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The Adventures of Tintin, vol. 7: The Castafiore Emerald / Flight 714 / Tintin and the Picaros (3 Volumes in 1) Hardcover – September 1, 1997

4.6 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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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.

Flight 714, Herge's second-to-last completed Tintin story, is a high adventure featuring a gallery of returning characters, though it's a new character, Laszlo Carreidas, "the millionaire who never laughs," who starts the trouble by inviting Tintin and his friends to skip their commercial flight to Sidney to accompany him on his private jet. That leads to a complicated ransom plot, and the action just gets more outlandish from there. Suspend disbelief, though, and Flight 714 is one of Tintin's more thrilling rides.

Finished in 1976, Tintin and the Picaros was Herge's final completed Tintin adventure, and interestingly, he used it to return to a scene from 40 years earlier: The South American republic of San Theodoros, where Tintin met General Alcazar in The Broken Ear. Alcazar is again facing trouble from his rival, General Tapioca, and numerous other characters from the past weave themselves into the story. While Tintin and the Picaros is entertaining, Herge was slow to finish it, and his world-weariness is reflected in the attitudes of some of the characters.

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

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.
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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 (September 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316357278
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316357272
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have to admit I was a bit disappointed that none of the three tales collected in Volume 7, the final set of "The Adventures of Tintin," constitute classic examples of Hergé's beloved comic book stories. But that seems a minor concern when you consider the epic scope of Hergé's body of work. It is not that these are bad stories, especially compared to the ones collected in Volume 1 of this series, but rather that Hergé so often provided classic tales, with Tintin traveling to the Moon or diving beneath the sea, that these final three adventures do not measure up.
"The Castafiore Emerald" begins with Tintin and Captain Haddock out for a walk and discovering a band of gypsies camped near the rubbish dump. This offends the good captain, who offers the gypsies the use of a large meadow near his hall. However, no good deed goes unpunished and he receives a telegram announcing the imminent arrival of Biana Castafiore, the Milanese Nightingale. Meanwhile, the broken step on the front staircase earns Haddock a badly sprained ankle and the opportunity to roll around the adventure in a wheelchair. The diva and her entourage then descend upon the hall, literally adding insult to injury by giving the captain the gift of a parrot. But as Castafiore repeatedly points out, she has brought along her jewels, including an emerald given the signora by the Maharajah of Gopal. The gypsy fortuneteller had already predicted the theft of the jewels and we expect her prophecy to come true, even though Castafiore is constantly yelling about her jewels missing. "The Castafiore Emerald" derives its comedy from the clash of characters with Tintin staying out of the way for the most part.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's multiple adventures of Tintin in one book. Unfortunately though, the pages and drawings are just too small to really enjoy. The Tintin books I grew up on were larger and higher quality. This book is good for those who aren't sure they like Tintin and want multiple adventures for a low price. If you like Tintin and want to enjoy the books, hunt around and get the larger books that aren't compilations.
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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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By A Customer on December 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I read all the Tintin adventures that were available in the school library, I missed some that they did not have. Now 20 years later, I thought that I should have all the Tintin adventures. The 3 book series is a great way to collect and its also economical, but does not really bring the real flavor like individual 12 x 9.
Anyway, I got started with this one since Flight 714 was one of the best, besides the land of the black gold. I must say that most of the adventures that were dominated by Calculus were not very interesting, even though I have enjoyed Calculus' parts in all the adventures. Also, all the adventures that were space related were extremely boring. The rest are just terrific, the cigars of pharos, fligh 714, land of black gold, picaros, are one of the best work by Herge, who died a few years back.
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If you haven't read Tintin with your kids, you are missing out. The stories are great, and the people, places, and cultures experienced by Tintin make for great conversations. My kids enjoy getting out the map and seeing where he might have gone, and reading more about those countries. A great way to broaden kids view of the world.
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By Niki M on July 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wonderfully written stories by Herge. I would have given it 5 stars but for the tiny font of the letters. Very difficult to read the words. I grew up reading these tintin books and was very disappointed to see these tiny words. It took away the humor and fun out of the stories for my 6 year old daughter who was struggling to read the books.
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Format: Hardcover
Volume 7: The Castafiore Emerald (1963), Flight 714 for Sydney (1968), Tintin and the Picaros (1976). This is the last instalment of my reviews of each of the seven volumes.

"Hergé influenced my work as much as Disney," said Andy Warhol. Tintin, hardly known in the USA, nevertheless makes his influence felt here, with Spielberg (in one episode, Haddock risks his life for his captain's cap) and Lichtenstein among his admirers. Among the reasons Tintin is not well-known in the USA is that certain minority sensibilities risk being offended. Some will argue that it's because Tintin is too sexless, though I doubt that's it. Tintin's somewhat bland, unassuming sense of duty propels him and the stories, while the cast of supporting characters give the series its wonderful colour, liveliness and effervescence. It is, thankfully, not a superhero comic, these reserving their appeal to male adolescents and collectors, and not graduating into durable art until efforts such as Alan Moore's superlative Watchmen burst onto the scene in 1986-87. It is also not a comic strip like the great Peanuts or Calvin and Hobbes: it is an adventure series. We would have to revisit Terry and the Pirates for something comparable, but even so, Tintin has acceded to the summit of its art form, its worldwide appeal unabated, while Terry and the Pirates and the other great adventure strips this side of the pond are all but forgotten.

Volume 7 begins with The Castafiore Emerald, where the artwork is almost psychotically draftsman-like, some would say even antiseptically so. But for me, it's the quintessence of Hergé's clean line style and the panels are glowingly beautiful. The wheelchair crash into the doctor's car is a great slapstick panel.
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