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Asterix The Mansions of the Gods: Album #17

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They want to pave paradise and put up a housing development. That's why a multinational team of slave construction workers are clearing the forest just outside the Gaulish town. Will the Gauls be fast enough to stop them and prevent Roman upstarts from moving in?


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They want to pave paradise and put up a housing development. That's why a multinational team of slave construction workers are clearing the forest just outside the Gaulish town. Will the Gauls be fast enough to stop them and prevent Roman upstarts from moving in?

30 review for Asterix The Mansions of the Gods: Album #17

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    Caesar has a plan to defeat the rebel Gaulish village once and for all - if they won’t fall in line, he’ll build Roman civilization around them and force their culture upon them! His brilliant young architect Squareonthehypotenus will build... The Mansions of the Gods! I always liked Mansions of the Gods but re-reading it today I didn’t realise how damn funny it is! The characters’ reactions are very extreme which helps. The centurion tasked with helping the architect is superstitious and terrif Caesar has a plan to defeat the rebel Gaulish village once and for all - if they won’t fall in line, he’ll build Roman civilization around them and force their culture upon them! His brilliant young architect Squareonthehypotenus will build... The Mansions of the Gods! I always liked Mansions of the Gods but re-reading it today I didn’t realise how damn funny it is! The characters’ reactions are very extreme which helps. The centurion tasked with helping the architect is superstitious and terrified of the Gauls so he demands the slaves only work at night - except all of them sing LOUDLY while they work. He becomes a nervous wreck as one group of slaves bursts into their nation’s music after the other and he’s so scared the Gauls will be woken up and punch him! Getafix has magic acorns for re-growing the trees the slaves uproot in the night (poor Dogmatix - he loves trees and hates seeing them uprooted!) so night after night the Romans work and the next night discover the trees have regrown. The architect slowly becomes a nervous wreck and it’s glorious! And later on in the book, Cacofonix, the village bard… oh, big belly laugh on his scene! There’s some subtext I didn’t notice when reading this as a kid: Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo appear to be criticising trade unions as they’re portrayed here as greedy and encouraging laziness in workers. The influx of Roman tenants nearby turns the Gaulish village into a gaudy tourist trap, the creators criticising modern tourism and what it does to beautiful rural communities. There are A LOT of racist caricatures here so heads up for that. It’s a comic from 1971 and it’s so good - well written, wonderfully drawn, and so, so funny and clever - but, yeah, it’s kinda racist and that’s a shame. I don’t think the creators meant it in any hateful way and black people aren’t portrayed any more negatively than other slaves but there’s no escaping those red, red lips. Le sigh. The Mansions of the Gods is another great Asterix comic that reads just as well - maybe better? - to grown-up audiences as it does to kids. It’s a good laugh and an excellent comic. If, like me, it’s been a while since you read these books, they’re well worth a re-read. New readers are in for a treat!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Amalie

    Personally I think this is too sophisticated for children, far suitable for adults. Funny facts: Caesar speaks in third person. The Gothic slaves insist on singing Silent Night (the German carol). The slaves and the Roman legionaries form Trade Unions. Romans are given a two-page promotional brochure/slab about the Mansions of the Gods with modern estate-agent jargon. A Vestal-Virgin is the hostess on the raffle to pick the new estate's first residents. Cacofonix again saves the d Personally I think this is too sophisticated for children, far suitable for adults. Funny facts: Caesar speaks in third person. The Gothic slaves insist on singing Silent Night (the German carol). The slaves and the Roman legionaries form Trade Unions. Romans are given a two-page promotional brochure/slab about the Mansions of the Gods with modern estate-agent jargon. A Vestal-Virgin is the hostess on the raffle to pick the new estate's first residents. Cacofonix again saves the day again with his extraordinary talent. His song "On the First Day of Solstice" earlier version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas", the Christmas carol. He gets rewarded Cacofonix is duly awarded with a place at the feast. The family of birds re-appear and (and Dogmatix)laments on cutting down trees. Here's the puzzle: The freed slaves are revealed as The Pirates??? I don't get it. Other than that, this is one of the best!

