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The Adventures of Tintin, Vol. 4: Red Rackham's Treasure / The Seven Crystal Balls / Prisoners of the Sun (3 Volumes in 1) Hardcover – April 1, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Volume 4 of the 3-in-1 Tintin series begins in the middle of an adventure, concluding the story begun in The Secret of the Unicorn. (Keeping all the two-part stories together was not possible in the 3-in-1 format because chronologically, the Unicorn/Rackham and Crystal/Prisoners two-parters are back to back.) Red Rackham's Treasure follows Tintin and friends as they search for the pirate booty procured by Captain Haddock's ancestor, Sir Francis Haddock, in the West Indies. They receive some unexpected help in the form of a hard-of-hearing inventor named Professor Calculus, who would go on to become one of the most endearing characters of the series. (Herge admitted that the character was one "whom I never suspected would take on such importance.") It's a lot of fun, with some submarine and diving adventures, humor from the Thompsons, and an unexpected (but satisfying) ending. The Seven Crystal Balls begins on a light note, as Captain Haddock tries to adjust to his new life as a gentleman following the events of Red Rackham's Treasure. He wears a monocle and frequents the music hall, where in a not-unusual coincidence he and Tintin happen to find General Alcazar (The Broken Ear) and the dreaded diva Bianca Castafiore. However, it's the act of fakir Ragdalam with Madame Yamilah, the amazing clairvoyante, that reveals the central adventure: the scientists excavating the tomb of Racar Capac have incurred the curse of the Inca. Despite the efforts of bungling detectives Thompson ("With a P, as in Philadelphia") and Thomson ("Without a P, as in Venezuela"), the explorers are stricken, and one of Tintin's closest friends disappears mysteriously, leading to a trip to Peru in the second part, Prisoners of the Sun. After The Seven Crystal Balls set the eerie stage, Tintin and his friends continue their adventures in Peru. There Tintin rescues an orange-seller named Zorrino from being bullied, and the young man becomes their guide in their quest to find the Temple of the Sun. But they find more than they bargained for and end up in a hot spot. The perils of this engaging two-part adventure are especially harrowing in their combination of the supernatural and the real, although the resolution is a little too deus ex machina. Calculus and the Thompsons provide their usual comic relief.

The 3-in-1 format provides excellent value, but the small size (about 40% smaller than the single-story paperbacks) makes it harder to enjoy the detail in Herge's layouts. --David Horiuchi

Language Notes

Text: English
Original Language: French
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 3 Volumes in 1 edition (April 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316358142
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316358149
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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By Mom bo on January 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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