Books to Give You Wanderlust: The Adventures of Tintin

In my formative years the adventures of Tintin were always some of my favourite literary exploration stories and fuelled the spark of adventure for me. Recently I made what I thought was a nice comment to a friend stating that he looked like Tintin. His bemused expression has since encouraged me to educate him and therefore revisit myself my favourite Tintin adventures.

 

Tintin in Tibet 

Tintin’s escapades in the Himalayan mountains has always been my favourite. Having been exposed to a great deal of mountaineering stories as a child it was always a repeat read. The story describes how, having had a premonition that his friend Chang was involved in a plane crash but was still alive, Tintin, Haddock and Snowy set off to rescue him. They encounter many dangers but eventually come across Chang in the cave of the Yeti who Tintin manages to scare off with a light long enough to get Chang away. The story differs from many others as it involves few characters and settings. It also manages to incorporate Buddhist mysticism in keeping with its location.

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Tintin in America 

Tintin in America features all the usual escapades, frequent capture and escaping death in the nick of time but with the added amusement of real life gangster Al Capone making a cameo. Written during the 30s, Tintin is thrown straight into the prohibition era Chicago before chasing down gangsters in a midwestern town, narrowly avoiding execution from a tribe of Native Americans. It features all the classic tropes of Americana in the early 20th century, managing to incorporate the Wild West and city gangsters.

 

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Tintin and the Shooting Star

In the snowy north, Tintin, Snowy and Captain Haddock along with Professor Phostle are in a race to find a fragment of a meteor spotted near Iceland. Claiming it is made of a new material, dubbed phosolite by the professor the boat they are on, the Aurora is continuously thwarted by a rival ship, the Peary headed by oil tycoon Bohlwinkel. Tintin manages to reach the meteoroid first and realises that it has certain powers and makes everything larger. It is interesting to see the usual adventures blended with a certain magical realist take; a chase through the Arctic Ocean and an encounter with something more fantastical. Ended of course with Captain Haddock stopping to refuel, not with oil but with whisky.

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Destination Moon/ Explorers on the Moon 

Tintin goes to the moon. Nothing more needs to be said.

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