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Tintin: The Complete Companion [Hardcover]

Michael Farr
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Hardcover, 21 July 2011 --  
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Book Description

21 July 2011
This text explains the sources in reality of all the Tintin stories, which still sell four million copies a year worldwide. Politics, people, events and objects are all covered,;Tintin, the extraordinary reporter with his immediately recognizable coif and his dog Snowy, has been a publishing phenomenon since he first appeared in 1928. Herge, Tintin's creator, based the stories on actual events in his world, reflecting the political tensions of the 1930s and postwar events. The Anschluss and the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, the race to the moon, our Western fascination with the Abominable Snowman, the spying activities of Buster Crabbe, the revolutionary activities of Regis Bebray in South America, are just a few of the people, events and phenomena to crop up, inimitably satirized, in Herge's stories. He also drew on real objects: the aircraft, ships, guns, cars, clothes, buildings and so forth, that appear in his stories are scrupulously correct, and were often updated in subsequent editions.;This book explains the sources, of whatever kind, of all the stories. It also shows how Herge subtly adjusted the stories in new editions, adapting them to changing times and ideas, and downplaying their originally local, Belgian origins.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 205 pages
  • Publisher: Last Gasp; Reprint edition (21 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0867197544
  • ISBN-13: 978-0867197549
  • Product Dimensions: 30 x 23.1 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,551,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'Addictively browsable' (Daily Telegraph) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Michael Farr has written, edited and translated numerous books on Tintin. He was, for years, a reporter like Tintin, and in the same countries - or at least their real counterparts. He knew Hergé and is the leading British Tintinologist. His bestselling TINTIN: THE COMPLETE COMPANION was published in 2001. He was a consultant on the Stephen Spielberg film. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only for the real Tintin fanatics 2 Jun 2006
Format:Hardcover
This book is an amazing source of information for the real Tintin fanatics. For those of us who love Tintin, but aren't really up there with the fanatic Tintin worshipers, it's a bit too much.

To start with, note that "Tintin - The Complete Companion" is the English version of a book that, as far as I can determine, was published simultaneously in both English and French ("Tintin, le rêve et la réalité: L'histoire de la création des aventures de Tintin"). Michael Farr is bilingual and I'm guessing (although I don't know for sure) that the two versions are somewhat different. The English version, which I'm reviewing, is primarily focused on discussing the English editions of the Tintin books.

Following a 2-page Introduction the remainder of this book consists of 21 very detailed chapters, each of which discusses a single Tintin adventure. As three of the Tintin adventures are published as a pair of books this implies that all 24 of the Tintin books, from "Tintin in the Land of the Soviets" to "Tintin and Alph-Art" (the final unfinished adventure), are covered.

The amount of detail is incredible. Each chapter averages 10 pages, and although there are a lot of pictures and photographs from the Tintin books and other sources, there is also a lot of text.

The following material is present, and often very detailed:

- A synopsis of each story.

