Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

It may well be thirty years since I last read an Asterix book, which means I completely missed this one, published in 1996 and translated into English as Asterix and Obelix All at Sea. the sixth of the eight books written by Uderzo alone after Goscinny's death.

I slightly wish I hadn't. A substantial whack of the humour relies on pretty offensive stereotypes - sub-Saharan Africans depicted as leopard-skin wearing savages. (Cleopatra, noticeably darker-skinned than Caesar, does make an appearance as the only significant female character, but is nothing like the memorable co-protagonist of one of the earlier books.) Sure, the Europeans are targeted too - the Spanish and Portuguese feuding over incomprehensible differences, the Brits being posh etc. But there's too much punching down.

The major theme of the book is an apparent choice between reversion to childhood, or being transformed into stone - both of these happen to the unfortunate Obelix before he is restored to his usual self; the chief baddy becomes a statue and the nice rebel slaves are returned to eternal boyhood on the island of Atlantis. I must say that I might have been better to rely on my youthful memories of Asterix rather than return to him now.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 27th, 2014 10:47 am (UTC)
I stopped bothering with the Uderzo-only ones (I don't think I've read this one, nor am I sorry), but the recent 'Asterix and the Picts', which Uderzo wasn't involved with, was actually rather good fun (particularly in the Scots translation).
Sep. 27th, 2014 10:57 am (UTC)
I think you would be mostly okay with the classic collaborations - we read a bunch of those with daughter a few years back without too many omgs. The Uderzo-only ones are regarded as significantly inferior, yet another example of spinning out a creative "brand" to make money from a new generation in ways that destroy the "brand".
Sep. 27th, 2014 01:00 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the Goscinny collaborations are far superior. I also understand (though I'm monolingual, so don't know for sure) that the books work far better in their English translations than the French originals, so that might be why Nicholas has fonder memories of the ones he read in his childhood...
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

August 2022



Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by yoksel