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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Of its time, but still an essential for the tintin collector
I'll admit I bought this purely because of all the fuss in the media concerning racism, etc and because I did not know it even existed- I have every other Tintin book.
The plot is relatively simplistic, but then it was early days for Herge and the character was not really fully developed and neither was the storytelling style.
I did not really feel that racism...
Published on 25 May 2011 by Mr. O. A. Lewis

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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Provokes Thought Rather Than Outrage
The Tintin series starts and ends with different types of weakness. At the end of Herge's career the books are visually elaborate but lack the visual spontaneity that makes Herge's greatest albums so loved; on the other hand, at the beginning they are masterpieces of the comic-book serial form, but they are weaker in terms of plot. Until recently, the earliest of the...
Published on 6 Aug 2007 by Sordel


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Of its time, but still an essential for the tintin collector, 25 May 2011
I'll admit I bought this purely because of all the fuss in the media concerning racism, etc and because I did not know it even existed- I have every other Tintin book.
The plot is relatively simplistic, but then it was early days for Herge and the character was not really fully developed and neither was the storytelling style.
I did not really feel that racism was a central theme in this book at all; just about EVERY other Tintin book has him, as the central character, being portrayed as superior to everyone else, either morally, mentally or physically, it just happens that in this book the characters happen to be congalese natives in grass huts, speaking broken english, employing a witch doctor,etc. I feel what the complainants really want is an apology from Belgium for the entire period of colonial rule (which admittedly was appalling) but thats by the by.
I wasn't too keen on the wholesale slaughter of african wildlife just for fun, even presented in a jocular fashion- tintin accidently wipes out a whole herd of gazelles instead of the one he was supposed to catch for the pot, for example.
But it is important to remember that big game hunting was a popular pastime back then.
modern day concerns were really not on the agenda of the average person when the book was first written.
accept the book for what it is, a cartoon strip written in the 1920s that has very little relavence today aside from a glimpse of social attitudes from the past.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Provokes Thought Rather Than Outrage, 6 Aug 2007
By 
Sordel (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
The Tintin series starts and ends with different types of weakness. At the end of Herge's career the books are visually elaborate but lack the visual spontaneity that makes Herge's greatest albums so loved; on the other hand, at the beginning they are masterpieces of the comic-book serial form, but they are weaker in terms of plot. Until recently, the earliest of the adventures to be commonly available was Tintin In America, so there was a lot of interest among fans when first Tintin In The Land Of The Soviets and then Tintin In The Congo were republished.

Given the fall of Communism, the right-wing orientation of In The Land Of The Soviets attracts very little criticism now. In The Congo, however, plays on some readers' sensitivity to issues of colonialism, racism and animal welfare. To my mind, condemning this book on the third count is like saying that Jerry should be kinder to Tom. There is some merit to the accusation, though, that this book promotes ideas of colonial paternalism: the Congolese are treated sympathetically, but very much as gullible children. Also, they are drawn with curly hair and thick lips, which might itself be considered offensive in a comic strip drawn today.

Any responsible parent will want to flick through this book before handing it, or reading it, to his or her child, but while there are things here that should probably be explained by reference to their historical context, there is nothing here that I would personally regard as outrageous. Tintin does not mistreat the natives, and Herge's concern regarding the exploitation of indigenous peoples is clear from his depiction of Native Americans in Tintin In America (the next of the adventures to be published). Indeed, the book could play a valuable part in educating a child about how our views about Imperialism changed in the latter half of the Twentieth Century, but that lesson can only be taught to a child old enough to understand it.

This, then, is a secure purchase for those who enjoy Tintin. It's isn't a great entry point to the series: the best books for that are probably still The Crab With The Golden Claws and The Blue Lotus. Nevertheless, it is more than a historical curiosity.
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49 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Curiosity satisfied, 14 Aug 2006
By 
Brill Bill (Portsmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
As with a lot of people, I guess, I've bought this book as an adult after being a fan of the books as a child, and out of curiosity at the controversy surrounding it.

