Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Asterix and the Golden Sickle (La Serpe d’or) by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo – Book Review



To read the review in French, click here

Note: I read the comic in French, and thus, I would be using the names of the respective characters in French. For example, I’d refer to Getafix as Panoramix, Vitalstatistix as Abraracourcix, etc. I’d try my best to not review this book as an adult.

This is a comic by René Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo. This is the second instalment in the Asterix series. I used to read Asterix when I was young. I read this book in English then and now I am reading it again in French to improve my skills in the language.

All of Gaul is under the Romans except one village. In that village live spirited and brave warriors retaining their independence despite being surrounded by four Roman camps. Panoramix (Getafix), the village druid has broken his Golden Sickle. Without the golden sickle, he cannot attend the annual conference for druids. Also, he will not be able to make the magic potion, which gives the Gauls superhuman strengths.

Asterix is a small but intelligent warrior in the village who loves adventure and has no fears. He offers to go to Lutetia and fetch a new golden sickle for Panoramix. He is joined by his best friend, Obelix, who has superhuman strengths even without the magic potion. The two decide to get the sickle from Obelix’s cousin Amerix in Luetita. The task is much more dangerous than what it seems. The duo will meet all sorts of people in their journey – thieves, Roman Soldiers, etc.

I enjoyed the conversations between Obelix and Asterix on their way to Lutetia. One was clumsy, and made stupid suggestions and got unduly emotional, adding to humour in the book. Asterix was the intelligent man who had to devise plans to help their mission. The story also had a good element of mystery, where the two had to find why Amerix was missing in Lutetia. This suspense element was kept till the end of the book. The story was also very well illustrated by Albert Uderzo, as, where I could not understand the text, I could understand with the help of his illustrations.

The only problem I found was that certain characters spoke with a lisp. To express that, the author used phonetic spellings. Since I am a learner, I found it very difficult to understand the words incorrectly spelt.

I enjoyed reading this comic and I certainly improved my French while reading this 46-page book. I would rate the book a seven on ten.

Rating – 7/10

Have a nice day,
Andy

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