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The cat's table

Author: Michael Ondaatje
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2011.
Edition/Format:   Book : Fiction : English : 1st U.S. edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
In the early 1950s, an eleven-year-old boy in Colombo boards a ship bound for England. At mealtimes he is seated at the "cat's table"--as far from the Captain's Table as can be--with a ragtag group of "insignificant" adults 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 tumble from one adventure to another,  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Adventure fiction
Bildungsromans
Sea stories
Historical fiction
Fiction
Miscellaneous fiction
Material Type: Fiction
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Michael Ondaatje
ISBN: 9780307700117 0307700119
OCLC Number: 697261660
Notes: "This is a Borzoi book."
Description: 269 p. ; 22 cm.
Responsibility: Michael Ondaatje.

Abstract:

In the early 1950s, an eleven-year-old boy in Colombo boards a ship bound for England. At mealtimes he is seated at the "cat's table"--as far from the Captain's Table as can be--with a ragtag group of "insignificant" adults 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 tumble from one adventure to another, bursting all over the place like freed mercury. But there are other diversions as well: one man talks with them about jazz and women, another opens the door to the world of literature. The narrator's elusive, beautiful cousin Emily becomes his confidante, allowing him to see himself "with a distant eye" for the first time, and to feel the first stirring of desire. Another Cat's Table denizen, the shadowy Miss Lasqueti, is perhaps more than what she seems. And very late every night, the boys spy on a shackled prisoner, his crime and his fate a galvanizing mystery that will haunt them forever. As the narrative moves between the decks and holds of the ship and the boy's adult years, it tells a spellbinding story--by turns poignant and electrifying--about the magical, often forbidden, discoveries of childhood and a lifelong journey that begins unexpectedly with a spectacular sea voyage.

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WorldCat User Reviews (2)

More than it first appears

by vleighton (WorldCat user published 2014-03-25) Very Good Permalink

  This text first appears to be a sentimental reminiscence of a ocean voyage that the narrator took as a rascally boy from Sri Lanka to Britain in the 1950s. The prose is elegant and spare. The stories well-drawn and lean. For readers looking for an action novel, the tone will be too reflective...
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by maxtnsko (WorldCat user published 2011-12-14) Excellent Permalink

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