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Tintin and the Secret of Literature Paperback – April 10, 2008
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"A high-spirited double riff on the comic books and the theory alike." -- Evening Standard (UK)
"He picks up such potentially dry notions with...flair and humour, weaving them through the books with...highly un-academic glee." -- Sunday Herald (Glasgow)
"[Tin Tin and the Secret of Literature demonstrates] that Herge's oeuvre is as...symbolically resonant as Proust or Shakespeare...fascinating." -- The Observer (UK)
"[His] chatty style is so forcefully confident and his argument so tightly constructed and so well-supported...It's brilliant." -- Daily Telegraph (UK)
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Top Customer Reviews
Aptly enough, the book ends with a discussion of all the piracy, rip-offs, and rackets surrounding the Tintin books, completely escaping the irony that this book itself is one of those attempts to make a buck out of Tintin's fame. In any case, it left me with a desire to re-read all my Tintin books yet one more time, perhaps even in the French version so I can get the hidden references that didn't make it into English.
I really wonder what Hergé would have made of this book. As much as I admire the genius of the Belgian master, something about <em>Tintin and the Secret of Literature</em> feels like shooting a fly with a cannon. Enormous scholarly leaps of logic are made, such as "The Castafiore Emerald" being a metaphor for Bianca Castafiore's clitoris. Seriously!
This book is a page-turner, in the pejorative sense. I was constantly skipping forward, wondering if McCarthy was approaching any sort of worthwhile conclusion. The answer, for me, was no.
For the record, Harry Thompson's "Tintin: Herge and His Creation" is the best analytical book I have read on Tintin, to this date. Rather than attempting to describe the Tintin canon with McCarthy's subject-by-subject grouping, Thompson works effectively in a chronological book-by-book evaluation of Tintin and Hergé's career. Thompson's book is concise and unadorned with the lavish illustrations of the officially-sanctioned "Tintin: The Complete Companion", but it remains the most effective and efficient Tintin chronicle.