The Cat's Table

The Cat's Table

Fiction & Poetry, Modern & Contemporary Fiction
Paperback Published on: 05/07/2012
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Bookseller Reviews

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The Cat's Table
Dreamlike, almost hypnotic
Eleven year old Michael is sent to travel unaccompanied on an ocean liner from Colombo to England, where he will meet with his mother. It’s the 1950s, on t... READ MORE
Claudia  Sunderhauf


From the acclaimed author of The English Patient comes a stunningly beautiful novel about a boy's life-changing journey from Ceylon to England in the 1950s.

What had there been before such a ship in my life? A dugout canoe on a river journey? A launch in Trincomalee harbour? There were always fishing boats on our horizon. But I could never imagine the grandeur of this castle that was to cross the sea.

In the early 1950s, an eleven-year-old boy boards a huge liner in Colombo bound for England. At mealtimes he is seated at the lowly 'cat's table' , as far from the Captain's table as can be, with a ragtag group of adults and two other boys, Cassius and Ramadhin. As the ship crosses the Indian Ocean the boys tumble from one adventure to another, and at night they spy on a shackled prisoner, his crime and fate a mystery that will haunt them forever...

  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • ISBN: 9780099554424
  • Number of pages: 384
  • Weight: 266g
  • Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 23 mm

Customer Reviews

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The Cat's Table
Great read
This is an easy reading tale of an 11 year old Sri Lankan boy who is travelling on his own to England to meet up with his mum who emigrated a few years ear... READ MORE
The Cat's Table
A wonderful read
I found this to be an enchanting story of boyhood, reminiscent of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. The adventures of the central 3 little boys were very credible,... READ MORE
The Cat's Table
Very readable
A very readable story centred around a boy’s journey aboard a 1950s liner from Colombo to London. Although the story is not autobiographical it is very bel... READ MORE
The Cat's Table
The Cat's Table
An atmospheric tale of an ocean voyage told through the eyes of Michael, an 11 year old boy.I preferred reading the onboard ship part of the book and found... READ MORE
Pauline Taylor
The Cat's Table
Delightful to read. A man looks back to his boyhood and relates events of a life-changing journey. Of course he did not know it then, but later he fully gr... READ MORE
Emma I
The Cat's Table
Sorry - not for me
I really wanted to enjoy this book but found myself waiting for something exciting to happen and didn't feel it did. In fact I have to say I didn't finish ... READ MORE
The Cat's Table
Very interesting read....
Just read The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje. Interesting but not a page turner.
Fiona Sharp
The Cat's Table
A strange beast
I eagerly awaited delivery of this book but let me state from the beginning that I was left disappointed and slightly puzzled after reading it. The book st... READ MORE
The Cat's Table
Worth the effort
Michael Ondaatje will never shake off the tag as the author of The English Patient and in some ways The Cat's Table is a similar novel; the exploration of ... READ MORE
Hector Mann
The Cat's Table
A nice read
This book was different from my normal read, but i found it enjoyable. Set on a ship sailing from Colombo to England, it tells the story of Michael, an ele... READ MORE
j thomas