"Destination Moon" ("Objectif Lune," 1953) gives a detailed account on the preparation and the launching of the expedition to the Moon from the Sprodj Atomic Research Center in Syldavaia using the rocket designed by Professor Calculus. However, be forewarned that this is the first half of the tale, which is continued in "Explorers on the Moon." So do not let the cliffhanger ending to this volume throw you for a loop. Just make a point of picking up both halves of the story and you can avoid any sleepless nights worrying about Tintin and his friends.
"Destination Moon" is really the set up, for which "Explorers on the Moon" is the payoff. What is most impressive is the attention to detail that Herge shows in these books, in terms of both the technical preparation for a trip to the moon and the actual trip. There is some intrigue, with agents from Klow trying to thwart the mission, but the main thing here is the preparation for the epic journey. These two volumes stack up well against any 1950s science fiction movie about traveling to the moon and anticipate a lot of what we would read about and see when Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon in 1969. Together these volumes constitute Tintin's greatest adventure (how can you top being the first man on the moon?).
on 1 July 2014
First written in 1953, 15 years before the first real moon landing in 1969!
I like these books because of their nostalgia value, good old-fashioned values of heroism, adventure good vs. evil. . I first got hold of copies of 'Destination Moon ' and 'Explorers on the Moon' when I was ten, and I was fascinated by the world which they opened up.
Tintin and Captain Haddock fly to the uranium-rich Balkan State of Syldavia, to work with Professor Calculus on his project to send a rocket to the moon, using the mountains of Syldavia as a base. You learn a lot about the fantasyland of Syldavia, and about the unusual perception of the world of his time, by the author, Herge.
This work is amazing in its futuristic scope. The super-modern (for when it was written in1953) Sprodj Atomic Research Center, and the details of the rocket where quite an amazing concept when the book was first published, 16 years before the first real moon landing by Neil Armstrong in 1969.
It is full of adventure, such as when Tintin is wounded while surprising villains at the ventilator grid in the picturesque Syldavian Mountains; and much humour such as escapades with Captain
Haddock's pipe and Professor Calculus' hearing aid , and the famous scene of an enraged Professor Calculus `acting the goat'.
It is a great adventure for all ages, a wonderful album to have.
Part one of Hergé's double-bill lunar oddysey - both parts written quite some time before mankind actually made it to the moon - this is classic stuff. I actually came to this second lunar episode some time after Explorers On The Moon, through a quirk of chronological fate. But I was able, then and now, to enjoy each part as either a stand-alone adventure or, once I had them both, in combined effect.
As a scientist of international renown Professor Calculus gets involved in plans to put man on the moon. To be launched neither from Russia nor America, but Hergé's own east-central European creation, Syldavia (as previously featured in King Ottokar's Sceptre), this makes for an interesting contrast with the Cold War realities of the Space Race. Of course, this being Tintin, intrigues are as usual afoot, and Tintin's pals are there to bring welcome comic relief to his earnest adventuring.
Hemmed in by mountains like a Bond villain's lair, the Sprodj atomic research centre is a fabulous creation. With armed checkpoints and underground tunnels, it was a real spur to my childish imagination. Once the characters are established in their new location a wonderfully fraught rapport develops between the practically deaf Calculus and the always irascible Haddock, culminating in some fantastically funny scenes. Hergé rather cleverly uses the resulting humour to get across some scientific exposition from Calculus that might otherwise have seemed tedious for young readers.
As with Explorers On The Moon there's been interest, naturally, in what Hergé got right and wrong scientifically. Personally I think he got the balance between credibility and fantasy just right. Certainly as a kid I was just enchanted by it. Even now, knowing what we do, these stories work well as a work of child's entertainment that can also enchant and satisfy adult minds and imaginations. It is also, of course, beautifully and meticulously drawn. For me this remains, all these years after having first read it, a satisfying masterpiece of children's storytelling, 'bande dessinée', and the Hergé studios 'clear line' style at its best, and sets one up for eager anticipation of Explorers On The Moon.
on 3 June 2015
This is part 1 of Tintin's lunar adventure. Both books were my favourite Tintin books when I was a child and it is nice to have them both again. I will not go over the plot as others have done this but surface to say all the great characters are here Tintin, captain Haddock, Prof Calculus and also of course the usual assortment of swarthy foreign villans - would it be published today one wonders? Bearing in mind it was writen long before space flight became a reality (let alone travel to the moon) it is rather accurate in detail although the design of the rocket is dated.
