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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Tintin Volume 8
Age Range: 9-11
The internationally successful ‘Adventures of Tintin’ are Belgian comic writer and artist Hergé’s most well-known and beloved works. Tintin Volume 8 contains four classic Tintin graphic novels available in one deluxe hardcover edition.
The Castafiore Emerald
This is a Tintin adventure where the hero stays at home. The story revolves around a number of supposed thefts and the missing Castafiore Emerald from Captain Haddock’s mansion, Marlinspike Hall. It seems like almost everyone is a suspect, even a cheeky magpie! Various outsiders, including a doctor and some gypsies, mingle with the residents. An opera singer invites herself to stay, with her entourage in tow. A builder is forever promising to fix a hazardous problem, and paparazzi skulk in the grounds. Additional “guests” include a television crew, a brass band and the two hapless policemen Thomson and Thompson.
Flight 714 to Sydney
Tintin and Captain Haddock really are going on holiday. They are on their way to the International Astronautical Congress in Sydney, Australia, where they have been invited as guests of honour and they are looking forward to visiting Australia for the first time ever.
Through a chance meeting with Skut, a character first encountered in The Red Sea Sharks, Tintin and his friends are invited to travel aboard the private jet of billionaire Lazlo Carreidas, but what they are unaware of is that there is a plot to kidnap Carreidas by Tintin’s archenemy, Rastapopoulos. Finding themselves as hostages they are taken to a small island where they are imprisoned. Though the situation seems desperate, help is about to arrive from a most unexpected source!
Tintin and the Picaros
Tintin and the Picaros takes place in the fictional country of San Theodoros, the unstable state first depicted in The Broken Ear. General Alcazar and General Tapioca are perpetually fighting for control. The latter is the master of the country, and Alcazar has been forced into hiding. Tintin’s friend, Bianca Castafiore travels to San Theodoros to give a concert, but she is arrested by Tapioca’s authorities on a trumped-up charge of plotting against him. Behind the scenes, Tapioca’s regime is being aided by the Bordurians and Colonel Sponsz — a character from The Calculus Affair. Tintin and his friends are determined to rescue Bianca and, along the way, they end up helping General Alcazar plan a coup to snatch power back from his rival.
Tintin and Alpha-Art
Tintin and Alph-Art is the twenty-fourth story in the Tintin series and Hergé died before he could finish this last Tintin tale. Hergé decided to write a story about something close to his heart: the world of contemporary art. Tintin receives a telephone call from his friend Bianca Castafiore, has arrived in Belgium for a few days and tells Tintin about her new spiritual leader, Endaddine Akass. When Captain Haddock visits an art gallery and buys a piece of “Alph-Art” — the letter “H” in plastic, the owner of the gallery is killed in an apparent accident while on his way to visit Tintin. Suspicious of the ‘accident’, Tintin begins to investigate. He believes that he has heard the voice of the mastermind Endaddine Akass before. Unfortunately, the story ends prematurely, before the criminal can be unmasked.
This four-in-one volumes of Tintin stories are convenient and excellent value. Although they don’t quite match up to the big print of the individual comics making it harder to enjoy the detail in Hergé's layouts, they still provide hours of entertainment as the reader becomes absorbed in the Tintin adventures.