Asterix and Obelix all at Sea (1996)

La galère d'Obélix

Obelix discovers that childhood's not all it's cracked up to be


Presenting a pretentious thematic undercurrent...

Explores the logistical consequences if people's wish for rejuvenation were actually to be effected.

Notable Nomenclature...

Continuity; lack-thereof and other gaffes...

Cleverness and contemporaneity...

Non-PC World...

Exactly as with The Mansions of the Gods

Obelix has a tender side...

Those Obelix-raison d'etre-ridding shrinkage consequences in full...

Classic Pegleg...

Summa jus, summa injuria = The most justice, the most injustice (p27).

What has by now become 'The African lookout's retort'...

'And quite some juicy injury too....'

More Classic Pegleg...

Nunc est Bibendum = Now it is the time to drink (Horatio: Carmina 1, 37, 1-2). (p36).

Piratical role-reversal: Classic Redbeard...

Felix Qui Potuit Rerum Cognoscere Causas = Happy be he who can recogonise the cause of things (Virgil, Georgica 2, 490). (p37.)

The African lookout's retort to Redbeard...

'Never mind the potty causes now!' (p37).

Good or what?

What

This worst of Asterix books seems to show a decline in Uderzo's creative powers; and if the rumours are true that this is to be the last one that is, on the evidence of it, no bad thing. On the other hand it could just be a blip (after all the previous Asterix and the Secret Weapon wasn't bad); and the other contradictory rumour of a new Asterix book in the offing could therefore be a welcome heralding of a return to form. Let's hope so.

Whatever the reasons - this book suffers from a greater reliance on overstretched continuity-jokes than ever before, these in lieu of any satirical bite whatsoever. The storyline is particularly contrived, self-resolving (Obelix just becomes cured for no particular reason) and has the disastrous effect of removing the character of Obelix from the narrative. The whole Atlanta sequence is pretty limp too, having no basis in historical or present reality. The African lookout's drum solo is about the only amusing part of the entire book.