- Information about the historical background for each story, for example the Japan-China war, the build-up to WW II, WW II itself (a period of Tintin escapist stories), the Cold War, etc.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I'm 33 and have been reading Tintin books since I was young enough to look at books. Farr's companion to how and where Herge drew his inspiration for the stories is the ultimate work for people such as myself – hopeless romantics. Herge drew his inspiration from a fantastically wide range of source material, however Farr generally pulls back from exploring further some of the influences on Herge. This is especially noticeable when it comes to the thorny issue of Herge's supposed (but hitherto unfounded) racism and bigotry. Farr does not deal with these issues preferring to gloss over them and sticking to a safer formula. It depends how much information the Tintin fan wants; if it's enough to simply re-live ones youth and delve a little bit deeper into the man behind the characters in the Tintin books then Farr's companion is adequate. If you require a more in-depth and fuller study of the man and his times and his creations, then this is not for you. In conclusion Farr's done a good job and every page has something of interest. It probably is a must-have for all Tintin fans.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must-read, but with some shortcomings 14 Jan 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This is a great book for anyone interested in learning more about the underlying history of Tintin. There are many anecdotes and explanations here that any serious reader of Tintin would want to know about. For example, there are explanations of how certain books were affected by Herge's wartime experiences and censorship; or the real-life people certain heroes and villains are based on. It is lavishly illustrated.
I have three main concerns, though. First, the book is a bit sloppily written in places (strange for an ex-Reuters journalist). There is too much quoting of sections from books in each essay, rather than using this space to analyze the books further. Surely we don't need these sections quoted to us. Second, the book is far too slim on the two-part Tintin stories such as 'Destination / Explorers on Moon': these double books are allocated as much space as single books, which seems too short. Thirdly, there is a surprising absence of real bibliographic detail for a supposed 'companion' - ie there are no lists of when each book was published, where, and the kind of details necessary for real collecting of Tintin books.
In short: a good read; but not completely useful.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
By A. Ross TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Anyone who has a complete set of Tintin's adventures on their bookshelves should really have this beautifully produced book to sit alongside them. Leading British Tintinologist and journalist Farr spent five years researching this book in his attempt to provide context for each book in the series. The result is a work that charts not only the personal and professional life of the Belgian cartoonist, but also shows how political, social, and technological changes influenced his storytelling. Each Tintin adventure gets about 4-6 pages, and each section is beautifully laid out, with perfectly reproduced color panels, along with photos and clippings from Hergé's files to show how reality was incorporated into the books. The main theme that emerges is how Hergé insisted that the stories be grounded in reality as much possible, and how he took great pains to create a realistic world for his little hero to operate in. It should be noted that the book is aimed at those who have already read the stories, and assumes intimate familiarity with the series. That said, longtime fans will immediately want to reread each book after reading about it in this companion.
The minor downside is that Farr writes from an unabashed fan's position, and at times he's a little overenthusiastic, repeating certain information. One wishes that he'd spent less space as an apologist for Hergé's human failings and done a little more analysis of the stories. It also would have been nice to have an appendix listing all the stories, as well as their dates of serial and collected publication. These are minor quibbles however, because the book is very handsome, a great value considering the lovely printing and production. It will rekindle any Tintin fan's enthusiasm for the series and contains ample material for explaining why Tintin is timeless and so popular worldwide.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Fabricating the Cult of Hergé
Tintin is for a few a genuine passion, but for many more an affectation. It is fashionable to be a "lifelong fan" yet most have little knowledge of the characters, stories or his... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Benjamin Girth
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing background resource
This has to be the best background book on Tintin in the market. It makes one appreciate Tintin even more given the wealth of additional information offered by Farr on the... Read more
Published on 1 Nov 2011 by pedro57
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable, despite the failure of the author
Let me put it like this: This book will make you go back and read every book again, and it will feel all different and new!

That's how good it is. Read more
Published on 27 Oct 2011 by Sami
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Buy !
have been hunting for this book for quite sometime !! glad to get it atlast. pretty much fast delivery and in good condition too !
Published on 16 Oct 2011 by Harish
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!
This book is in English, not in French as the product description says. A great read for all Tintin fans who would love to know how each story came into being and all the work... Read more
Published on 19 May 2011 by Randy
2.0 out of 5 stars pretty pictures, poor text
This is certainly an attractive volume with plentiful beautifully reproduced examples of artwork from the Tintin books along with a certain amount of preparatory drawings,... Read more
Published on 15 Aug 2007 by D. Shelton
5.0 out of 5 stars Tintin: The Complete Companion
A very, very good boook for all you "Tintinologists" out there
Published on 8 Aug 2004 by Matthew Barry
4.0 out of 5 stars First Port of Call for a deepening interest in Tintin
As befits a book about Tintin, this is a handsome and lavishly illustrated volume that deals in chronological order with all the Herge volumes from The Land of the Soviets to the... Read more
Published on 15 Nov 2002 by Sordel
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful information explaining Tintin series' background.
You can enjoy the adventures of Tintin & Snowy a million times more with this wonderful companion book filled with amazingly deep and thorough research on the Tintin series by... Read more
Published on 31 Dec 2001
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