This one is an oddity. Written to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Asterix chronicles it is a succession of ‘short stories’, flashbacks, ‘what-ifs’ and other scenarios even I struggled with. Whether it is lost in translation, localised humour, or just the machinations of a man (Uderzo) still smarting at the critique of his previous book (The Falling Sky) it was lost on me in part, but also some very clever humour in others.
It starts interestingly with the village about 50 years after the time all other books are set, so everyone looks older except for Geriatrix. Then we jump back to the present (of you can call it that) and as Asterix and Obelix head out to hunt boar the village plans something special for their birthdays – both share a birthday, however those who follow the series will note that there was some confusion over this in a previous album.
Characters from previous stories are welcomed in as well and share stories and ideas of old including a play, statues, and of course, the women (including their mothers) marriage.
It all gets confusing somewhat, but as I said, there are some very clever moments with reference to modern-day pop culture mixed with older Asterix stories.