Customer Reviews: The Adventures of Tintin, Vol. 4: Red Rackham's Treasure / The Seven Crystal Balls / Prisoners of the Sun (3 Volumes in 1)
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on November 25, 1999
Of course we've all grown up with so many fiction characters from DC/Marvel comics, Disney, Archie's`etc., each of them with its own appeal and flavour ...
What sets Tintin apart from all the rest, I feel, the brilliant quality of the artwork. The level of detail, right from the wheels of flight 714 about to land on that tiny island (flight 714), to the shadow effects of walking in a hidden passage to the Inca empire (prisoners of the sun), to the shape of the waves on which Tintin in a coffin is floating (cigars of the pharaoh), or the jaguar in which Tintin chases the gangsters (the calculus affair), the details are just fantastic and the right amount, without creating too much noise and distraction - as is the case with many of the DC comics - iron man, the incredible hulk, etc.
The stories range from contemporary to looking ahead in the future - swing wing planes, rockets to the moon, hidden cameras/espionage. The subject matter is political, and in my opinion slightly controversial at times. Especially the way Herge stereotypes native people in India (Cigars of the Pharaoh, Tintin in Tibet), or in the jungles of Amazon (The Broken Ear). But even here, Herge is way above the shady and simplistic plots of the like of Phantom and Flash Gordon.
The collection is more readable towards the later comics, some of the earlier ones contains situations which are too improbable and rely far too much on luck for Tintin to get himself out of danger.
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on April 1, 2009
Unfortunately I had to return the 4 tintin book I purchased from the Amazon. Amazon does not indicate the size of the books when you purchase them. The original sizes of the comic books were 8.5"x12". The new sizes however are reduced to 6.5"x9" and the prints are too small to read.
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on July 13, 2003
Watch out, this 3-in-one comes in a smaller size than the regular single adventures. Makes it harder to read and harder to enjoy the graphics.
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on January 18, 2012
I am giving these books one star because I believe the ability to actual make out the text and illustrations is a fairly important component to a book. My 9 yr old, who has perfect vision, sits with a microscope to read these books. The magic of the illustrations is lost printed this tiny. I don't typically look at the dimensions of a book before I purchase online - but there is no way I would have purchased these books if I had seen them on a shelf. I'll know better next time.
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on September 30, 2015
fantastic book. translated right . an absolute must have for children, teenager and adults . the hard cover is high quality. compare to the french edition its 3 books combine in one.worth every penny . the book have been made more portable .very light and easy to carry (fit in a purse). even though the book is smaller than the original the text is still easy to read .lots of suspence mystery and fun . ABSOLUTLY LOVE IT !

i recommend it to all tintin fans and to all the ones who haven't discovered tintin yet
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In 1929 Georges Remi, who worked under the pseudonym "Hergé," was in charge of producing material for "Le Petit Vingtième," a weekly supplement for the Catholic newspaper "Le XXe Siècle." Hergé decided to create his own comic strip, adopting the recent American innovation of using word balloons. On January 10, 1929, the first installment of "Tintin in the Land of the Soviets" was pubished in "Le Petit Vingtièm," telling the story of a young reporter named Tintin and his pet foxhouse Snowy (Milou) as they journied through the Soviet Union. The character of Tintin was modled on Paul Remi, Georges' brother, who was an officer in the Belgian army. The result was one of the most universally beloved comic book characters in the history of the world, and this book is the fourth volume in a series that collects three of the Adventures of Tintin.

Of course, you have been reading these in order, because if for some strange reason you start with Volume 4 then you begin with the second-half of an adventure that began in "The Secret of the Unicorn" (see Volume 3). Although Hergé offers a bit of a recapitulation in the form of a conversation overhead in a bar at the beginning of "Red Rackham's Treasure," you will really not be up to speed on this one. The main thing is that having collected all the clues regarding the titular treasure, Tintin and Captain Haddock are prepared to go forth and find it. However, almost as important as the search for the treasure is our introduction to the final pivotal member of the Tintin family, as Professor Cuthbert Calculus offers the service of his small shark-proof submarine for exploring the ocean floor. Tintin refuses the offer, but it turns out that Professor Calculus always hears somkething other than what somebody is really saying. Adding to the fun are the Thom(p)sons, who come alone with orders to protect Tintin.

