Tag Archives: Friendship

Review: The Cat’s Table

The Cat's Table

The Cat’s Table
By Michael Ondaatje
(Knopf, Hardcover, 9780307700117, October 2011, 288pp.)

The Short of It:

An intimate, deeply introspective coming-of-age tale with a bit of adventure thrown in.

The Rest of It:

Years ago, I read The English Patient and the act of reading it, physically pained me. Back then, I was a reader, but not a serious reader and I didn’t have much patience for picking a book apart to get its meaning. So when I heard that Ondaatje had a new book out, I snapped it up for two reasons. Because it sounded really, really good, and because I wanted to give this author another shot.

The story takes play aboard the ocean liner Oronsay, as it makes its 1954 voyage from Ceylon to England. On board, is Michael, age 11 who for the most part, is making the 3-week trip by himself. For a boy his age, a trip like this is nothing but an adventure and so when he is seated at the “Cat’s” table, which is the less desirable dining location and the opposite of the Captain’s table, he sees nothing wrong with it. In fact, this is where he meets other boys his age, Cassius (the troublemaker) and Ramadhin (a thoughtful, but rather sickly boy).

The passages on the ship are delicately handled, in that what appears to be brief, inconsequential exchanges, are in fact life-changing interactions that shape and form these boys on their way to adulthood.  It should be noted, that I did not see it this way until finishing the book and taking several weeks to think about these characters. At first, the story seemed unremarkable to me except that it takes place on a ship which is not the usually setting for a coming-of-age story. The setting immediately pulls you in, but Michael’s role as observer grows tiresome, until you begin to hear him speak as adult.

I am glad that I waited to write this review, as my feelings about the book have changed numerous times. It’s a beautifully written novel, almost lyrical at times but it’s the type of novel that reads easy, almost too easy only for you to realize later (in my case, much later) that you enjoyed the book quite a bit.  If you like subtle, deeply introspective stories, then you will enjoy this one.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

The Sunday Salon: The Otter Pup Goes Social

Otter Pup - Chloe

No, the Otter Pup didn’t get a Facebook or Twitter page, but she did go to the dog park which has been an unknown for us “cat” people. We’ve had her since February so it sure took us long enough to try it, but I was worried. Worried about the other dogs and not sure how she’d react to them. There were about 7 dogs there and she did great. She snapped at two of them, but never made contact. Actually, she NEVER makes contact. They are warning snaps that you can hear from across the park. Snap! Snap! Sassy pup.

In this photo, she is lounging on the stairs and was gracious enough to allow me to snap this photo. She looks happy, no?

The Sunday Salon

Just a little bit ago we finished up the last of the costume shopping, hit the bookstore with the hopes that some employee slipped up and put out a copy of 1Q84 before its Oct. 25th release date. No such luck. I downed a Pumpkin Spice Frapp to make me feel better. Boy, was it tasty.

Right now, I have chili cooking and we’ll have brats as well, but it’s 85 degrees outside. Would be better if it were a tad chilly but you can’t go wrong with chili, brats and football on a Sunday afternoon. As they watch football, I will be finishing up Ready Player One and then I’m not sure what I’ll read next.

On a sad note, a high school friend passed away a couple of weeks ago. I attended the viewing this past Thursday and although at the time, I thought I could handle it okay, I was a complete mess when I left there. There is something special about the friends you make in  high school. Plus, I visited my old stomping grounds and it brought back so many memories. Sigh. My thoughts are with his family.

Hope you are having a wonderful Sunday and be sure to hug the ones you love. Robert was only 40 years old and died of a heart attack. Unbelievable. Still trying to accept it.