  3. 5 out of 5

    David Sarkies

    Asterix takes on the developers 14 October 2013 When I think of the theme of the Asterix's albums as being the struggle between the modern and the traditional (though traditional is probably a bad word because it is more to me like the idyllic, such as the small country town with its mum and pop businesses) this the the album that comes to mind. Basically Ceaser hatches a new plan to subdue the Gaulish village, and that is to destroy the forest and build a city around them. He then plans to Asterix takes on the developers 14 October 2013 When I think of the theme of the Asterix's albums as being the struggle between the modern and the traditional (though traditional is probably a bad word because it is more to me like the idyllic, such as the small country town with its mum and pop businesses) this the the album that comes to mind. Basically Ceaser hatches a new plan to subdue the Gaulish village, and that is to destroy the forest and build a city around them. He then plans to move Romans into the city so that they are slowly crushed by the forces of modernity. This idea does come to the fore, particularly the numerous references with regards to civilisation (being Rome) and the barbarians (being the villagers) though since we have read fourteen albums dealing with the villagers, we not only sympathise with them, but we also feel that the life that they are living is actually the better life. They have no money, and they do not have the conveniences that the Romans have, and they even fight among themselves, but not only are they happy, but they are also a community – in fact they are more than a community they, are a family. However, as the album suggests, modernity has a very insidious aspect to it. This is clear in the scene where the Roman inhabitants of the new apartment block decide that they do not want to go to the Roman camps for their supplies, but to the village, and start buying swords (or rather antiques) and fish at prices that Unhygenix and Fullyautomatix have never understood. All of the sudden, the village that had no need for money decides to cash in on this new source of income and we see everybody opening up antique stores and fishmongers. There have been suggestions that this album is writing against a wave of apartment blocks that were appearing on the outskirts of Paris at the time. This may be the case, and here in Melbourne you can see those ugly apartment blocks dominating the skyline in the inner city. On a further note even now there are numerous apartment blocks going up in the city and the inner city, with advertisements offering luxurious inner city living, and savings for buying off the plan (the average price for an off the plan apartment is around $450k). The adds are alluring, and the high rise, modern apartments are a sight to see, but one wonders whether they are actually worth it. While this may be a point, I feel that this is only a minor point because what the writers of Asterix seem to be getting at is not so much this one particular thing, but rather the destructive nature of modernity in an of itself. We see the village existing as a community and as a family, however the Romans, who represent modernism thinly disguised as civilisation, are seen as being a destructive force. The thing is, now forty years after this album was written, those of us in the city notice the disconnect of society and the dog eat dog nature of our civilisation. However, this album has a few other things as well. It comments on slavery, on fair work practices, and on the union movement. It also has Ceaser speaking in the third person, and even a comment on that – something that I suspected related to his war diaries which are written in the third person, though others have pointed to the Shakesperian play where he also apparently speaks in the third person.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

    Ceasar never seems to run out of ideas to conquer the last Gaulish village not yet conquered by the Romans. This time, his idea is actually incredibly smart. He plans to civilize the village with the Mansions of the Gods: instead of a forest, there shall be a Roman settlement surrounding the village. The architect in charge is the young and talented Squareonthehypotenus. Trouble starts Ceasar never seems to run out of ideas to conquer the last Gaulish village not yet conquered by the Romans. This time, his idea is actually incredibly smart. He plans to civilize the village with the Mansions of the Gods: instead of a forest, there shall be a Roman settlement surrounding the village. The architect in charge is the young and talented Squareonthehypotenus. Trouble starts as soon as the architect begins his project in Gaul. Neither Asterix nor Obelix like the thought of Romans hanging out in their forest. As soon as Squareonthehypotenus touches the first tree, though, it’s Dogmatix who can’t restraint himself anymore – never hurt a tree while this little brave dog is watching, or you’ll be in trouble. After some days fooling the Romans, Getafix decides that Squareonthehypotenus shall finish the first building. The building is inhabited by Romans, and they love visiting the Gaulish village and buy all kinds of stuff there. Instead of disliking that, the Gauls enjoy their Roman visitors and want to please them. Furthermore, the once peaceful village starts to change entirely. Getafix has not foreseen that, and Ceasar’s plan seems to work…

  5. 5 out of 5

    Vanja Antonijevic

    Interestingly, Goscinny helped Marx in the writing of the communist manifesto. At #17, this is another clear attack by the writers on social and political issues. Wiki states: "The book represents a particularly potent satire of 1970s France. Following the explosive riots of May 1968, Goscinny took Asterix in a direction with increasing content referring to current political events in France. This album represents both his dig against technocracy (the young urban planner), the giganti Interestingly, Goscinny helped Marx in the writing of the communist manifesto. At #17, this is another clear attack by the writers on social and political issues. Wiki states: "The book represents a particularly potent satire of 1970s France. Following the explosive riots of May 1968, Goscinny took Asterix in a direction with increasing content referring to current political events in France. This album represents both his dig against technocracy (the young urban planner), the gigantic "villes nouvelles" (new cities) of high-rises which were being created around Paris and especially advertising — the promotion of the Domain of the Gods which reads like a parody of soon-to-be erected golden real estate investment opportunity." Wiki summary: "With the intent to wipe out the Gaulish village by any means necessary, Caesar concocts a plan to absorb the villagers into Roman culture by having an estate built next to the village to start a new Roman colony. The colony is to be called the Mansions of the Gods..." Other Wiki points: "-Squaronthehypotenus' drive-in amphitheatre for chariots is based on the drive-in theater. -The quizmaster in the Circus Maximus who coerces the reluctant winner to accept his prize is a caricature of the French television entertainer Guy Lux."

