Asterix and Cleopatra by Rene Goscinny, Albert Uderzo

The Lovereading4Kids comment

Philip Reeve, June 2012 Guest Editor, chose this book: "The Asterix books, by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo, were huge favourites of mine when I was growing up, and they inspired me to start writing and drawing my own comic books. I loved their (vaguely) historical setting, their anarchic humour, the clever plots, and the brilliant drawings which bring it all to life. In the early books the drawings are cruder, and in the later ones the stories start to get a bit too silly, but there’s a long run of books in the middle which are just about perfect. It’s almost impossible to narrow it down to a single favourite, but my top five would have to include Asterix in Britain, Asterix and Cleopatra, Asterix the Legionary, Asterix and the Big Fight and Asterix and the Secret Agent."

Jonathan Stroud, November 2010 Guest Editor, also chose Asterix:

"Broadly speaking I think people can be divided into Tintin fans and Asterix fans, and I’m definitely one of the latter. Sure, I can see that Tintin’s well drawn, and sometimes exciting, but it falls down badly on the humour front, relying mainly on Captain Haddock falling over. Contrast that with the Asterix books, which are jam-packed with visual jokes and verbal gags, puns and one-liners of every description. They’ve also got a wonderful kinetic energy and sense of movement, which I still find myself echoing in prose when I write a Bartimaeus fight scene. Plus there’s the wonderful alternative history, with the indomitable Gauls fighting the hapless Romans. The early adventures are the finest, and Asterix and Cleopatra (which reveals exactly how the Sphinx of Giza lost its nose) is perhaps my favourite of all."


Asterix and Cleopatra by Rene Goscinny, Albert Uderzo

Gaul was divided into three parts. No, four parts - for one small village of indomitable Gauls still held out against the Roman invaders. BOOK 6 Getafix, Obelix, Dogmatix and Asterix visit Egypt to help an architect build a palace for Caesar. There they are entranced by the Sphinx, the pyramids and Cleopatra's nose.


The Asterix books represent the very summit of our achievement as a literary race. In Asterix one finds all of human life. The fact that the books were written originally in French is no matter. I have read them all in many languages and, like all great literature, they are best in English. Anthea Bell and Derek Hockridge, Asterix's translators since the very beginning, have made great books into eternal flames. THE TIMES

About the Author

Rene Goscinny, Albert Uderzo

Albert Uderzo, the drawer of all thirty-one Asterix adventures and the story writer of the last seven books, was born on April 25th, 1927, as the son of Italian immigrants in France. He made his first acquaintance with comics through Mickey Mouse, which was published in the journal Le Pétit Parisien. In 1940, when he was only thirteen years old, Uderzo was employed by Paris Publishing Society (S.P.E.), where he learned the basics of his profession: designing text and letters, and editing photographs. His first illustration, a parody on Aesop's fables, was published in the magazine Junior.

In 1951 he met René Goscinny at International Press, who just came back from the United States. With him he should start a world-famous collaboration.

René Goscinny, the ingenious story writer and one of the fathers of Asterix, was born on August 14th, 1926 in Paris. During his childhood and youth he lived in Argentina, where his family emmigrated in 1928. Soon after he finished school in 1943, his father died and he had to give up his plans to study.

After a short intermezzo as bookkeeper in a rubber factory and as illustrator of advertisments he went to New York in 1945, invited by his uncle. Due to his bad English he had to survive with occasional jobs during the next two years. But in 1949 the situation turned to good account. Goscinny got to know Maurice de Bévère (Morris) and Harvey Kurtzman. The latter arranged for Goscinny various jobs as illustrator and presented him to Davis, Elder and Wood, who should later found the well-known MAD-magazine.

A year passed by with few jobs for Goscinny and first doubts came up. Only when Troisfontaines offered him a position as artistic director in an agency to be founded in Paris in 1951, he gathered fresh hope. At about that time it also happened that he met a young drawer from the Normandy: Albert Uderzo!

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Book Info


48 pages
Interest Age: From 7


Rene Goscinny, Albert Uderzo
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Author's Website



Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co

Publication date

29th April 2004




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