Sunday, 20 November 2011

Giller 2011 Reviews: The Cat's Table

The Cat's TableThe Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

November 1, 2011:

I'm reading The Cat's Table. My husband is listening to it on audio book. It's a race.

November 9, 2011:

My husband won the race. I ended up borrowing his audio book and alternatively listening to and reading the novel. We both enjoyed listening to the texture and cadence of Ondaatje's voice. My husband finds it a pleasure to hear a book read by its author.

The Cat's Table takes place in a mere 21 days, but in those few weeks, a lifetime occurs. This novel captures what I loved best about Ondaatje's earlier work, The English Patient: A group of people "so oddly aligned, [who]...would never see [each other] again", yet continue to feel a love and longing for those with whom they had experienced a brief, but intense, period of time.

The journey by boat adds to the sense of romance and Ondaatje's language contributes to the glamour. The book has a few contradictory moments and mysterious characters that are left to the reader's imagination to resolve.

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