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lusitarius

    I've never read this before. This Asterix was really good. It's ashame, that trees don't grow as fast as Getafix' instant-growth trees.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    Yay I found an Asterix book i hadn't read. A good book but not one of the best.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Derek Baldwin

    Asterix et al take on the might of avaricious proerty developers, and quite right too.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Suhasini Srihari

    A quick read indeed. Quite illuminating and intriguing especially when one reads this comic with the perspective of theories. The comic subtly poses a mind boggling question as what is the true meaning of 'civilisation'. The struggle of the people who live in close proximity of the forest lands to protect the grounds from the Roman invasions, and thereby retaining the nature as it is, everything boils down to how one perceives as 'progress'.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Pranjal Awasthi

    Quintessential Asterix goodness The Romans have commissioned a residential complex the Mansion Of the Gods. To construct the building forest tracts have to be cleared, tracts which have wild boars and please Dogmatix. This puts the legionaries against the Gauls and what ensues is a hilarious comic adventures. If you like Asterix you've probably already read this, if not, this is a great Asterix comic to indulge into

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jerome

    A clever, witty story. Caesar decides to encircle the village with a housing development, musing that it will soon force them to adopt Roman ways. The only problem is that the trees felled by the Romans to make room for the development mysteriously grow back again and again. A solid, funny entry. A few gags are a bit stale, though.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    In this one, Asterix and Obelix have to deal with Ceaser's latest strategy to bring the Gauls under Roman rule. He is building blocks of flats around the Gaulish village and moving Romans into them. Mayhem ensues.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Robb Sutherland

    This is the best way to learn French!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jc

    Everybody wants the latest in trends.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Francis Pellow

    one of the Asterix stories i missed as a child which is a shame as it's a cracking tale.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Luis Tormento

    With the intent to force the village of indomitable Gauls to accept Roman civilization, Julius Caesar plans to destroy the surrounding forest to make way for a Roman patrician colony, called the 'Mansions of the Gods'. The project is led by the architect Squaronthehypotenus, who orders an army of slaves of various nationalities to pull down the trees in the forest. With the help of Getafix's magic, Asterix and Obelix plant acorns that grow into mature oak trees instantly; whereupon an increasing With the intent to force the village of indomitable Gauls to accept Roman civilization, Julius Caesar plans to destroy the surrounding forest to make way for a Roman patrician colony, called the 'Mansions of the Gods'. The project is led by the architect Squaronthehypotenus, who orders an army of slaves of various nationalities to pull down the trees in the forest. With the help of Getafix's magic, Asterix and Obelix plant acorns that grow into mature oak trees instantly; whereupon an increasingly erratic Squaronthehypotenus threatens "to work the slaves to death". Taking this literally, Asterix gives the slaves magic potion with which to rebel; but the slaves, upon rebellion, do not stop work and leave, as Asterix intended, but insist on better working conditions, regular pay, and freedom after completing the first block of the Mansions of the Gods (similar to that of modern-day employers and trade unionists). Upon hearing that the slaves are better paid than they, the Roman legionaries go on strike for similar and better conditions for themselves (a common occurrence among French strikers). Since the freedom of the slaves depends on constructing at least one building, the Gauls allow the work to proceed. After their release, a group of the former slaves (the (almost) luckless pirates from previous adventures) "float a company" with their wages. Finally, the first completed building of the Mansions of the Gods is inhabited by Roman families: the first of these consisting of a patrician husband and wife selected by lottery. These Romans then go shopping in the village which, before long, turns into a market town selling "antique" weapons and fish to the Romans, embroiled in price wars and (in the case of some of the wives) assuming Roman dress. To counteract this, Asterix asks Squaronthehypotenus for an apartment, but is told they are full; whereafter the initial winners of the first apartment are continually harassed by Obelix acting like a rabid monster, with Asterix holding him back. The next day, the couple returns to Rome and Asterix arranges for Cacofonix the bard to move into the vacated apartment. As a result of the bard's discordant nocturnal practice, the rest of the Roman inhabitants return to Rome as well. Squaronthehypotenus tries to keep the Mansions in business by bringing the local Roman soldiers as tenants and expels Cacofonix from the building; whereupon the Gauls take this as an insult, and destroy the Roman colony. The legionnaires gratefully return to their camp and Squaronthehypotenus announces his plan to go to Egypt to build pyramids in the desert with "nice quiet tenants". That evening, the Gauls hold their usual celebratory banquet (in which this time Cacofonix takes part) and the ruins of the mansion are covered by Getafix's instantaneous trees. Text extracted from Wikipedia

  17. 4 out of 5

    Joseph R.

