Reading The Cat's Table

The Cat's Table,  by Micheal Ondaatje.  I knew nothing of this author,  from the beginning.  I went to a small local bookstore here,  and was searching hard,  for something intriguing to read.  Then,  I picked up the hardcover book, at a price of 27.30 $.  The only thing I could remember,  was that the cover attracted me to it.  A steamship on the cover,  suggested that maybe the ship would encounter hidden dangers of the sea.  Or,  maybe it would be a saving vessel for those who were in peril.  There was no idea of what the book was about in the back,  just a few accolades from the New Yorker, the Guardian, and Dionne Brand.  To my surprise,  this book is if not a # 1 seller in Canada,  it is way up there.

Now,  reading the first few pages,  told of a story of leaving a country and headed towards England.  The story focuses around Micheal (The authors name),  and two of his closest friends at around the age of 11.  They eat at a table on the boat,  the Cat's Table.  With his aunt,  cousin,  and other less well to do people, sitting and gossiping and wondering about other characters that are on the boat.  It goes through many pages of back and forth action between primarily Micheal's thoughts,  and his daily meetings with his friends.  It is more of a pensive,  heartfelt, what if and why these things happened, book in my view.  When you get to the 130 approx. page, plus or minus,  you are where he starts thinking of when he is matured in age and thinking back of his times on the boat,  the Oronsay.

I am at page 160 or so,  and so far the boat has not sunk,  and it has not tarried on to save a boat in distress at sea.

Being a person who likes action,  or comedy,  it was a hard book at times for me to read.  I can understand,  however,  how a English Major would like this novel.  He is a good writer.  So,  I am trying to put myself in the mindset of my grade 12 English teacher,  trying to understand the English art, of the book.  Maybe the story is just not to my style.  I drag myself through it, and at times push myself to go on... and on...  The story unfortunately, did not magnetize me.

On the other hand,  Ray Bradbury's book Fahrenheit 451 was something that I could read every night,  and could stick to the pages.  I cannot say The Cat's Table is no good.  It is a good book.  And,  to be fair,  I am not at the end yet.  It is just,  not my genre of book.  But,  I take with me the idea,  and the respect that it is an art form.  Cultivated and grown in a certain way.  I continue my journey through,  The Cat's Table.  Ratings will follow after it is read...  Till then...


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