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The Cat Who Walks Through Walls

(The World As Myth #3)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  21,682 ratings  ·  697 reviews
When a stranger attempting to deliver a cryptic message is shot dead at his table, Dr. Richard Ames is thrown headfirst into danger, intrigue, and other dimensions, where a plot to rescue a sentient computer could alter human history...
Paperback, 388 pages
Published June 1st 1988 by Ace Books (first published January 1st 1985)
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Nathan Gregory Pixel does indeed walk thru walls, or gives the appearance of having done so and is reported as having done so by a spaceship. What is actually seen b…morePixel does indeed walk thru walls, or gives the appearance of having done so and is reported as having done so by a spaceship. What is actually seen by the reader is that the cat is always in places he could not possibly be, and by an unexpected appearance saves lives.

And Yes Hazel/Gwen disguises herself as a Geisha at one point and the protagonist wears an eye patch (and a Fez) briefly.

This is one of my favorite books, and "talking" about it here makes me want to dig it out and read it again right now.(less)
Linda I just finished it without knowing it was part of a series. I enjoyed it immensely. Now I will look for the others.
…more
I just finished it without knowing it was part of a series. I enjoyed it immensely. Now I will look for the others.
(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.71  · 
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 ·  21,682 ratings  ·  697 reviews


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Lyn
Sep 09, 2011 rated it liked it
There is a saying that when pizza is good, it is great, and when it’s bad it’s still pretty good. This saying may also apply to RAH titles.

This is not one of his greatest, but not bad either, pretty good. Heinlein's the world as myth concept, imaginative and entertaining is as good as his earlier work, even though this is a product of his later, weirder phase. The return of some older RAH characters is also fun. Books about time travel are always confusing, maybe by default (see Piers Anthony B
...more
Simeon Kohlman Rabbani
What I learned from "The Cat Who Walks Through Walls":

1) If a government official refuses to speak with you, just threaten to walk out and he'll change his mind immediately.

2) A fez, not unlike Clark Kent's glasses, makes an impenetrable disguise.

3) Sexism will make a big comeback in the future. Incest, too.

4) Alternate universes and time travel can be used to fill any plot hole.

5) Cutting in line is a death-penalty offense, but murder... meh.

6) Just like in "Field of Dreams," Iowa is teh awesom
...more
Kori Warren
Aug 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
This was my very first RAH book...the one that got me hooked. I thought it had a cool cover and was in the discount bin so I had just enough for it. I was 15. I couldn't put it down. Since then, I've read almost everything he has written and have loved every single one! ...more
Josh
Aug 09, 2010 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Nobody
Recommended to Josh by: Nobody
I haven't read any Heinlein previous to this novel, and I'm somewhat glad, as it gave me an opportunity to evaluate it based on its (lack of) merits as a story, rather than any fanservice appeals to classic Heinlein characters.

The story starts off as a decent sci-fi action romp. The charismatic protagonist is likable in a James Bond sort of vein, his banter with his girlfriend is punchy, his quirks are endearing.

Things start getting weird the moment another female character enters the story. Sud
...more
Stacie
Mar 28, 2008 rated it did not like it
Review from 01:

I am a great lover of the words of Heinlein. But this book has got to be one of his worst. While it has some very interesting quantum physics threads, and some interesting character as aware entity moments, it does not hold together. The relationships of the main character and his children (near the end of the book) are confusing and more explicit than needed/wanted. The 'mysteries' the main character was trying to solve fell apart like wet tissue paper. I was dissapointed that th
...more
Wanda
I believe this novel is the last Heinlein in my reading project and I can’t say that distresses me. I realize that this was written late in RAH’s career, after bouts of serious illness. Maybe that had something to do with the quality of these later works. The Cat picks up where Time Enough for Love and The Number of the Beast left off, retreading much of the same territory.

I must say in Cat’s favour that there are far fewer sex scenes, and as a result less incest and pedophilia. There is still a
...more
Emily
Feb 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WARNING: You must read Heinlein's "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress," "The Rolling Stones," "Time Enough for Love," and "The Number of the Beast" before reading this book. It would also be helpful to have read "Stranger in a Strange Land," and "Friday." Familiarity with Baum's Oz stories and Edgar Rice Burroughs' Mars series is recommended. I think that a lot of the negative reviews here stem from people reading the series out of order or just picking this book up independently of the series or any ...more
Mei
Mar 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
When I bought this book a couple of weeks ago, I was with two friends, one of whom is a fairly decent sci-fi fan, and the other of whom is a completely nutty sci-fi fan. Both of them started lyricising about how wonderful this book was, how absolutely fantastic, how I definitely had to read it. And, similarly, a week ago, another friend saw the book on our coffee table, and again, this lyrical Heinlein-is-amazing rhapsody was replayed.

