Cartoon History of the Universe 2

Larry Gonick, Author Main Street Books $23.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-385-42093-8
Gonick has done it again with a diffuse but deep excavation into early civilizations from ancient China to the Germanic tribes. In some ways, Gonick asks a lot of American readership's occidental training by detailing every dynastic hotshot from the Orient. This also being a fertile time for the development of religious cults, Gonick spends much time on Christ (whom he insists on calling ``Jeshua ben Joseph''), Confucius, (not, one might note, Lao Tsu or K'ung fu-tsze), Buddha and the like. Gonick's main focus is not to outline the contributions that allowed their teachings to survive the centuries, but rather to humanize them, and some come across as fanatical seekers simply looking for a following, a good meal, a wicked battle, a girlfriend or a shower. The artist's style is versatile and engaging, and his asides, puns and parenthetical references do much to keep the reader's attention throughout this tome, but that cannot entirely make up for the fact that some of this history is just plain dry. However, aficionados of cartoon blood, backstabbing, sex and history will love this volume, and might find a place for it near their encyclopedias. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/19/1994
Release date: 09/01/1994
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-385-26520-1
Prebound-Glued - 978-0-606-22640-0
Hardcover - 109 pages - 978-0-89620-081-4
Prebound-Glued - 358 pages - 978-1-4177-1076-8
Prebound-Glued - 305 pages - 978-1-4177-1082-9
Hardcover - 311 pages - 978-0-393-05184-1
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