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The Rabbi's Cat 2 (Le Chat du Rabbin #4-5)

4.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  726 Ratings  ·  96 Reviews
Joann Sfar's beloved, humorous, and wise talking cat is back for more beautifully illustrated adventures in Algiers and across Africa in the 1930s. While the rabbi is away, his cat tags along with Malka of the Lions (the rabbi's enigmatic cousin), who roams the desert with his ferocious-on-demand lion. Some believe Malka to be a pious Jew, others think he's a shrewd womani ...more
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Pantheon (first published 2002)
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The Complete Maus by Art SpiegelmanThe Rabbi's Cat by Joann SfarHow Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry  DeutschUnterzakhn by Leela CormanKlezmer, Book One by Joann Sfar
Jewish Graphic Novels
11th out of 112 books — 19 voters
Blankets by Craig ThompsonThe Arrival by Shaun TanThe Complete Maus by Art SpiegelmanThe Complete Persepolis by Marjane SatrapiAnya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol
Graphic Novels for Older High Schoolers
14th out of 70 books — 12 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,129)
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Jan Rice
I've now read this second graphic novel, which means I like this writer.

We start out with the character Malka of the Lions--and his lion. In the first 32 pages there is heartbreak. I burst into tears--and then the story goes on. There is a story line, but it rambles. I just read on, trusting the author. He pokes fun at wrong things, or at least he pokes wrong things.

He writes about a North African way of life that no longer exists, some of it about the Sephardic side of his family, though far b
...more
Melanie Page
May 23, 2016 Melanie Page rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
This review was originally published at The Next Best Book Club blog. To see the version of my review that has images from the graphic novel, please click the link!

To prepare for this book review, I re-read The Rabbi’s Cat (read my review at TNBBC here). It was just as marvelous and charming as the first time I read it, if not more so. The cat’s facial expressions are funny and thoughtful while he discusses religion with his master and other Jews in Algiers in the 1930s. Random “cat moments” pop
...more
Shomeret
Nov 22, 2014 Shomeret rated it really liked it
A book about a Rabbi’s cat sounds like it would be cute and whimsical rather than dealing with any serious themes. If you wanted a cute and whimsical book about a cat, there are plenty out there. This is not one of them. Joann Sfar, who wrote these Rabbi’s cat graphic novels, is an award winning author precisely because of his themes.

Communication is a central theme of this novel. There is a Russian character who isn’t understood by the other humans when he first arrives, yet the Russian and the
...more
Nicholas Whyte
Feb 05, 2014 Nicholas Whyte rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf, comics, xy, b12, 2014, 1401
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2243568.html[return][return]A compilation of two albums telling two quite different stories. The first, "Heaven on Earth", is a bit of a meditation on stories and telling them through the mysterious figure of Malka, the Rabbi's cousin whose companion is an aging lion, set against the real background of the rise of an anti-Semitic regime in Algiers in the mid-1930s. In the second, "Africa's Jerusalem", the Rabbi, his cat and friends set off to explore their continent ...more
Jonna Gjevre
Oct 22, 2013 Jonna Gjevre rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
At last I have the sequel to Joann Sfar’s graphic novel, The Rabbi’s Cat. In his sequel, Sfar once again places his readers and his talking cat in the heart of the Jewish community in 1930′s Algeria. The cast of characters includes the rabbi, his footloose and mystical cousin Malka of the Lions, a suspected golem who turns out to be a (temporarily comatose) Russian painter, a Catholic priest, an Arab prince, a former slave who doesn’t know where she comes from, and a wandering sheik.

If that soun
...more
Fredrik Strömberg
The second omnibus collection of Joann Sfar's masterpiece, the (so far) five album long odyssey into French Algeria in the 1920s.

Story/content:
The story latches directly onto where album three ended, but takes a somewhat different direction. The first album follows the character Malka, an ageing adventurer, vagabond and storyteller, who is starting to feel his age. The second album introduces a new character, an ashkenazi Jew who has escaped the pogroms of Russia through hiding i crate of Jewi
...more
Brenton Nichol
This contains the fourth and fifth chapters of Sfar's continued tales of the rabbi's cat who gained, and then lost, the gift of speech. Like the latter half of the first book, these chapters focus less on the cat than on the stories and doings of the humans he travels with. Racism and religious intolerance are dealt with here, but again, the philosophical dueling of the cat is missing. I didn't find this book as engaging as the earlier volume.
Aligato
Jan 07, 2009 Aligato rated it it was amazing
This delightful little book is the second of the delightful series. In turns made me teary-eyed, giggle with dirty laughter, read closely again on a new philosophical idea, and learned a ton of history and culture and Aramaic and Russian and Hebrew in the process. I'm not Jewish and I think this book could be valuable for absolutely everyone (adult age, anyway). I read it in one sitting and literally couldn't put it down.
Alison
Mar 13, 2015 Alison rated it it was amazing
One of the many things I like about Sfar's Rabbi's cat works is how he depicts people from various cultures getting along as friends, disagreeing with each other, discussing their different faiths, arguing and agreeing and in the end, being adults about it. There are some fanatic characters which are there to highlight the more reasonable ones, too. The titular cat is there to philosophise and argue with the best of them.

