Cats Table (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


"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."

Thus begins Mynah's adventures on the Oronsay. He is seated at the Cat's Table -- the furthest away from the Captain's Table -- but the better to see and observe the other passengers. The Cat's Table is peopled with rag-tag misfits and two boys Mynah's age. Each passenger has a part to play entertaining Mynah and his two friends. There is one most mysterious passenger: the Prisoner, who comes out at night chained to a guard for his exercise and the mysterious guard who shadows him is everywhere and nowhere. For pre-teen boys there is nothing like a mystery to improve the imagination. This book morphs through the childhood of Mynah, and reflects through his teens and into adulthood. True to Ondaatje the writing is spectacular, poetic, hard and real.

— lynn

October 2011 Indie Next List


“In a story of intricate delicacy and beauty, Ondaatje not only tells the wondrous story of three boys at sea -- a journey that takes them each from one world to another and into the realm of adult ways and mysteries -- but also one that has the reader in thrall to what it is to look back and remember. The Cat's Table is a luscious, bittersweet rumination on imagination, memory, and place, and what we find by reclaiming what we've lost.”
— Rick Simonson, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA

Fall '12 Reading Group List


“In a story of intricate delicacy and beauty, Ondaatje not only tells the wondrous tale of three boys at sea -- a journey that takes them each from one world to another and into the realm of adult ways and mysteries -- but also one that has the reader in thrall to what it is to look back and remember. The Cat's Table is a luscious, bittersweet rumination on imagination, memory, and place, and what we find by reclaiming what we've lost.”
— Rick Simonson, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA

Product Details
ISBN: 9780224093620
Publisher: Random House Export
Publication Date: September 1st, 2011