David Sarkies's Reviews > Prisoners of the Sun

Prisoners of the Sun by Hergé
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Feb 17, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: adventure
read count: 1

The Inca curse takes Tintin and Haddock to Peru
17 February 2012

It took me a while to get around to reading this one (okay, it was a week, but then again I am re-reading all of my Tintin comics, and getting my hands on the ones that I don't have, though I have found that getting a copy of Tintin in the Congo is going to be an expensive endeavour) but I finally read it this morning and I must say that I absolutely loved it. This is an adventure story in the truest sense of the word. It pretty much have everything in it: an ancient Inca conspiracy, treks through the mountains and the jungles, hilarious scenes with Captain Haddock getting himself into all kinds of trouble (would we expect any less from Herge?), numerous death-defying experiences, and the typical antics of the Thompson Twins. I love it.

This story follows on from Seven Crystal Balls. Professor Calculus has been kidnapped, and Tintin and Captain Haddock travel to Peru to attempt to rescue him. Some have indicated that by travelling half-way around the world, and then treking for weeks over some very inhospitable terrain shows how much love they hold for Professor Calculus, and what is more surprising is that this is technically the second adventure that they go on after meeting him (and by saying this I consider Seven Crystals Balls and Prisoners of the Sun to be one long adventure). However, we must remember that both Tintin and Captain Haddock are very noble characters (despite Haddocks fits of rage, drunkenness, and somewhat bi-polar personality) and they will go to great lengths to not only help a friend, but to also right a wrong that has been perpetrated. One thing that we forget is that there is more to this story than just rescuing Calculus as there are also seven archaeologists who are in hospital due to a curse that has been placed on them.

As I said, this is an adventure in the truest sense of the word. As we progress through the story we come to understand the difficulties and the length of the trek that they undertake. They pretty much travel into some of the remotest parts of Peru: by foot. They cross one mountain range, travel through a jungle, and then onto another mountain range on the other side, and the journey takes weeks. Further, it is a very perilous journey. Not only are they being stalked and hunted by the Inca, but there are also the natural dangers that they face. There is one hilarious scene where a tapir is charging through the forest, runs down Captain Haddock (who else?), and continues on without a blink. Then there is the scene where they are crossing a river and are being swarmed by alligators. Herge is simply a genius.

As mentioned, this follows on from Seven Crystal Balls, and the theme regarding archaeology continues. The conclusion is that these archaeologists are not out to loot tombs of their treasures, but rather to explore an ancient civilisation to come to understand better how their culture worked. In many cases, these civilisations are long gone, and the only way we can understand them is through their relics. However, there is also the question of whether we have the right to remove them from where they were found. This is an ongoing debate, particularly in relation to treasures removed from Egypt as well as the Elgin Marbles which were taken from Greece to the British Museum. The problem with the Elgin Marbles is that Lord Elgin actually purchased them off the then Greek government. Is it right, though, for the Greeks to be willing to give up such treasures. I would say no, however I also believe that these artifacts are for the benefit of humanity as they help us to understand and learn more about these ancient cultures. These days, however, we find that many of them are placed in museums run by the government of the respective country, but what happens when we have countries like Greece going bankrupt and selling off their treasures to the highest bidder. I prefer these objects to be on display for the whole world to see, not locked away in some private collection, only for the entertainment of the wealthy oligarchy.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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WkdAngel Wow brings back memories! Excellent review and good on you for reading the whole series again! How many were there in total? I read close to 20 I think (15)....when I was a kid :-)


message 2: by David (last edited Nov 23, 2012 02:28PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sarkies Counting Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, Tintin in the Congo and the uncomplete Tintin and Alphart, there are 24 albums. I would have read 21 when I was a kid.


message 3: by Sweet (new) - added it

Sweet Janet really I wish I could have yhem


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