Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Ripping Yarn, 22 Feb 2007
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This review is from: Flight 714 to Sydney (The Adventures of Tintin) (Paperback)
Tintin, Captain Haddock and Professor Calculus are on their way to a science congress in Sydney as the guests of honour for their moon exploits, when they stop in Djakarta en route. Here, they encounter the most ill-mannered man on the planet, millionaire Laszlo Carreides who invites them to accompany him on his private jet and who won't take no for an answer (actually, he wants to play battleships with Haddock - and to cheat!).

Unfortunately, the plane is hijacked and forced to land on a volcanic desert island where the dastardly Rastapopolous awaits them. His plan is to extract from Mr Carreidas (with the assistance of a 'truth' serum) the millionaire's bank account number. But, of course, he hadn't planned for the arrival of his arch-nemesis Tintin!

While poor old Carreidas is being 'interviewed', Tintin and the others are incarcerated in an old World War II Japanese bunker. Inevitably, with the assistance of Snowy, they overpower their guards and escape, and set about rescuing Carreidas. In the meantime, the attempt to get Carreidas to reveal his bank details has not gone well and, inadvertently, Rastapopolous himself has also been injected with truth serum! Consequently, the interrogation has descended into an infantile argument between the two of them as to which is the most villainous (under the influence of the serum, they are both telling the truth)!

Having rescued Carreidas and captured Rastapopolous (for the time being!), Tintin and Haddock still have to deal with Rastapopolous's side-kick (the efficient and ruthless Alan) and his men. Outgunned and with no escape route, Tintin and co take refuge in a network of mysterious tunnels burrowed into the mountainside.

Rather than give the rest of the tale away, suffice it to say that it involves a volcanic eruption, an encounter with a very peculiar little man and the timely intervention of some other-worldly visitors to the island.

This really is a most entertaining tale - classic Tintin! An excellent plot, some brilliant characters, hilarious interactions, witty dialogue, a spooky atmosphere - and some FANTASTIC artwork! In fact, Herge's drawings in Flight 714 are among my absolute favourites - some of the scenes in the ancient tunnels stimulate the imagination like no others (these left a huge and spooky impression on me as a child)!

Herge's sense of humour is also on top form in this book, with Laszlo Carreidas being the most amusingly bad-mannered and abrasive man you'll ever encounter! And another absolute joy is the treatment Herge deals out to Rastapopolous who, over the course of the story, is severely punished for his villainy! Read the book and observe how he is stabbed by a needle, pricked with a thorn, bashed on the head by a discarded rifle, runs full-tilt into a tree, has yards of sticky tape torn from his face and sideburns, gets his clothes shredded by a grenade, gets a black-eye from Alan's elbow and finally another bonk on the bonce from a falling stalactite!! Marvellous stuff.

A Timeless Classic.
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