Looking at it from a modern perspective, I didn't feel particularly offended by the racism. The stereotypes portrayed are so out of date they become almost meaningless and you don't automatically interpret the negative assumptions. In fact, the arrogance and paternalism of Tintin is just absurd to modern eyes and makes Tintin look foolish and naive rather than the African people. If you've been taught anything about race issues you'll be able to put the story into context and you'll see the racism from the historical perspective rather than taking any inherent malice away from the book.

On the other hand, the attitude towards wildlife is probably more offensive today than it ever was at the time of writing. If Tintin's stance towards Africa's people didn't put you off him, then his lack of respect for its fauna probably will!

As other reviewers say, the story is fairly weak and the overall style is not a scratch on the later books. Still, it's a worthwhile investment for the older fan, satisfied the curiosity for the missing book and makes for an interesting study of the controversial issues. For children it's definitely not the book to start with, but, I don't think it requires the ban that we had to face, especially with the modifications Hergé himself made and the stereotypes it enforced, hopefully long gone.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but not for the faint hearted., 12 May 2004
By 
A. Smithers - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Adventures of Tintin in the Congo (Hardcover)
Tintin in the Congo is a book for Tintin affecionados. Many of the "normal" readers won't even know that the book exists. It's not the best known of the Tintin books due to it's politically incorrect nature. There is no real story to the book, although it does set the scene in a vague way for Tintin in America, introducing the Al Capone story. It is a very early Tintin, and this I think is also a facsimile copy - from before herge recoloured the book. The background is a little boring, and you get the impression herge didn't like this book as much as some of the others. The facsimile is interesting if you have the newer version as you can see all the changes Herge made to make the book slightly more acceptable. It was the last of the Tintins to be translated into English and you can see why. All in all, a book for the Tintin fan, not necessarily the Tintin reader.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, 23 Jan 2008
By 
Nt Deregowski (Brazil) - See all my reviews
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Enjoyable, but lacking the psychological complexity, and narrative sophisitcation of later works.

It is worth getting, moreover, just to spite the prigs who would have it banned.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thumbs Up for showing us how far we have come, and how far we have yet to go., 19 Oct 2012
This review is from: Tintin in the Congo (Paperback)
You read a book as a child and think it's great. Then you read it as an adult and think oh my how incredibly racist. Enid Blyton, Robert E. Howard and now Herge it seems. There would be as much chance of publishing this book as a new work as there would be of bringing back the Black and White Minstrel Show. The black inhabitants of the Congo are definitely the butt of all jokes. There is humour within but should I feel guilty about laughing?

This work is typical of the 1930's in which it was published. Attitudes to other cultures were a lot different then. At least we like to think they are. This is quite a valuable work providing a telling glimpse into a less globalised and less politically correct society. This book was redrawn in colour from its original drawings in the 1960s and to my knowledge none of the dialogue was changed, meaning even then we were still laughing at ignorant foreigners.

If anyone comes off worse than the natives it's the animals. Tintin thinks nothing of blasting away at antelope, monkeys, lions, elephants and so on, accumulating skins and ivory at a frightening rate. Another example of how attitudes have changed.

Having said all that it's not a bad little story although it is never explained why Tintin goes to the Congo and as for the villain trying to kill him there is no way you will guess his identity in a million years.