Great fun - get both read them and then give them to your children or if older your grand children.
on 9 April 2001
I first read this in the late 'fifties, and I still like it a lot. Good, solid atmosphere, and when the Professor gets furious I hold my breath. The testing of the dog helmet is also a classic bit. The book ends in a suitable cliffhanger (space-hanger?) and is highly recommended.
on 14 March 2013
I love how TinTin has lasted over the years - I have fond memories of reading them in the school library on a rainy day. Of course the movie was a great 're-launch' in their popularity and when my 7yo son showed an interest after seeing the movie I bought a few books as part of his Christmas sack. He was hooked! I have since bought a couple more for birthday/easter/Christmas as a bit of a traditional 'treat' and he almost has the set. He has read many of them 3-4 times each and still loves them - as he has gotten older and his reading more advanced he has understood the story and the characters that much more each read.
on 9 August 2015
This was a present to an eleven year old boy on his birthday, and he greeted it with joy. Hopefully it will help improve his English, as he is a little weak in this language. His Welsh is fine, but his English needs a bit of attention. Yes, this is a Welsh-speaking part of Wales, and the young man in question is one of my friends' offspring. I have read this book myself in the past, and thoroughly enjoyed this Tintin tale. It is one of Herge's masterly tales. I have been familiar with Tintin for over fifty years, and the memory still pleases. Not only might it be a means to improve knowledge of the English language, but a very enjoyable story to read, and attractive colour cartoon book as well. I think that the well crafted Tintin still appeals. I recommend this book and other Tintin books to all who like a sense of adventure, no matter what age the reader.
Ah, landing on the moon. For decades before Neil Armstrong took one small step for a man, people dreamed about it.
And that is all that "Destination Moon" -- the first half of Tintin's moon saga -- is concerned with: sending out intrepid (and sometimes very reluctant) heroes to the moon itself. Tintin takes a backseat in this particular volume, as it focuses more on Calculus and Haddock, but otherwise it's a fun, comedic romp.
An urgent telegram summons Tintin and Captain Haddock to Syldavia, where Calculus is involves in a mega-secretive project. The project turns out to be a planned rocket launch to the moon, using nuclear technology that Calculus himself has perfected. And much to Captain Haddock's trepidation, the near-deaf Calculus enlists him, Tintin and Snowy onto the expedition.
But the project is rife with problems. Some are small (Captain Haddock's spacesuit full of mice), but some are much more imposing, especially when two spies parachute into the nearby mountains. And during a test flight, someone hijacks the unmanned rocket. Will our heroes ever get to the launch, let alone the moon?
The whole moon-expedition is one of those most entertaining Tintin stories that Hergé ever produced -- it's a mass of scientific geekery, slapstick (usually from Haddock or Calculus), and technical malfunctions galore (how many wires can get disconnected in one base?). It's unrealistic, but has an eager charm that shows that Hergé really loved the idea.
The biggest problem with the story is that Tintin himself is almost a background character for long stretches of the story, since his investigative skills aren't really needed for most of the plot.
But at least we have the hijinks that Haddock, Calculus, Thomson and Thompson get up to, including the arrest of a skeleton and Haddock's attempts to cure Calculus of amnesia. It's a fun little story with lots of running gags, but it becomes much more serious in the final pages, when our heroes are actually faced with GOING INTO SPACE.
"Destination Moon" is marred by a lack of Tintin doing anything, but is otherwise a delightfully comedic adventure tale -- but the story isn't over yet.
The problem with Destination Moon is that it's really just a scene-setter for Explorers on the Moon. While the opening books of the other two double-length Tintin adventures, The Secret of the Unicorn and The Seven Crystal Balls, are essentially just the opening acts for the main adventures in their respective storylines, they each have their own strengths as standalone books and, arguably, the build-up in each even surpasses the follow-up. That certainly isn't the case with Destination Moon, which necessarily takes a rather long time to go into the preparations for Tintin and his pals making the first manned journey to the Moon.
Preparation for Destination Moon began in 1946 one must remember, and it was published fifteen years before the first moon landing, so this is quite a leap of imagination all the same. Hergé would research the subject thoroughly for all the latest post-war technical advances in nuclear technology and rocket science in order to make the adventure as realistic as possible, while still retaining the mystique and excitement of what would surely be the ultimate Tintin adventure for a journalistic investigator who has already explored much of the world - a journey into space.
While Hergé goes into the technical detail of the building of a rocket, considering in detail the requirements on board, going as far as to include a full-page blueprint of the rocket, and the technology involved in getting it off the ground, he does however try to prevent this from being too dry by mixing in the usual slapstick fooling around - The Thomsons, Haddock and Calculus all fulfilling their remit in this respect - and, of course, including some espionage elements, which if not leading to a great deal at this stage, do at least set-up well revelations in the sequel Explorers on the Moon.
As hard as Hergé tries to spice-up the story, there's no getting away from the fact that the slapstick and the science don't blend together terribly well. Some moments work however and make a memorable impression - the usually mild-mannered Calculus is revealed to have quite a temper when Haddock accuses him of "acting the goat", the Thomson's encounter with an X-ray machine leading to a hunt for a skeleton which is wonderfully laid-out, and there is some genuine tension on the spy front when a test rocket looks like falling into the hands of an unknown enemy - but the real fireworks in the story are reserved for Explorers on the Moon.
on 16 January 2010
This is the first book in the two part story of Tintin's trip to the Moon. It's certainly well drawn and provides an interesting chance to see how many of Herge's ideas about space travel actually came true 16 years later.
On the other hand, the story is arguably a bit po-faced and the espionage sub plot isn't really that exciting either. Another criticism is that nearly all the action is centred on the space centre where the rocket is being built, which inevitably limits the options.
Of course, if you're a Tintin fan like me you will naturally get this book, but I have to admit that it rarely comes off my bookshelf.