Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Corto Maltese: La ballade de la mer salée” as Want to Read:
Corto Maltese: La ballade de la mer salée
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Corto Maltese: La ballade de la mer salée (Corto Maltese #2)

4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  856 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Costume de marin, cheveux bruns, anneau à l'oreille gauche. La silhouette élancée et élégante. Une lueur d'amusement et d'ironie bienveillante dans le regard. L'air de se tenir à distance. L'art d'observer choses et gens avec détachement. Certains le disent pirate. Lui se prétend gentilhomme de fortune... Ainsi apparaît Corto Maltese, fils d'une gitane andalouse et d'un ma ...more
Paperback, 169 pages
Published January 1st 2000 by Casterman (first published 1967)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Corto Maltese, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Corto Maltese

Watchmen by Alan MooreThe Complete Maus by Art SpiegelmanV for Vendetta by Alan MooreThe Sandman, Vol. 1 by Neil GaimanThe Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Best Graphic Novels
335th out of 1,829 books — 4,233 voters
The Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisAnne of Green Gables by L.M. MontgomeryPride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Books you would love to live in
60th out of 154 books — 19 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,255)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
La isla bonita?
Mein größter Kritikpunkt an der Fassung, die ich früher schon gelesen hatte, war die Übersetzung, die aus dem Comic ein sprachdebiles Kuriosum machte. Da muss man dann halt auch mal die französische Originalfassung lesen, dachte ich. Falsch gedacht - auch die französische Fassung ist eine Übersetzung, nämlich die des italienischen Originals. Bei Hugo Pratt ist es einfach manchmal schwer herauszufinden, ob das Original in italienisch oder französisch geschrieben wurde. Letztlich is
Hugo Pratt’s work is gorgeous! When I lived in France, I was too poor to buy copies of his bande dessinée so I collected postcards of his work to decorate my walls. This is the first Corto Maltese story that I have read. Rating the book on looks alone, I’d give it four stars. However, the story lost me a bit and would warrant a two (I know, scandal!).

Corto Maltese is a not entirely trustworthy, but fairly likeable pirate whose Ballad of the Salt Sea finds him in the islands north of Australia j
Corto Maltese is the eponymous character of a series of adventure stories by the late Italian comic book master, Hugo Pratt. Translated into English from French in a few scattered volumes here and there throughout the decades, it seems that the legendary Mr. Pratt’s most famous creation is finally getting the treatment he deserves with what should hopefully be a series of high quality English graphic novels collecting all of Maltese’s adventures. This book, ‘The Ballad of the Salt Sea’, is not c ...more
I figure I should have liked this more, but it just has too many flaws to count. Most of it is probably the fault of the publisher. The translation seems clunky and labored. Panels and speech bubbles seem to have been moved to accommodate for the book format. A character could be conducting some monologue inside their head or for a disinterested audience, the thought will be cut off in the middle of the word and continued on the next panel. I doubt that Pratt did this, but I have never seen anot ...more
Philippe Malzieu
Hugo Pratt, is like Lorenzo da Ponte, the Mozart librettist a Jew of the Venetian ghetto.
In "fables of Venise" , he pays homage to the hidden courtyard where is learned Hebrew and 22 alphabet letters tells you an history.
I read all his books, but I choose this one because it's the first one. I was young when I read it and I was perplexed. It was not usual to read black and white pitcures. Obviously he was influenced by the comics American and especially Milton Caniff.
I saw the original boards at
I had read a lot of european comics before I bought this, but this was the first graphic novel. I was captivated from the start.

One out of four books I consider as essential for the person I have become. The other three are George Orwell's "Homage to Catalunia", John Fowles' "The Magus" and Michael Dibdin's "Cabal".
This was a fun, high-seas pirate story with an unconventional protagonist. The story meandered in a way that reminded me of older adventure novels. The translation, however, felt pretty clunky and the dialogue was stiff and overly expository. I don't know if this was the case in the original language or not, but I'm of a mind to blame the translation. The art was pretty, but I also got the impression that it was perhaps not up to the quality of the original printings of the story. It looks enoug ...more
Sto cercando l'opzione sei stelline ma non la trovo.
Simon Chadwick
I visited the Tintin Museum near Brussels a couple of years ago and nearby was a comic shop chock-full of European graphic albums. What was visually striking about the place was that the back wall was completely covered with comic-related prints, and the vast majority of these was of a character I knew pretty much nothing about, Corto Maltese, but clearly, in Belgium at least, he was a very popular bloke. After reading a couple of Hugo Pratt stories last year illustrated by Milo Manara I thought ...more
Ryan Scicluna
After reading some short collected stories of the famous pirate Corto Maltese, I decided that I should read one of his most famous adventures. ‘The Ballad of the Salt Sea’ is set in the Pacific Ocean in the early 20th century, and right from the start you realise that this is not a typical pirate story.

