One of the world's best values
I've read Tintin since I was eight years old and own them all. I just purhcased two to replace ones I'd loaned out and didn't write down to whom they went. Tintin can be taken on two levels, adult and pre-adolescent. The artwork is unlike any other, and the characters are among the most charming I've ever encountered. There's just nothing like these books. There is a host of regular characters in the series, and each has a charming personna whose very predictability makes them all the more so. Bianca Castiafore, the "Milanese Nightingale" opera singer, never sings anything but the egotistical "Jewel Song" from Faust -- "Ah, my beauty past compare, these jewels bright I wear" -- that's it, and the hilarious thing is, she very obviously is a horrible singer and yet is world-famous. The Thomson Twins, Thomson and Thompson, one with a P, as (the character himself says) "in Philadelphia" are identical save that one's mustache curls ever so slightly outward at the ends, are the most inept detectives one could imagine, yet they are constantly sent to solve important crimes, which, of course, they bungle awfully and must be rescued by Tintin. Cuthbert Calculus, a brilliant inventor who can't hear worth anything yet insists he's "just a little hard of hearing in one ear" and hilariously misunderstands everything said to him and has a heart of gold. Captain Haddock, Tintin's best friend and confidant, who lives in a mansion he inherited and who seemingly lives on whiskey. These books were written mainly in the '40s when drinking to excess was more a subject of fun and whose health risks were not talked about, and in any event, drinking always gets Haddock into trouble ("Oh Columbus! What have I done! I'm a wretch -- I had a drink") and the marvelously complex invective he shouts at enemies - "Pockmark! Pithecanthropus! Ectoplasm!", and variations of "Blistering barnacles" and "Thundering typhoons!", the longest iteration being, I believe, "Billions of bilious blue blistering barnacles in a thundering typhoon!" Well. I could go on, obviously. Tintin and his dog Snowy go on adventures all over the world. I've been drawn in by these books, never tiring of them, for a very long time. Anyone reading this should order every last one of them immediately, or, if you want to try just one, start with the first one I received as a gift from a friend, "The Crab with the Golden Claws." You'll be hooked, and will need no further encouragement to own them all.
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