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The Castafiore Emerald (The Adventures of Tintin) Paperback – September 30, 1975


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Series: The Adventures of Tintin: Original Classic
  • Paperback: 62 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (September 30, 1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316358428
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316358422
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7.5 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #249,873 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The Castafiore Emerald was Herge's third-to-last completed Tintin story, and the most unconventional. Rather than a globe-trotting adventure, it takes place completely at Marlinspike Hall, where an incapacitated Captain Haddock is being nursed back to health by an unwelcome visitor in the form of Bianca Castafiore, the "Milanese Nightingale" who then suffers a devastating loss ("Mercy, my jewels!"). It's disfavored by some fans due to the lack of action, but the locked-room mystery, character interactions, running gags, and crazy Calculus inventions keep it fun and definitely worth reading. --David Horiuchi

About the Author

Hergé, one of the most famous Belgians in the world, was a comics writer and artist. The internationally successful Adventures of Tintin are his most well-known and beloved works. They have been translated into 38 different languages and have inspired such legends as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. He wrote and illustrated for The Adventures of Tintin until his death in 1983.

More About the Author

Hergé, one of the most famous Belgians in the world, was a comics writer and artist. The internationally successful Adventures of Tintin are his most well-known and beloved works. They have been translated into 38 different languages and have inspired such legends as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. He wrote and illustrated for "The Adventures of Tintin" until his death in 1983.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jay Dickson VINE VOICE on July 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
Later in his career Herg' set himself of writing what amounts to a kind of anti-Tintin adventure, where nothing really happens to his cast of characters (there are no opium smuggling rings to smash nor any political coups to thwart), and yet everything happens all the same. THE CASTAFIORE EMERALD may in many ways be Herg''s masterpiece, and it is unquestionably the funniest of all his tales, revolving as it does on the theme of miscommunication ("No, this is not Cutts the butcher!"). Naturally at the very heart of it is the Milanese Nightingale herself, Bianca Castafiore, the world's greatest opera star, who deigns to descend upon the only two people in the world who cannot bear to hear her sing, Tintin and Captain Hamhock (er, Haddock). In addition to La Castafiore comes her entourage (her accompaniest Wagner and her maid Irma), a gaggle of photographers, a suspicious band of gypsies, a television crew, and even a local brass band. Before the tale is done Dr. Calculus will experiment with roses and color television, Tintin will have a mystery or two to unravel, Captain Fatstock (er, Haddock) will explode with fury an untold number of times, and the divine Castafiore will be asked (as always) to sing, to Tintin and Captain Haddock's horror, her signature aria from "Faust." "Yes, it was the 'Jewel Song' from 'Faust' that swept me to the pinnacle of fame," the opera star modestly informs her television interviewer, "They say I'm divine..." And she is.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By ilmk on February 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
The Castafiore Emerald is without a doubt the funniest Tintin. But it's not the best. The reason is, it is solely confined to Marlinspike and Castafiore is truly irritating. However, it does give Captain Haddock full license to swear like the old sea dog he is. The ending is not climatic but you see why Herge had to write it. Castafiore has been around for a long time (since King Ottokar's Sceptre) and not to write a book that centered on her would have meant many fan's letters asking for such.
A gem.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 2, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been reading and collecting Tintin books since...well, before I really could read! I have read all of them (including "Tintin in the Congo") and must say that this one is the only one which I truely didn't care for. Yes, it's a Tintin book which makes it still good for die hard fans. But if you haven't read any or many Tintin books and are looking to see which one to read next, I would suggest any of the others before this one.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Berecca on February 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
Once again, Herge had me giggling. Captain Haddock and Tintin have to suffer through Bianca Castafiore's visit to Marlinspike. Endless scales, a stolen diamond, and gypsies complicate everything. But the best thing of all is, it's actually plausible. I'm crazy about Tintin, all Tintin, and this book is the funniest.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Surferofromantica on February 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
When I was a kid I didn't like this book at all, but reading it as an adult I finally appreciate it for what it it, and would even consider it one of my favourite stories. Why? Well, the interesting thing about this book is that not much happens in it - there's no adventure, no jet-setting, no boats or airplanes or explosions; there's not even a villain. Just a compelling mystery, and lots of character development, as well as some pretty good comedy, some social commentary, and great use of recurring incidents. The whole tale is set in Marlinspike Hall and its environs, and it starts with Tintin and Haddock's encounter with gypsies who are camped out next to the garbage dump. Haddock invites them to use part of his land; then Bianca Castafiore drops in for a visit and the real fun begins. She's a prima donna, of course, and can never remember Haddock's name (Captain Hemlock, Captain Fatstock, Captain Drydock, etc etc etc), and brings with her a maid, Irma, and a pianist, Wagner. There's a broken tile on the steps, there's an owl, a nightingale, and Bianca Castafiore's jewels (how many times do we hear Castafiore scream "Mercy, my jewels!"?), which sometimes go missing. Calculus debuts his colour TV invention, Haddock has a romance (sort of), and we get a new character - Mr Bolt, the handyman. Impeccable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is very different from other tintin titles becoz itdoes not have to much adventure but has a lot of comedy.CaptainHaddock was extremely funny.The house was ringing about with scales,mercy my jewels ! blah blah blah! It was very hilarious and one should definitely
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By General Breadbasket on December 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
"The Castafiore Emerald" was Herge's 1963 adventure, set completely in Captain Haddock's Marlinspike Hall. It was probably one of my least favorite as a kid because not much happened in it and not many locations were used, but now I realize that that was the whole point, and can appreciate it that way.

Captain Haddock is enjoying life on his Marlinspike Hall estate. He loves to walk through the grounds with his friend Tintin. The gypsies, who have been forced to live in a rubbish dump, aren't having such a great time, so the Captain invites them to camp on his estate. It's no trouble, and there's room for everyone. Or so he thinks. Trouble comes when opera singer Bianca Castafiore (first seen in "King Ottokar's Sceptre") comes and pays the Captain a visit. Captain Haddock sprains his ankle on a broken step, and is confined to a wheelchair. People keep calling up the house, thinking it's the butchers. Journalists swarm in, hungry for gossip and scandal. Ms Castafiore sings loudly and smothers the Captain, asking him to dress properly and comb his hair. Mr Wagg adds to the tension, coming to discuss insurance. A television crew come in, the gossip gets worse and finally the Castafiore Emerald, Bianca's prized possession is stolen. Tintin decides to try and find the culprit. The detectives Thomson and Thompson think it's the gypsies, but it could have been one of the freelance journalists. Mr Wagner, Bianca's pianist, has been acting strangely too. Will all things work out right?

By the plot, I can see why I didn't like it so much as a kid, it's a bit more mature age than usual. Its actually quite interesting when you consider Herge's life at the time. He'd just been divorced, and apparently the overwhelming Bianca Castafiore is based a little on his ex-wife.
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