Ratings : 4/5
There is no way I am going to say I didn’t like any of Tintin’s stories. So this is a narration of stories of the three books rather than a book review. Snowy should be given more credit for his bravery to save Tintin at the most critical moment. And Wow no one could swear (or drink) like Captain Haddock! Amongst the three, I like The Crab with the Golden Claws best.
The Crab with the Golden Claws
This story is set in the backdrop of Moroccan Desert.
The mystery begin with the discovery of a fragment of can label with a picture of a crab with “Karaboudjan” written at the back of the label. It appears to be a name of ship. A Japanese man attempted to warn Tintin but before he could do so he was kidnapped. At the port Tintin is almost killed by a fallen cargo, knocked unconscious and tied up on board the Karaboudjan.
On board, Snowy freed Tintin from the rope. Tintin found cans of the crab label containing opium. Tintin crawled through the port-hole and climbed onto Captain Haddock’s chambers. This is the first time the Captain Haddock character is introduced. Captain Haddock and Tintin escaped with the long boat. Drunken Haddock set fire on the long boat to keep him warm! The long boat overturned and a seaplane with Moroccan markings: C.N. flew overhead with two criminals trying to shoot at Tintin. Tintin managed to capture the two criminals at gunpoint and flew the seaplane to shore. Troublemaker Haddock is so drunk that he demanded to take over the seaplane and knocked Tintin (who is flying the plane) on the head with a whiskey bottle. Tintin woke up just in time to steer the plane to the desert. Tintin saved the criminals from the burning plane. While discovering of a dinosaur’s bone, the criminals escaped. Haddock and Tintin walked through the desert dying with thirst until they met Lieutenant Delcourt’s army on camel. They heard over the radio that the Karaboudjan had sunk, and Tintin wanted to get to the coast not aware that he is in grave danger as he will cross the path with 20 Arab Raiders at the wells of Kefheir. Lieutenant Delcourt’s army came in time to save Tintin and they made their way to Bagghar, large Moroccan port.
Tintin spotted one of the criminal and chased him through the medina. While Haddock found out the Karaboudjan had been renamed “Djebel Amilah.” Tintin lost the suspect and found out instead the Golden crab food can business belongs to a man called Omar Ben Salaad. Haddock and Tintin fought and escaped the grasp of the criminal in wine cellar. Omar Ben Salaad is portrayed as a pious and respectable rich business man who operates a drug ring. The businessman and his alliance are caught behind bars. The Japanese man Bunji Kuraki then revealed he was tracking this organised gang in Far East and met a sailor called Herbert Dawes where he was drowned with 5 coins and the fragment of the golden crab can label.
The Shooting Star
A meteorite shot from the sky and drop on earth. Tintin met the director of the observatory, Decimus Phostle, and he predicted the moment at which the cataclysm will happen. A madman Philippulus the prophet is walking around the street announcing the end of the world and persuaded the crowd to repent before it is too late. An earthquake occurred. Professor Decimus said his assistant had miscalculated and the meteor passed 48,000km away from the earth. The part of the meteor crashed through the earth and may contain a rare metal. Professor Decimus wants to be the first to find the fragment of meteor on the surface of the earth and named it Phostlite. The fragment is confirmed to fall in the Arctic Ocean.
While on the way home Tintin saw bricks floating on the surface of water and the same would have happened to the meteor. 8-men team of the European Foundation for Scientific Research (EFSR) including Tintin and Captain Haddock was to set sail on the Aurora to the Arctic. On board they found dynamite, and one of the expedition member, Prof. Cantonneau, was knocked unconscious by madman prophet Philippulus. Tintin faked the voice of the angel from heaven to persuade him to get down from the look-out point at the mast.
News came in informing that rival polar ship “Peary” saled from Sao Rico on the same expedition and had sailed ahead of “Aurora.” Villain Mr. Bohlwinkel is financing the expedition to make a colossal fortune out of the meteorite. “Aurora” set sail with the seaplane on board. In the middle of the night, Captain Haddock and Tintin weather a storm at sea where a near collision with “Peary” was avoided. The Aurora arrived at Akrureyri port to refuel. Mr. Bohlwinkel informed Golden Oil company not to refuel for the Aurora, to thwart their progress. As the Golden Oil supplied to the entire port of Akrureyri, Tintin and Captain Haddock seems to hit a dead end until they bumped into Captain Haddock’s old friend Chester. With Tintin’s idea, Chester requested for refuel for Sirius from Golden Oil and rechanneled the fuel to Aurora until it is full tank. Tintin and pilot flew off with the sea plane to pin down the exact location of the meteorite fragment. They spotted the meteorite and Peary heading their way to the meteorite. Captain Haddock thinks with 37.5 hours to catch up with Peary, they won’t be able to make it. With a few pint later, encouraged by Tintin, he gave out command for Aurora to go full steam ahead.
