The Broken Ear (The Adventures of Tintin 6)
The Broken Ear (The Adventures of Tintin 6)
The Broken Ear (The Adventures of Tintin 6)
Price: $6.52 FREE for Members
Type: eBook
Released: 1978
Page Count: 62
Format: pdf
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316358509
ISBN-13: 9780316358507
User Rating: 3.6667 out of 5 Stars! (3 Votes)

babydoh | 3 out of 5 Stars!

The Broken Ear (L'Oreille Cassée in the original French) is the sixth installment in the Adventures of Tintin series. It is also the first of the Tintin stories set in fictional Hispanic land San Theodoros, which (along with some of its natives) is to play a much greater role in later tales. The "broken ear" in the title refers to that of the Arumbaya Fetish, a small tribal statue whose theft from a museum is what begins the story.

In my mind, The Broken Ear is also the last Tintin story that is fully representative, in both its drawing style and plotline, of the early adventures. Looking at the art in The Broken Ear, one notices it bears a most striking resemblance to its immediate predecessors, notably The Blue Lotus and Cigars of the Pharaoh, whereas The Black Island - which immediately follows The Broken Ear - has a much greater similarity to the late adventures. Of course this is due to the subsequent revision (and revision and revision, in some cases) of those stories - but it's still curious to note.

To sum up, The Broken Ear has all the right ingredients: humor, suspense, intrigue, peril (and plenty of it!). To top it off, it features an ending in which the bad guys get what they deserve. Nothing could ever be lovelier.

(The "grrrrreat grrrrreedy-guts!" of the headline refers to a line often uttered in The Broken Ear by a parrot, who plays a crucial role in this story.)

darragh o'donoghue | 4 out of 5 Stars!

After the artistic, technical and emotional peak of 'The Blue Lotus', Herge wisely decided to take things down a gear, rather than attempt to somehow out-marvel that seminal book. So 'The Broken Ear' is Tintin in a minor key - the undeviating single narrative is shorn of sub-plots; the spaces of South America, compared to the intricate detail of Japan and China in 'Lotus', are comparitively broad.

A fetish originating with the Arumbaya tribe is stolen from the Museum of Ethnology, and replaced with a fake. Tintin knows it's bogus because the original had a broken ear, and discovers that two Spanish crooks are also interested in finding the thief. Heroes and villains end up in the small South American principality of San Theodoros where Tintin is set up and put in front of a firing squad. Saved coup, Tintin is made Colonel and right-hand man of dictator General Alcazar, among whose officers appear those same two thieves.

'Ear' is full of typical Herge incident, from the comic pursuit of a splendidly abusive parakeet, to a suspenseful downriver kayak-trip in search of a mysterious, hostile tribe. Herge's satiric sense shows how the political instabilities of many South American countries, with their seemingly daily military coups, are fanned by greedy European and American arms manufacturers and oil companies. The European plunder of other civilisations, so memorably a feature of previous adventures, is once again shown to be disastrous, even fatal. There are some wondrous visual conceits, in particular the Arumbaya rainforest sequence, which, set against an abstract, gren backdrop, frames its physical movements (fights, chases etc.) into a mysterious Matissean dance. The representation of landscape and settlements, with the eye on revealing detail, is as resonant as ever.

All this is fine, but one can't help feeling the lack of density, the rather perfunctory nature of the whole.

Elizabeth (Washington, DC United States) | 4 out of 5 Stars!

This is not one of the better Tintin books. The illustration makes it very apparent that this is one of the earlier books. I find the story line to be rather choppy. This book was also penned before the introduction of Captain Haddock or Professor Calculus; even the Thompson Twins do not have much depth to them. It is noteworthy that General Alcazar makes his first appearance in this adventure. This book should be read before Herge's final Tintin adventure, Tintin and the Picaros, which in some senses is a continuation of The Broken Ear.

When a wooden statue is stolen from the museum, Tintin is intent on tracking it down. His pursuit takes him through South America, from the fictional country of San Theodoros (in which Herge satirizes the fickleness of a dictatorship) through the jungles of the Amazon. Murder and mayhem accompany him every step of the way.

Despite this book's lackings, it is a Tintin book, a fact which makes it a worthy read in of itself. For collectors, it is a must have. For Tintin enthusiasts, it is an enjoyable tale. For anyone unfamiliar with Tintin, I must stress that the other books are even better.

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