on 10 May 2007
Okay, so the book has a little too much of everything: a highjack, truth serum, erupting volcano, UFO... but all this is done with a great style, wit and humour.
By this time (1968), Tintin was not all about action and adventure, and the characters (especially Captain Haddock) and satire had begun to dominate; the best example of this was the predecessor of this book, Castafiore Emeralds. Flight 714 presents a great new character, the multimillionare Laszlo Carreidas. Hergés intention was to avoid dualism, i.e. in this case, making people to be either good or bad, and thus Carreidas is a pretty creepy character even though he is one of the "good guys". The most famous example is the part where Carreidas and Tintins arch-rival, Rastapopoulos, argue under the influence of truth serum who the master of evil truly is.
Hergé also wanted to make the bad guys appear more sympathetic, so we see Rastapopoulos incapable of killing a harmless spider, running into a tree, getting constantly hit in the head with something, dealing with a exploding grenade, and his right-hand man, Allan, accidentally comparing him with a proboscis monkey etc.
I'd say that about 60 % of this book is better than any other Tintin (or any other comic book, for that matter). Unfortunately, near the end it gets a bit too weird, and there are too many things happening. But the good easily outweighs the bad, and so the book gets a well-deserved 5 stars from me.
on 22 February 2007
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.
on 10 November 2011
I'm not going to try and replicate the reviews already on here, as I think that they are pretty accurate in terms of the story itself and how Herge had progressed with the art work and characters of the Tin Tin books by this point. Rather, I'd just like to add that this for me is one of the best Tin Tin stories and one that could easily slip under the radar.
The unassuming title and cover art work do not point to what lies within it's pages and so, could be mistaken for treading old ground (a la Prisoners Of The Sun or Tin Tin and The Picaros), but instead, the reader is rewarded with a fantastic yarn.
Unlike some of the earlier stories which can just see our hero and his friends lurch from one lucky escape to the next and be repetetive in terms of them trying to escape the same situation over and over, I was enthralled from beginning to end with this book and it now sits firmly amongst my favourite Tin Tin adventures.
I heartily recommend Flight 714 to Sydney and look forward to revisiting it again in the future for little things I will probably have missed.
Classic Herge, classic boy's own adventure, classic Tin Tin.
on 10 January 2010
Probably one of the more underrated Tintin adventures, perhaps because of the slightly outlandish plot which involves a hijack and a flying saucer!
This is one of the last of the Tintin adventures, and by this time Herge had begun to introduce a kind of sardonic wit into his work, which one can see here in the way that one of the 'good guys' in the story, millionaire aircraft designer Laszlo Carreidas, actually proves to be a selfish cheat (I won't spoil things by saying how!).
Needless to say, the drawings are truly superb and one can only marvel at the work that Herge put into the Carreidas 160 jet; in fact if you are interested in planes the book is almost worth buying for this alone. To see what an achievement it is, one only has to compare this plane with the sort of spartan aircraft that turned up in Herge's 1940s stories. Another graphic highlight of the book are the amazing statues that populate an underground temple on the island where the bad guys - those splendid old Tintin foes Rastapopolous and Allan - have made their hideout.
The story itself is good, though it ends somewhat abruptly, with a few loose ends not being tied up as well they might have been. It appears that part of the reason for this is that Herge originally meant their to be an extra page, but had to cut it out when he realised that this would exceed the 62 pages 'quota' for these books.
All in all though, Flight 714 should definitely be in the top five of Tintin stories. I guarantee that if you get a paperback edition it will soon get quite dog-eared!
on 22 April 2015
“Flight 714” is the penultimate “real” Tintin adventure. Aficionados claim that it's somewhat different from the Tintin comics of Hergé's golden age. The villains are clownish and pathetic rather than really evil, one of the “good” guys turns out to be something of a crook himself, and the story contains paranormal elements not usually found in Tintin adventures.
Maybe, maybe not…personally, I think it was mostly business as usual. All the usual gags are there: Captain Haddock's insults are as incomprehensible as they are colorful, Calculus is distracted and badly in need of a hearing aid, Snowy (Tintin's little dog) is hyper-intelligent and saves the day more than once, and the crooks are old acquaintances from earlier albums. Perhaps Tintin, the ever-young and priggish boy scout, is a bit harder than usual. In “Flight 714”, he is using both guns and machine guns to fight the bad guys!
What makes “Flight 714” interesting is, surprise, precisely the paranormal angel mentioned above. One of the characters, called Mik Kanrokitoff in the English version and Mik Ezdamtoff in the Franco-Belgian original, is based on Jacques Bergier, the famous French ufologist and co-author of “The Morning of the Magicians”! Apparently, Hergé had approached Bergier and asked the ufologist if he wanted to be portrayed in a Tintin comic. Bergier accepted with the words “Nobody remembers last year's Nobel Prize winners, everyone will remember Mik Ezdamtoff”.
The plot has incorporated elements of the “ancient astronaut theory”, made famous shortly afterwards by Erich von Däniken. There are also references to UFO contactees and abductees. The story ends inconclusively, since Tintin and his friends have been hypnotically induced to forget Kanrokitoff and the aliens. Calculus finds an object apparently not made of any metal found on Earth (again like many contactees), but his claims are laughed at by the general public (also a realistic scenario).
All in all, an interesting little piece of cultural studies, originally published in 1966-68.
When Tintin, Cuthbert and Haddock (and Snowy, of course), en-route to an astronautical conference in Australia, bump into Skut (of the The Red Sea Sharks fame) in Jakarta airport, they end up joining the party of Laszlo Carreidas, the "millionaire who never laughs", a great if rather unattractive character (apparently Hergé based his character on Marcel Dassault, a real French aviation tycoon), they find themselves embroiled in another of their exotic adventures. Cuthbert's antics at the airport are priceless, rather quickly causing Carreidas' soubriquet to seem somewhat unwarranted.
Set mostly on a small volcanic Australasian island, with underground remnants of a strangely South American sort, this is one of the most beautifully realised Tintin adventures. Plot-wise it's jammed full of incident, comedy, and good characterisation. Oh, and it gets pretty nutso too, but I won't spoil it for you. Rastapopolous and Allan re-appear, there are new characters worth encountering, like Dr Krollspell and Rastapopolous' other henchmen, as well as the mysterious Mik Kanrokitoff. But it's the visual aspect of the book that is the best single feature... it's a real beauty!
After this there was a hiatus, then Tintin and the Picaros, and that was it (I don't count Alph-Art, as it wasn't finished). It shows that, overall, Hergé got better over time. A classic.
on 20 October 2011
One of the later Tintin adventures, so start with an earlier one.
Without giving too much away, this involves some Tintin and friends being hijacked as part of a kidnap plot for a millionaire.
As this is one of the later adventures the characters have fully developed and the art work is as always by Herge at this point fantastically detailed.
Without giving any of the plot away the adventure takes an interesting turn towards the end.
One of my favorite adventures and worth getting on board before the film hype hits.
on 8 February 2014
I'm not a Tin Tin fan, but these books are A4 size, good value and my friend's son was very pleased with them as a Christmas present. There was a great choice of titles, delivery was quick and they were well packaged so I would recommend them.
on 29 July 2015
This Tintin book was a presnt for 10 year old son. He loves it! If anyone is a Tintin fan it cannot fail to please. In excellent condition as promised.
on 30 December 2015
A great tintin book in correct format - excellent service too - thanks