John Thieme

Rites of Passage

The Cat’s Table

By

Jonathan Cape 265pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

Michael Ondaatje’s new novel concludes with a familiar disclaimer telling its readers that its characters are fictional. In this case it is a more necessary caveat than usual, since the book has a narrator named Michael who, like Ondaatje, hails from Sri Lanka; and Michael records events that occurred on his sea journey as an eleven-year-old to England, where, like Ondaatje, he subsequently attended Dulwich College. In later life, Michael has become a writer and, again like Ondaatje, he appears to live mainly in Canada. 

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