Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Cat Who Walks Through Walls

The Cat Who Walks Through Walls

Robert Heinlein

Date: 1985   —   $7.19   —   Book

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Fiction, Science Fiction

This is an immensely entertaining book that goes off in a really strange direction in the last quarter. Apparently I missed a book in the sequence because there are things that happen in this book that Heinlein obviously explained elsewhere. There are many nods to earlier Heinlein novels, including The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and The Rolling Stones (pre-Jagger.) What drove me nuts, however, was the characterization of notables from those books; while you expect Mannie (from MiaHM) to write in a terse, no-frills style, it doesn't seem quite right to have him speaking that way.

But the thing which drove me nuts was the ending. The protagonists have been told that a particular mission results in either success or failure with the deaths of all involved. At the end of the novel, it is evident that they succeeded— but that they are wounded and trapped in a certain deadly showdown. There's missing information, information which is in the next book... and I'm going to give a minor spoiler here and say that it is one small thing that the cat of the title does which marks the difference between life and death for Our Heros, and in fact is the tipping factor which creates the universe in which they succeed. But there's no way to tell that from this book. Yarrgh.

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