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The Cat's Table


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From the acclaimed author of The English Patient and In the Skin of a Lion- a stunningly beautiful and moving new novel about a boy's life-changing journey from Ceylon to England in the 1950s.

About the Author

Michael Ondaatje is the author of several novels, as well as a memoir, a nonfiction book on film, and several books of poetry. Among his many Canadian and international recognitions, his novel The English Patient won the Booker Prize, and was adapted into a multi-award winning Oscar movie; and Anil's Ghost won the Giller Prize, the Irish Times International Fiction Prize, and the Prix Medicis. Born in Sri Lanka, Michael Ondaatje lives in Toronto.


It only adds to the autobiographical nature of Ondaatje's novel-concerning a young boy who journeys by ship from Sri Lanka to England in the 1950s-that the author narrates this audio edition of his latest work. The mellifluous tones of Ondaatje's accent (part British and part subcontinental) are themselves testament to the memoiristic underpinnings of his novel. He reads without a professional's preciseness, and yet, knowing his work as well as he does, captures the subtle music of its understated prose. Listeners will relish Ondaatje's occasional variations from traditional British pronunciation, each one serving as a symbol of the book itself, which spans two continents and two eras. Listening to Ondaatje read becomes a pleasure in its own right; being neither here nor there, the author is himself much like the tale he tells, and the boy at its heart. A Knopf hardcover. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

In Booker Prize-winning Ondaatje's latest novel, 11-year-old Michael is put aboard a ship traveling from Sri Lanka to England in the 1950s. Ostensibly under the supervision of a relative, he in fact is on his own to roam with the young companions he meets at the "cat's table," the table farthest from the captain in the dining room. He and two other unsupervised boys have the run of the craft, where many unexplained and exotic things take place. Ultimately, they learn the hard way that their seemingly innocent actions have unintended consequences. VERDICT Ondaatje does an excellent job of narrating; his reading is polished, using the first-person narrative very effectively. Recommended for the author's fans and for literary fiction readers. ["Ondaatje turns in a quietly enthralling work. Highly recommended," read the starred review of the New York Times best-selling Knopf hc, LJ 7/11.-Ed.]-Mary Knapp, Madison P.L., WI (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

One of the most admirable and enthralling literary novels of the year * Daily Mail *
Extraordinary * Guardian *
Superbly poised between the magic of innocence and the melancholy of experience * The Economist *
Michael Ondaatje's impressive new novel, containing dreams and fantasy between a ship's, in the most etymological way, a wonderful novel: one full of wonders -- Philip Hensher * Daily Telegraph *
Atmospheric, elegiac and at times, like Ondaatje's most famous novel, The English Patient, unbearably poignant -- Sebastian Shakespeare * Tatler *

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