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Catspaw [Paperback]

Joan D. Vinge
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 11.79
Price: 11.65 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

Nov 2002 Cat (Book 2)
In 25th-century New York, embassies of interstellar power brokers rise above the depths of Dickensian underclass. Here a nefarious assassination plot is the most visible element in a vast conspiracy of political manipulation, one that draws a tormented young telepath into its web.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 412 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martins Press-3pl; Reprint edition (Nov 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765303418
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765303417
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 13.7 x 20.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,913,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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SOMEONE WAS AFTER me. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An all time favourite 1 Sep 2003
By A Customer
I read this book long ago, and it's one of the few ones I keep going back to. In a first person style, this book draws you into the story from page one. You'll feel in Cat's boots, in a detailed, realistic and thrilling universe with its roots in cyberpunk, but way above superficial fighting and shooting.
If you are in for a ride with Cat, from high sphere politics to street dumpers, sit down and "experience" this book :)
You don't really need to read the first one before (Psion), but of course, it sets you in place.
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  46 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If I had to reduce my reading to one book for all time... 20 Dec 1997
By Lyle Hodgson - Published on Amazon.com
I rarely read books twice, but Catspaw I've read three times since finding it, and with each reading I look forward to the next one even more (although what I always WANT to look forward to is another book that I become as personally involved in as I did this one).
Joan D. Vinge doesn't just make Cat a character you can really identify with and care about (as other reviewers have noted), but he lives in a world that the reader becomes involved in because it is at once alien (and thus intriguing) and ultimately recognizeable: this Cat shows with his affinity for the low-class garment denim jeans, which have lost favor in an era of highly developed fibers and deep space travel. I was amused by Ms. Vinge's workplaces, staffed with secretaries and clerks as they always have been, filing and answering calls while also using equipment that we can scarcely imagine. After finishing Catspaw the first time, I ached to find a threedy, don its net, and surf it just as Cat would have done...
Too often the world that a sci-fi writer creates is so drastically changed or alien that it is impossible to relate to, but Catspaw makes you feel like you'd really caught a glimpse into the future and seen how life would really be. Cat describes the places and organizations he encounters just enough that sooner or later you can make a mental archeological jump between its name and his description to figure out which presentday familiar place or organization lies deep at the heart of its past. Many place name (N'Yuk), organization names, and object names ("threedy" for three-dimensional "television") have evolved, but in such a way that the reader doesn't need a glossary, their evolution makes etymological sense, and their use is as natural as the English we speak today.
Most importantly, Ms. Vinge displays a rare understanding of both individual and group psychology/behavior, and of their interplay and composition. Too often I am frustrated by authors whose work is limited to interesting individuals in unrealistic societies or the larger movements and problems of societies whose individuals are hard to relate to, but Ms. Vinge's characters and societies have real depth. She has the ability to portray individuals, family groups, corporate groups, political groups, the media and the objects of their attention, friends and the friendless, strangers, gangs, loners, and all everyday people with the mixture of immediacy, objectivity, compassion and understanding that really gets a reader involved, and in none of the books of hers that I've read so far (five so far) does she do that as well as in Catspaw. On top of that, her prose flows so easily and naturally that the reader is involved before she or he turns the first page. I'll be reading Catspaw again within the year, I'm sure, and possibly Psion and Dreamfall as well; I only wish there were more books about Cat's adventures for me to explore.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cat's is the most amazing work of cyberfiction 13 Jun 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
I can't say enough about this novel. It mysteriously came into my possession at a used book fair. I picked it up because the futuristic cover appealed to my sci-fi tastes. Upon reading the novel, I was pleasantly surprised, in fact that's an understatement. This book is so masterly written, one forgets there's an author at all behind it, but that her beautiful character Cat himself is writing it. The whole Cat series is an amazing read for it contains just the right formula. The plot is well thought out, it has universal themes of society, and the discriptions seem entirely accurate. Joan D.Vinge has created a universe and characters that are incredibly realistic. The reader gets inside Cat's head. His thoughts and emotions make him easy to love, scars and all. I know I fell in love with him. I recommend to anyone who likes Sci-fi, Futuristic stuff, or political insight to read this book.The whole series, in my opinion, is the best sci-fi tale ever written.
(Ps: Mrs. Vinge, please write a 4th book!)
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I read this book in one day! 28 April 2003
By T. D. Bell - Published on Amazon.com
This was an amazing story, and when its all said and done isn't that what writing novels is all about? I haven't read either the first or third novels in the series yet, (but I have ordered them) but I know that Cat has now joined Ender who is at the pinnacle of my all time favorite characters list. What is it about wounded child-men?
This was an incredibly poignant tale told with just the right amounts of everything. I feel like I know Cat. I can't stop thinking about him. I want to know what happens to him next. I want to know if he ever finds happiness, and if not happiness, at least peace. I laughed when Cat laughed. I hurt when Cat hurt. Like Ender, Cat is now a part of my world. He is like a friend that I will go back to visit time and time again. Vinge just gives him so much life. Character driven stories are the best can. You'll like this book. The science was simple enough so you don't get lost trying to figure out what is going on. Vinge also doesn't assume the need to define everything in this futuristic world (She may in Psion, Book 1). Cat is a very introspective character but Vinge doesn't let him just THINK for chapters at a time, as other SF authors, who shall remain nameless, often do. There is emough action to appease those who must have it, there's even a little sex. Not too much, just enough. Also, there are so many wonderful characters in the story, with some of the most eccentric eccentricities. Come on, you just gotta read this book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intrigue, adventure, exciting- you get it all 26 Dec 2004
By frootbat31 - Published on Amazon.com
I loved this book. I've read the entire series of the main character, Cat, but Catspaw I believe is best in the series. What's more, the book can stand alone. The unique writing kept me interested the entire journey, with the 1st person view of the main character, but his abilities to read minds lets you have the perspective of other characters in the book as well. I liked Cat's personality. He's real, with flaws, and fears, and yet does the right thing without being a do-gooder. Even the villians in the book seem real, and you can almost- but not quite- understand why they are the way they are.

This story encompasses Cat being pressed into service to be a body guard for a political member of the very government he hates. You get political intrigue, a hint of romance, and a splendid view of a futuristic world with a well thought out plot. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works great as a stand-alone. 20 July 2004
By debeehr - Published on Amazon.com
This was the first book I'd read in this series, many years ago. At the time, I was more impressed with it than I probably would be now, because I didn't recognize that the world she was building was somewhat standard cyberpunk (never even heard of cyberpunk at that time). Therefore the world seemed more original to me than it actually is (also illustrating one of my standard ideas about genre fiction--if someone who has never experienced a genre before suddenly comes to it, the most hoary and ancient cliches of that genre will seem dazzlingly fresh and familiar).
However, though the world fascinated me, in the end, the real heart of the series are Vinge's characters. Cat, Lady Elnear, Argentyne, Jiro, are all wonderfully drawn, and Vinge portrays them with a great deal of heart and honesty; she plays fair with the reader. Good social commentary too, with a message that is both uplifting and sobering; she explores a theme I've seen other authors do as well but one that I think is quite profound, that human connections are necessary to allow human beings to succeed in the face of evil (Cat's bond with Argentyne and his link to Mikah are what enable him to ultimately succeed in his goal). I recently bought a copy of PSION and I'm working my way through it, eager to meet Jewel and some of Cat's earlier friends.
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