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Les Aventures de Tintin : Pays des soviets (French) Album – 26 Jun 2010
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Well, that's not how he began. In his first adventure, he takes the indestructible Milou (Snowy) on a trip to Russia to uncover the corrupt ways of the Bolsheviks. Hergé was commissioned to produce this story as propaganda against Russia in the early 1940s and, well, let's just say it doesn't hold back in that regard. Reading it now, it seems almost astounding it could ever have been published, it is so crudely done. It is quite bizarre in places.
The drawing, in black and white only, is also quite crudely done, in a rather Soviet era stylised way that seems jarring at first. It's very different from later books. Even Milou looks different, but at least his personality is pretty much the same, unlike Tintin's. Tintin is a bit of a thug in this book: he's quite happy to beat people to a pulp (not exactly sure how he manages it...), leave them for dead in the frozen wastes, steal cars and planes and whatever else he fancies, and laugh in his victim's faces in a not very pleasant way. He's not the nice boy we know and love, and would make a News of the World reporter seem like Miss Marple.
So Tintin isn't very likeable, but Milou definitely is, and Milou gets all the best lines, smokes and drinks, blows himself up, and impersonates a tiger in the most absurd coincidence ever published in a book. Milou makes the rest of the story bearable.
I enjoyed it, but I doubt very much if Tintin would be the phenomenon it is today if Hergé hadn't made some major changes to the character and the drawing style. Buy with caution.
This, by the way, is the large format hard cover version. Always check the size before you buy Tintin books because some are half the size.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Today "Tintin au Pays des Soviets" constitutes something of a false start for Hergé's series. The seven volume collection of the Three-in-One series of "The Adventures of Tintin," which is probably the most common way for today's readers to get a hold of the Tintin stories, begins with the third adventures, "Tintin Au America." Both this story and "Tintin Au Congo" are left out of the "official" canon, the former because of the suspect ideology and the latter because of the implicit racism. What emerges in the other eighteen Tintin tales is more pure storytelling that takes place in a created world that bears only an allegorical relationship to the real world. Besides, Tintin does not even have his trademark tuft of hair at this point.
Consequently, Tintin fans who track down the first couple of adventures will need to take both tales with a grain of salt. Whereas the other stories tend to stand on their own, the first two are clearly dated. "Tintin au Pays des Soviets" especially requires commentary or annotation that reveals exactly what was going on in the Soviet Union in the late 1920s that Hergé and the left found necessary to attack, even in a comic book adventure. I know that Hergé was working for "Le Petit Vingtième," an anti-Communist church-run newspaper, but I also know that he also apologized for this book later in life because he had never actually visited the Soviet Union and had based his story on one book, which was apparently written for propaganda purposes.
Consequently, it is fairly safe to say that this particular Tintin adventure is really not intended for children until they are old enough to understand the politics of the time in which it was written. It might be ironic that you should read the first couple of Tintin adventures after you have read the other eighteen, but that is probably the best way to proceed.
While the Western fellow travelers of the Soviet tyranny, where presenting the Soviet Union, as a utopian brave new world, Herge reveled the true hell on earth that it was (and that all Marxist-Leninist regimes have been since), through this amazing adventure, and the true villainy of the Communists and their Western backers.
Who knows how the immoral leftist academics are deceiving us today.
Moral clarity and simplicity is needed more than ever today, as the Judeo-Christian world, and our great Western civilization , is threatened by evil forces today, in new guises, and much of the intellectual and media establishment turns it around and condemns those who are fighting to sustain freedom while sanitizes devils.
And anyway , it is a great Tinitn adventure , vital to everyone's Tintin collection.