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Artiglio lucente (Varjak Paw #1)

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4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  3,167 Ratings  ·  269 Reviews
Varjak Paw, discendente di una famiglia di Gatti Blu della Mesopotamia, è da sempre curioso di scoprire cosa c'è fuori: fuori dalla villa della Contessa dove vive e dove lui e i suoi sono nati e cresciuti, senza mai nemmeno uscire in giardino, così come si addice ai gatti nobili. Ma un giorno la Contessa muore e la casa finisce nelle mani di un sinistro Gentiluomo accompag ...more
Paperback, I Grandi del Fantastico, 250 pages
Published 2004 by Mondadori (first published 2003)
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Juci This is probably a moot question by now, but yes, I believe that the illustrations greatly enhance this story. :)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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karen


first, let's focus on the artwork, because i saw this cover somewhere and i knew that i needed to read this book, no matter what its contents. i really do love dave mckean. he has been responsible for some of my favorite jonathan carroll covers, and the man just really knows how to draw cats.





he manages to get cat mannerisms down perfectly with such an economy of line - i love it. the only person whose cats even come close, and with a totally different tone is jeffrey brown:



he gets all the cute s
...more
Kagama-the Literaturevixen
Book no 1 of the 16 cat books

http://theliteraturevixen.booklikes.c...

Varjak Paw is the only one in his family of noble Mesopotamian Blue cats whose eyes arent green and he is constantly teased and ridiculed for this reason.His older brother even claims this is the reason their owner-the Contessa has stoppedvisiting them and only stays in her room.

One who doesnt make fun of him is his grandfather the Elder Paw and Varjak loves to listen to him tell stories about their ancestor Jalals adventures.
...more
Bethany Sawford
I originally gave this book 2 stars, I felt it was unrealistic and dull, no doubt because the whole idea of a kung-fu cat turned me off before I had even started reading, so I didn't give it a chance. Upon discussion, I realised I was being unfair and was persuaded to re-read it. The second time I found myself liking the characters, even though I knew the ending I still worried when they were in danger and felt their true friendships on the cold hard streets of the city, I willed them on their w ...more
John Velo
Mar 22, 2016 John Velo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this at a book sale one day and I only bought it because it had a cat on its cover...and I am not disappointed. What can I say? I'm a cat person!

Although this is more of a children's book and I could totally predict what could happen, I still found myself enjoying it. Teaches some lessons and the artwork is pretty neat.
A Severs
Oct 22, 2016 A Severs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Almost a life manual for us all. The idea that no one is too special to help others and that comfort zones hold us back seem to have special relevance to the UK's current treatment of refugees.

Clever writing and brilliant characters - it's easy sometimes to forget it's about cats!
Aaron Campling
Aug 21, 2012 Aaron Campling rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This thrilling story follows Varjak Paw, a Mesopotamian Blue cat living in the house of Contessa on top of a hill. His family bully and ignore him, and his eyes are the 'colour of danger'. Varjak Paw is successfully portrayed as different to everybody else (something that some children may be able to relate to), and soon becomes increasingly desperate to see the world outside of the Contessa's house, something he has never done.

The Contessa soon becomes sick, and when a sinister man with two bl
...more
Althea Ann
Jun 09, 2010 Althea Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw this book in the store, and the cat on the front cover was so adorable that I had to buy it for my sister. Of course, then I had to read it before giving it to her!
This is definitely a kids' book - not even YA, but for younger children.
However - it's also an excellent book. McKean's illustrations are perfect for the characters and the story.
Varjak is a young Mesopotamian Blue cat who's been brought up to think he's something special. However, when his owner disappears and a strange and sin
...more
Emily
Το βιβλίο προορίζεται για μια πολύ στενή ηλικιακή ομάδα, αυτή των 8-14 ετών. Για την ομάδα αυτή είναι ενδιαφέρον, ευκολοδιάβαστο και με μηνύματα που παλεύουν να μην ισοπεδωθούν από τη σκληρή πραγματικότητα.
Στους υπόλοιπους δεν μπορεί να δώσει κάτι, πέραν του να περάσουν την ώρα τους όταν δεν υπάρχει κάτι καλύτερο να κάνουν.

