Product detail

The Cat's Table

The Cat's Table

Author: Michael Ondaatje
$19.99(AUD)  inc GST
South Seas Books - In stock 1

The story of three boys on a journey from Columbo to England and from childhood to the world of adulthood. The boys are seated at the ‘cat’s table’ with a wonderful selection of adult characters. Their stories and development make for an enthralling read. ->SARAH


"In the early 1950s, an eleven-year-old boy boards a huge liner bound for England - a 'castle that was to cross the sea'. At mealtimes, he is placed at the lowly 'Cat's Table' with an eccentric group of grown-ups 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 become involved in the worlds and stories of the adults around them, tumbling from one adventure and delicious discovery to another, 'bursting all over the place like freed mercury'. And at night, the boys spy on a shackled prisoner - his crime and fate a galvanizing mystery that will haunt them forever. As the narrative moves from the decks and holds of the ship and the boy's adult years, it tells a spellbinding story about the difference between the magical openness of childhood and the burdens of earned understanding - about a life-long journey that began unexpectedly with a spectacular sea voyage, when all on board were 'free of the realities of the earth'. With the ocean liner a brilliant microcosm for the floating dream of childhood, The Cat's Table is a vivid, poignant and thrilling book, full of Ondaatje's trademark

Promotion info

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.


"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 *

Stock Information

General Fields

  • : 9780099554424
  • : penguin random house
  • : Arrow
  • : July 2012
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Michael Ondaatje
  • : 384