The Adventures of Tintin
19 5.9 01. Tintin in the Land of the Soviets (Adventure... - Herge
The first book in the series which was not published in English in the original run of publications. Consequently, I never got to read it.
23 5.8 02. Tintin in the Congo (Adventures of Tintin) - Herge
Another book that wasn't originally published in English and I haven't read this one either. This book has come under a huge amount of criticism for it's portrayal of what was then Belgian Congo.
30 7.1 03. Tintin in America (The Adventures of Tintin) - Herge
Tintin goes to America and cleans up Chicago by putting Al Capone behind bars. On the way, he is captured by the Native Americans but manages to escape. The tone of this book is particularly simplistic and I was never too fond of it.
The only thing of note is the sequence of events leading to the Native Americans losing their land. Once oil is discovered on the lands where they live, they are essentially driven off it my unscrupulous corporations. This mirrors their shameful real-life treatment in the US pretty closely. Other than this sub-plot, the book is pretty mediocre.
30 7.2 04. Cigars of the Pharaoh (The Adventures of Tin... - Herge
Tintin tracks down an opium trafficking ring in a terrific adventure and encounters the detectives 'Thomson and Thompson' for the first time. He ultimately makes his way all the way to India after going through the middle east to track down the boss of the traffickers.
27 7.8 05. The Blue Lotus (The Adventures of Tintin) - Herge
The sequel sees Tintin make his way to China, still hot on the trail of the opium traffickers. Along the way, he befriends a Chinese boy named Chang and is caught in the middle of the Japanese invasion of China.
From this book onwards, you can tell that Herge was making a serious effort to research the locales and characters he created.
28 7.1 06. The Broken Ear (The Adventures of Tintin) - Herge
Tintin follows the trail of stolen statue all the way to South America. In the process, he is almost eaten by Piranhas and encounters some very shady characters who will stop at nothing to get to the statue themselves.
33 7.4 07. The Black Island (The Adventures of Tintin) - Herge
Tintin follows the trail of an airplane that he encountered in Belgium. The passengers in the plane were not very pleasant and shoot him as he tries to help. Once he recovers, he follows their trail all the way to Scotland and uncovers a criminal conspiracy. The story is very much like a Hitchcock or film noir mystery and moves along at a fast pace.
Interestingly, this book had three different versions. I seem to have read the third version as described in this article.
28 6.9 08. King Ottokar's Sceptre (The Adventures of Ti... - Herge
Tintin visits the country of Syldavia and is involved in stopping a plot to overthrow the King of Syldavia. Herge created the country of Syldavia with impressive detail and we shall return to it in later books as well. One of my favourite books in the series, it's a classic fast paced espionage mystery adventure thriller.
We encounter the diva Bianca Castafiore for the first time in this book. She appears in a handful of later books too.
29 7.9 09. The Crab with the Golden Claws (The Adventur... - Herge
Tintin is on the trail of another drug trafficking ring, this time in Morocco, which was still a colony when this book was written. While the story isn't the greatest in the series, the art work is fantastic. We get a number of stunning full page panels throughout the book.
We encounter Captain Haddock for the first time, an alcoholic ship captain who is being manipulated by his first mate. He's much more a hindrance to Tintin than a help (if at all). He manages to get drunk and light their boat on fire, then manages to get drunk and crash their plane and finally tries to kill Tintin mistaking him for a bottle of Champagne! Suffice to say, it's a wonder that he became a regular character at all.
23 6.9 010. The Shooting Star (The Adventures of Tintin) - Herge
A shooting star has crashed into the Atlantic Ocean somewhere near Greenland and contains a metal never before seen by scientists. Tintin and Captain Haddock join a team of scientists to form a research expedition to recover the meteorite and study it.
Unfortunately for the team, another expedition backed by an unscrupulous bank is also going for the rock and will not stop at anything to sabotage their opponents. We are led through a breathless race to the meteorite (included is a healthy dose of humour) with our heroes overcoming every attempt by their opponents to stop them to emerge victorious.
Captain Haddock's character has gone through a pretty thorough makeover. While he still likes his whisky, we don't get the drunken screw-ups that littered the previous book.
37 8.2 011. The Secret of the Unicorn (The Adventures of... - Herge
Tintin finds a model of the ship 'Unicorn' in a flea market and buys it for his friend Captain Haddock. That sets of a chain of events involving the tragic story of the real Unicorn, which was captained by one of Haddock's ancestors, Sir Francis Haddock. The scene where Haddock relates the story of Sir Francis could possibly be the funniest sequence in a Tintin book.
