Even without a shard of context, Mr. Sattouf’s story and storytelling would be irresistible ... The series is very funny. Particularly this second installment, which takes place over the course of a single year, 1984-85 ... Living betwixt and between cultures may be Mr. Sattouf’s destiny. It was hard on him as a child, and it may remain so in adulthood. But it makes for exceptionally good art.
This a darker book than its predecessor, though it’s still drily funny, Sattouf never failing to make the most of the aching gap between his father’s fantasies and reality. Clémentine’s melancholy clouds the story’s edges, while centre stage is Sattouf’s schoolteacher, a foul woman who uses violence and intimidation to rule the crowded classroom where she so enthusiastically preaches pro-regime propaganda ... To find out [more] , alas, we have a long wait. Volume three isn’t due until September 2017.
Sattouf has a smooth and easy style that invites the reader to move through his narration of life in Syria without being judgmental. Of course, reading the first volume in advance would add to the pleasure of reading the second volume; however, The Arab of the Future 2 is a complete book on its own. Using the magic of his visual storytelling, Sattouf becomes a darkly humorous, poignant, and vivid guide into the mind of Syrians, if not Middle Easterners, of the recent past.
Like its predecessor, this installment is deceptively simple in tone and style ... Sattouf's ability to convey his father's character with just a few lines never ceases to amaze ... Under Sattouf's pen, this state of affairs becomes an ingeniously apt microcosm of the larger world he grew up in. And if this installment is any indication, he has no plans to dial back his rage about it in volume 3.
This volume of Sattouf’s graphic memoir is more than just a coming-of-age story. It is a window into life under the Assads in a time of the Hama massacre, where thousands of Sunni men were butchered. It ends with a village tragedy, but one that could be a metaphor for the tragedy of Syria.