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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most subtle and rewarding of all Tintin books, 31 Jan 2007
By 
lexo1941 (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Castafiore Emerald (The Adventures of Tintin) (Paperback)
The late Harry Thompson, Herge's English-language biographer, regarded this as the best Tintin book. Reading it as an adult, it's hard to disagree. It may not have the swashbuckling panache of the Unicorn/Rackham saga, or the nailbiting tension of the moon journey, or the mystical dread of the Inca adventure, but what it lacks in rollercoaster thrills it more than makes up for in character comedy. And it's still a fine detective story.

It's a masterclass in storytelling. Almost nothing happens - a soprano's jewels are stolen and then recovered - but there's never a dull moment. Bianca Castafiore's self-absorption was never so well captured as when she walks into the room where her accompanist has supposedly been practising; instead, he's been playing a tape of himself practising for the benefit of anyone wondering where he is, so that he can hop out of the window, sneak down to the town and bet on the horses; however, Tintin has caught him in the act. The two are standing beside the still-running tape player discussing the matter when Signora Castafiore enters and asks the hapless Herr Wagner why he isn't practising, and Tintin replies that he clearly is, just listen - whereupon the none-too-sharp signora catches herself, apologises to her sweating accompanist and walks out, reassured. Well, it's funny when you read it.

Confining Haddock to a wheelchair means that that sublime grump can't just shove off to sea when it all gets too weird, and meantime Prof Calculus is carrying on his eye-twisting research into the properties of colour TV. It's a beautifully drawn, cleverly plotted and admirably low-key story, relying less on glamorous locations and more on the interplay of character. Herge never displayed his genius so fully as in this book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great character comedy, 19 Sep 2001
By A Customer
Egotistic opera diva Castafiore invades Marlinspike Hall like a Sherman tank, causing chaos all around her. Poor Captain Haddock is subjected to every grievance under the sun - a broken leg, a vicious parrot, relentless visits by pressmen, not to mention Castafiore's singing. As a mystery story it is full of twists and turns, false leads and red herrings. Excellent.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Signora Castafiore descends upon the home of Captain Haddock, 21 Jan 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Castafiore Emerald (The Adventures of Tintin) (Paperback)
I have to admit that after going to the Moon and rescuing his friend Chang in Tibet, the stay at home Tintin adventure "The Castafiore Emerald" is relatively tame. It begins with Tintin and Captain Haddock out for a walk and discovering a band of gypsies camped near the rubbish dump. This offends the good captain, who offers the gypsies the use of a large meadow near his hall. However, no good deed goes unpunished and he receives a telegram announcing the imminent arrival of Biana Castafiore, the Milanese Nightingale. Meanwhile, the broken step on the front staircase earns Haddock a badly sprained ankle and the opportunity to roll around the adventure in a wheelchair. The diva and her entourage then descend upon the hall, literally adding insult to injury by giving the captain the gift of a parrot.
As Castafiore repeatedly points out, she has brought along her jewels, including an emerald given the signora by the Maharajah of Gopal. The gypsy fortuneteller had already predicted the theft of the jewels and we expect her prophecy to come true, even though Castafiore is constantly yelling about her jewels missing. But you know that sooner or later this is going to come to pass and then it will be up to our intrepid reporter to solve the case and save the day. Meanwhile, Captain Haddock's life continues to be a string of minor misfortunes and misunderstands thanks to Castafiore, Professor Calculus, the parrot, Thompson and Thomson, and the unwillingness of the local repairman to come out and fix that step.
"The Castafiore Emerald" derives its comedy from the clash of characters with Tintin staying out of the way for the most part. Of course, by this time in the series Hergé is completely comfortable with his cast of characters, which shows in the interplay, although I admit the diva is not my cup of tea. I just happen to really like the way Hergé represents other lands, so having him stay around the captain's house just seems to me to be an interlude from the main adventures. Still, "The Castafiore Emerald" is well worth the read Hergé does a delightful take on that new fangled invention, the television. Final Note: I like Hergé's quaint cover, with Castafiore singing for the cameras while a smiling Tintin reminds us to be quiet during the performance.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 15 July 2014
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This review is from: The Castafiore Emerald (The Adventures of Tintin) (Paperback)
Fantastic series !
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great adventure !, 12 July 2014
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This review is from: The Castafiore Emerald (The Adventures of Tintin) (Paperback)
An excellent addition to the Tintin canon.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ah , these jewels , bright I wear!, 1 July 2014
By 
This review is from: The Castafiore Emerald (The Adventures of Tintin) (Paperback)
Captain Haddock invites a group of Gypsies living on nearby rubbish dump to come and stay on a meadow by the stream on his estate. Meanwhile the Captain's nemesis, the Florentine opera star, Bianca Castafiore
invites herself to say at his residences of Marlinspike.
Castafiore and her entourage cause the Captain no end of irritation , but the real adventure comes when her prize jewelry goes missing and it is up to Tintin to unravel the mystery.
With the interplay of the Captain and people like Castafiore , the pet parrot , troublemaking journalists, and the insurance broker , Jolyon Wagg , this Tintin album is hilarious from beginning to finish.
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4.0 out of 5 stars tintin et la diva, 21 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Castafiore Emerald (The Adventures of Tintin) (Paperback)
Pour ma part, je trouve que ce n'est pas le meilleur album de Tintin, mais on retrouve nos personnages favoris at home, envahis par la Castafiore et son staff, ambiance électrique autour d'un vol de bijoux, humour bon enfant, sympa.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tintin, 12 July 2013
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This review is from: The Castafiore Emerald (The Adventures of Tintin) (Paperback)
I needed this for my collection,I shan't explain the story and spoil it for those who haven't read it. If you enjoy Tintin then you will enjoy this I'm sure.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb! Something a little different from Hergé., 29 April 2012
By 
Sebastian Palmer "sebuteo" (Cambridge, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Castafiore Emerald (The Adventures of Tintin) (Paperback)
Pun fully intended, this is a gem of a story.