Ένας συμπαθής, άβγαλτος γάτος ράτσας (μάθαμε και τη ράτσα Μπλε της Μεσοποταμίας) φεύγει από το σπίτι του για να γνωρίσει το Έξω. Σιγά σιγά και με τη βοήθεια πιο περπατημένων
...more
Sarah
Oct 19, 2015 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel is so much more than a story about a cat leaving its sheltered home life for the city in search of a dog to save his family. It works on many different levels to question life as an outcast; from your own family, from your own society and your own environment. The main character, Varjak Paw is given advice with almost mystical, Eastern powers to solve problems that he encounters on his journey; if he chooses to apply them, and these help him to become streetwise and learn more about t ...more
Sophie Gray
Dec 24, 2014 Sophie Gray rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My boyfriend suggested I read this while I was ill this week (I was reading Station Eleven, which is not a comforting book when you've got the flu!!) and it was a brilliant idea. A really lovely story with beautiful illustrations, which genuinely touched me.
Penny Raspenny
I can't begin to explain how awesome this book is.
Review to come
Niamh Meagher
Jan 01, 2014 Niamh Meagher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My new favourite book.
Hajra Natha
Aug 27, 2015 Hajra Natha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Varjak Paw – by S F Said
The outside world was a mystery and any adventures Varjak Paw had were through the stories his grandfather told him about heroic ancestor martial arts expert, Jalal and his travels around the world.
Varjak Paw is a Mesopotamian Blue cat, with bright golden yellow coloured eyes which are described as the colour of danger. Varjak Paw lives with the rest of his family in the countess’s house on top of the hill. His family consists of his parents, grandfather, and four sibling
...more
Zahara
Apr 23, 2014 Zahara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Varjak Paw by S. F. Said
A tale of Varjak the cat, descendant of the great Jalal, finding his identify in the big world. Varjak an outcast grew up with his parents and his siblings being told the story of Jalal by his grandfather. Jalal was a brave and courageous cat who after 100 years has left a legacy for his descendents to follow. Varjak Paw years to have an adventurous life where he can show his siblings he is worthy of being a descendent of Jalal. His opportunity arises when the countess d
...more
Kaethe
Jul 08, 2014 Kaethe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once again a matriarchal society has been transformed into a patriarchal one, largely inhabited by male characters, but still, it's about cats, so I had to love it. Plus I really love that cover with the golden eyes. And yes, I did google to see if the breed really existed.

***

Casting about for the next read-aloud after the Penderwicks, we struck on this. Glad I finished it last month. Also, very glad that the McKean illustrations aren't as disturbing as the ones he does for Gaimain's books.

***

It
...more
Rhian Loxley
Jun 10, 2012 Rhian Loxley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Varjak Paw is a Mesopotamium Blue kitten, living in a house on top of a hill, he has never left the high walls that surround the Contessa's garden.