Tintin sets about unraveling the secret that is held by the model ships and tangles with some dangerous people who are also on the same trail and will stop at nothing to find it before he does. The prize could be the glittering treasure of the pirate Red Rackham, who had defeated the Unicorn in it's last battle.
29 7.8 012. Red Rackham's Treasure (Adventures of Tintin... - Herge
Tintin and the Captain have successfully found the co-ordinates of the island where Sir Francis was marooned after his encounter with Red Rackham. They go on a treasure hunt to the island.
This is the book where we encounter Professor Calculus for the first time as he offers to let them use his ant-shark submarine to explore the ocean floor and look for the Unicorn.
21 7.9 013. Seven Crystal Balls (Adventures of Tintin) - Herge
Someone is putting the members of an expedition to South America into a mysterious coma and Tintin is determined to find out who it is. The only clue is the remains of a crystal ball found at the site of each attack. The premise of the book is pretty hokey but it's a terrific mystery tale nevertheless.
18 7.5 014. Prisoners of the Sun - Herge
Tintin follows the trail of the crystal balls all the way to South America and the Incas themselves. Tintin and his companions are captured and sentenced to death for trespassing on Incan land. How will our hero escape from his latest predicament?
30 7.3 015. Land of Black Gold (The Adventures of Tintin... - Herge
Someone is sabotaging the oil supplies of Europe, even as war clouds gather. Tintin follows the trail of sabotage all the way to the source - the Middle East. In the process he lands right in the middle of the Arab-Jewish conflict in British Palestine.
One fo the features of the book is Herge's meticulous research again.
22 7.4 016. Destination Moon (Adventures of Tintin) - Herge
The weakest of the Tintin books I have read. Calculus is building a nuclear powered rocket at a research site in Syldavia. He wants to go to the moon and he invites his old friends Tintin and Haddock to go along with him. Unfortunately, there is a spy inside the research centre who is sending the secrets of the rocket to some foriegn power. However, this will not stop our intrepid explorers.
20 7.4 017. Explorers on the Moon (Adventures of Tintin) - Herge
Tintin and friends make it to the moon but cannot shake off the villians who are still trying to hijack their rocket. The story is still pretty weak.
18 7.6 018. The Calculus Affair - Herge
Calculus is on the verge of perfecting a very destructive weapon when he is kidnapped by the agents of a military state of Borduria. Tintin and Haddock go to rescue their dear friend. Borduria is modeled after an Eastern European communist police state whose rulers have no qualms about kidnapping and murdering people for their own ends. This book is a classic detective/espoinage tale, something Hitchcock might have created.
26 7.1 019. The Red Sea Sharks (The Adventures of Tintin... - Herge
Tintin is in the Middle East yet again. This time he is investigating the slave trade in these parts. We encounter a number of characters from previous books, many of whom were drug traders.
37 7.8 020. Tintin in Tibet (The Adventures of Tintin) - Herge
Tintin's friend Chang has been lost in Tibet after his plane crashed there. Tintin and Haddock go to rescue him after making a journey through India to get there. Once they start their expedition, the fear that Chang has been killed and eaten by the legendary Yeti who inhabits this part of the world.
27 7.3 021. The Castafiore Emerald (The Adventures of Ti... - Hergé
The only book that is entirely set in Marlinspike Hall. Bianca Castafiore, the (in)famous diva whom we first encountered in The Calculus Affair has invited herself to Marlinspike Hall for a bit of peace and quiet, supposedly. Once she gets there, her emerald is stolen and there is a number of suspects. Tintin investigates while Castafiore drives crazy with her attention and her singing.
29 7.7 022. Flight 714 (The Adventures of Tintin) - Herge
Tintin and his friends are invited to an international space conference (being the first people on the moon) in Australia. While changing planes in Jakarta, they are offered a ride on the private jet of Laszlo Carreidas who is also headed to Australia. Unfortunately for them, the plane is hijacked and forced to land on an island by some nefarious characters who want to lay their hands on Carreidas' fortune. Once on the island, they encounter some truly strange phenomena. What could be the cause?
26 7.4 023. Tintin and the Picaros (The Adventures of Ti... - Herge
The most worldly wise of Tintin books and the last to be completed by Herge before his death. Tintin and Haddock travel to the South American banana republic of San Theodoros to help General Alcazar overthrow General Tapioca. In the process, the want to stop the executions of their friends who have been unfairly imprisoned by Tapioca in an attempt to lure Tintin to the country and capture him as well.
7 8 024. Tintin and Alph-Art (The Adventures of Tinti... - Hergé
The last book featuring Tintin that remained unfinished at the time of Herge's death in 1983. It was published later but I haven't read it.
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