Jaron's Reviews > The Cat's Table

The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje
Rate this book
Clear rating

M 50x66
's review
Dec 19, 2011

it was amazing

5+ stars. I'm typically not a fan of books without a traditional plot, but The Cat's Table substituted intrigue for plot and combined it with a series of short story-ish coming of age stories in a way that worked for me. As a bonus, many of those vignettes actually ended up being relevant to greater or lesser degrees in the final sequences of the novel. The writing was nothing short of fantastic and, with a bit of occasional on-the-fly editing, I was able to read long passages out loud to my 5-year-old before bed (his review: "zzzzzzzz"). I really enjoyed the boys' adventures and their sense of discovery as they learned more and more about the locations on the boat:

"We had discovered the door to the armoury had a buggered latch, and when the room was empty we strolled through it, handling the revolvers and handcuffs. And we knew each lifeboat contained a compass, a sail, a rubber raft, plus emergency chocolate bars that we had already eaten. Mr. Daniels had finally told us where the poisonous plants were in the fenced section of his garden..."

This was my first experience with Ondaatje and I will certainly be going back for more. Since I joined Goodreads 3 years ago, I've given 18 books 5 stars; this one would certainly be in the top 5 books I've read since joining.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Cat's Table.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

December 19, 2011 – Shelved
September 10, 2013 – Started Reading
September 12, 2013 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Sam (new)

Sam Very different from my experience with it. I just tried to read this book and quit halfway though. Third Ondaatje book I've tried and I'm done. His writing is good but I think not my kind of books. I've hated every one I've tried. I'm curious if you've read any more since this one?

back to top