Tintin and the Secret of Literature by Tom McCarthy - review by Marcus Berkmann

Marcus Berkmann

Thompson and Thomson… and Derrida

Tintin and the Secret of Literature


Granta Books 224pp £14.99

Tintin, wonderfully, survives and thrives. The centenary of Hergé’s birth approaches, the books are still in print in countless languages, and soon Steven Spielberg’s Tintin film will be out, a slightly worrying prospect to many fans, although it probably shouldn’t be. After all, those cack-handed 1960s TV cartoons didn’t kill the original, so it should be immune to the sickly slurp of Mr ET. Fingers crossed, anyway.

The books endure, though, because they remain so thoroughly readable. Between 1930 and 1976 Hergé published twenty-three ‘albums’ of Tintin adventures, at least half of which might be among the best children’s books published by anyone, ever. Myself, I think the series really takes off with Captain Haddock’s entrance in

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