The Rabbi’s Cat by Joann Sfar is a graphic novel – no it is the graphic novel – we’ll get to that in the next paragraph. The graphic novel tells the story of a cat who eats a parrot and gains the ability to speak. The first thing the cat does with his ability to speak? He lies. And it is this that made me fall in love with what can only be described as one of the most beautiful books I have read this year.
I love this graphic novel. I love everything about it. I love the characters and the artwork and the storylines. I love the religious debates between the cat and the rabbi. This book is forever imprinted on my heart as one of the greatest books I have or will ever read and I cannot look forward to getting the second – I need it in my life.
Okay, so I might be mildly obsessed with this graphic novel. I’m going to begin by saying that I knew nothing about The Rabbi’s Cat before I discovered it at my local library. Therefore I don’t have all the information about the series or how the books work out – there could be an order, there could be other books that I don’t know about. All I do know is that I thought it’ll be a humorous book to read.
It is humorous.
It is also mindblowing.
I gave The Rabbi’s Cat my full attention. I thought I’d be able to read it before bed. I couldn’t. I put the book down in order to be fully awake and acknowledge every single panel and thought process the cat went through. The cat takes religious debates and mentions science whilst also giving insight into the world he inhabits. He and the rabbi are perfect foils for one another, joined together in their love of the rabbi’s daughter Zlabya.
The Rabbi’s Cat is a great thing to read in 2014 because it teaches you about a world you might not have known about otherwise. I certainly didn’t. I didn’t know anything about Judaism or it’s beliefs, but it did not matter because the book taught me – it doesn’t preach – it offers a great debate for people who might struggle with religion but it’s not a religious book.
It is smart.
It is a book that is pressed firmly into my mind. It makes me want to go out and read more graphic novels – I’m already searching for more works by Sfar but I also want to read graphic novels as an actual medium of telling stories. I’m not going to lie and pretend that there hasn’t been stigma against graphic novels in the past. There has and still is. Folk feel they have to excuse why they read Maus – a book I also need to read.
I am just unable to express in words how much this graphic novel means to me. To talk about it makes me stutter – it makes me feel alive with words and joy and all of the things a good book does for you.
Please, if you read any book in your life, read this. If you dislike reading but want to read more – graphic novels are a great starting point.
If you have any recommendations of graphic novels let me know.
Until next time, that is all.