's
281st out of 764 books — 1,213 voters
Catseye by Andre NortonWare Hawk by Andre NortonThe Crystal Gryphon by Andre NortonThe Beast Master by Andre NortonYear of the Unicorn by Andre Norton
Favorite Andre Norton Books
1st out of 27 books — 7 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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
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 ...more
Morris Nelms
Oct 02, 2014 Morris Nelms rated it really liked it
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
Jun 09, 2008 Nell rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 24, 2016 Frances rated it it was amazing
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.

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
Ann Brookens
I love this book!

I first read Catseye when I was a 14 year-old junior high student. It spoke to the uncertainty of where I belonged in the world, of the need to be honorable in my dealings with others, of the possibility of finding true companionship in beings who don't look like I do. Nearly 50 years later, I also see that it speaks to the need to husband our natural resources and of the arbitrary politics of wars where the needs of the few apparently outweigh the needs of the many. Andre Nort
Kilian Metcalf
Jun 23, 2015 Kilian Metcalf rated it really liked it
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.
Jay Van emmenis
Nov 21, 2014 Jay Van emmenis rated it it was amazing
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 11, 2011 Caitlyn rated it it was ok
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.
Caryn Block
Feb 08, 2012 Caryn Block rated it it was amazing
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.
Oct 29, 2016 Eugene rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A satisfying trip down memory lane, as I last read this book when I was a boy. It has all my favourite Andre Norton components - the Dipple, telepathic Terran animals, flitters, blasters and stunners - and a thrilling story line. Definitely left me with a 'sense of wonder' and no wonder I loved it as a kid!
John Purvis
Jun 23, 2016 John Purvis rated it it was amazing
“Catseye” eBook was published 2015 (paper copy originally published in 1961) and was written by Andre Norton (aka Alice Mary Norton, Ms. Norton was a prolific writer with more than 300 titles in her name as an author, co-author or contributor. This is the first of two novels in her “Dipple” series.

I received a galley of this novel for review through I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The setting
Sep 16, 2016 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Still fresh

I originally read these many, many years ago as a child. They were among the body of works that got me 'into' science fiction, something that has stuck with me over the last fifty years. I was interested to re-read this, to see whether it would stand the test of time. I was prepared to be disappointed after so many years but enjoyed the read. I could easily see this working it's magic on an impressionable child (or adult) again.
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)
Aug 27, 2016 Dot rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just as good as I remembered

I read this book (or perhaps more correctly, a novella) years ago (and we're talking well over 45 years ago) and enjoyed the story than. I find that I still enjoy it all these years later.

Andre Norton was a gifted storyteller with the ability to tell an interesting story without needing to resort to profanity or multiple sex scenes (most of which are simply yawnable after a while anyhow). Although I don't own all of her books, I've probably read all of them. But I sti
Sep 10, 2016 Juli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Timeless. This book is for those who know that a human is just another animal and that cooperation is the only way we're going to save ourselves.
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
P.D.R. Lindsay
May 09, 2016 P.D.R. Lindsay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my Norton favourites. She wrote so many good novels and kept SF and Fantasy alive through the dry years. I enjoyed her books because she often had strong female MCs, but all her characters were good. The stories were well written and she had an uncanny way of making the alien worlds real and believable.

'Catseye' tells the story of a refugee - Trot Horden -barely surviving in the Dipple - the refugee camp on a luxury pleasure planet. He gets a day's work at a fabulous pet store and
I adored Andre Norton years ago, and I was thrilled to find so many of her books in ebook format. When I picked up Catseye, I was hoping it would be as good as I remembered and not just a mediocre book viewed through the lens of nostalgia.

As an exciting adventure novel, it stands up fairly well. It was a fun, fast read. The characters are all interesting, and I really liked Troy and the animals a lot. Andre Norton does some nice world building here, though nothing very complicated.

There are a
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
Jun 12, 2016 Alice rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
A quick read with appealing characters, not one of Norton's best.
A young man from the Dipple, a refuge camp, on the luxury/pleasure planet of Kowar, Troy Horan, is hired on as casual labor for a pet-shop dealing in exotic animals. He discovers that he has a somewhat limited ability to communicate with some of the animals (specifically those from Terra) psychically, and generally seems to have a rapport with animals, calming and bonding with them.
When the employee of the shop is injured in a fli
Sep 07, 2016 Lou rated it it was amazing
Just as interesting as when I read it years ago. Wonderful futuristic story.
Christopher Bunn
Jul 29, 2012 Christopher Bunn rated it really liked it
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
Sep 30, 2008 Brendan rated it liked it
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.
Oct 04, 2011 Andrea rated it it was amazing
"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
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.
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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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