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Eye of Cat

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  1,535 ratings  ·  53 reviews
A retired hunter of alien zoo specimens, William Blackhorse Singer, the last Navajo on a future Earth, has come to what he sees as the end of his life. The World Government calls upon him for aid in protecting an alien diplomat from a powerful and hostile member of his own species. Knowing both the importance of the task and his inability to handle it on his own, Singer go ...more
Hardcover, 181 pages
Published September 1st 1982 by Timescape/SFBC (first published January 1st 1982)
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Average rating 3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,535 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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Dec 19, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2fiction, scifi, 1paper
I don't normally care for stories with pure Native American Indians in the space age of the future who use their in-born skills to track aliens & such. Kind of hoakey & goes against my philosophy that we'll merge into one race (the sooner, the better), but that's the plot here & it's done as well as any I've ever read. Zelazny put his unique touch on it, which is all that saves it from 2 stars.

Chris Kovacs, one of the editors of the "Collected Works of Roger Zelazny" rere
Jul 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
“Eye” before “E,” except after “Cat.”

(That sounded a lot wittier before I typed it out. And even then, it was still pretty bad.)

Roger Zelazny is my favorite author, and I’m pretty sure he listed Eye of Cat as one of his five favorite books he wrote. Thus, you’d think I’d really like it.

Unfortunately, I didn’t share Roger’s enthusiasm on the subject.

The boo
Perry Whitford
A bounty hunter of Native American descent is hired to hunt and kill a deadly alien that poses a threat to all life on Earth. In order to succeed he needs help, so enlists the support of a previous quarry, the shape-shifting, telepathic "Cat", who agrees to help on the proviso he be given another chance to renew old hostilities with his nemesis once the current hunt is over.

Zelazny is a top-notch sci-fi writer who likes to examine various belief systems and their cosmogony in his fic
Sep 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, scifi
Two impressions I repeatedly had throughout Eye of Cat: first, that it reminded me of John Dos Passos’ The Big Money. And the more I think about it, the more I think this was deliberate. OK, I just looked up the U.S.A Trilogy in the Wikipedia and conclude that Zelazny must be deliberately mimicking it — there are four prose styles Dos Passos uses: narrative chapters that progress the story, “camera eye” interludes that are stream-of-conscious, newsreels that give clips of headlines or radio snip ...more
Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Roger Zelazny began the 1980s inauspiciously. He had completed the first ‘Amber’ sequence in the late 1970s, and its success seemed to have convinced him that there was an easier path for a professional writer than the fine writing and extravagant conceits of his best early work. He threw out a couple of hastily written fantasies whose awful paperback covers quite adequately described their contents. And then, out of nowhere, came ‘Eye of Cat’.

I find it hard to believe that the same
Oct 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Most significant part of this book is Zelazny's style of writing and native american culture mix with scifi.
Dave Packard
Jun 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: sword, kindle
I think Zelazny is just a bit too something for me. Interesting, but a slog to finish. Glad I read it, but I’m not rushing back for more!
Aug 17, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of light SF
Okay, I will admit that I'm stretching (just a little) in giving this book 4 stars. My honest opinion would be closer to 3.5 stars but we work with what we have, yes?

I haven't read enough of Zelazny's work to be able to compare this to his other books but I found it to be an interesting diversion and an entertaining piece of "brain candy".

