Craig Werner's Reviews > The Cat's Table

The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje
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's review
Nov 10, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: contemporary-fiction
Read in November, 2011

The Cat's Table feels like a somewhat nostalgic memoir which goes dark in the final third, but Ondaatje stresses that it's fiction with a loose base in the journey he took from his native Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to London as a boy. As always with Ondaatje, there are stunning poetic passages where the surface opens into psychological complexity in ways that challenge you to rethink your assumptions about reality. Unlike most of his fiction--my favorites are Divisadero and Coming Through Slaughter; the best known is The English Patient (much better than the idiotic movie)--The Cat's Table gets itself entwined in a somewhat contrived set of plot details near the end. Worth reading, but not his best.

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