BookBrowse Reviews The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje

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The Cat's Table

A Novel

By Michael Ondaatje

The Cat's Table
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     Not Yet Rated
  • Hardcover: Oct 2011,
    288 pages.
    Paperback: Jun 2012,
    288 pages.

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Book Reviewed by:
Beverly Melven

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The vivid narrative of one boy's voyage at sea and the experiences that shaped his adulthood

I think we all have those times in our childhood that seem to define the adult we've become - or else suggest the person we wish we were. In The Cat's Table, we encounter the vividly imagined adventure of an 11-year-old boy on an ocean-liner trip from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to England in the 1950s, as told by the grown man who traces all the features of his current life back to that voyage. How different would he have been if not for that journey?

The boy, known as Mynah, has been living with his aunt and uncle for several years since his mother moved to England. He is sent to live with her - traveling without a guardian - and he leaves everything he knows behind, heading for a world he can't really picture. The three weeks he spends on this huge ship/playground are something like heaven for a pre-teen boy. However, the man, Michael, has a life of no firm connections; his current ...

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