    The Romans' latest scheme to conquer that village of pesky hold-outs in Gaul is to tear down the forest surrounding the village and put up a town center, complete with apartments, gardens, shops, and a circus. Architect Squareonthehypotenus heads off to start construction. Neither Asterix and his friends nor the Romans camped around the village are impressed with his plan. As the new arrivals start to tear down trees, Gaulish druid Getafix gives Asterix and Obelix some magic seeds to regrow the The Romans' latest scheme to conquer that village of pesky hold-outs in Gaul is to tear down the forest surrounding the village and put up a town center, complete with apartments, gardens, shops, and a circus. Architect Squareonthehypotenus heads off to start construction. Neither Asterix and his friends nor the Romans camped around the village are impressed with his plan. As the new arrivals start to tear down trees, Gaulish druid Getafix gives Asterix and Obelix some magic seeds to regrow the fallen trees. Comedy antics ensue. I've read both funnier and less funny Asterix stories. As usual, the jokes are all over the place--making fun of Julius Caesar's ego, punning on people's names, fighting ridiculous fights. The premise is fun though the Romans don't get very far in their plans. They use slave labor to tear down the forest, including some Numidian slaves that look a bit too blackface for contemporary sensibilities. Otherwise the story is harmless fun.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Craig Sisterson

    The Asterix series of comics always had elements of political, historical and socio-cultural satire in amongst its fun-filled storytelling and layers of humour, but in THE MANSIONS OF THE GODS this strongly comes to the fore. The Romans have come up with a new plan to try to overcome our beloved village of indomitable Gauls: build some luxury high-rise housing. As Asterix, Obelix, Getafix, Vitalstatistix and all our other favourites try to work out how to deal with this latest threat, creators G The Asterix series of comics always had elements of political, historical and socio-cultural satire in amongst its fun-filled storytelling and layers of humour, but in THE MANSIONS OF THE GODS this strongly comes to the fore. The Romans have come up with a new plan to try to overcome our beloved village of indomitable Gauls: build some luxury high-rise housing. As Asterix, Obelix, Getafix, Vitalstatistix and all our other favourites try to work out how to deal with this latest threat, creators Goscinny and Uderzo are able to skewer many aspects of modern life, such as the naked ambition for dollars, comfort, and modern conveniences that can threaten communities and breakdown the social fabric. We all want to live well, but what do we give up if that becomes our sole focus? Another great instalment in an all-time iconic series.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Hunter

    I've read so many in this series that I long ago stopped reviewing the individual installments. They're all excellent. But with Israeli settlement policies, cultural appropriation and environmental degradation shaping headlines by the minute, I find The Mansions of the Gods to have a current political relevance beyond many of the others. Absolutely great!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sophie Wender

    Even though Goscinny was making specific points about the Paris housing estates, for an english reader this is probably best read in conjunction with the recent BBC series 'The Secret History Of Our Streets' - misguided town planning, middle class aspirational idiocy, property obsession; it's all here, if you can forgive the more racist bits.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bruce

    The Mansions of the Gods – As the Roman’s sponsor a neighboring suburban development, can our favorite villagers resist the corrupting temptations of modernity? Terrific satire of assimilation and upward-mobility

  22. 4 out of 5

    Colin

    Astérix books helped me learn French and now they're helping me learn Portuguese too. This is one of the best of the lot and I was pleased to be able to get a lot if the jokes, although I still struggle with some of the vocabulary.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chris The Story Reading Ape

    It's a well known fact that the Romans were execeptionally well organised, but when they constructed a building dedicated to providing a Government Service to oversee everything officially and demonstrated Officialdom at its finest, our heros had to cut through all the red tape.....

  24. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    I once saw a newspaper article that showed Asterix as the farmer fighting aganist the Roman Mikey D's. Here Asterix is all for keeping the forest pristine until evil developers come along. See, Asterix was green before green was in.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    AWESOME!!! There is nothing that comes close to Asterix - I have the whole series, both on e-books and hard-copy and they are some of most treasured possessions. I grew up with them and they are simply the best!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tanvi ganu

    A really nice book to read ....... and it is very enjoyable! It shows how they first like Romans coming but then they unite and drive them out of their area! The best character is of course the bard!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Edward Davies

    It's a case of urban renewal as "posh" Roman housing estates start to be developed in Gaul. much to Asterix's chagrin. This is funny because, as everyone now knows, this kind of housing is not designed for Gods!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Alexander

    I think everyone should read this book because of how halareous characters and great story. 010101000101001001010101001001010101010100101010010101010101010010100101.101001010101010010101010101010101010101010101

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nikita

    as always amazing asterix :)... amd obelix

  30. 4 out of 5

    Oliver

    Caesar's cunning plan to build luxury flats in the Gaul's forest does not go down well. Some splendid illustrations in this one.

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