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The Rabbi's Cat

by Joann Sfar

ISBN 0375422811 / 9780375422812 / 0-375-42281-1
Publisher Pantheon
Language English
Edition Hardcover
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Book summary

The preeminent work by one of Frances most celebrated young comic artists, The Rabbis 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 masters consternation, the cat immediately begins to tell lies (the first being that he didnt 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 rabbis rabbi, who maintains that a cat cant 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 Zlabyas 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 Algerias Jewish community, The Rabbis 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. [via]