The Turk who would be Terrible like his forefathers is Ali's uncle Mustafa; his potshots at the trucks disrupting his weekly rabbit shooting are his revenge on the reforms (primarily the switch from the Arabic to the Latin alphabet) that made Turkey modern and made him obsolete. Establishing this less-than-urgent situation takes half the book; the balance is somewhat more lively. Because Mustafa can't read, Ali is able to convince him that the police are on to him, but instead of merely holding fire he flees, with Ali, repentant, on his heels. Rather unconvincingly, he discovers that Ali was lying, then forgives him because he realizes that he's wanted. The dialogue and the illustrations catch the spirit of time and place; the story's not much of a story.