This is a magical realism series - apart from the talking animals (the shi
...more
Inna Komarovsky
Sep 08, 2014 Inna Komarovsky rated it really liked it
Shelves: sequential
This story is from the perspective of a cat who has no name. He belongs to a rabbi who lives in Algiers. Overall, they wander the deserts and talk about religion and meet different people along the way. There are arguments about religion and what's right/wrong, language barriers, and disagreements between people who have never known each others' culture. The wandering through the dessert and the lion's agreement with the snake are very reminiscent of The Little Prince.

There are six square scenes
...more
Amanda
Mar 02, 2012 Amanda rated it really liked it
Really 3.5 stars

The talking cat with the big ears who offers insightful commentary on his rabbi master and life in Algeria in the early 20th century is back. The rabbi's daughter is fighting with her husband (also a rabbi), and the cat is quite happy with that. It means more snuggles from his mistress, Zlabya. Of course, the talking cat also has a couple of adventures. First he and a snake tag along with the famous Malka and his lion on a trek around the desert. Then, a stowaway Russian Jew show
...more
Sara
Apr 25, 2011 Sara rated it it was amazing
Readers of the original Rabbi's Cat would probably like this follow-up. I did. It had the same excellent artwork, humor, and heart. Something I really wanted to happen after reading the last book did happen, so I was happy about that. I will not give details unless you want a spoiler, which is (view spoiler).

The story involves a lot of wandering around, seeing new things, and learning--there a
...more
Alex Telander
Sep 20, 2010 Alex Telander rated it really liked it
THE RABBI’S CAT 2 BY JOANN SFAR, TRANSLATED BY ALEXIS SIEGEL: After the success of Sfar’s Rabbi’s Cat, along with receiving the prestigious Jury Prize, the eccentric and entertaining gray cat returns to his usual antics and journeys, while a strong, educating, and meaningful story surrounds him. The Rabbi’s Cat 2 continues on, and increases the humor and fun, but also the fascinating story of this strange cat in North Africa.

In the first story, while the rabbi is away on his own journey, his cat
...more
Nesa Sivagnanam
May 02, 2012 Nesa Sivagnanam rated it it was amazing
Joann Sfar's beloved, humorous, and wise talking cat is back for more beautifully illustrated adventures in Algiers and across Africa in the 1930s. While the rabbi is away, his cat tags along with Malka of the Lions (the rabbi's enigmatic cousin), who roams the desert with his ferocious-on-demand lion. Some believe Malka to be a pious Jew, others think he's a shrewd womanizer, but the cat will be the one to discover the surprising truth.

Back in Algiers, the rabbi's daughter, Zlabya, and her new
...more
Amy
Jul 21, 2015 Amy rated it liked it
Recommends it for: visual feast devourers
Quite different from #1. Beautifully drawn but more of a set of broad connected short-stories with an historical backdrop rather than the depth of the first book. (Note: the third has yet to be translated to English from its original French) I'm a fan of Joann Sfar's work anyways since whatever he writes tends to be beautifully drawn (either from his own hand or in collaboration) and full of a sense of whimsy. His other works are worth checking out.
Happydog
Jun 08, 2009 Happydog rated it it was amazing
The cat is back, and this time, he is in search of the lost Jerusalem. No matter what adventures the cat and his rabbi may have, beneath the surface of the adventures there is sly and not so sly commentary on issues that were relevant then and, as Sfar gently points out, relevant today. Yes, Tintin and his "moron" dog are made fun of, but watch for the story of the British colonialist, lost in a world that has passed him by and made him foreign to everyone and everything. Overall, Rabbi's Cat 2 ...more
Sasha Boersma
May 07, 2015 Sasha Boersma rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
Very thoughtful pair of stories about humanity, religion, racism, love, and faith.

"People imbue you with such powers, while you shiver at the slightest cold. What strategies people come up with to hate you! I love you because you're vulnerable. I love you because there has to be someone who loves you."
maha
Oct 24, 2014 maha rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, religion
ممتع كيف يحيك الكاتب قصص خيالية تتصدرها قطته.. كوميك دمه خفيف بطلته قطة متكلمة تنتمي لرابي يهودي من الجزائر.. هناك مغامرات لطيفة في الصحراء متفكرة في الدين. منها مثلا مغامرة عجوز الصحراء الحكواتي التي عندما سمعه أمير عربي أسره صوته وصاحبه حتى طلب منه أن يؤذن.. كيف ليهودي أن يؤذن بالمسلمين.. الديليما جميلة تعكس أساطير قرون الامبراطورية الاسلامية.
هناك قصة أخرى طريفة عندما وجدوا جثة في صندوق طلبية كتب واجتمع كل يهود الحارة ليتشاوروا في أمر كيفية معرفة ان كان يهودي وان لا كيف يدفن؟ حتى جابوا خبير ق
...more
Anne
May 21, 2016 Anne rated it liked it
Three and a half stars. Not as good as the original, but still a delightful read. However, the super tiny font that is in cursive is a little ridiculous and took away from the enjoyment of reading it since my eyes felt strained the whole time.
Jennifer
Aug 07, 2008 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
Poor Abby had to hear me go on and on about this already today. The truth is I just love this artist/writer so much, I love everything he does but I especially love this book. If you read the 1st one it is much the same, the sarcastic cat who challenges everything, the existence of god, the sanctity of marriage, and in the new book look for where he trashes Tin Tin and his little dog who he calls a "moron". If you want to learn just a little about Algeria in the 1930s or different Jewish dialec ...more
Alan
Feb 10, 2016 Alan rated it really liked it
I liked this one more than the first. The big adventure by truck reminded me of my time in Africa with good friends Wit and Jen. I very much enjoy the interplay of cultures: Jew, Muslim, Russian, Cat...
Lia
Not as good as the first. The relationship between "black", "white" and "brown" Jews is interesting but could have gone further. I feel like Sfar is trying to be subtle, to focus on storytelling and not get too didactic, which I appreciate, but it also feels a bit like he's just getting his toes into the idea instead of his teeth.

