Book: The Cat Who Walks Through Walls

Angie Brown | HeinleinI have a read a few other books by sci-fi forefather Robert Heinlein, and I especially liked The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. This book, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, takes place well after the events in Moon, and involves some of the same characters. Plus there’s a cat in the title, so I was pretty sure I’d love this book.

I did not. I think ol’ Bob got tired of writing it half-way through and forgot where he was going when he started. Just when the story begins to get some conceptual meat on its bones, it just ends.


Furthermore, the titular cat does not even show up until  page 288 of the 388-page book. Pixel, as he is called, is not at all relevant to the story. Neither is most of the book, for that matter. Maybe I just don’t get the literary significance of what Heinlein was doing in this book, or maybe it’s just not his best work.

I drew some covers for it anyway. Because book covers are cool, and I make book covers now, for every book I read, whether I like it or not.

The text on the third cover is a little poem, it reads “Tree-San in a little pot has no bearing on the plot. NEVERTHELESS… the bonsai tree has a bigger part”

Spoilers: The bonsai tree storyline doesn’t go anywhere either. It’s another chekhov’s gun.

“If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it’s not going to be fired, it shouldn’t be hanging there.”
— Anton Chekhov (From S. Shchukin, Memoirs. 1911.)

CORRECTION: It’s a violation of the Law of Conservation of Detail, an “anti-chekov’s gun” if you will, or a red herring, if you won’t.
Next up: Another book from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld: Pyramids.

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