This book was released in 1967. Though many of the famous American comics of that period are still brilliant to this day, it is undeniable that they’ve dated, and that it might be hard to introdu
(Commenting on the black-and-white edition.) The artwork is first rate, unique in a haunting way (though its level is not kept up throughout the pages, some frames feeling less perfectly drawn than others). That alone is a reason to discover Corto Maltese (but make sure you get one of the large-page editions, to really make the most of it).

The script, on the other hand, is generally disappointing. It may have been complex for the times (not sure about that), but it looks a bit superficial now, t
Gruslige Übersetzung
Über zwei Dinge sollte man sich im klaren sein, wenn man darüber nachdenkt, sich dieses Buch zuzulegen.

Erstens, die Handlung ist, wie einige meiner Vorredner bereits bemerkten, stellenweise langatmig, ich würde es fast zäh nennen. Es ist definitiv kein Comic für zwischendurch.

Zweitens, die Übersetzung ist absolut unterirdisch. Ich kenne das Original nicht, kann mir aber absolut nicht vorstellen, dass ein Comicautor, der sich so mit einer Zeit und Umgebung befasst, so extrem
Tate Ryan
I think the reason i enjoyed this was it was set in a location, close to home - the pacific, which rarely makes it into the graphic novel/ comic genre. There was nothing particularly impressive about the book and the ending was drawn out with the love fest shown to Corto. I have never read tin tin but I imagine that It is similar but more adult. I made it to the end without complaining, so three stars it is.
An enjoyable adventure story taking place in the South Pacific in 1915, told in graphic novel format. It's not clear, but it feels like these were comics that appeared in newspapers, or some kind of magazine insert. The story is fun, but very convoluted, and the format leads it to be repetitive at times. Still, the artwork is occasionally sublime, feeling like Alex Toth taking to the high seas. Corto Maltese is a fun character, a pirate with a heart of gold, operating in a fascinating place (the ...more
superbes aventures dans le Pacifique, avec comme toile de fond la première guerre mondiale. Corto et Raspoutine sont ici alliés, par défaut, du moine. Japonais, allemands, australiens et anglais se livrent une bataille, ou ce groupe de pirates évoluent au grès de leurs ambitions...Impressionnant de beauté, poésie, amitiés et trahisons...
Alex Sarll
First time I've ever read the allegedly classic series. Hugo Pratt (Italian, as if the name didn't make that clear) is beloved of everyone from Frank Miller to Umberto Eco, but he doesn't do it for me. The art is beautiful in places - like a more primitive version of Pratt's sometime collaborator Manara, with the waves making me want to dive into the page. But the faces are erratic, with features sometimes going for a wander, and the non-white characters often dancing on the edge of sterotype. A ...more
Hugo Pratt was a popular Italian comic book creator and his Corto Maltese character has a pretty big fan base. (See the Corto Maltese site too.) Corto Maltese is an adventurer, sailor, treasure hunter, sometime pirate. This story begins in 1915 when the Russian pirate Rasputin finds Corto adrift in the South Pacific. But from there the story gets a bit convoluted with a pair of kidnapped kids, Germans, Japanese, and various natives around the area. I enjoyed the artwork and the way the story mov ...more
read in two different english editions, each with different page-layouts, one in color, different translations, and one in color and the other black and white. Coming to such a renowned classic for the first time, i'm not surprised that my expectations were not fully met. The story-flow was at times stuttering and the characters seemed to not always act true to their character. Pratt's brushwork, however, left a deep impact crater. I now see the influence corto has had on Paul Pope's work. There ...more
A delightful adventure comic, featuring gorgeously evocative artwork and plenty of Machiavellian twists. The dialogue was sometimes clunky though, and I'm not sure if that's on Pratt or the translator.
These books are wonderful. I wish they were (/had been) more popular in America.
In a context straight from Conrad's South Seas, with an effort to be historically accurate, here we have a great adventure tale, with piracy, love, heroism, and sad endings.