There is this one line though which I think is an amazingly tragic quote about intersectionality, where the titular rabbi explains why he doesn't think there could be a
...more
Nina
Oct 17, 2015 Nina rated it it was amazing
When I thought The Rabbi’s Cat 2 couldn’t get any better than the first one, I was wrong! In the end, nothing is as it seems – simply look at Malka of the Lions, the rabbi’s cousin. The cat who is still nameless regains his speech and suddenly speaks a variety of languages, which we will see comes in handy. Although he’s often to hold his mouth shut. How familiar does that sound? Comparing it to our modern society? What about a nice reminder of how easily we judge others, people who are differen ...more
Shoes
May 31, 2016 Shoes rated it really liked it
The tale "Africa's Jerusalem" (the bulk of this book) gets 5 stars, but the other story didn't click with me, even on re-reading.
Doug
Oct 28, 2014 Doug rated it it was ok
Not as good as the first part...gets off track on a weird journey to find a Jerusalem in Ethiopia, and ends rather abruptly.
Marissa
Jun 08, 2010 Marissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: comix
The second book of this inventive and intelligent series about religion, race, and culture is maybe not quite as vibrant as the first, but is still well worth reading. I love Sfar's wonderful use of color, with each combination of different shades clearly carefully planned out page by page, and his half-cartoony, half-spidery drawing style. In terms of the writing itself, there is a wonderful warmth and light-heartedness in the tone of Sfar's stories. I can only hope we continue to get more of h ...more
Michael Krarup
Anderledes vinklet tegneserie: For det første fordi historien foregår blandt jøder i 30'ernes Algeriet, og for det andet fordi den er fortalt af katten i huset - og glem alt om Garfield! Katten har empati og mere menneskekundskab end de fleste mennesker forstand på, har indsigt i de jødiske skrifter- men er stadig en kat med dens egne veje.
Det er rigtig godt og gennemresearchet, men mangler lige et eller andet for at det kommer op og ringe med hele klokkeværket. Men to fine og sympatiske bøger i
...more
Jason
Oct 30, 2011 Jason rated it it was amazing
Joann Sfar is a wonderful graphic novelist and the best books I've read of his are the Rabbis Cat and this sequel, not-overly-creatively named Rabbi's Cat 2. It is set in a Jewish community in what I believe is French Algeria in what I believe is the 1920s. It describes the intersection of different cultures and religions, from Judaism to Islam, tradition to modernity, Europe to Africa, etc., with a sympathetic and insightful eye. The imagery is beautiful. And the cat featured in the title is th ...more
Rebecca
Dec 10, 2008 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: graphic novel fans or Jewish history buffs
This is an excellent graphic novel set in the 1930s about a rabbi in Algiers, his daughter and son-in-law, his Muslim friend, and his snarky, talking cat without a name. The cat, as the title indicates, is the main character, and he's just as wise, arrogant, sarcastic, and curious as you'd expect a cat to be. The dialog is written in an insanely tiny, cursive font, which makes it really difficult to read without straining your eyes, but if you can get past that, it's a thoroughly enjoyable story ...more
Chadwick
Apr 12, 2008 Chadwick rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
It's criminal how slowly Sfar's works are translated. I mean, there's already a volume three in French, you bastards. This is as good as the first volume, and that's high praise. There is a lot to say about how Sfar has a perfectly clear vision of how all of the Peoples of the Book, and the peoples not of the book should all just hang out and play music and eat food and be happy rather than squabbling over dirt and killing each other. Maybe I'll get into that later.
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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.
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More about Joann Sfar...

Other Books in the Series

Le Chat du Rabbin (6 books)
  • La Bar Mitsva
  • Le Malka des Lions (Le chat du Rabbin, #2)
  • Le Chat du Rabbin, Tome 3: L'Exode
  • Le Chat du Rabbin, Tome 4: Le Paradis terrestre
  • Jérusalem d'Afrique (Le Chat du Rabbin #5)
  • Tu n'auras pas d'autre dieu que moi (Le Chat du Rabbin, #6)

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