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Cigars of the Pharaoh Paperback – 27 Mar 1975

4.5 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Paperback, 27 Mar 1975
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Product details

  • Paperback: 62 pages
  • Publisher: Mammoth; New edition edition (27 Mar. 1975)
  • Language: English, French
  • ISBN-10: 0416836100
  • ISBN-13: 978-0416836103
  • Package Dimensions: 28.8 x 20.4 x 0.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,916,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

From the Back Cover

The Adventures of TinTin - Comic book format --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Herge, one of the most famous Belgians in the world, was a comics writer and artist. The internationally successful Adventures of Tintin are his most well-known and beloved works. They have been translated into 38 different languages and have inspired such legends as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. He wrote and illustrated for The Adventures of Tintin until his death in 1983. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Tintin's earliest adventures are often rather underrated in favour of the more sophisticated plotting and artwork of the mid-period high-points, but Cigars of the Pharaoh certainly stands up better than much of the latter-day Tintin (Flight 714, Picaros) and in some ways there's a purity and innocence here that is unmatched in any other Tintin adventure.

What some see as a weakness - the episodic nature dictated by the original 1932 serialisation and tendency of the story to lose sight of the main plot - actually works to its advantage, the story accumulating one fantastic incident after another. Some are of the knockabout slapstick humour variety - the Thompsons make a fine first appearance here in a running theme where they are trying to arrest Tintin and inadvertently saving him from worse situations - while others are highly imaginative and thrilling, particularly to the younger reader.

Here in The Cigars of the Pharaoh, while going on a cruise across the globe with just Snowy as a companion (too early yet for the introduction of Haddock, Calculus et al), Tintin is arrested for drug smuggling, is trapped in an ancient Egyptian tomb, is abandoned at sea in a custom-built coffin, is attacked by sharks, conscripted into an Arabian army, faces a firing squad (not for the last time) for spying and is buried alive - and that's not even all the incidents in just the first half of the book! But it's more than just an aimless grand adventure in exotic locations that were the theme of earlier Tintin books. Here Hergé introduces a mystery and an investigative element to Tintin's character, tying all the escapades together rather well through the visual element of the secret symbol that keeps recurring wherever Tintin goes.
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Format: Paperback
“Cigars of the Pharaoh” was one of my favorite Tintin adventures as a kid. It has suspense, a complex plot, magical elements and bizarre humor in the form of two insane men, one of them an Egyptologist.. As a kid, I actually assumed that “Egyptologist” was a joke, too! LOL. The story revolves around the brave reporter Tintin who exposes an international opium smuggling operation which uses an ancient Egyptian tomb as a storage facility. The criminals are organized as a secret brotherhood, spouting occult symbols and Klan-like outfits. One of the members is a fakir with paranormal powers!

Rereading the story lately, I admit that it didn't move me as much as it used to. I also noticed a couple of strange anachronisms: yes, they are deliberate additions of Hergé to later editions of “Cigars”. The comic features an in-universe gag: a scene where Sheikh Patrash Pasha shows Tintin a comic album…featuring Tintin himself! In earlier versions of the story, it was “Tintin in America” or “Tintin in the Congo”, but in later editions, it was changed to “Destination Moon”.

Tintinologists may be interested to know that the hilariously incompetent detectives Thomson & Thompson make their first appearance in this story, and so does the arch-villain with the inimitable name Roberto Rastapopoulos. People studying “tropes” will note that all menial laborers in Arabia are Black Africans – indeed, slavery still existed in Saudi Arabia when the comic was produced.

Overall, however, I no longer consider this such a good read as I once did, but for ol' times sake, I give it three stars.
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Format: Paperback
First published in Le Petit Vingtième between 8/12 1932 and 8/2 1934. The book appeared in 1934 . Redrawn in 1955. It was first published in English in 1971.

A colourful and detailed adventure , Tintin and his dog Snowy meet up with an eccentric Egyptologist on a cruise , taking Tintin on a danger-filled adventure from Egypt to Arabia to India , in a hunt for whoever is behind the mystery of the Cigars of the Pharaoh , he is framed for heroin possesion , caught up in an Arabian war and sentenced to be executed , lost in the desert , locked up in a mental assylum in India , before being led to an international ring of drug trafficers. It is amazing the amount of detail Herge worked into these adventure comics.

Many of us grew up on them and love them for the nostalgia value.
I loved the animation in the underground Pharaoh's tomb, and the incredible dream sequence there.
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Format: Paperback
I learned from reading other reviews that this is one of the earlier TinTin books, a stitch-up and redrawing of earlier weekly comic strips. I could tell the origin in a weekly strip when reading the book because the plot meanders. It's a little like some of the Roger Moore era Bond films: the plot goes off on tangents but it's so enjoyable to watch that it doesn't seem to matter.

Then there are the frequent cliffhangers from which TinTin (and the plot) escape through convenient coincidences and flat-out nonsense, such as using a fat man's stomach as a trampoline to jump over a high wall. You get that in later TinTins too, but it's more in evidence here.

There's so much to point out that is less than perfect but the most important thing is that I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of Cigars of the Pharaohs.

If you wanted to try your first TinTin, I'd try a little later in the series, perhaps Ottakar's Sceptre or The Calculus Affair... or maybe not, because while some of the later books had more of a sense of being *crafted*, Cigars of the Pharaohs gains from a sense of wild enthusiasm.
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