Opting to keep Tintin, Haddock and co. at home in Marlinspike Hall, rather than send them on their usual globe-trotting adventures to far-flung and exotic lands, Hergé delivers a masterpiece of storytelling and artwork.

As a kid I didn't really like the Castafiore character, and as a consequence this was one of only two or three Tintin adventures missing from my childhood collection.

I ended up giving away all my Tintin books to the children of a friend. Something I wish I hasn't done now! Having collected them all again, the Castafiore Emerald is now certainly amongst my favourite. You could make the case for it being more of a Haddock than a Tintin adventure, and in some ways this reflects Hergé's possible identification with his irascible ex-sailor creation: numerous of the later Tintin adventures (The Calculus Affair and Tintin in Tibet both immediately spring to mind) find Haddock swearing his days of roving adventure are done.

In the Castafiore Emerald Hergé makes good on this idea, resulting in a story that's almost like a stage play, confined mostly to the insides of Marlinspike, as opposed to most Tintin adventures, which are more like big budget globetrotting movies. This allows Hergé to maximise the character, dialogue and plot elements, all of which, like his superlative art (although he was by this stage, it has to he said, supported by a talented team at his studio) are at their peak.

I won't go into the plot and risk spoiling it for those unfamiliar with this story, suffice it to say that it's superb, and amongst the best and most sophisticated of Hergé's works, making it one of the Tintin adventures best suited to adult enjoyment as well as kids entertainment.

Fantastic!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fan of Tin Tin :), 11 Oct 2011
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This review is from: The Castafiore Emerald (The Adventures of Tintin) (Paperback)
My lil cousin brother wanted this book as he is a huge fan of Tin Tin and has read all the collections apart from the 2 I got from Amazon. After weeks of searching I was so happy to find both the books here at Amazon, so I got it gift wrapped with a lil message and it was delivered within 2 days. He was so excited to recieve it and the gift wrap was done very nicely. Brilliant book for young children to engage in.
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The Castafiore Emerald (The Adventures of Tintin)
The Castafiore Emerald (The Adventures of Tintin) by Herge (Paperback - 26 Sep 2012)
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