However, the Aurora received a distress call, a decoy of Peary to divert Aurora. To heed the distress call, they turned back. Tintin soon found out that the ship in distress Cithara is non-existence. Tintin was about to catch some sleep when Captain Haddock informed that Peary is closer and will beat Aurora to the meteorite now. With the seaplane, Tintin parachuted himself on top of the meteorite and planted the EFSR flag on the meteorite. Tintin observed a strange phenomenon on the meteorite. Gigantic spotty red mushroom spurted out from the meteorite, so does Apples trees, apples and spiders! The meteorite then began to tip over into the sea. Tintin saves the day as he managed to bring a piece of rock from the meteorite before the meteorite sunk to the sea.
The Secret of the Unicorn
There is an alarming rise of robbery and pickpockets and the Thomsons are investigating. Tintin bought a miniature model ship in the Old market for Captain Haddock but was offered a high price to be bought over by two men. The first collector came up to Tintin’s door to offer an exchange, but Tintin refused. Snowy accidentally dropped the model ship and broke the main mast of the ship. Captain Haddock was shocked to find the model ship a replica of the one painted as a background to his ancestor’s (Sir Francis Haddock) portrait. When Tintin came back to his house, his model ship were found missing. Tintin contacted the collector who came in minutes ago, Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine, and demand to have the ship back. Tintin found a replica in his home but not the one he bought with the broken mast. Tintin came home to find that his house in a mess. Nothing is missing but the intruders were obviously looking for something. Tintin cleaned up his house and found a piece of parchment which seems to be gibberish. The parchment must be the thing that the intruders are looking for. Tintin visited Captain Haddock to discover he was reading Francis’ journal where he fought the pirates on board the ship Unicorn. The pirates won and they tied Sir Francis and clambered on board and took possession of the Unicorn. Sir Francis ignited the dynamites and fought Red Rackham. Sir Francis defeated the Red Rackham and aborted Unicorn on a long boat to neighbouring island, while the Unicorn blew up to smithereens. He lived in the island for two years and picked up by ship which send him back home. He left a will and bequeathed to each of his three sons the model of the Unicorn, and move the main mast slightly and the truth (the parchment) will come out. The parchment inscribed a message:
Three brothers joyned. Three unicorns in company sailing in the noon day sunne will speak.
For ‘tis from light that light will dawn.(some numbers) And then shines forth … the Eagle’s +
Tintin decided once all three parchments are collected, the Red Rackham’s treasure will be located. Tintin came to see Mr. Sakharine only to find that he had been knocked unconscious by the other man who wanted the same ship in the old market. Before Tintin could get him to talk, a car sped by and shot the man. Before he died he pointed to the sparrows. The Thomsons found Tintin stolen wallet and the secret parchment. Before he could find the third one, Tintin was kidnapped and stowed away in a crate by two men who fake delivery.
Tintin woke up in a cellar and knocked a hole and escaped through an adjacent room full of antiques and collectibles. The two criminals tried to hunt Tintin down, with Tintin’s ingenuity strewning the floor with marbles and went to the office of his kidnappers and found out the dead man was trying to expose the criminal as Mr. Bird. The house butler, Nestor, came to stop Tintin, but Tintin escaped to the woods. The criminals hunted Tintin down with a dog. Tintin tripped over one of them and seized his guns and rounded up the rest. Walking under the window of the house, Tintin was hit by Nestor. At gun point, Snowy (who followed Tintin) since the day Tintin was kidnapped, bit the hands of the kidnapper, and Tintin took this opportunity to knock down the kidnappers. Captain Haddock and Thomsons appeared just in time. 2 of the criminals ran away leaving one to confess to their misdeed. When they (the brothers, Max) bought the house they found one of the ship with a parchment. Max soon contacted Barnaby who is responsible for all the ransacking of Tintin and Sakharine’s place. Barnaby and Max fell out and afraid that Barnaby would betray Max, Max shot him at the doorway when he was about to show Tintin his model ship.
The Thomsons found Mr. Aridtides Silk, a kleptomaniac who pickpocket and collect wallets at home. They found Mr. Bird’s wallet with the second parchment. The Thomsons found the runaway criminal and located the third parchment.
While drinking with Captain Haddock, “With the light that light will dawn”, Tintin placed all three parchments together and held them in front of the light and found the overlaps produced numbers which is the location (latitude) of the Red Rackham treasure. However, Tintin forewarned the readers to read about the adventure in the next book titled “Red Rackham’s Treasure”.