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Asterix and the Soothsayer by René Goscinny
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Asterix and the Soothsayer (1972)

by René Goscinny, Albert Uderzo (Illustrator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Astérix (19)

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998613,007 (3.92)8

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1970s (127)
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» See also 8 mentions

English (3)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (6)
Showing 3 of 3
Six out of ten. CBR format. On a dark and stormy night a Soothsayer arrives in town. Everyone believe his every word - except for Asterix of course. ( )
  theboylatham | Jan 25, 2010 |
Asterix must convince his village that their new Soothsayer is a fraud.

This is basically a great, big, hilarious historical romp. Goscinny plays fast and loose with certain things, but he knows his stuff nonetheless. He packs tons of French and Roman history into each installment; this time, for example, we learn about a number of Gaulish gods and about the types of divination practiced in the first century BCE. And of course, he piles on the humor even as he pens these informative tidbits.

The names are a real treat, as always. All the Gaulish men have -ix names; Asterix, (the star!), Obelix, (the menhir delivery man), Vitalstatistix, (the chief), Getafix, (the potion-brewing druid), Cacofonix, (the tone-deaf bard), etc. All the Gaulish women have -ia names, like Impedimentia and Bacteria. None of the Romans in this particular volume are named, but Goscinny's sense of humor still comes across in their camp names: Aquarium, Compendium, Laudanum, and Totorum. (When named Romans crop up in other stories, the men have -us names and the women have -a names, as per the usual Latin conventions). It's good stuff.

The story itself is fairly simple, but Goscinny packs tons of clever stuff into it. The Asterix books are a perfect example of my favourite sort of children's lit: they never talk down to their readers. Goscinny assumes that kids are going to get his jokes. They're going to see where he's coming from with the historical stuff... or if they don't, they're going to learn as they go along. As a result, the books are equally good for adult readers. And if you're learning a new language, they're an excellent way to practice; originally published in French, they've been translated into dozens of languages.

I had a great time with this. It's left me eager to reread a few more of Asterix's adventures.

(A slightly different version of this review originally appeared on my blog, Stella Matutina). ( )
1 vote xicanti | Jun 19, 2009 |
An unscrupulous soothsayer cons the Gauls into abandoning their village. A little better than most, as reliance upon magic potion and pitched battles is kept to a minimum. ( )
  burnit99 | Jan 21, 2007 |
Showing 3 of 3
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Goscinny, RenéAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Uderzo, AlbertIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Bell, AntheaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hockridge, DerekTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sztuczyńska, JolantaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Mir befinne uus im Johr fuffzisch vor Chrisdus. Ganz Gallie ess vunn de Römer besezzd … Ganz Gallie? Nää, Peifedeggel!
Die Gallier haben nur eine Angst: dass ihnen der Himmel auf den Kopf fallen könnte...
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0752866427, Paperback)

It was a dark and stormy night, and a sinister visitor has arrived in the little Gaulish village where Asterix lives. Prolix claims he's a soothsayer, and the townsfolk believe every word he says. Only Asterix knows better. How can he make all his friends see the truth?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:02 -0400)

It was a dark and stormy night, and a sinister visitor has arrived in the little Gaulish village where Asterix lives. Prolix claims he's a soothsayer, and the townsfolk believe every word he says. Only Asterix knows better. How can he make all his friends see the truth?… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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