Thumbs Up for showing us how far we have come, and how far we have yet to go.
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67 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It is wonderful, 22 Dec 2006
By 
R. Hoarau "firama" (gb) - See all my reviews
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I am sorry to say that I disagree with all the reviews written about this book. I think it is a marvellous story. It was one of my first ever comic and as a child I found it fascinating. It preaches the true story of colonialism and Africa. However there is absolutely nothing racist about it and I actually believe that thinking this way is a proper insult towards the author who tried to share his experience (Congo was a Belgian Colony)with all the readers. I spent my childhood in Africa myself and sorry to say but the story is very similar to what I grew up in. Hunting wild animals, and seing people "sharing" their own knowledge. This is a dream come true to many and dont forget that at that time things were very different . Comparing it the Nazis is clearly due to boredom or a personnal issue. What next? You liked out of Africa (the movie) you will love this book!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The one that has big problems with political correctness, 1 Jun 2010
By 
Keris Nine - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Tintin's second adventure after Tintin in the Land of the Soviets (which having never been revised and coloured, seems to remain outside the official canon) has only been published in English relatively recently, and with its political and racial innocence (some might put it a little more strongly than that), there's good reason why it remains one of the lesser Tintin adventures.

Written before Tintin had fully developed into an investigative journalist chasing master criminals across the globe, under the seas and into space, it's the travelogue aspect that is the primary purpose behind the early Tintin adventures, the story revelling in the exoticism of foreign lands and alien cultures. Drawn also before there was a wider selection of reference material for Hergé, and being very much of its racially insensitive time, the depiction of the Belgian colony of the Congo and the natives is consequently potentially offensive to some readers. In reality, it's no more cartoonish than any other aspect of Tintin in the Congo including the depiction of Tintin himself.

Written primarily as an entertainment for very young children in a running serial in 1930, with there never being any intention of it having any kind of longevity, the exploits of Tintin and Snowy here are rather unsophisticated fun and slapstick, Tintin visiting the African nation as a reporter, but only in the capacity of a travel writer, taking time to indulge in big-game hunting and seemingly single-handedly massacring half the animal population of the continent. There is some familiarity in the crime-fighting aspect of later Tintin stories in several incidents he has with a criminal who has stowed away on Tintin's ship to Africa, but it's far from the global conspiracies of the greater Tintin adventures.

Reworked into its new format for colour album publication in 1946, the artwork is much improved and the offensive colonial elements are toned down, but even so Tintin in the Congo is still a good notch or two below the standard we expect from the best Tintin adventures. This is far from essential Tintin, and may still even be offensive to some readers, but it's an intriguing look at the origins of one of the greatest creations in the comic world that still has some innocent entertainment value and, as such, it's not entirely without interest.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't see what the nonsense is about, 4 April 2010
By 
Iain Cleland - See all my reviews
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Ok will say it's not the most exciting of the TinTin stories but I quite enjoyed it. It was a product of its era and should be read as such. Of course there are many a sad PC imbecile about who just loves to decry it but sod em I liked it. Africans were drawn with 'woolly' hair and thick lips because they have 'woolly' hair and thick lips as was depicted in almost all books and cartoons of that era. People believed and thought differently about other races back in the 30s. If you are offended then grow up and take it for what is was. I for one am happy to give it to my kid to read while mentioning that it was written in a bygone era.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Can the PC Brigade lighten up it's Tintin, 25 Sep 2008
By 
I love New York (Not in New York) - See all my reviews
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I am not quite sure why people are up in arms about this book. It is no different to the old Tom and Jerry cartoons with the servant who kicks old Tom out all the time.

Yes it wouldn't be written today but, this is how things where perceived at the time it was written.

I have been a life long Tintin fan and was surprised on a holiday to France when I noticed 2 books that I had never seen before I was about 13. The other being Tin Tin in Moscow. My French is poor so I never bought (or got my parents to anyway) copies.

Years later I bought both while in Belgium in English Print.

The Story is typical Tintin but, in my opinion is the weakest after his Moscow adventure. Herge was still creating the character and finally hit gold with the next in the series Tintin in America. Funny how people don't think this is racist with the Native Indians?

The book deserves 3 stars and can the PC Brigade please lighten up its Tintin for heavens sake.
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The Adventures of Tintin in the Congo
The Adventures of Tintin in the Congo by Herge (Hardcover - 1 Nov 2002)
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