Tuesday, April 08, 2014

The Black Island - Herge

This is the Hundred-and-eighteenth in my one-book-at-a-time bookshelf.

I first discovered The Adventures of Tintin at my local library at an early age. I don't exactly know when but I suspect it was before my teenage years. I notice that this story can be traced back to the 1930's but this 1960's English edition is my canonical version. 

Firstly let me admire the artwork. I could happily look just at the pictures, especially when Herge got to work on a larger canvas such as the cover art.

Secondly let me admire the characters that leap off the page.

Thirdly I should comment on the humour, all pervasive but counter balanced by the serious and compelling story line and the earnestness of our hero. 

Lastly the dialogue, which I can only assume works as well in the original French, but I suspect some credit must go to the translators Leslie Lonsdale-Cooper and Michael Turner for capturing the humour, characters and that indefinable something that is just the Tintin magic.

I've chosen to start with this story, rather than go chronologically, partly because there isn't a strict reading order and I'm sure everyone discovers Tintin in a unique way but also because I think this is the first Tintin I read. There is a scene involving Tintin, a train, Snowy, a cooked chicken and Loch Lomond whisky and I am taken back many, many years when I reread it. As I have just done. Happy.

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