25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on 16 November 2002
Make sure you read the previous Tintin Adventure, "The Secret of the Unicorn," otherwise you will really not know all about the background on Red Racham's Treasure," despite the fact Hergé offers a bit of a recapitulation in the form of a conversation overhead in a bar. The main thing is that having collected all the clues regarding the titular treasure, Tintin and Captain Haddock are prepared to go forth and find it. However, almost as important as the search for the treasure is our introduction to the final pivotal member of the Tintin family, as Professor Calculus offers the service of his small shark-proof submarine for exploring the ocean floor. Tintin refuses the offer, but it turns out that Professor Calculus always hears somkething other than what somebody is really saying. Adding to the fun are the Thom(p)sons, who come along with orders to protect Tintin. "Red Rackham's Treasure" is mostly a pure adventure story, with Tintin using the small submarine and a deep sea diving suit to look for the treasure of the Unicorn. But there is still some detective work left to be done to decipher the final cryptic clues left by Sir Francis Haddock concerning the treasure's location. I still like Hergé's two-part adventure that sent Tintin to the Moon, but this two-parter is not far behind. This is the last of the Tintin stories Hergé wrote during World War II, and after this point we will definitely see his stories become much more allegorical in terms of post-War Europe.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 14 October 2013
Red Rackham's Treasure is the thrilling conclusion to Hergé's tale of intrigue, treachery and pirate booty that began with The Secret of the Unicorn. Tintin and Captain Haddock had deciphered the three coded parchments that reveal the location of the Unicorn, a 17th century ship that was captained by Haddock's ancestor, Sir Francis Haddock. The Unicorn had been scuttled by Sir Francis Haddock during a fight with the pirate Red Rackham and Tintin and Captain Haddock believe that the pirate's treasure is still aboard the ship.
In Red Rackham's Treasure, Tintin and the Captain charter a ship so that they can go in search of the long lost treasure. Their expedition is complicated when news of their impending voyage is leaked to the press and numerous peculiar personages, each claiming to be a descendant of Red Rackham, present themselves and demand a share of the treasure. Fortunately, the press coverage does have one happy consequence: Tintin and Captain Haddock becomes acquainted with Professor Cuthbert Calculus, an eccentric inventor who proposes that they use his newly invented shark-shaped submarine during their search for the sunken Unicorn. The group, with Thomson and Thompson [still no relation] providing security in case of rival treasure hunters, then set sail towards riches and adventure.
Red Rackham's Treasure is another excellent Tintin book from Hergé. There is a great deal of excitement and derring-do in this story as the heroes venture underwater and to exotic locations in search of the treasure. The backgrounds here are more detailed than in The Secret of the Unicorn and so this book is a Hergé highpoint in terms of both art and story. It's all the more impressive since he based all of his location designs on pictures and newspaper stories rather than venturing from Belgium in search of settings. The underwater action is particularly fine; there is a great deal of tension related to the difficulties of maintaining an air supply and to the promise of treasure on the sea bed, as well as some delightful humour in the shape of a shark that takes a shine to the shark-shaped sub [try saying that several times in a row].
In fact, despite the old-fashioned adventure elements of the story, Red Rackham's Treasure is a very humorous story. Captain Haddock is on top form and his angry interactions with the alleged Red Rackham descendants and with Thomson and Thompson as well as with Professor Calculus are a sight to behold. The Haddock-inspired parrots are a hoot and a half too. This is the book that introduces Professor Calculus and this is another reason for it being a landmark in the Tintin series. Brilliant and befuddled Calculus is one of Hergé's greatest creations and, fortunately, plays a prominent role in future books.
Ultimately, Red Rackham's Treasure is a fine mix of adventure and humour with a good dash of classic detective work on the part of Tintin himself mixed in. This is the story that really marks the start of Hergé's renaissance as both an artist and a storyteller, and it sets the tone for the further excellent Tintin adventures that follow.
In "Red Rackham's Treasure", a sequel to "The Secret of the Unicorn," our intrepid boy reporter Tintin; his faithful companion Snowy; his dissolute comrade, Captain Haddock; and the identical (except in name) Thompson & Thomson twins are joined on the voyage by Professor Cuthbert Calculus, whose preposterous inventions are eclipsed only by his ability to carry on a continuous non sequitur conversation (an excuse to drive Haddock--who has never met a bottle of rum he didn't like--to drink).
Like the "Secret of the Unicorn," "Treasure" is packed with fun and adventure for readers of all ages. In fact, I think I enjoyed it even more than the first book of the pair, partly because the Thom(p)son twins don their sailor suits and pompon hats to 'help' Tintin, thus contributing to the general chaos, and partly because the addition of Calculus, swinging his pendulum, adds a divinely inspired element of the ridiculous to the proceedings. Perhaps because Hergé carries his running jokes and word-plays even farther, they seemed even more laugh-out-loud funny than those of the first book.