Having now read the book myself, I have to confess that I di
...more
Katy
Jan 10, 2009 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Allison
Feb 10, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sciencefiction
Ok, I'm only partway through, but I'm going to post my thoughts so far.

The first Heinlein book I read was Stranger in a Strange Land, which I found among my mother's book when I was 12. I adored that book, and read it many, many times. However, I'd never really read much other Heinlein.

This book started out great - James Bond style space adventure with witty banter and a clever female sidekick. Despite the sagacity of the girl (actually much older than we initially think), Heinlein has sprinkled
...more
TK421
Aug 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Robert Heinlein has always been near the top of my favorite science fiction authors. His stories, projected through lush language and vivid images, have always given me a chance to escape whatever task I'm doing and invite me to "live" in his world for a bit.

THE CAT WHO WALKS THROUGH WALLS is a bit different. Heinlein takes a romance and tries to stuff it between space opera and detective fiction. I can't say that this ménage a trois fails, exactly, but I have a feeling that space opera and det
...more
Peter
Aug 04, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Heinlein fans
One of Heinlein's last books, and not one of his best. It represents yet another installment in the "World As Myth" theme that he used so often later in life, and therefore includes many characters from his older, better works - including, inevitably, Lazarus Long, who continues his long (pun intended) degeneration from the original interesting protagonist of "Methuselah's Children" into an annoying incest-freak, Heinlein surrogate, self-parody (I suspect), and all-around jerk-who-must-be-worshi ...more
Glen
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
When a messenger is shot dead at the protagonist's table, he is thrown into action which turns out to be interdimensional.

HIghly recommended.
...more
Denis
Mar 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hardcover
By this time in RAH's long career - well aware that his time was short, I suppose - he wrote for those familiar with his work, therefore, I have reread all of the novels that are referred to in this one (which has an absolutely great cover, by the way), in order to fully appreciate it. They include primarily, "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress", "Time Enough for Love" and "The Number of the Beast" as well as "Stranger in a Strange Land" and "The Rolling Stones".

Besides a few utterly uncomfortable sug
...more
Hannah
Nov 04, 2015 rated it did not like it
This book ended. That is definitely the best part of it. I have enjoyed some of Robert Heinlein's books, but I struggle with his Luna series. This book is part of that series. The story is about Richard Ames who takes his girlfriend Gwen out to dinner. While there someone comes up to the table and tries to hire Richard as an assassin. That man is then killed at the table. When does that little plot point get resolved? Why the next to last page of course! Why resolve it sooner?

Anyway Richard and
...more
Aerin
Oct 28, 2015 rated it did not like it
Abandoned 3/4ths of the way through. Life is too short for this shit.
Sara
May 23, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People familiar with Robert Heinlein, people willing to accept broadly impossible sci-fi plots
This is kind of two separate books smooshed together. The first half is pretty straight-forward space adventures, and then everything gets weird after that. Not bad, just weird and very separate-feeling from the first half. This is not uncommon with Heinlein, and it didn't ruin the book or anything, but I did kind of feel betrayed that the first half was somewhat meaningless. Also, the ending left me hanging more than I would have liked. I plan on reading the rest of this "series" (having alread ...more
Pamela Shropshire
Jan 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, read-in-2020
I’m not a complete newbie to Robert A. Heinlein, having read and thoroughly enjoyed The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. TBH, I read this strictly because of the cat, who doesn’t even show up until the last part of the book. Still, just like real live cats, Pixel was worth the wait - and someday I’m pretty sure I’ll name a future cat Pixel. 😽

But I do wish I had read more reviews of this one; if I had, I think I would have read some of his other books first. I do enjoy his writing and characters and wor
...more
Jeff Yoak
I remember liking this book less when I read it long ago. Robert A. Heinlein's "World As Myth" series doesn't appeal to me and I tend to prefer the older juvenilia and middle novels much more. The thing is, I've become such a fan of his, and particularly of his wonderful characters, that the opportunity to meet most of the characters from most of his novels again was a happy one.

