Asterix and the Chariot Race
|Asterix and the Chariot Race |
(Astérix et la Transitalique)
|Date of publication||2017|
978-2-86497-328-7 (Version luxe)
|Publisher||Orion Children's Books|
|Preceded by||Asterix and the Missing Scroll|
Asterix and the Chariot Race (French: Astérix et la Transitalique, "Asterix and the Trans-Italic") is the 37th book in the Asterix series, and the third to be written by Jean-Yves Ferri and illustrated by Didier Conrad. The book was released worldwide in more than 20 languages on 19 October 2017 with an initial print run of 5 million copies.
Responding to criticism of the “deplorable” condition of Roman roads in the regions, Senator Lactus Bifidus proposes a chariot race across the Italic Peninsula to showcase the “excellent” roads. The race is open to all people of the known world. Julius Caesar endorses the race but insists that a Roman must win for the sake of unity across the Italic Peninsula.
In Gaul, Asterix and Obelix are taking Geriatrix to a dentist at a market in Darioritum, when a sibyl predicts Obelix will become a champion charioteer. Obelix then buys a sports chariot on credit, quits his menhir business and joins the trans-Italic race, accompanied by Asterix and Dogmatix. Over the course of the race, they encounter a range of competitors from other lands, as well as the people and cuisines of Ancient Italy.
Only five teams manage to complete the race, with the two Gauls narrow victors. Weary of the frantic pace of chariot racing, Obelix gives the trophy to Asterix, who hands it over to the Kushite team, who in turn give it to the Sarmatians. The trophy ends up with the perennially late Lusitanian team, who request the equivalent in sesterces. Obelix then declares he wants to return home and resume making menhirs.
|Team||Drivers||Chariot motif||Result||Additional information|
|Gauls||Obelix and Asterix||Gallic rooster||1st - Winners||Horses stolen from Romans in return for four menhirs. Victors.|
|Bretons||Madmax and Ecotax||Lions||Retired||Chariot sabotaged on leaving Parma.|
|Lusitanians||Bitovamess and Undaduress||Fish||5th||Although always late due to chariot maintenance, and despite finishing fifth, they end up with the trophy.|
|Kushites||Princesses Nefersaynefer and Kweenlatifer||Cheetah hieroglyph||2nd||Zebras pull their chariot. Kweenlatifer falls in love with Dogmatix.|
|Romans||Coronavirus and Bacillus; Julius Caesar||Aquila||Retired||The favorite, Coronavirus (real name Testus Terone), quits the race upon learning his co-driver cheated. Replaced by Julius Caesar, who almost wins but is immobilized by a pot-hole.|
|Pirates||Redbeard and Lookout||Jolly roger||Retired||They sink in marshes of Venexia.|
|Cimbri||Zerogluten and Betakaroten||Moose skull and antlers||Retired||Slaves of Bifidus, they sabotage many other chariots. Eliminated when Obelix crushes their chariot.|
|Sarmatians||Tekaloadov and Wotaloadov||Bear||3rd|
|Greeks||Yudabos and Attalos||Golden fleece||4th|
|Normans||Skinnidecaf and Gamefralaf||Shields||Retired||Quit the race because of homesickness due to good weather and civilization.|
|Persians||Unnamed||Bull||Retired||Eliminated due to sabotage.|
There are several other teams, including a Belgian named Outinthastix and his compatriot, two competitors who resemble Hells Angels, two Goths in a wolf-motif chariot, as well as Helvetians, Ligurians, Etruscans, and Calabrians.
Comics Review said the book is "furiously funny and hilariously jam-packed with and timeless jibes and cracking contemporary swipes"
- The English edition is the first Asterix book to be translated by Adriana Hunter, following the retirement of long-time translator Anthea Bell. At the end of the book, there is a message of thanks to Bell from the publishers for "her wonderful translation work on Asterix over the years".
- Some of the characters in the book are obvious caricatures of real-life people. The innkeeper in Parma resembles opera singer Luciano Pavarotti, while the famous Roman masked charioteer Coronavirus is modeled on racing driver Alain Prost, and the garum tycoon Lupus is modeled on former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. French media noted that Nefersaynefer and Kweenlatifer resemble Venus and Serena Williams. Reviewers also noted a waitress at the roadside inn in Tibur resembles Italian actress Sophia Loren.
- The statues and the mysterious beauty with the charming smile which Asterix and Obelix encounter in Florencia (Florence) are a clear nod to the city's later significance as the center and birthplace of the Italian Renaissance.
- The scenes in Sena Julia, where the racers are going in a circle searching for an inn, are a pun on the Palio di Siena and the Piazza del Campo.
- While passing Pompeii, Obelix temporarily forestalls a catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
- At one point, Asterix and Obelix pass a group of Gaulish tourists with a "house-wagon". This type of mobile convenience appeared for the first (and until this issue, last) time in Asterix in Spain (1969).
- Asterix and the Chariot Race Official Website
- "Asterix creator Albert Uderzo turns 90". Deutsche Welle. 25 April 2017. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
- Johnston, Rich. ""Asterix" Sets A 5 Million Print Run For Its First Printing" (20 July 2017). Bleeding Cool. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
- Jort, Marion (9 October 2017). ""Astérix et la Transitalique": le méchant du nouveau tome est un virus". Le Huffington Post SAS. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
- "Astérix et la Transitalique (Astérix, #37)". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
- "Asterix and the Chariot Race". Now Read This!. 2017-11-06. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
- Jean-Yves Ferri (2 November 2017). Asterix: Asterix and the Chariot Race: Album 37. Hachette Children's Group. pp. 47–. ISBN 978-1-5101-0402-0.
- Asterix et la Transitalique : Ferri et Conrad toujours attendus au tournant, Le Figaro 20 October 2017 (in French). Accessed on 27 October 2017.
- Younès, Monique (19 October 2017). ""Astérix et la Transitalique" : le nouvel album des irréductibles Gaulois". RTL. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
- Potet, Frédéric (19 October 2017). "« Astérix et la Transitalique » : le voyage en Italie d'Astérix et Obélix". Le Monde. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
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