• There’s an author’s note at the end of The Cat’s Table explaining that although Ondaatje also traveled by ship from Sri Lanka to England at the age of 11, this is not an autobiographical novel. I found it distracting, though, that the main character’s name was Michael, and that later in life he too had become a writer. It wasn’t distracting enough to take away from the novel, though. Rather, I think having that question firmly in the back of my mind while reading made me pay closer attention – the way you do when an elderly relative tells you a story of when they were young and you listen for any details that tie their younger self to the version you know. I don’t know Ondaatje, but reading about a man searching for details about himself by revisiting his past is a surprisingly riveting experience, and as much as I was wound up with the story of the boy on the ship, it’s the older narrator who has stuck with me.   (Click the photo to read the rest of the review)

    There’s an author’s note at the end of The Cat’s Table explaining that although Ondaatje also traveled by ship from Sri Lanka to England at the age of 11, this is not an autobiographical novel. I found it distracting, though, that the main character’s name was Michael, and that later in life he too had become a writer. It wasn’t distracting enough to take away from the novel, though. Rather, I think having that question firmly in the back of my mind while reading made me pay closer attention – the way you do when an elderly relative tells you a story of when they were young and you listen for any details that tie their younger self to the version you know. I don’t know Ondaatje, but reading about a man searching for details about himself by revisiting his past is a surprisingly riveting experience, and as much as I was wound up with the story of the boy on the ship, it’s the older narrator who has stuck with me. (Click the photo to read the rest of the review)

    Oct
    03
    2011
  1. flippingthrough posted this

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Flipping Through

Most people read in one of two ways: they either take their time and soak things up, or they breeze through quickly. On my blog Books Under Skin, I cover the first one by offering book recommendations every Thursday and longer posts on literary issues. Here, I cover the latter, offering up the little quirks of the book world one bite at a time.
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