"While we are reading, we are all Don Quixote." ~ Mason Cooley

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Cat's Table

Just finished The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje.  This is the first novel of his that I've read.  I may be the only one in our book club who hasn't read his previous, The English Patient, or seen the movie, but I'm glad because I can't compare the two.  Just appreciate this for it own merits.

They are considerable.  The storyline, intricate, unfolding in bits and pieces, additions and subtractions.  A line here, a vignette there.  Multi-dimensional characters developed like a drawing, rather than a photograph, layer upon layer, bouncing back and forth in time.  Mesmerizing descriptive passages, to be savored, read and reread.  And insights into the human condition that only a gifted writer like Ondaatje can illuminate, insights that both resonated and stunned me with their clarity.

This is not meant to be a review (for an excellent review, read Liesl Schillinger's review in the New York Times, Oct. 14, 2011 edition).  Rather, it is an endorsement.  The strongest I give any book.  I know such a book when I can hear myself as I read it...who is this person who writes, and thinks, this way?!  I have to read his/her other books!

I urge you to read The Cat's Table.

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