Ratings : 5273

Review : 418


Published : Aug. 16, 2005

By : Pantheon

Language : eng

Paperback : 152 Pages

Published : Aug. 16, 2005

By : Pantheon

Language : eng

Paperback : 152 Pages

The Rabbi's Cat

5273 Ratings - 418 Review

The preeminent work by one of France’s most celebrated young comic 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.



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ABOUT Joann Sfar

Joann Sfar (born August 28, 1971 in Nice) is a French comics artist, comic book creator, and film director.

Sfar is considered one of the most important artists of the new wave of Franco-Belgian comics. Many of his comics were published by L'Association which was founded in 1990 by Jean-Christophe Menu and six other artists. He also worked together with many of the new movement's main artists, e.g. David B. and Lewis Trondheim. The Donjon series which he created with Trondheim has a cult following in many countries.

Some of his comics are inspired by his Jewish heritage as the son of Jewish parents (an Ashkenazi mother and a Sephardic father). He himself says that there is Ashkenazi humor in his Professeur Bell series (loosely based on Joseph Bell), whereas Le chat du rabbin is clearly inspired by his Sephardic side. Les olives noires is a series about a Jewish child in Israel at the time of Jesus. Like Le chat du rabbin, the series contains a lot of historical and theological information.

His main influences are Fred and André Franquin as well as Marc Chagall, Chaim Soutine, Will Eisner, Hugo Pratt and John Buscema.

From 2009 to 2010, Sfar wrote and directed 'Serge Gainsbourgh: Une Vie Heroique', a biopic of the notorious French songwriter, of whom Sfar is a self-confessed fanatic. The film, which draws substantially on Sfar's abilities as a comic book artist through its extensive use of fantasy artwork, animation and puppetry, was released in 2010 to general critical acclaim.