BN.com Gift Guide

The Rabbi's Cat

( 1 )

Overview

The preeminent work by one of France’s most celebrated young comics artists, The Rabbi’s Cat tells the wholly unique story of a rabbi, his daughter, and their talking cat–a philosopher brimming with scathing humor and surprising tenderness.
In Algeria in the 1930s, a cat belonging to a widowed rabbi and his beautiful daughter, Zlabya, eats the family parrot and gains the ability to speak. To his master’s consternation, the cat immediately begins to tell lies (the first being ...
See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$14.01
BN.com price
(Save 21%)$17.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (21) from $7.00   
  • New (13) from $10.41   
  • Used (8) from $7.00   
Sending request ...

Overview

The preeminent work by one of France’s most celebrated young comics artists, The Rabbi’s Cat tells the wholly unique story of a rabbi, his daughter, and their talking cat–a philosopher brimming with scathing humor and surprising tenderness.
In Algeria in the 1930s, a cat belonging to a widowed rabbi and his beautiful daughter, Zlabya, eats the family parrot and gains the ability to speak. To his master’s consternation, the cat immediately begins to tell lies (the first being that he didn’t eat the parrot). The rabbi vows to educate him in the ways of the Torah, while the cat insists on studying the kabbalah and having a Bar Mitzvah. They consult the rabbi’s rabbi, who maintains that a cat can’t be Jewish–but the cat, as always, knows better.
Zlabya falls in love with a dashing young rabbi from Paris, and soon master and cat, having overcome their shared self-pity and jealousy, are accompanying the newlyweds to France to meet Zlabya’s cosmopolitan in-laws. Full of drama and adventure, their trip invites countless opportunities for the rabbi and his cat to grapple with all the important–and trivial–details of life.
Rich with the colors, textures, and flavors of Algeria’s Jewish community, The Rabbi’s Cat brings a lost world vibrantly to life–a time and place where Jews and Arabs coexisted–and peoples it with endearing and thoroughly human characters, and one truly unforgettable cat.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
After the rabbi's cat ate the talking parrot, he too gained the power of speech. This now chatty feline becomes the nemesis of his plump master, peppering him with sarcastic comments. Joann Sfar's charming graphic novel, set in colonial-era Algeria, possesses a poignancy gently leavened by whimsy.
From the Publisher
“He draws faster than his shadow. He comes up with new stories as if he were drinking a glass of water. He talks more than anyone I’ve ever known. He’s extremely talented, extremely funny, extremely smart. I guess this is the description of a genius. And I don’t say such things because he’s my friend. Joann Sfar is not a rabbi, but he describes better than anyone the religious dilemma with tenderness, intelligence, and humor. The Rabbi’s Cat is a book that everybody should read.”
–Marjane Satrapi, author of Persepolis

“[The Rabbi’s Cat] is rich in historic and cultural detail and filled with great stories.”
The Washington Post

“As fanciful as Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,
a whole lot shorter than The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, and a good deal more Jewish than Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, Joann Sfar’s graphic novel is hilarious, poignant, and wise. And now that I’m done reading it for the first time, I’m going to read it again.”
–Adam Langer, author of Crossing California

“An affecting, fraught, and–yes–sometimes hilarious tour de force about the complexities of living faithfully in a godless world.”
The Boston Globe

“In The Rabbi’s Cat, Joann Sfar’s words and pictures mingle in a dance both sacred and skeptical, perfectly graceful and clumsily human. I loved this book and I’m so grateful Sfar’s brilliance has finally been brought to America. He is one of the brightest cartoonists in the world!”
–Craig Thompson, author of Blankets

Publishers Weekly
Sfar, the French cartoonist behind the Little Vampire children's books, has come up with a hilarious and wildly original graphic novel for adults. The nameless, scraggly-looking alley cat who narrates the story belongs to an Algerian rabbi in the '30s. When the cat eats a parrot, he gains the power of speech and tries to convince his master to teach him the Torah, raising the question of whether the appropriate age for his bar mitzvah should be in human years or cat years. Of course, being a cat, he has plenty of impertinent opinions about Judaism. That's a delicious setup on its own, but it gets better when the cat loses his speech again halfway through, and the story becomes a broader, more bittersweet comedy about the rabbi's family and the intersection of Jewish, Arab and French culture. The rabbi's daughter Zlabya marries a young man from a nonobservant family in France. The Algerian family's visit with their Parisian in-laws is the subject of the final and funniest section of the book. Sfar's artwork looks as mangy and unkempt as the cat, with contorted figures and scribbly lines everywhere, but there's a poetic magic to it that perfectly captures this cat's-eye view of human culture and faith. (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An Algerian rabbi's cat gains the power of speech, giving it all the greater ability for mischief. This first major English-language graphic novel by French comic whirlwind Sfar (Dungeon, 2004, etc.) is an initially whimsical but ultimately bracing fable. Set in 1930s French colonial Algeria, the story concerns a rabbi's cat that learns to speak after eating its master's talking parrot. The rabbi-a rotund and somewhat underappreciated fellow who's in danger of being supplanted by a younger and more book-smart rabbi from France-is devastated by this development, especially when he finds the cat has a sarcastic tongue and likes to get into tangled theological debates. The story meanders about in an easygoing manner, following the rabbi's daughter's love life, a journey to Paris and the cat's various musings on life-when, that is, he's not causing trouble ("I tell the rabbi's rabbi that I am God, who has taken the appearance of a cat in order to test him"). Although dusted with fantasy, the book is powerfully real, etched with the dark shadows of an ancient society where Jews, French and Arabs mixed, a world soon to be swept away by the winds of war and modernity. Sfar's artwork is playfully exaggerated, adding to the otherworldly feel here, while his writing is smart and sharp, perfectly counteracting any burgeoning colonial-era nostalgia the pages might evoke. An unexpectedly haunting work from a major talent.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375714641
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/22/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 152
  • Sales rank: 371,634
  • Product dimensions: 7.89 (w) x 10.25 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Meet the Author

Considered one of the brightest and most talented of the younger generation of French comics artists, Joann Sfar has written or collaborated on more than one hundred books for adults and children. He has worked with some of the best young artists in France, including Christophe Blain, Emmanuel Guibert, and Lewis Trondheim. In the United States he’s best known for his children’s books, Little Vampire Goes to School, which made The New York Times best-seller list, and Little Vampire Does Kung Fu!, which was nominated for an Eisner Award. Sfar was awarded the prestigious Jury Prize at Angoulême for The Rabbi’s Cat. He lives in Paris with his wife, two children, and the model for the rabbi’s cat. Please visit his Web site at www.pastis.org/Joann.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 27, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Judaism via your cat

    If you ever wanted to read Talmudic discussions between a cat and a rabbi...this is the book for you. I am being pulled more and more to this genre of graphic novels.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)