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Artiglio lucente (Varjak Paw #01)

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  2,393 ratings  ·  202 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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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 carrol 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 st
Kagama-the Literaturevixen
Book no 1 of the 16 cat books


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.
Aaron Campling

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
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
Rhian Loxley
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
Althea Ann
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
Sophie Mc
'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
A good, dark story.
Revista Fábulas
por Catarina Araújo

Varjak Paw é um gato muito curioso, como todos os gatos, e, como todos os gatos, sente vontade de explorar o mundo. Ele vive num casarão, no alto de uma colina, de onde nunca saiu. A dona é uma velha condessa doente que já mal veem pela casa. A família de Paw não o trata muito bem por ele ser diferente e isso faz com que Varjak tenha uma ânsia especial em se afirmar.

Quando a casa é tomada por um homem com más intenções, acompanhado de dois gatos ameaçadores, o avô Paw pede a V
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Moonie Jarl
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Πάνος Τουρλής
Καλογραμμένο προεφηβικό βιβλίο που με όμορφο, έξυπνο και πρωτότυπο τρόπο αφηγείται τις περιπέτειες του Βάρτζακ Πο, οικόσιτου γάτου Μεσοποταμίας, όταν αποφασίζει να σώσει την οικογένειά του από έναν κακό Κύριο και δύο σατανικές μαύρες γάτες που εγκαθίστανται στο σπίτι της Κόμησσας που τα τάιζε και τα φρόντιζε πριν πεθάνει ξαφνικά. Η ιστορία είναι δοσμένη από τη ματιά του Βάρτζακ Πο, ενός αθώου τρυφερού γατούλη, που ζει μόνιμα μέσα στο σπίτι και δεν έχει ιδέα τι γίνεται Έξω! Έτσι, όταν ο κακός Κύρ ...more
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.


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.
Kristin Rosenberg
Varjak Paw is a pure-bred Mesopotamian Blue, and in his family that means something. Their ancestor, Jalal, has traveled the world and wound up living with the Contessa, which is where Varjak and his family live now. When Elder Paw suspects that the Contessa has died, strife befalls the Paw family. Varjak must learn out to survive Outside and save his family.

Written from the cat's perspective, this book is intriguing and just a little jumbled. With family dynamics that will make your fur stand
There needs to be more books about cats who have to learn martial arts in order to fulfill their destinies. This is exactly the kind of book that little Alex needed to find as a kid so he wasn't such a reluctant reader.

From the older, nerdier Alex's perspective, Varjak Paw is also an interesting spin on the heroic monomyth--Varjak goes through many of Joseph Campbell's steps along the hero's journey.

Dave McKean is also one of my favorite artists, and his renditions of the cats and dogs that pop
This story is about a cat called Varjak Paw, who is a Mesopotamian cat. However, his family bully him as his eyes are different.
There are important themes that children will learn through reading this book. For example, building relationships, prejudice, which makes it a good book to read as a class, especially for years 4-6.
This book has been used in my class for talk for writing and it has allowed the children to expand their vocabulary and imagination. There is a lot of descriptive elements a
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.
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!
Kelsey Hoban
Varjak Paw is a unique and thrilling chapter book about a very unique culture of cats that go on adventures. This great book is about a kitten that finds himself on an amazing adventure. He is told by his grandfather to go into the city and is taught the different cat martial arts while exploring and adventuring through the new city. I loved this book because it brigs different cultures and species together into one interesting and awesome story. This book takes you on the adventure with the cha ...more
Kat (Lost in Neverland)
Eh, it was okay. Weird, short, the pictures were awesome.
Drawing a tale of adventurous animals that calls to mind such a classic as “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi”, “Varjak Paw” is a thrilling story of feline martial arts and mysterious happenings in the Big City. Leaving one’s comfort zone, learning new ways, opening up to new experiences and people are all the rather unsubtle messages given here but none of that detracts from a straightforward writing style that ropes in the reader and brings you careening through this amazing story. This book was so good I actu ...more
This rating stems from my childhood enjoyment of the book. I read it when I was yet to reach my teens and I remember liking the story.

It's a very simplistic action/adventure story. Although the book is probably designed for children, I would have preferred it to be more detailed with descriptions and less slap dash.

The illustrations were interesting and quirky, like nothing I've seen in another book, which is something I applaud.

Overall, a decent book, and a good read for children getting into l
Catarina Araújo
Varjak Paw é um gato muito curioso, como todos os gatos, e, como todos os gatos, sente vontade de explorar o mundo. Ele vive num casarão, no alto de uma colina, de onde nunca saiu. A dona é uma velha condessa doente que já mal veem pela casa. A família de Paw não o trata muito bem por ele ser diferente e isso faz com que Varjak tenha uma ânsia especial em se afirmar.

Quando a casa é tomada por um homem com más intenções, acompanhado de dois gatos ameaçadores, o avô Paw pede a Varjak para encontra
Oct 20, 2008 Featherheart marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feline
I was going through old email and I found this review I wrote. I don't remember what the book is about, but it sounds good! :)

Varjak Paw is a Mesopotamian Blue, a noble pure-bred cat that lives in the house of the Contessa, where his ancestor Jalal came many years ago. His brother bullies him, his parents ignore him, and his eyes are the “color of danger.” Everybody says he’s not a real Mesopotamian Blue. To make things worse, the Contessa is very sick. One day, a Gentleman comes with his two bl
Charlotte Jones
‘Varjak Paw’ was a book that I owned when I was a lot younger, read it but didn’t remember any of it. Leena from justkissmyfrog on Youtube talked about ‘Phoenix’ by the same author and mentioned this so she inspired me to seek out a copy of ‘Varjak Paw’! I found a second-hand copy in a charity shop for 49p and definitely couldn’t leave it there.

This is a children’s book and so the print is on the large side and there are illustrations throughout. I loved the illustrations and will do a separate
I picked this book up years ago, mostly due to the artwork which I knew was by Dave McKean, who has worked many times with Neil Gaiman (my favorite writer). I really love Mr. McKean's energetic and emotive style and I am very glad that I picked up Mr. Said's first book. It is a simple coming of age tale... of a young Mesopotamian Blue cat told in a charming manner and, of course, accompanied by Dave McKean's illustrations.

Rather than detract from the reading, the art enhanced and worked with the
Varjak Paw is a Mesopotamian Blue cat, living in an old house on a hill with his family. He doesn’t get on with his big brother Julius who brags and shows off. He has a cousin called Jasmin that he doesn’t mind and three little brothers, Jay, Jethro and Jerome. They were never allowed into the outside world, only getting into the garden which was surrounded by a high wall. After the arrival of a mysterious stranger and two evil black cats, his life changes forever as he is forced to learn The Wa ...more
Jan 30, 2012 Nicholas rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nicholas by: Kirsty O'Callaghan-James
Join Varjak Paw as he leaves his comfortable home and ventures out into the big wide world in search of a dog to save his family and live up to the name of his ancestor, Jalal Paw. This coming-of-age tale throws together elements of Brian Jacques' Redwall and Dodie Smith's 101 Dalmatians for an adventure that will keep your attention for the duration of the story.

Said does an excellent job of presenting characters that, while they are easily related to, clearly perceive the world in a different
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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
The Outlaw Varjak Paw Phoenix

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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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