Amanda's Reviews > The Rabbi's Cat 2

The Rabbi's Cat 2 by Joann Sfar
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's review
Mar 01, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: african-lit, animal-as-mc, graphic-novel, series
Read on March 01, 2012

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 shows up in Zlabya's house, and he understands the cat! Soon a rag-tag bunch are off looking for the mysterious lost city of Jerusalem. We thus get to see a lot of Africa through the cat's eyes.

I have to say, I didn't enjoy this sequel quiiite as much as the original. I suspect that the fact that I was less familiar with the topics the cat is offering snarky commentary on had something to do with this. I really don't know much about Northern Africa or the "lost city of Jerusalem," so I'm sure I missed some of the inside jokes. Whereas the previous book was mostly about Jews in Algeria and the French occupation, this book seems to talk a lot more about the relative merits of the various monotheistic religions and why can't we all just be friends. The cat has learned to hold his tongue a bit, which is something I don't like as much. I have the feeling a talking cat wouldn't ever do that. Haha.

Overall, this is an interesting look at the intersection of many cultures, religions, and races on the continent of Africa through the unique eyes of a rabbi's cat, a wandering lion, and a friendly snake. If you enjoyed the first book, you shouldn't skip this one.

Check out my full review. (Link will be live on March 5, 2012).

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