The Cat's Table
There seems to be an underlying metaphor here for the immigrant experience, although it is certainly not belaboured.
Written in an autobiographical voice, The Cat's Table covers a young man, nicknamed "Mynah," and sharing a name with the author, Mich...more
It's hard to imagine today but in 1953 Michael, who was eleven years old, traveled by ship from his native Sri Lanka to England with virtually no adult supervision. He had an `aunt' traveling in first class who chatted with him a few times throughout the trip when they happened to meet on deck but other than that he was on his own. There was a vast distance between steerage, where Michael berthed, and first class. In steerage he mixed with the crew, an odd assortment of...more
If The Cat's Table is not Ondaatje's best novel yet (oh, but I think it...more
For this review and others, visit the EditorialEyes Blog.
5 out of 5
Amid the excitement surrounding the release of George R.R. Martin’s newest book, A Dance with Dragons, I also heard a common complaint: Martin, many of his truest fans contend, takes far too long between installments, leaving readers hanging for years at a time.
Michael Ondaatje, one of Canada’s literary superstars, doesn’t seem to garner the same complaint, despite breaks of five to eight years between titles. His admirers...more
He then went on to confirm all the parallels between the novel and his own life. I don't begrudge him the fictionaliz...more
In this book, we meet not only Michael but his comrades-in-mischief, bad-boy Cassius and thoughtful Ramadhin. The three of them do what bored boys do -- get into trouble and spy on interesting adults, especially interesting women like Michael's...more
I'm still thinking on the Cat's Table. I've enjoyed Ondaatje's poetry more than his novels and this book seems to straddle those categories a bit. He writes beautifully on the visual and emotional fronts. He structures long works creatively and I'm still trying to decide how well this one works for me.
The Cat's Table is, primarily, a story of a three-week voyage by ship, from Colombo to London. Its focus is on three unrelated and un...more
The Cat's Table takes place,...more
This is an excerpt of a review:
"This audiobook is very different from most in how it is presented. Picture sitting in the library room of an old, grand manor at night, curled up on a sofa by a crackling fire, while a distinguished man in an armchair quietly reads to you from some leather-bound volume in his lap. That is the feel and quality of this recording, with both the benefits and drawbacks that come with it...more
I'm reading The Cat's Table. My husband is listening to it on audio book. It's a race.
November 9, 2011:
My husband won the race. I ended up borrowing his audio book and alternatively listening to and reading the novel. We both enjoyed listening to the texture and cadence of Ondaatje's voice. My husband finds it a pleasure to hear a book read by its author.
The Cat's Table takes place in a mere 21 days, but in those few weeks, a lifetime occurs. This novel captures what I loved bes...more
Interesting idea at the core of this book: the recollections of a boyhood ship voyage, a sort of lawless liminal space between his old world and what would become his new life. Memories of people and events are very clear but the sequence of events comes in snatches. And that creates the drama. At some midway point (the Suez Canal?) a sense of mystery and vague threat appears. Which ironically is where I lost interest for a while. But pushing on was rewarded. A boyhood story but a very grownup b...more
In the early 1950s, an eleven-year-old boy in Colombo boards a ship bound for England. At mealtimes he is seated at the “cat’s table”—as far from the Captain’s Table as can be—with a ragtag group of “insignificant” adults and two other boys, Cassius and Ramadhin. As the ship crosses the Indian Ocean, the boys tumble from one adventure to another, bursting all over the place like freed mercury. But there are other diversions as well: they are first exposed to the magical worlds of jazz, women, a
Such is often the case when I read anything revered, be it classic or modern. Either I'm putting too much stock in the opinions of high-browed and leather-elbowed snobs, or my tastes now reside in a land that takes l...more
My biggest complaint is that there was no plot. This is a charming story of...more
These boys, as young boys are meant to do, get into mischief and adventure as well as trouble during their weeks on this v...more
The story derives its strength from the sweeping narrative style that draws you onto the cruise vessel and makes you want to explore every corner, life boat, swimming pool and strange co-traveler together with the 3 young boys. Ondaatje must have drawn heavily from his own experience as the different adventure...more
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|Montclair Goodrea...: January Selection: The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje||16||48||Feb 08, 2012 08:36pm|
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