SPOILER WARNING Zelazny deals with some interesting and complex issues (death, the meaning of life, purpose in life) but the comic moments keep the book
I picked up this book used at Zia Records because I have greatly enjoyed Zelazny's work in the past, and because I heard an interesting review of it as an "Appendix N" book (from Gary Gygax's famous list of authors and books that inspired the creation of Dungeons and Dragons) on the "Sanctum Secorum" podcast. I have to say, I really enjoyed the beginning of it - Zelazny captures so much of what the Southwest is like, especially up around canyon country. The concept was very interesting - Navajo ...more
Dec 09, 2014 rated it liked it
In his memorial to Roger Zelazny, George R. R. Martin says: "He was a poet, first, last, always. His words sang." This is especially true of Eye of Cat, which at times read like a novel by e. e. Cummings. This book is about the language and the shamanistic journey; the story itself is simple and straightforward. I might have wished for a longer book with more than sentence-long references to William Blackhorse Singer's career as a hunter of exotic alien species - but that would have been a novel ...more
Apr 08, 2008 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
James  Proctor
Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Zelazny really goes all out with this one. It pays off. A compelling read start to end, doing what the author does best, overlapping folk mythology, magic and science fiction so fluidly and uniquely, he almost belongs in his own genre. Reminiscent of Lord of Light, a novel that pulled a similar stylistic feat by combining Hindu folk tales with interstellar intrigue. Eye of Cat is a more cohesive book and the plotline far easier to follow than the former, making for this a reader a very enjoyable ...more
Douglas Milewski
Jul 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Eye of Cat (1982) by Roger Zelazny could have been a great book if he'd put more work into it. It's still an okay read, so don't shy away from it, but with some extra work, it could have been an excellent one.

I found the early part of the book a bit slow and tedious, not much to my liking, but once I passed the 25% point, the story and the writing began clicking, moving along due to its own merits. From there, most of the book proceeds along fine, but not refined.

What nee
Richard Harp II
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The themes and contrasts I found in this book are profound. Hunter and hunted, beast and man, old and new, myth and technology (or science, which in this book encompasses psychics), are all separate but the same, just displayed in different images. Zelazny uses different language and forms for each. Flowing prose for myth, sometimes broken and disjointed language and short, almost Twitter-like phrases for technological messages and news stories. All of these dichotomies intermingle together near ...more
Eric Secrist
Very ambitious novel from Zelazny, he really pushes the envelope of what you can fit into less than 200 pages. Sci-fi, supernatural, telepathy, death, regret, revenge, poetry, and native american culture (including the mysterious Anasazi) - it's all here folks. I wish this book was longer. Some similarities to Ubik and Stand on Zanzibar. If you liked either of those novels you would probably like this one too.
Roger Zelazny was one of my favorite authors in high school, and I reread this book to see how it held up. Zelazny was a master of combining fast-moving plots with beautifully poetic language, and I enjoyed most of the book for that reason. But the conclusion of the story was frustratingly vague; I felt like I'd missed something along the way. It won't keep me from reading/rereading more of his books in the future, though.
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
My first taste of Zelazny. Odd choice to start, I fully understand but it is where I decided to begin. It takes a little bit to get going (odd for a 180 page book), but once it gets going, wow. The last 60 pages are so are completely amazing and mind-blowing at the same time. I'm honestly a little breathless and glad I gave it the chance it deserved.
Evan Winchester
Jun 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Read this if you want a book in the hunter-becomes-the-hunted genre. Alien shapeshifters, the last Navajo on a future earth. Be ready for an *extremely* psychedelic experience. As an added bonus this book is only 180 pages.

Zelazny is great because you really don't know what you are going to get. Try not to read the front flap.
Eloise Sunshine
I liked him, Billy, a navajo, the last of his kind, Hunter, Singer, he had seen not only our world, but many others, yet chose to go back to his roots. I liked the way of his thinking and his decisions.
It was an interesting approach to sci-fi combined many different elements.
Al Brown
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is always a good thing when I read can read or re-read something by Roger Zelazny. This book isn't one his best but that still makes it far and away better than many of the books I've read.
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
An early work, expanding on a short story. It is an attempt to show an alien consciousness, and how we might communicate with it. Early work on writing some Navaho culture into fiction.
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Experimental, and not perfectly so by any means. But the combination of science fiction creature, chase sequences, and Navajo mythology make it a very fun and interesting read.
Richard Clay
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This one marked the return of the less funny, more thoughtful Zelazny we'd seen in 'Lord of Light' and 'Creatures of Light and Darkness'. Those expecting the well-paced action and laugh-out-loud humour of 'Damnation Alley' and the 'Corwin of Amber' novels might be disappointed. To my mind, the two aspects of Zelazny are equally appealing, but in very different ways. Plotwise, it's nothing special: it's as if the script of Schwarzenegger's 'Predator' was rewritten and novelised by somebody who ac ...more
Jovan Trujillo
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this story for all the Navajo images presented and the cool alien.
Brian Palmer
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, science-fiction
One of Zelazny's more poetic works, this goes in a very different direction than most of the rest of his corpus. Like Lord of Light, Creatures of Light and Darkness, and Isle of the Dead, Eye of Cat is concerned with myths (here, Navajo mythology).