It has much more text, and more subtext, than many other comics. The drawing style alternates from very accurate to shadow form, fitting very well the historical accuracy and the oniric/imaginary segments.

Corto Maltese is a great anti-hero, because he is human, with human failings and virtues. In this book he is more ambiguou
Great adventure with fantastic story telling and dialogue.
This is a book I always go back to. After a long day of office work, or whenever I want to go to the beach but its raining...

The story introduces us to Corto Maltese, ( a great complex and flawed character. A man not bound by time or space...

the art is great and the dialog really witty.

If I am writing this review in English its because my french spelling is quite miserable.

I always like to read this in my room windows opened listening to the rolling stones. ( for some reason I link Corto Malte
It started off a little rough, with stilted dialogue and poor characterization. However, as the second half of the book came along, I was fully immersed. Something that can be said for Pratt is that he had quite an eye for capturing a moment in a small panel, even when it's full of dialogue. The ending of the story is beautiful and unexpected in many ways. I'm definitely looking forward to future Rizzoli releases of Corto Maltese.
Great Corto Maltese adventure, Pratt's story and drawings take us to far-away lands and serious conversations around politics, emotions, warfare and ethics. Admittedly, this story did not seem to me as brilliant as others that I remember (but this could simply be due to my state of mind when I was reading it).
I seem to remember the Corto Maltese books have coloured drawings - am I right? This one was black and white.
Era il 1967 quando in Italia nasceva la rivista a fumetti Sgt Kirk, sulle cui pagine è chiamato a lavorare un disegnatore veneziano già noto in Argentina: Hugo Pratt. Sul primo numero comparve, a puntate, l’inedito Una ballata del mare salato.

Continua a leggere:
E' stato il primo Corto, com'è giusto che sia. E fu subito amore. Corto è compresso al massimo il prototipo dell'eroe romantico, talmente denso che come di una nana bianca ci si aspetta l'esplosione, talmente roboante da distruggere la macchietta pericolosa di idealtipo per farne unicità e leggenda. E poi Hugo Pratt è narrativamente un genio.
Russell Olson
I really enjoyed this. The art work is so spontaneous and wonderfully visceral. It is clunky at times, but in a good way. I do wonder about the translation, however. At times the dialogue doesn't run as smoothly or as sophisticatedly as the plot seems to require.
Nate Marcel
A big part of Frank Miller's influences. That seems obvious. The art is so spare and quick and great. The story is good and seems well researched. It's just a little slow and seems to demand a bit of a bigger investment into the larger mural of the characters.
Pablo Paz
Que buen prologo por Umberto Eco.. y lo de Pratt y la meticulosidad etnografica en sus dibujos es tremendo... muy bueno el personaje de cerebro.. quedo la espera de ver que pasa con Rasputin en los otros libros.. BUENISIMO¡¡
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 41 42 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Blake et Mortimer, tome 1: Le secret de l'Espadon 1
  • The Hunting Party
  • Le démon de la Tour Eiffel (Adèle Blanc-Sec, #2)
  • Idées noires : L'intégrale
  • Les murailles de Samaris (Les Cités obscures, #1)
  • NonNonBa
  • L'Incal noir
  • La profezia dell'armadillo
  • Blueberry 1: Chihuahua Pearl
  • Arctic-Nation (Blacksad, #2)
Hugo Pratt, was an Italian comic book creator who was known for combining strong storytelling with extensive historical research on works such as Corto Maltese. He was inducted into the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame in 2005.

More on Huge Pratts' work:
More about Hugo Pratt...
Corto Maltese:  Fable De Venise Corto Maltese en Sibérie (Corto Maltese #7) Corto Maltese: Les Celtiques (Corto Maltese #5) Corto Maltese: Les Ethiopiques Corto Maltese:  Tango

Share This Book

“Quand j'étais petit, je me suis aperçu que je n'avais pas de ligne de chance, alors avec le rasoir de mon pére... zac, je m'en suis fait une comme je voulais.” 0 likes
More quotes…