Since the book was written in the 'forties, some of the jokes will be appreciated only by film historians and persons of a certain vintage, but it is nevertheless nice to see them. A couple worth mentioning are written on posters on a kiosk, one of which advertises the GREAT [in every sense of the word] Orson Welles (repeating his name three times), who stars in a film entitled "ME"; and another which advertises the Opera "Boris Gudinov" starring Rino Tossi (Italian for 'nose coughs'). And, in the event that these jokes are too esoteric for the younger generation, Captain Haddock, not looking where he's going, runs smack into the kiosk, which advises him to read the Daily Reporter for 'News which Hits you!' Part of the fun of the humour is that it can be appreciated on many levels. My only complaint is that the new editions are missing the delightful 'portrait gallery' that used to adorn the inner covers of the old paperbacks, but, I suppose that the lack is to be expected in this age of austerity.
As I mentioned in my review of Unicorn, I bought these books as Christmas presents so that my grandson could enjoy the fun of Tintin with the original drawings. Of course, I hijacked them and read them before I wrapped them up. I was happy to discover that I found them just as delightful as I did back--well,not quite--when the earth was cooling!
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 4 February 2004
Make sure you read the previous Tintin Adventure, "The Secret of the Unicorn," otherwise you will really not know all about the background on "Red Rackham's Treasure," despite the fact Hergé offers a bit of a recapitulation in the form of a conversation overhead in a bar. The main thing is that having collected all the clues regarding the titular treasure, Tintin and Captain Haddock are prepared to go forth and find it. However, almost as important as the search for the treasure is our introduction to the final pivotal member of the Tintin family, as Professor Cuthbert Calculus offers the service of his small shark-proof submarine for exploring the ocean floor. Tintin refuses the offer, but it turns out that Professor Calculus always hears somkething other than what somebody is really saying. Adding to the fun are the Thom(p)sons, who come alone with orders to protect Tintin. "Red Rackham's Treasure" is mostly a pure adventure story, with Tintin using the small submarine and a deep sea diving suit to look for the treasure of the Unicorn. But there is still some detective work left to be done to decipher the final cryptic clues left by Sir Francis Haddock concerning the treasure's location. I still like Hergé's two-part adventure that sent Tintin to the Moon, but this two-parter is not far behind. This is the last of the Tintin stories Hergé wrote during World War II, and after this point we will definitely see his stories become much more allegorical in terms of post-War Europe.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 November 2013
If you are a Tintin fan, you will love this, as my 9 year old son did. Great gift idea too
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Later in the Castafiore Emerald, Hergé would write an interesting Tintin story which goes through the motions of a typical Tintin adventure, but in reality nothing criminal actually occurs. Red Rackham's Treasure, the rather disappointing conclusion to the adventure that started in Secret of the Unicorn (both stories combined due to appear on the screen in a film by Steven Spielberg), is rather similar in that, after a terrific set-up, nothing really happens, and the potential is not really followed through. There are nonetheless important events that occur that are to have a major impact on the direction of the series and other pleasures to be found in Red Rackham's Treasure.
Red Rackham's Treasure even opens with one of those incidents that usually promise intrigue - a conversation between two dock workers about the journey to discover secret treasure being organised by Tintin and Captain Haddock that is overheard by an inquisitive eavesdropper. The "spy" however turns out to be nothing more than a journalist who reports the story in his newspaper. While the usual Tintin exploits are avoided here (the secrecy and espionage leaks surrounding the subsequent Moon adventure, for example, have rather more serious consequences), the set-up at the start is followed through since the news brings Professor Calculus and his shark-proof submarine onto the journey, and the tables are turned through Calculus on the reporter in a neat symmetrical manner at the end of the adventure.
The escape of Max Bird and rumours of his sighting near the exploration ship however are not followed-up, and the actual search for treasure consequently turns out to be rather uneventful. In place of intrigue however, there is more than enough going on with the exoticism of the locations, including a mysterious treasure island that still amusingly bears signs of the landing of Sir Francis Haddock there several centuries previously. Best of all however are the underwater sequences, the clear-line artwork of the wreck of the Unicorn, with sharks all around, simply magnificently rendered (as seen in the memorable cover for this book).
What Red Rackham's Treasure lacks in terms of adventure and intrigue however, it makes up in how each of the growing cast of characters find their places in the Tintin universe, the role that Calculus and the Thomsons play being defined as having a significant and often amusing role, while at the same time helping everything come together in unexpected ways. Most significantly, Haddock's inheritance (Nestor included in the package that comes with Marlinspike Hall) ensures that the team are not short of funds for the subsequent adventures that span the globe and even beyond.
on 4 August 2013
Is how my six year old grandson described this book.
I used to read Tin Tin when I was young so I thought I would give it to him as a summer holiday present . I also bought the "The Secret of the Unicorn ", which in reviews was suggested to be read first. He loved them.
on 19 January 2012
Purchased as an Xmas gift. Book arrived within a few days of ordering. Exactly as described. It was useful that within the description it mentioned that this was a two part story...so was able to buy the second book.
If you like comic type books and love Tin Tin these are for you.
on 29 October 2011
Brought this for my son's birthday. The film was a great excuse to persuade him to read it. But truth is I read it before him! Reminded me of my youth.
All the strange humour and intrigue is there. If you enjoyed these when you were young then I recommend a revisit.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 5 January 2010
If you like TinTin you will like this book! It is as good or as bad as all the others! For me, I love those comics - they are simple, easy to read and have a clean sense of humor! Fantastic!