I wouldn't suggest this book for anyone not already a serious Heinlein fan. I imagine it would be pretty much a failur
...more
Wakizashi
Dec 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads
Inventive, funny, uncomfortable at times - what was it with Heinlein's "paddle your bottom"/ pubescent girls fetish? - and a little bit hard to remember who is who with all the name changing. In its favour, you would be hard-pressed to call it dull. Plus it was great to catch up with one of my favourite Heinlein characters, Jubal Harshaw. "Front!" ...more
Tine!
Jan 02, 2018 added it
Undecided rating. 5 stars for dialogue. 5 stars for Mike the Computer but Negative 5 for that plot thread never obtaining resolution(??).
Scott Holstad
Nov 07, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sci-fi, didn-t-finish
Why, why, why? Why am I so stupid? After I finished my last Heinlein book some months ago (can't remember which one, sorry), in my review I said I'd never read another one of his books, I was so disgusted with him as a perverted writer. I mean, he's a De Sade pervert. Dirty old man. And I'm no prude. But I don't want to pick up a decent seeming sci fi book only to find it full of nothing more than gratuitous sex and little else, likely designed to shock and titillate. It's stupid and, frankly, b ...more
Ricky McConnell
Jun 18, 2020 rated it liked it
I enjoyed parts of this book. I kept getting confused with the time travel stuff, and there were a lot of characters to keep straight. The end of the book got really busy and I lost the story for awhile. This was my first book by Heinlein, so not sure if his other works are better.
Joan
Jun 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tim
Jun 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Heinlein's works
I've read this book many times, but just finished the audiobook for the first time and as such I've finally decided to review this book.

I love this book. That said, there are other Heinlein books that are better overall. The main problem with this book is that this book can be viewed as two books pushed together. In some sense, it seems like he wrote himself into a corner for the first half and pulled out the second half so he can hand wave the questions that arise in the first half.

So, why I do
...more
Meg
Jan 01, 2009 rated it did not like it
This was not a book. This was 386 pages of setting up for the book and 2 pages of frantically trying to sum things up. As the story really went nowhere for most of the book it was incredibly difficult to read. Heinlein uses the same gambit in every single meeting the main character goes through which I have summed up here: "I must see these people/they say they must see me on matters of huge import but they're being jerks and making me wait. Ok, I'm going to pretend to get offended and start wal ...more
Joey
Dec 19, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
Do you know how the cat can walk through walls? Because he doesn't know he can't. The first 2/3rds of the book played out like a James Bond novel. It was a lot of fun to read and the two main character's dialogue had me laughing out loud. All this takes place 200 hundred years in the future but it didn't feel so futuristic at first. But then starting on page 255 everything changed...no more repartee, no more thrilling chases, no more edge of your seat fight scenes (did finally get to meet that c ...more
Jim
Jan 04, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 1paper, scifi, 2fiction
The book was disappointing. Long, rambling & full of 'sage' advice from his various father figures, free love, & the promotion of incest. More tying his various universes together, unnecessarily. If you like any of his books originally published after 1970, you might give it a try, but I wouldn't put it high on my list. If you like "To Sail Beyond the Sunset" you'll like this. ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Nov 11, 2009 rated it did not like it
Probably the Heinlein book that disappointed me the most of any. I know it's much beloved, but not by me. I found it weaker but it is one of his later works and I hink he had changed somewhat. There seems to me to be a taste of disillusionment and maybe a little bitterness in this one. Could be just me. ...more
Peter
May 31, 2020 rated it did not like it
A ruggedly individual writer is drawn into a bizarre set of circumstances when a man tries to get him to assassinate another man, for the good of the world... and is then murdered himself. He and his girlfriend get married and travel to the moon and other places, dodging assassins along the way, and talk a lot, flirt even more, and for some reason carry a plant everywhere, oh and by the way it ties in with every other Heinlein book ever written.

Oh, Heinlein.

I've largely given up on him, years ag
...more
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7,869 followers
Robert Anson Heinlein was an American novelist and science fiction writer. Often called "the dean of science fiction writers", he is one of the most popular, influential, and controversial authors of "hard science fiction".

He set a high standard for science and engineering plausibility and helped to raise the genre's standards of literary quality. He was the first SF writer to break into mainstre
...more

Other books in the series

The World As Myth (4 books)
  • Time Enough for Love
  • The Number of the Beast
  • To Sail Beyond the Sunset

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