VOLUME 3 IN THE UNFORGETTABLE STORY OF AN EXTRAORDINARY CHILDHOOD
Praise for The Arab of the Future series
'I TORE THROUGH IT... THE MOST ENJOYABLE GRAPHIC NOVEL I'VE READ IN A WHILE' Zadie Smith
'I JOYOUSLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO YOU' Mark Haddon
'RIAD SATTOUF IS ONE OF THE GREAT CREATORS OF OUR TIME' Alain De Botton
'A MASTERPIECE' Posy Simmonds | 'EXCELLENT' Guardian | 'Superb' Spectator
After having followed her husband to Libya and then to Syria, Riad's mother can't take any more of village life in Ter Maaleh: she wants to go back to France. Young Riad sees his father torn between his wife's aspirations and the weight of family traditions...
The Arab of the Future tells the story of Riad Sattouf's childhood in the Middle East. The first volume covers the period from 1978 to 1984: from birth to the age of six, little Riad is shuttled between Libya, Brittany and Syria. The second volume tells the story of his first year of school in Syria (1984-1985). This third volume sees him between the ages of six and nine, the time he becomes aware of the society he is growing up in.
Can you celebrate Christmas in Ter Maaleh? Were there video clubs in Homs? How do children of eight fast for Ramadan? Was Conan the Barbarian circumcised? Were Breton villagers kinder to their animals than their Syrian counterparts? How far will Riad go to please his father? And how far will his father go to become an important man in the Syria of Hafez Al-Assad?
Translated by Sam Taylor.
***THE ARAB OF THE FUTURE - THE INTERNATIONAL SENSATION***
1 MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE | #1 BESTSELLER IN FRANCE | GUARDIAN 'BEST GRAPHIC BOOKS OF 2015' PICK | NY TIMES EDITOR'S CHOICE |
I tore through two volumes of The Arab of the Future... The most enjoyable graphic novel I've read in a while
— Zadie Smith
This is a masterpiece that deserves the widest readership. The Arab Of The Future reminds us that, in talented hands, graphic novels are capable of carrying the weightiest themes, making us think, and touching our hearts while also keeping us hugely entertained. Riad Sattouf is one of the great creators of our time — Alain De Botton
The Arab of the Future is wonderfully observed, funny, grim, sharp and sad. Riad Sattouf, with his ear for anecdote, his nimble drawing and his understanding of human frailty, has created a masterpiece. — Posy Simmonds
I joyously recommend this book to you. You will be moved, entertained and edified. Often simultaneously — Mark Haddon
I loved it
— Rachel Cooke, Observer Graphic Book of the Month
Irresistible... Exceptionally good art. — New York Times
Sattouf experienced both Gaddafi's Libya and Hafez al-Assad's Syria while still a small boy. Kids don't spend a lot of time reflecting on totalitarianism, but they do form strong impressions. His simple depictions of living in an almost-abandoned building for expatriates in Libya, or of watching Assad praying on TV are the kind of banal micro-details that would lose their significance in written prose. Captured in the panels of a cartoon strip, however, they attain a luminous resonance that lingers long after you've finished the book. — Guardian
Excellent... The graphic novel has proved itself again and again. It already has its canon: Art Spiegelman on the Holocaust, Marjane Satrapi on girlhood in Islamist Iran, and, perhaps most accomplished of all, Joe Sacco's Footnotes in Gaza, a work of detailed and self-reflexive history. Edging towards this company comes Riad Sattouf's childhood memoir of tyranny... It's this sort of detail, drawn with the cartoon clarity of childhood perception, that makes the book such a success... The Arab of the Future is an authentic, emotionally honest memoir, and much more useful background reading for present events than a romanticised account of cosmopolitan, bourgeois Damascus would be. — Guardian
Like Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, the story captures wonderfully the disorientating effect of growing up between Arab and European cultures. Sattouf has a fine eye for the details and characters of his childhood in Syria, where the possibility of sudden violence was ever present — New Statesman
Not since Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi's graphic memoir of revolutionary Iran, has a comic book seemed so important, or been so acclaimed... There is a feeling that the book throws some light both on the roots of the Arab spring, and what has happened since. In a country - and beyond it, a world - in which bewilderment and anxiety at recent events polarises communities as often as it unites them, it has an authenticity with which no expert or talking head could ever hope to compete. — Observer
If you know anyone who liked the first two volumes of Riad Sattouf's memoir The Arab of the Future, the third has just been published and is every bit as enjoyable as those that preceded it — Observer
Expressively drawn, superbly observed and just the right amount of uneasy fun — Spectator
God bless whatever Proustian madeleine spurred Riad Sattouf to put pen to paper for his The Arab of the Future series . . . truly fantastic — Vulture
This is the third instalment of Sattouf's childhood in Syria, a life that takes in hardship, religious repression and poverty. None of which stops it often being laugh-out-loud funny. — Herald
I really think Riad Sattouf could be the Marcel Proust of the illustrated form. Charming and subtle, The Arab of the Future opens a much-needed window onto the Syrian past. — Gary Perry, Foyles Staff Pick
The books in the graphic memoir series The Arab of the Future make me feel like a child about to read the new Harry Potter or see the new Star Wars film. I look forward to them with so much anticipation and read each new volume immediately... These books are such a joy to read for their lively and expressive drawings and engaging stories that present the author's wide-eyed innocent look at his cross-national childhood... A striking and original memoir — Lonesome Reader
darker issues are presented in a way that allows you to feel the comic absurdity of the characters' egotism and insecurities . . . I eagerly await to discover what happens next in this cleverly wrought graphic memoir! — Lonesome Reader