Cat’s Whisker

a novel

Is the rift between science and spirituality irreparable?

Cat’s Whisker chronicles the life of Samuel Baron, an engineer, inventor, and successful entrepreneur. Trained as a scientist, Baron nonetheless nurtures a lifelong fascination with mysticism and spirituality. His life is a search—ultimately a successful one—for a view of the cosmos where science and spirituality don’t just peacefully coexist—but where the two are intimately bound up as co-equal aspects of an integrated and inspiring reality.

Cat’s Whisker features themes as varied and interesting as meditation, Jiu Jitsu, biology, anthropology, Tai Chi, BDSM—and the search for the perfect cocktail.

Those who take on Cat’s Whisker will find it evocative, emotionally moving, intellectually stimulating—and perhaps most importantly—they will find that it probes human spirituality in a manner that is revelatory and uplifting.

Its first chapter, “An Old Dog,” was published as a stand-alone piece of fiction in the online literary journal Leaping Clear, which features works by artists with ongoing meditative or contemplative practices.

Cat’s Whisker was published by Koehler Books on October 26th, 2021, and was longlisted for the prestigious Chanticleer International 2021 SOMERSET Book Award for Literary and Contemporary Fiction.

Praise for Cat’s Whisker

Cat’s Whisker is a fascinating novel whose hero meditates on the complementary natures of science and spirituality . . . the book’s prose is velvety, like a meditation . . . it is easy to be swept away in the flow.”
Foreword Reviews (read the full review here)

“This moving and compelling novel chronicles a fascinating life, and while doing so explores the presumed fissures between science and spirituality, sex and power, and the mystical and corporeal. Those alleged rifts are spectacularly obliterated amidst the lyricism and intellect of the prose—though even the closest reader may be hard pressed to cite precisely how that magic is accomplished.”
–Ken Jakobs, librettist, director, and producer of opera in the San Francisco Bay Area

“This remarkable story imbues its narrative with the qualities of a spiritual epic, placing the Jiu-Jitsu practicing protagonist at the heart of a powerful yet moving tale about scientific discovery, family, mysticism, and sexual exploration. Weaving together past and present seamlessly, the result is a captivating account of a man reaching for the pinnacle of human experience.”
–Madeleine Ivy, author of The Witchhammer

“Marvel as the narrator—a Jiu-Jitsu master—balances atop the arcane center of a life path as thin as a Cat’s Whisker. His unyielding curiosity propels him to straddle the lines between expectation and exploration, tradition and risk, science and spirituality—and to ultimately discover the liberation of mystical illumination, and the rapture of sexual submission.”
–Michael Rose, author of The Sorting Room

“Superbly written with an uncommon command of language, Cat’s Whisker stewards us on the often difficult, sometimes edgy, and seemingly boundless quest for human enlightenment. Displaying deft storytelling, author Robert Steven Goldstein teaches us that science and spirituality, far from strange bedfellows, are inextricably bound in symbiotic influence as we carve our unique paths to ourselves.”
–Michael J. Coffino, author of Truth Is in the House

“Rosicrucian mysticism and radio transmissions fascinate a Jewish boy from the Bronx in Cat’s Whisker, a unique tale about one man’s relationship with the world. Cat’s Whisker is an intriguing story that is absolutely original.”
–B. Lynn Goodwin,, Author of Talent and Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62