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Month in review

Reviews:
Bronte's Book Club by Kristiana Gregory
Cat and Mouse by Günter Grass
Destination Moon by Georges Remi Hergé
Doctor Who and the Three Doctors by Terrance Dicks
The Egyptian Box by Jane Louise Curry
Explorers on the Moon by Georges Remi Hergé
Fairy Glade and Other Enchanting Stories by Dawn Beaumont-Lane
Firehorn by Robert Reed
Fishing, for Christians by Tim Roux
The Girls by Helen Yglesias
The Glenn Miller Conspiracy by Hunton Downs
Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
Harriet's Hare by Dick King-Smith
I Spy Fantasy by Jean Marzollo
Land of Black Gold by Georges Remi Hergé
The Motorman's Coat by John Kessel
The Mouse, The Cat and Grandmother's Hat by Nancy Willard
Murder Mysteries by Neil Gaiman
Mysterious Magical Circus Family Kids: The Chocolate Cake Turkey Lip Crumb Trail Mystery Adventure by R. Hawk Starkey
Night Watch by Terry Pratchett
One Bright Star to Guide Them by Mark C. Wright
Poor Puppy by Nick Bruel
The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain
Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
A Rebel in Time by Harry Harrison
Retrograde Summer by John Varley
The Second Ship by Richard Phillips
The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson
She and I: A Fugue by Michael R. Brown
The Vicar of Nibbleswicke by Roald Dahl
A Walk in the Rainforest by Kristin Joy Pratt
Warrior from Heaven by Kermit Zarley



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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for Land of Black Gold

Land of Black GoldLand of Black Gold: 07/17/09

Someday I hope to read the Tintin comics in French. So many of the puns just don't translate to English. My local library has a bunch of Tintin comics and I selected one of the volumes at random. It contained Land of Black Gold, Destination Moon and Explorers of the Moon.

Land of Black Gold focuses on an oil crisis. Oil isn't running out here but it isn't working right either. Automobiles, planes, ships and anything else running on oil based fuels are suffering from exploding engines.

Tintin and his compadres first look at the auto repair company, sort of like a Belgian auto club. They seem to be profiting from all these automobiles breaking down on the highway. I personally would have loved to see the story play out as a case of local terrorism but instead Tintin must go to a fictional Arabian country.

Now here's where things start to go pear shaped in my review. The original adventure was serialized in 1938. In that version Tintin and his friends go to Palestine and the comic strip apparently plays up the tensions between Britain, the Zionists and the Palestinians. By the time the comic was being bound into book form, Israel was a fledgling country the old gags were dated and tacky.

So starting with the 1950 edition Hergé moved the location to a fictional Arabian country. The resulting editing hack job leaves most of the plot without any coherence, being strung together by a bunch of really stupid gags involving mirages, a brat of a kid and Thompson and Thomson being even stupider than normal.

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Comment #1: Saturday, July, 18, 2009 at 08:13:55

Chris Tregenza

Both Black Gold and Black Island suffer from being rewritten. The strengths of the original versions are lost and the new material is weak.



Comment #2: Saturday, July 18, 2009 at 22:42:06

Pussreboots

Land of Black Gold seemed disjointed with all the rewriting.