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The Arab of the Future 3: A Childhood in the…

The Arab of the Future 3: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1985-1987 (original 2016; edition 2018)

by Riad Sattouf (Author)

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1136166,212 (4.16)1
In this third volume, (1985-1987), Riad's mother, fed up with the grinding reality of daily life in the village, decides she cannot take it any longer. When she resolves to move back to France, young Riad sees his father torn between his wife's aspirations and the weight of family traditions.
Title:The Arab of the Future 3: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1985-1987
Authors:Riad Sattouf (Author)
Info:Metropolitan Books (2018), 160 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Comics - Biography, read

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The Arab of the Future 3: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1985-1987 by Riad Sattouf (2016)



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Showing 4 of 4
So much about Sattouf's childhood in Syria is alien and unpleasant to me. Adults treat children, animals and each other cruelly. Living conditions seem squalid at times. Corruption is rampant. And above all else, Sattouf's father is a narcissistic ass.

So much of this book is infuriating, but it is told in a captivating manner that kept me turning pages.

Somehow, Sattouf manages in his portrayal to make his father a lovable narcissistic ass. And though I wouldn't want to live there, Sattouf helps me understand the nuances of the complex love/hate relationship he and many of his characters have with Syria.

(Side note: Conan the Barbarian completists may want this volume for the 5-page recap of the 1982 Arnold Schwarzenegger movie included in Chapter 2.) ( )
  villemezbrown | Oct 13, 2018 |
Arab of the Future 3 covers only 2 years of Riad Sattouf's life, from 1985 - 1987. Riad has a French Christian mother, Clementine, and a Lebanese father who teaches at a Syrian university. Together with his younger brother Yahya they live in the countryside village of Ter Maaleh where there are many deprivations of life. The power frequently goes out, there are no traditional grocery stores and many foods are scarce.

Riad is now 7 and continues to struggle with fitting in. Because he is blonde like his mother Riad is frequently accused of being Jewish. He and his best friend Saleem are star pupils and are never in trouble with their teacher. However, they incur the wrath of other students who regularly get caned by the teacher. They still manage to have a good time in an increasingly cruel society run by Bashir Al-Assad. His parents frequently fight as Clementine demands that they either move to a big city in Syria or back to France where she is from. His father struggles with his lack of religious piety, something that his mother demands from him, including a demand that Riad be circumcised like all Muslim boys. Success always seems right around the corner for this family. With interesting relatives that make great secondary characters, Sattouf has another hit with this graphic novel.

As with the earlier two novels. the artwork consists of line drawings with a color scheme based on where the family is located during a scene. The drawings are colored pink when they are in Syria and blue when they are in France. Since most of this story takes place in Syria, this book is primarily colored in pink.

I have looked forward to this book since part 2 was published. It was a long wait but well worth it. Now I have to wait for part 4! ( )
  Violette62 | Oct 10, 2018 |
As with the first two books, I find myself both fascinated and disturbed. I recognize a sort of cultural similarity between patriarchal societies and impoverished communities around the world. I have a year to go before 4 comes out in English. I'm deeply curious how the rest of his childhood went. ( )
  Zoes_Human | Aug 26, 2018 |
The third volume. Riad is now 7. The family still lives in the father’s ancestral village in Syria. His French mother can’t stand the village life, is isolated as she hasn’t learned Arabic, is bored and wants to live at least in Damas or Alep if not returning to France. The father still teaches at Damas but also planted an orchard; Riad sees buds and fruit being destroyed by his envious uncles but says nothing. Riad’s life in school and village, tensions and quarrels over religion within the family, the question of circumcision which the father strongly opposes, Riad’s attempt to fast during ramadan. The father tries to stay clear of all-pervading corruption but can’t quite avoid it when Tarik, the head of the presidential guard, takes the family out on a tour of the Libanon with the quiet understanding to receive a doctorate in return - without attending any lectures or handing in any work of course. His mother finds herself pregnant again and takes the two boys back to France for the birth - Riad’s adventures in Brittany, school-, family- and village-life are drawn in blue. Another boy arrives. On their return to Syria all 3 boys are circumcised; the father reacts strongly but had to give in to family pressure. Then a surprise: his father accepted a well-paid professorship in Ryad! To be continued…

This stylised and vividly drawn story is a joy! (VII-18) ( )
  MeisterPfriem | Jul 28, 2018 |
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My name is Riad. In 1985, I was seven years old and I was amazing.
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