In summary form, it sounds like it should be a taut thriller: one of the last Navajo has spent years among the stars capturing alien specimens. Fearing the assassination of world leaders, the world government recruits him for his special skills to help guard agains
Zachary Littrell
Apr 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Billy Singer is a retired ageless Navajo space beast hunter, and he partners with his most dangerous quarry, the telepathic shapeshifting Cat, on a mission to stop a telepathic alien assassin. And Cat asks for only one thing -- after spending 50 years locked up in a zoo because of Singer, Cat gets to hunt Singer once their mission is complete.

Sound badass, right? That's what drew me in. That's not what you get, however. The exposition in Part I of this book is achingly boring, and th
Joey Brockert

This is the third story I have red this year with a Navaho hero – Greg Bear's “Mars, a story (I did not read, but listened to so...) about a Navaho who was trained to be a commando who is trying to find the hated man who his grandpa told him was responsible for his Dad's death , and this. Interesting that the Navaho are used by these authors instead of Comanche or Utes or Ho Chunk.
Billy Singer is a master tracker. He has tracked game on many different worlds and mostly captured it. He is
John Andrew
Jun 01, 2015 rated it liked it
The book has got some typical Zelazny tricks-- spends the first half slowing revealing the character's immediate situation then his past (done better in 9 Princes in Amber, or even in the story "The Doors of His Mouth,Lamps of his Face"); the second half plays out the conflict. The Navajo theme and setting, the damage warrior who must be made whole through a ceremony, the slippage into the "spirit world", the interpolated poetry, and the extensive use of mythology (the last a Zelazny trademark) ...more
Dev Null
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fondly remembered from my teenage years - last would have read this 25 years ago, at the latest - and I was glad to discover that I still love it. I like how Zelazny doesn't even try to explain the technologies that enable his story; he just gets on with the story. We never know how the trip boxes work, or when they were invented, or really know why Billy has lived so long (though we can guess it's because of all the space travel he's done, it's never explicitly spelled out.)

The stor
Aug 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
I loves me some Zelazny, but this one took a lot to get through. I don't know what's different about Eye Of Cat, but it was painful to slog through for me. Completely the opposite of the Amber series. It's the one Zelazny novel I'm least likely to ever read again. If you're a completionist, and just HAVE to read everything else he wrote, then go for it, by all means. If you're new to Zelazny, I'd avoid this one until his books have built up the karmic critical mass required to see you through th ...more
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Roger Zelazny made his name with a group of novellas which demonstrated just how intense an emotional charge could be generated by the stock imagery of sf; the most famous of these is A Rose for Ecclesiastes in which a poet struggles to convince dying and sterile Martians that life is worth continuing. Zelazny continued to write excellent short stories throughout his career. Most of his novels deal, one way o ...more
“The Keeper of Clouds has unpenned his charges.
The Keeper of Winds has unlocked his gates.
The Keeper of Waters has opened the sky.
The Keeper of Lightnings waves his lances.
The Keeper of satellites has observed,
'One hundred percent of probability of precipitation.”
“What should I do?' Coyote yelled.
'Cultivate philosophy and run like hell,' said Bear...”
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