October Books 21) De Zwarte Rotsen [The Black Island], by Hergé

After the excellent Blue Lotus, The Black Island is a bit of a step backwards for Tintin; he is shot and wounded ion the first page, and then chases a group of forgers to Scotland by a series of improbable incidents involving various means of transport and defeats a gorilla in a ruined castle, all the while hindered by the bungling detectives Thomson and Thompson (who in fairness get some good lines here). One wonders why anyone would go to the trouble of forging Belgian francs in Scotland (or indeed anywhere at all); the basic plot, of a criminal conspiracy being unmasked, is awfully similar to Cigars of the Pharaoh and Tintin in America, though the story is on safer ground by mocking the British rather than Arabs, Indians or native Americans. Not really one of the classics.

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