"Red Rackham's Treasure" is mostly a pure adventure story, with Tintin using the small submarine and a deep sea diving suit to look for the treasure of the Unicorn. But there is still some detective work left to be done to decipher the final cryptic clues left by Sir Francis Haddock concerning the treasure's location. I still like Hergé's two-part adventure that sent Tintin to the Moon, but this two-parter is not far behind. This is the last of the Tintin stories Hergé wrote during World War II, and after this point we will definitely see his stories become much more allegorical in terms of post-War Europe. But this time around it is just Tintin, Snowy, and company out having fun beneath the deep blue sea.

Tintin's next two-part adventure is included here as well, beginning with "The Seven Crystal Balls" and concluding in "Prisoners of the Sun." The story begins with Tintin on the train reading how the Sanders-Hardiman Ethnographic Expedition has returned a trip to Peru and Bolivia. The gentleman reading over Tintin's shoulder predicts trouble, drawing a parallel between what happened with the curse of King Tut-Ankh-Amen's tomb and these explorers violating the Inca's burial chambers. "What'd we say if the Egyptians or the Peruvians came over here and started digging up our kings?," asks the gentleman; What'd we say then, eh?" The comment is important, not only because tragedy does strike the seven members of the expedition as they fall prey to the Crystal Balls of the book's title, but because one of the themes that Hergé develops in this particular epic is the respect Europeans should have for other cultures and ways of life.

This point has been implict in many of Tintin's adventures, but it is a dominant element this time around. Assissted by his good friend Captain Haddock, Tintin becomes embroiled in the mystery, which takes a more personal turn when Professor Calculus is kidnapped. One interesting twist in this story is that Snowy actually ends up causing more trouble than the Thom(p)sons. There is a seriousness to what happens in "The Seven Crytal Balls" and "Prisoners of the Sun" that reflects a significant turning point in Hergé's work, laying the ground work for his greatest tales, the two-part Moon story and "Tintin in Tibet."

"Prisoners of the Sun" concludes the epic Tintin adventure as the Sanders-Hardiman Ethnographic Expedition returns from a trip to Peru and Bolivia exploring Inca burial chambers when all seven members fell into comas induced by mysterious crystal balls. Tintin is already involved in the mystery when Professor Calculus is kidnapped and put aboard a steamer bound for Peru. With Snowy and Captain Haddock in tow, Tintin arrives in South America ready to rescue his friend and solve the mystery of the curse of the Incas. This involves a journey through the Andes Mountains and the jungles of the rain forest.

There is seriousness to what happens in "The Seven Crystal Balls" and "Prisoners of the Sun" that reflects a significant turning point in Hergé's work. The point that Europeans need to respect the cultures of other peoples is not only explicitly articulated by Tintin in these volumes, but is reinforced by the attention to details he puts into Tintin's visit to foreign lands. The ability of Hergé to grow as a storyteller over the course of his distinguished career is impressive and these stories deserve the accolades they have received and the affection with which they have been embraced by generations of readers. I have always liked his foray into science fiction with the two-part Moon story, but Hergé never did anything any better than this Incan epic. "Prisoners of the Sun" also has one of Hergé's best running gags: no, not the perpetual confrontations between Captain Haddock and the llamas, but the attempt by the Thom(p)sons to use dowsing to help solve the case.
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on September 16, 2013
It is great to have 3 of Tintin's adventures in 1 book. I used to read Tintin as a kid and always loved it. I bought these for my 7 year old son and he reads them constantly, a testimony of the quality in these times when the younger generation does not read much.

The only problem I've found with these books is that the format is smaller tan the original which detracts a bit of the image quality at times. Still, comfortable to read in a smaller size.

I also get to read them sometimes, still find them entertaining after 40 years!
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on January 9, 2013
My sister mentioned my nephew wanted a specific Tin Tin story for Christmas. After searching online I found this book that had that story plus two others all-in-one for about the same price as other retailers sold the single story. Got the book, he loved it. She lives in California and I am in Virginia. Had it shipped 2 day for free via prime to her address, she wrapped it and had it under the tree will before Christmas. Couldn't be happier with the Amazon and seller's service and that the book was 3 volumes in 1.
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on October 20, 2013
Grew up on these books and had a ball reading them when I was a kid in Belgium. So happy Tintin has become popular in the US.
This is just great. Moreover, Jim Trelease, lecturer about reading, recommended those books for the vocabulary. Can't loose having you kids addicted to those books.
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on December 29, 2013
My dad loves Tintin and this was a perfect gift for Christmas. On top of that it came on the 24th so I was able to wrap it up and give to him Christmas day. I also secretly bought it for selfish reasons since I too like Tintin so it was a win-win situation.
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