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4.6 out of 5 stars33
4.6 out of 5 stars
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on 30 June 2008
The Black Island was published as a black & white book in 1938, then in 1943, the very same B/W drawings were coloured with only one frame added. Then, in 1965, on his British publishers' request, Herge had to re-draw the whole book modernizing and changing every frame, creating the common book we grew up with. In this 1943 original, you get to see the all-Herge vision of Tintin's deeds in Britain, unlike the 1965 version which was largely drawn by his associates in "Studio Herge".

This adventure was created while the clouds of war were gathering over Europe, and Herge did not miss that. Tintin goes to Britian after a money counterfeiting gang headed by a man called Müller, and although Müller's nationality was never mentioned candidly in the book, you do not need much guess work to figure it out. History tells us that after the end of WW2, documentation of a massive operation to forge British money by the Nazis was discovered. Their aim was to destroy the British wartime economy, an aim they never achieved. For Herge to draw this book before WW2 even began, just shows the kind of visionary he was.

Released with this book are 5 other exact copies of first colour editions: "Cigars of The Pharaoh", "Broken Ear", "King Ottokar's Sceptre", "Tintin in America", and "Blue Lotus". Those five are slighty to significantly different than the common ones you already have. Real hardcore Tintin fans should get the whole set of 6, but if you were going the get just one, it definitely should be The Black Island. 100% different, historically important, charming, and simply beautiful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 28 November 2010
The Black Island is a terrific Tintin adventure set mainly in England and Scotland. Tintin is wrongly accused of a theft and is arrested by the thoroughly useless and entertaining Thompson twins. The action then picks up from here as Tintin investigates a gang of forgers with his ever trusty companion Snowy.
This is a charming adventure, I adore the artwork by Herge and a story where Captain Haddock does not feature. The plot is very much like a John Buchan thriller, but I think the Black Island is a satisfying and charming read.
Tintin is suitable for children and adults alike.
You can't keep a good reporter and his little dog down.
Lovely stuff.
5 stars
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 19 April 2009
A trip through England and Scotland on the trail of a nefarious gang, for TT and his dog. Uncomplicated for a change, with the emphasis on adventure here, this is a simple, pacy thriller, no doubt somewhat inspired by The 39 Steps, at least in the location and the pace of it all. And it has a twist or two in the story, to keep the thrill factor going. A very strong book in the series, even without Capt.Haddock.
4.5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 March 2013
I love how TinTin has lasted over the years - I have fond memories of reading them in the school library on a rainy day. Of course the movie was a great 're-launch' in their popularity and when my 7yo son showed an interest after seeing the movie I bought a few books as part of his Christmas sack. He was hooked! I have since bought a couple more for birthday/easter/Christmas as a bit of a traditional 'treat' and he almost has the set. He has read many of them 3-4 times each and still loves them - as he has gotten older and his reading more advanced he has understood the story and the characters that much more each read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This story always struck a chord with me when I was a child; not due to any pre-teen involvement with international forgers, but because it was set in an environment I could immediately relate to (Tintin first travels to England, and then on to Scotland). It`s a crackerjack story, a classic early Tintin (pre-Haddock) with plenty of good work from Snowy, schoolboy-errors from Thompson and Thomson, and the introduction of the nefarious Dr Muller. Some delightful sequences (Snowy and the goat, the bungling fireman, and of course Snowy vs. Ranko, the beast of the titular Black Island), and as always, some exquisite art.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
It all starts off innocently enough, as it often does in a Tintin adventure, but before long, our young investigative journalist is embarking on a journey that takes him to the British Isles and ultimately to the mystic Black Island in Scotland. He has good reason to make the journey, having witnessed an unmarked plane landing in a nearby field while out for a walk and, by the end of page one Tintin is shot by the pilot as he goes to investigate. Recovering in hospital, he learns from Thompson and Thomson that the same plane has been reported crash-landing in Sussex, and Tintin accordingly sets out with Snowy to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Like many of Tintin's earliest adventures, the ones initially serialised in the Petit Vingtième in the late 1920s and 1930s, the story takes the form of a linear line, with a rolling series of events taking Tintin from one place to the next, getting involved in mishaps and picking up clues along the way. Reworked for colour album publication, the story in The Black Island still doesn't get any more complex than Tintin following a trail, being hampered by criminals trying to shake him off along the way - permanently if possible - with a bit more slapstick than usual (Tintin even knocking himself out by standing on a rake at one point). The pacing however is excellent, with twists and thrills on every page and lovely clear-line artwork that has a wonderful sense of openness and movement.

Like all of Hergé's Tintin work, the use of locations and the evocation of mood is superb. Although the book followed the usual route of publication for the early Tintin adventures, moving from a 128 page black-and-white strip to a redrawn and coloured 62-page book, Hergé went to the trouble of revising The Black Island again in 1965, prior to the book's first UK publication, sending an assistant to gather reference materials to ensure relevance and correct some basic errors in the previous editions. You could still criticise the sometimes clichéd olde-worlde mysticism and the fact that Tintin dons a kilt to better blend in with the locals, but the drawings in The Black Island are beautiful and they do capture an essence of Scotland in a manner that would fire the imagination of its young readers and still have resonance for some older Tintin fans.
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on 7 August 2015
I admit that I'm not *the* greatest fan of “The Adventures of Tintin”. As a kid, I actually disliked what most other people like about Hergé's stories: the slapstick humor and the constant outbursts (and drinking bouts) of Captain Archibald Haddock. I still consider them somewhat annoying. Haddock isn't included in this particular adventure (despite the Scottish setting), but the slapstick is there, together with the fast-paced action. Apparently, “The Black Island” is one of the most popular Tintin adventures. I consider it so-so. But yes, given my interest in crypto-zoology, it's interesting that our young hero actually finds a monster in Scotland…and it isn't Nessie!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 13 January 2010
This is an interesting Tintin adventure, originally written in 1938, and then 're-skinned' in 1966, with some minor changes to the story and new drawings.

So in effect, what we have is one of the weaker Tintin stories from Herge's early days, but with the far superior graphics that we associate with such tales as The Red Sea Sharks and Flight 714.

While a major advance on tales like Tintin in America, the plot is somewhat thin and seems to get unduly held up with chasing around the counterfeiters' island hideout. In addition, some elements like the gorilla that the villains use to deal with intruders and the detectives flying adventures do seem just a little bit silly.

On the other hand, there are some good characters, like Dr Muller, and the drawings, representing as they do a Belgian's eye view of 1960s Britain, would make the book worth buying no matter what the plot is like!

For example, classic car fans will be delighted to spot a variety of well known 1960s cars, faithfully recreated in cartoon form, such as Dr Muller's Mk X Jaguar or the caravanist's cheerful little Triumph Herald... And rail buffs will be amused to look at a somewhat less accurate (and rather continental) portrayal of British Rail!

So, not the best of the Tintin books, but well worth having!
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on 26 August 2015
Of all the Tintin adventures, this is the one that tugs the most at the heartstrings - set as it is in my native Scotland.

Packed with adventure, Herge's customary wit and humour, and vivid artwork, the Black Island is one of the stand out adventures in the series. Plus it contains a character that bears a striking resemblance to my late grandfather!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 15 July 2009
Tinitn and every Tintin book is a work of genuis (all right the TV spin off books are a bit pants)but all of the originals are the ideal Big brother/ Dad reading a bed time story. My father did them all with me and i am doing them with my son.

The sheer joy they bring to bedtime for me and my son is imeasurable.
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