The Cat's Table

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The Cat's Table

by Michael Ondaatje

Knopf Canada | June 12, 2012 | Trade Paperback

The Cat's Table is rated 1.3333 out of 5 by 3.

In the early 1950s in Ceylon an eleven-year-old boy is put alone aboard a ship bound for England. At mealtimes he is seated at the insignificant "cat''s table"--as far from the Captain''s table as can be--with two other lone boys and a small group of strange fellow passengers: one appears to be a shadowy figure from the British Secret Service; another a mysterious thief, another seems all too familiar with the dangerous ways of women and crime. On the long sea voyage across the Indian Ocean and through the Suez Canal, the three boys rush from one wild adventure and startling discovery to another: experiencing the first stirrings of desire, spying at night on a notorious shackled prisoner, moving easily between the decks and holds of the ship. As the secretive adult world is slowly revealed, they begin to realize that a drama is unfolding on board, and the prisoner''s crime and fate will be a galvanizing mystery that will haunt them and link them forever.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 288 pages, 8 × 5.3 × 0.69 in

Published: June 12, 2012

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307401421

ISBN - 13: 9780307401427

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 2 out of 5 by from It's not what you'd expect While reading the description of the book I thought that it would be about a boy and his adventure aboard a ship headed to England. I thought he would be finding out amazing secrets and getting into trouble. However the book focuses on secrets that aren't out of the ordinary and adventures are slim to none. This book focuses more on character development. If you are interested in a book about personal growth and discovery I would recommend this book.
Date published: 2014-05-13
Rated 1 out of 5 by from A Story about Nothing! Three very different boys become unlikely friends while traveling across the ocean to start a new life in England. The setting is a grand ship, there is an abundance of unusual characters and even a shackled criminal who gets to walk the deck after dark - but nothing happens. There is potential for a great adventure but it never materializes. The boys get into mischief, have some new experiences and gain insight into the lives of their various dinner companions, but overall the story never gets going. Unfortunately the Cat’s Table sinks to the bottom of my reading list.
Date published: 2013-07-27
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Disappointing!!!!!!!! There have been soooo many good things said about this book, but I'm wondering if we all read the same book. I'm sad to say, I have read approximately 50 pages of this book and I can't get much further. This book is slow, boring and truly not worth the hype that it was given. When I BUY a book, I usually make a point of reading it, even if the book isn't that good....but this book is way too difficult to get to the next page. It is plain old boring and pointless. If you must read this book because you are a Michael Ondaatje fan, borrow it from a friend, get it from your local library....but don't buy it, it really isn't worth the money. At 50 pages.....I'm on to the next book....can't read any more of this one.......maybe in a couple of months I'll try again.
Date published: 2012-10-27

– More About This Product –

The Cat's Table

by Michael Ondaatje

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 288 pages, 8 × 5.3 × 0.69 in

Published: June 12, 2012

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307401421

ISBN - 13: 9780307401427

Read from the Book

He wasn’t talking . He was looking from the window of the car all the way. Two adults in the front seat spoke quietly under their breath. He could have listened if he wanted to, but he didn’t. For a while, at the section of the road where the river sometimes flooded, he could hear the spray of water at the wheels. They entered the Fort and the car slipped silently past the post office building and the clock tower. At this hour of the night there was barely any traffic in Colombo. They drove out along Reclamation Road, passed St. Anthony’s Church, and after that he saw the last of the food stalls, each lit with a single bulb. Then they entered a vast open space that was the harbour, with only a string of lights in the distance along the pier. He got out and stood by the warmth of the car.   He could hear the stray dogs that lived on the quays barking out of the darkness. Nearly everything around him was invisible, save for what could be seen under the spray of a few sulphur lanterns—watersiders pulling a procession of baggage wagons, some families huddled together. They were all beginning to walk towards the ship.   He was eleven years old that night when, green as he could be about the world, he climbed aboard the first and only ship of his life. It felt as if a city had been added to the coast, better lit than any town or village. He went up the gangplank, watching only the path of his feet—nothing ahead of him existed—and contin
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From the Publisher

In the early 1950s in Ceylon an eleven-year-old boy is put alone aboard a ship bound for England. At mealtimes he is seated at the insignificant "cat''s table"--as far from the Captain''s table as can be--with two other lone boys and a small group of strange fellow passengers: one appears to be a shadowy figure from the British Secret Service; another a mysterious thief, another seems all too familiar with the dangerous ways of women and crime. On the long sea voyage across the Indian Ocean and through the Suez Canal, the three boys rush from one wild adventure and startling discovery to another: experiencing the first stirrings of desire, spying at night on a notorious shackled prisoner, moving easily between the decks and holds of the ship. As the secretive adult world is slowly revealed, they begin to realize that a drama is unfolding on board, and the prisoner''s crime and fate will be a galvanizing mystery that will haunt them and link them forever.

About the Author

MICHAEL ONDAATJE is the author of five previous novels, a memoir, a nonfiction book on film, and several books of poetry. The English Patient won the Booker Prize; Anil''s Ghost won the Irish Times International Fiction Prize, the Giller Prize, and the Prix Médicis. Born in Sri Lanka, Ondaatje now lives in Toronto.

Editorial Reviews

"A completely original orchestration of a coming-of-age story, memoir, maritime adventure as powerful as Conrad or Stevenson.... Astonishing."
—Howard Norman, The Globe and Mail

"Ondaatje''s most accessible, most compelling novel to date."
—Robert J Wiersema, The Vancouver Sun

"Michael Ondaatje is the greatest living writer in the English language.... All that is great in his other books is fully present in The Cat''s Table."
—Aleksander Hemon, The Wall Street Journal (Favourite Book of 2011)

"The most beautiful, haunting and ageless book I''ve read this year."
—Pico Iyer, The Hindu
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