Monday, December 5, 2016

Book Review: The Mansions of the Gods by R. Goscinny et al.

Asterix: The Mansions of the Gods written by Rene Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo

The Romans' latest scheme to conquer that village of pesky hold-outs in Gaul is to tear down the forest surrounding the village and put up a town center, complete with apartments, gardens, shops, and a circus. Architect Squareonthehypotenus heads off to start construction. Neither Asterix and his friends nor the Romans camped around the village are impressed with his plan. As the new arrivals start to tear down trees, Gaulish druid Getafix gives Asterix and Obelix some magic seeds to regrow the fallen trees. Comedy antics ensue.

I've read both funnier and less funny Asterix stories. As usual, the jokes are all over the place--making fun of Julius Caesar's ego, punning on people's names, fighting ridiculous fights. The premise is fun though the Romans don't get very far in their plans. They use slave labor to tear down the forest, including some Numidian slaves that look a bit too blackface for contemporary sensibilities. Otherwise the story is harmless fun.

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