Brain Candy Sale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Lists | October 5, 2015

    Zachary Thomas Dodson: IMG 10 Books That Will Change Your Mind about Bats

    Bats are a much-maligned animal. Long thought of as creepy or evil or diseased, a closer look reveals that the wide variety of bat species also... Continue »
    1. $19.57 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

Qualifying orders ship free.
List price: $15.95
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Beaverton Literature- A to Z
5 Local Warehouse Literature- A to Z

The Cat's Table (Vintage International)


The Cat's Table (Vintage International) Cover

ISBN13: 9780307744418
ISBN10: 0307744418
Condition: Standard
All Product Details



Reading Group Guide

The questions, discussion topics, and reading list that follow are intended to enhance your reading group’s discussion of The Cat’s Table, the luminous new novel by Michael Ondaatje, Booker Prize–winning author of The English Patient.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 6 comments:

Tamako, October 9, 2014 (view all comments by Tamako)
'The Cat's Table' chronicles the journey of an eleven year old boy from Ceylon to England as he makes unlikely friends and encounters experiences aboard that will stay with him forever. Ondaatje's subtle and poetic prose is nothing short of masterful: you will find yourself rereading the same passage to memorize the beauty of it, while laughing out aloud at certain dialogues. This is a book that makes you want to read it again the moment you finish it, but beware: this will make you achingly nostalgic for the ship trip you never had.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
legomymego, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by legomymego)
An enjoyable read; a magical book. Definitely recommended.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Judy Martin, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by Judy Martin)
Three boys have the run of a ship on a voyage from Ceylon to England in the 50’s. Their daring antics, cautious friendships,interactions with adult table-mates at “the least privileged place” on the ship, and the narrator's observations about intrigue and romance among shipmates add up to an engaging, memorable novel.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 6 comments

Product Details

Ondaatje, Michael
Vintage Books
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Vintage International
Publication Date:
8 x 5.17 x 0.83 in 0.64 lb

Other books you might like

  1. Everything Beautiful Began After
    Used Trade Paper $5.50
  2. Wingshooters Used Trade Paper $7.50
  3. The Tiger's Wife
    Used Mass Market $6.50
  4. Salvage the Bones
    Sale Trade Paper $7.98

Related Subjects

Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » Literature
Featured Titles » New Arrivals
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Coming of Age
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Cultural Heritage
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Featured Titles

The Cat's Table (Vintage International) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Vintage - English 9780307744418 Reviews:
"Review" by , The Cat’s Table is just as skillfully wrought as Ondaatje’s magnum opus The English Patient, but its picaresque childhood adventure gives it a special power and intimacy....He is a master at creating characters, whom he chooses to present, memorably, as individuals. This choice is of a piece with the freshness and originality that are the hallmarks of The Cat’s Table.”
"Review" by , “A joy and a lark to read....Within a few pages of the book’s opening, The Cat’s Table has done a miraculous thing — it has ceased to be a book, or even a piece of art. It is merely a story, unfolding before the reader’s eyes, its churning motor a mystery about what it is exactly that happened on this boat....Told in short bursts of exposition so beautiful one actually feels the urge to slow the reading down, the novel shows us how the boy assembles the man.”
"Review" by , The Cat’s Table is an exquisite example of the richness that can flourish in the gaps between fact and fiction....Ondaatje has an eerily precise grasp of the immediacy of a child’s world view, and an extraordinary sense of individual destiny....It is an adventure story, it is a meditation on power, memory, art, childhood, love and loss. It displays a technique so formidable as to seem almost playful. It is one of those rare books that one could reread an infinite number of times, and always find something new within its pages.”
"Review" by , “This book is wonderful, offering all the best pleasures of Ondaatje’s writing: his musical prose, up-tempo; his ear for absurd, almost surreal dialogue, which had me laughing out loud in public as I read; his admiration for craftsmanship and specialized language in the sciences and the trades; and his sumptuous evocations of sensual delight....In many ways, this book is Ondaatje’s most intimate yet.”
"Review" by , “A treasure chest of escapades from a pitch-perfect writer, an immaculate observer of the dance of humans, giving us an intoxicating mix of tenderly rendered boy’s eye perspective and the musings of the older narrator looking back on this intensely formative voyage....It is a classic, perfect premise for a novel packed with possibilities. Put it in the hands of one of the most subtle and surprising masters of world writing, Michael Ondaatje, and unalloyed joy lies latent in every sentence and sensuous quirk of the narrative. This is simply blissful storytelling....Think the seafaring Joseph Conrad, with an invigorating infusion of Treasure Island, a touch of Mark Twain.”
"Review" by , “Ondaatje’s best novel since his Booker Prize-winning The English Patient....[An] air of the meta adds a gorgeous, modern twist to the timeless story of boys having an awfully big adventure....As always, Ondaatje’s prose is lyrical, but here it is tempered; the result is clean and full of grace.”
"Review" by , “A graceful, closely observed novel that blends coming-of-age tropes with a Conradian sea voyage....Beautifully detailed, without a false note: It is easy to imagine, in Ondaatje’s hands, being a passenger in the golden age of transoceanic voyaging, amid a sea of cocktail glasses and overflowing ashtrays, if in this case a setting more worthy of John le Carré than Noel Coward....Elegiac, mature, and nostalgic — a fine evocation of childhood, and of days irretrievably past.”
"Review" by , “Ondaatje is justly recognized as a master of literary craft....The novel tells of a journey from childhood to the adult world, as well as a passage from the homeland to another country, something of a Dantean experience.”
"Review" by , “Ondaatje’s wondrous prose feels more alive to the world than ever before....This is a simpler story, more simply told, than Ondaatje has accustomed his readers to....Yet The Cat’s Table is no less thrilling in its attempts to capture beauty in its various and terrifying forms.”
"Review" by , “Richly enjoyable, often very funny, and gleams like a really smart liner on a sunny day....The magic of this fine book is in the strange inventiveness of its episodes. Ondaatje is really the master of incident in the novel, and the enchantments wash over the reader in waves....The beauty of Ondaatje’s writing is in its swift accuracy; it sings with the simple precision of the gaze.”
"Review" by , The Cat’s Table is Ondaatje’s most accessible, most compelling novel to date. It may also be his finest...Ondaatje’s prose is, as always, stunning....The Cat’s Table is a breathtaking account not only of boyhood, but of its loss. It is a novel filled with utterly unique characters and situations, but universal in its themes, heartbreakingly so, and a journey the reader will never forget.”
"Review" by , “An eloquent, elegiac tribute to the game of youth and how it shapes what follows....One of the strengths of the novel is the sheer brilliance of characterization on show. The bit players on board the Oronsay are almost Dickensian in their eccentricity and lovability....In The Cat’s Table, he has not only captured with acute precision the precarious balance of his characters’ existence on the move but also the battle that adults wage for the retention of the awe and wonder they once took for granted in their childhood. Ultimately, Ondaatje has created a beautiful and poetic study hre of what it means to have your very existence metaphorically, as well as literally, all at sea.”
"Review" by , “A novel superbly poised between the magic of innocence and the melancholy of experience.”
"Review" by , “Is there a novelist who writes more compellingly about tenderness than Ondaatje?....The Cat’s Table is a voyage of discovery for the reader as well as for its narrator. I loved the book, was dazzled by its language, and looked forward to turning each page to learn what would happen next.”
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at