The Cat's Table

Front Cover
Vintage, 2012 - Boys - 366 pages
73 Reviews
"In the early 1950s, an eleven-year-old boy boards a huge liner bound for England - a 'castle that was to cross the sea'. At mealtimes, he is placed at the lowly 'Cat's Table' with an eccentric group of grown-ups and two other boys, Cassius and Ramadhin. As the ship makes its way across the Indian Ocean, through the Suez Canal, into the Mediterranean, the boys become involved in the worlds and stories of the adults around them, tumbling from one adventure and delicious discovery to another, 'bursting all over the place like freed mercury'. And at night, the boys spy on a shackled prisoner - his crime and fate a galvanizing mystery that will haunt them forever. As the narrative moves from the decks and holds of the ship and the boy's adult years, it tells a spellbinding story about the difference between the magical openness of childhood and the burdens of earned understanding - about a life-long journey that began unexpectedly with a spectacular sea voyage, when all on board were 'free of the realities of the earth'."--Publisher description.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
23
4 stars
33
3 stars
11
2 stars
4
1 star
2

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jimgysin - LibraryThing

"I don’t think you can love me into safety." There are plenty of evocative lines and insights to be found in this latest work from the author of THE ENGLISH PATIENT, but this one--spoken platonically ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ZaraD.Garcia-Alvarez - LibraryThing

The narrative, at first, is plodding and slow as if to mimic the intensive labour one requires in building a foundation. This foundation begins with the voice of a young boy, Michael, who is both ... Read full review

All 4 reviews »

Other editions - View all

About the author (2012)

Michael Ondaatje was born in Sri Lanka in 1943. In the 1950s he moved to England, and went to school in south London. In 1962 he emigrated to Canada, where he has lived ever since.

His books include his memoir, Running in the Family, numerous collections of poetry, and five novels - including The English Patient which won the 1992 Booker Prize. His latest novel is The Cat's Table, which was published by Cape in hardcover in September 2011.

Bibliographic information