Sunday, October 26, 2008

Book Review: Iznogoud; The Caliph's Vacation by Goscinny & Tabary

Iznogoud; The Caliph's Vacation is a collection of short, animated stories which follow the attempts of the evil Grand Vizier, Iznogoud, to depose the Caliph of Baghdad by taking him on a series of ridiculous and potentially fatal vacations and days out, all of which fail hopelessly.

The stories and dialogue are written by Goscinny, who is most famous for the Asterix series, and the illustrations are excellent, provided by Tabary. Each of the stories revolves around the evil Grand Vizier trying to kill the Caliph in various, typically comic-strip style, vacation strategies each of which goes totally wrong and end up leaving Iznogoud in various states of disarray including being turned into a louse, turned into a shell and stranded in a desert.

These stories are quite amusing and there are a number of good puns and visual jokes in each one, but it is the characteristics of the Caliph and Iznogoud that amuse me most and after being out of print for many years, I was very pleased to see this book republished, having lost my previous copy at least twenty years ago.

This book is recommended for any fans of Asterix and similar cartoon books, and makes surprisingly amusing reading for children and adults alike.

Score: 8/10

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