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Riad Sattouf
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The Arab of the Future

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message 1: by Eric (last edited Jul 04, 2017 09:34AM) (new)

Eric Anderson (LonesomeReader) | 15 comments Mod
The Arab of the Future
This graphic memoir tells the unforgettable story of Riad Sattouf's childhood, spent in the shadows of three dictators - Muammar Gaddafi, Hafez al-Assad, and his father.
In striking, virtuoso graphic style that captures both the immediacy of childhood and the fervor of political idealism, Riad Sattouf recounts his nomadic childhood growing up in rural France, Gaddafi's Libya, and Assad's Syria - but always under the roof of his father, a Syrian Pan-Arabist who drags his family along in his pursuit of grandiose dreams for the Arab nation.
Riad, delicate and wide-eyed, follows in the trail of his mismatched parents: his mother, a bookish French student, is as modest as his father is flamboyant. Venturing first to the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab State and then joining the family tribe in Homs, Syria, they hold fast to the vision of the paradise that always lies just around the corner. And hold they do, though food is scarce, children kill dogs for sport, and with locks banned, the Sattoufs come home one day to discover another family occupying their apartment. The ultimate outsider, Riad, with his flowing blond hair, is called the ultimate insult... Jewish. And in no time at all, his father has come up with yet another grand plan, moving from building a new people to building his own great palace.
Brimming with life and dark humour, The Arab of the Future reveals the truth and texture of one eccentric family in an absurd Middle East, and also introduces a master cartoonist in a work destined to stand alongside Maus and Persepolis.

Let us know your thoughts about this book plus any questions, reactions or topics of discussion you'd like us to talk about in the book club video we'll record together.

message 2: by Paul (new)

Paul Emmerson Due to time limitations I try to carefully select what I read to get the most out of it. However, I also see the importance of book clubs to send you off on a tangent and experience different aspects of literature. Reading 'The Arab if the Future' proves how important this is because I would never have considered this graphic novel in a million years but I loved every second of it. This shows what a wonderful book club this is and is going to be with the nature of the books and the focus so carefully considered. The opportunity to read a young mans perspective a world away from own, written with humour and detail but without consuming the reader with the intricacies and complexities of the politics, was mind blowing and worthy of a read in one whole sitting. And there are 2 more! Man o man! Loved this book. It is consuming my mind.

message 3: by Eric (new)

Eric Anderson (LonesomeReader) | 15 comments Mod
Thank you, Paul! I'm so glad you felt this way and were moved by this graphic memoir. It's quite special as a thoroughly enjoyable reading experience as well as making you think. Bringing a book like this to people's attention who probably wouldn't have read it otherwise is exactly why we made the club. Yay!

Book two is equally compelling and you can see the development of the parents so much more. I'm so eager for the third volume!

message 4: by Paul (new)

Paul Emmerson Thank you for guided me to it Eric.

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