His family are happy to recline in the knowledge that a strange man will feed them caviar, as they admire their own handsome pedigree. Varjak however is bored, an outcast, unlike his siblings his name doesn't begin with J and he has eyes the colour of danger - he is desperate to see the world outside of the contessa's house. Armed with the wise words
...more
Kirsten
This is an entertaining novel, beautifully illustrated. It tells the story of one Varjak Paw, a cat from a noble line of Mesapotamian Blues. Varjak is a bit of an outcast in his family, what with his obsession with going Outside and his dislike of simply sitting around looking dignified. When the Countess (the owner of Varjak and his family) dies, a sinister man with two even more sinister black cats comes into the picture. Varjak must escape to the Outside, learn the cat martial arts, and retur ...more
Sophie Mc
Jun 13, 2012 Sophie Mc rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'Varjak Paw' by S.F.Said is a great read for children studying at KS2. The story follows the main character Varjak who had always lived an easy life up until he was forced out of his home by the Gentleman and his two horrible cats. As the story unravels we learn about Varjak's struggle to come to terms with living, and more importantly, surviving on the streets. We inevitably read about how Varjak comes up against rival gangs and of the battles he faces against them. At times the story can be qu ...more
India Lees
I thoroughly enjoyed Varjak Paw. Initially, i found it hard to get into, as i didn't understand where the story was going. However, i persevered and once i got past the first couple of chapters i was hooked. The story explores many themes: family bonds, friendship and journeys. Would be a great cross-curricular topic book to use in year 3/4, and could lead onto some interesting character exploration work. The only downside to the book, is the ending, as it feels rushed and is slightly confusing ...more
Damon
Jun 10, 2008 Damon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got this because it had Dave McKean illustrations in it, and as an extra bonus those illustrations were of cats. That's one guy who can draw a cat... But I wound up really enjoying it - it's pretty obviously for a younger audience, and it's sort of about a cat that learns martial arts, but the story was pretty good, and I didn't feel stupider when I finished it, which I feel is often the case with "children's literature". A quick read, but worth the time.
Deb
middle school battle of the books
Was OK. I'm not usually into the anthropomorphic thing. This is a good book about self acceptance. Recommend to younger middle schoolers.
Terilin
Jan 05, 2009 Terilin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a family favorite. Shey especially loves that he's on the cover. This truly is a fantastic read even if you're not a cat person. There's a dog in this story too!
Kat (Lost in Neverland)
Eh, it was okay. Weird, short, the pictures were awesome.
Talon
Mar 22, 2015 Talon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good, dark story.
Miss Cleveland
Feb 11, 2017 Miss Cleveland rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is a re-read of a book I first enjoyed over 10 years ago, and am about to use with a group of my Year 5’s for Key Skills, and with my Year 3&4 Telling Tales Book Club, just because I can!

Well, if I'm being totally honest, it's also because Scholastic asked me if I'd like to try one of their Read and Respond titles, and I jumped at the opportunity, when I saw this was one of their range. I had forgotten just how much I love this story!

Varjak Paw is a Mesopotamian Blue, who loves the Elde
...more
Dale
Dec 22, 2016 Dale rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Iman Ahad
Feb 08, 2017 Iman Ahad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the book because it is very interesting and full of adventure and mystery. At the end of every chapter there is a mystery, making you want to read more! I also found some of the characters very interesting, with lots of different personalities, like in real life. Some characters are very kind, funny and thoughtful, which was nice. I like the main character Varjak Paw because he is very adventurous.

I also like the pictures in the book, they were very dark and full of mystery, setting the
...more
Kim
Jan 29, 2017 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-read
(E's review, 4th grade)
I really like Varjak Paw because it's full of adventure and it has so many good reasons to like it! Varjak is a Mesopotamian Blue kitten and his older brother and his litter think that his eyes are the color of danger because they are amber. His littermates are mean to him. Two mysterious black cats lead him on a journey to find a dog.... you have to read it to learn more!
I stayed up late for 2 nights and finished the book! The story has a really good moral but I can't te
...more
Ellen
Dec 20, 2016 Ellen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
A "posh" cat (Mesopotamian blue) who's always lived indoors leaves the house to find a dog, learn to be a true free cat, and save his family from the evil man who takes over after their elderly owner dies. My 9yr old son enjoyed the story but I found it really dull!
Janet
Feb 15, 2017 Janet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book.
It's short but the story is great, the illustrations are fantastic, and I couldn't wait to find out what happened.
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Said grew up in the Iraqi diasporic community in London, moving there with his mother at the age of two. After graduating from the University of Cambridge, he worked as a press attaché and speech writer for the Crown Prince of Jordan’s office in London. He began a Ph.D. in 1997 looking at the lives of young Muslims in Britain, but left academia to focus on film journalism for the Daily Telegraph – ...more
More about S.F. Said...

Other Books in the Series

Varjak Paw (2 books)
  • The Outlaw Varjak Paw

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“Believe something is impossible,’ said his ancestor calmly, ‘and you will surely fail. But believe in yourself and you can do anything.” 7 likes
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