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Les Aventures de Tintin: Objectif Lune…

Les Aventures de Tintin: Objectif Lune (French Edition) (original 1953; edition 1993)

by Hergé (Author)

Series: Tintin (16)

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1,272139,328 (4.09)21
Title:Les Aventures de Tintin: Objectif Lune (French Edition)
Authors:Hergé (Author)
Info:Caterman (Educa Books) (1993), Edition: Student, 62 pages
Collections:Your library

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Destination Moon by Hergé (Author) (1953)



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English (7)  Danish (2)  Spanish (2)  Lithuanian (1)  French (1)  All languages (13)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
My review, as posted in Tintin Books:

Ah, "Destination Moon". As a child, I didn't have a particular affinity with the moon albums. I guess I was more interested in character stories and less in science at the time, but I have to say looking back this - and its second half [b:Explorers on the Moon|165556|Explorers on the Moon (The Adventures of Tintin)|Hergé|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1172341878s/165556.jpg|159847] - is quite an achievement.

Briefly, the cons: "Destination Moon" is all set-up and little pay-off since it was designed from the start as the first half of an adventure. On top of this, there's a fair bit of filler since obviously Herge didn't want his heroes leaving Earth until the final pages. But unlike some of the earlier albums, where every page is a cliffhanger despite how ridiculous it may seem, this story is deliberately paced, filled with suspense and a genuine feeling of discovery.

On top of this, all the characters are given plenty to do. Calculus - who seems to have been the driving force in most of the albums from this era - has an ear trumpet to help him hear better (which of course, it rarely does) and his relationship with Captain Haddock is gorgeous. Note the scene where Haddock claims Calculus is "acting the goat". People love to draw Tintin and Haddock as a secret couple, but if anything it's these two!

Snowy also gets a lot of great sight gags, spending the first third of the album in an oversized outfit as he struggles to walk around the compound. And the Thompsons too, incompetence tempered by a genuine interest in the subject matter, are handled well. There's a lot of beautiful artwork evident in Herge's later middle period - the full-page shot of the rocket being prepared for take-off, for instance.

Sure, there are a few wrong notes: Tintin being mobbed by baby bears and then tricking them over a cliff seems both an unnecessary addition and a cruel resolution. But by and large, this is gold. (My favourite moment is Snowy somewhat self-referentially turning to the reader to join our excitement at the "sensational appearance of the Thompson twins!".

In some ways, these two albums are the end of Herge's middle period in which his insane amount of research was both the series' biggest blessing and its greatest curse. On the one hand, Herge's love for the subject matter really shines through - notably in the final few pages which feature several large drawigns of the rocket. In a possibly unique move, he donates an entire page to the rocket's blueprint! Because of this knowledge, the long stretches of dialogue in the early parts of the album are all the more meaningful and we come to feel the same level of anticipation and hope that the characters do, pushing us further into despair at the moments when all seems lost.

But countering this is the fact that, because he had so much knowledge to impart, Herge occasionally lets his storytelling skills lag. Even the Cold War villainy at play here is in the background, as most time is spent on discovery and knowledge. I should reiterate that the good elements far outweigh the bad, but one gets the impression that Herge had a long list of exciting facts and moments he just needed to convey, and plot could damn well come second.

All in all, "Destination Moon" is a labour of love for the artist. One could argue that a lot of the discovery (e.g. Haddock's testing of his spacesuit) had more weight in the '50s before this kind of thing was common-place. True, but Herge's passion bounces off the page, and I still feel genuinely enthralled by the politics and the sense of discovery. Four and a half stars. ( )
  therebelprince | Oct 30, 2018 |
Knowing how much I love stories about space travel, including ones from before space travel was an actual human accomplishment, a friend of mine lent me this 1953 collection of Tintin comics, along with its follow-up The Adventures of Tintin: Explorers on the Moon. As the titles indicate, these feature Tintin and friends taking a trip to the moon. This one covers testing and preparing the moon rocket, as well as dealing with some unfriendly elements who are trying to steal the rocket's secrets, and ends with our heroes blasting off on their journey.

I know several people who have a great fondness for Tintin, so I was a little curious to finally read some of his adventures for myself. And... Well, the bumbling antics of the various characters are mildly amusing, but I have the sad suspicion that I may have come to this series a little late in life to fully appreciate it. I do give it some points for actually getting its lecture on nuclear science mostly right, though! Even if some of the other elements had more of a lighthearted sense of ridiculousness to them. ( )
  bragan | Apr 4, 2016 |
The story that begins with Destination Moon and continues in Explorers on the Moon is my favorite in the Tintin series. When I started the Tintin series I was already a science fiction fan, and I was already fascinated by the Apollo moon landings. In fact when I was about five or six I had a board game about going to the moon. Sadly, I have no idea what happened to this game. In any event, by the time I got to reading Tintin, I was primed for a story about Professor Calculus spearheading an effort to build moon rocket and using it to take his friends Tintin and Captain Haddock on a voyage to outer space. Although the story was superseded by actual history nineteen years later when Apollo 11 actually did touch down on the lunar surface, at the time it was written, everything about the development and launching of a rocket to the moon was science fiction. It is something of a testament to the expansiveness of Hergé's vision that many elements of the story, such as a nuclear powered rocket, are still in the realm of science fiction.

As with most Tintin stories, this one wastes no time getting started. Tintin and Captain Haddock return to Marlinspike from a trip and are immediately informed by Nestor that Professor Calculus had left three weeks before after getting a mysterious visit from a foreign caller. A cryptic phone call leads to a brief bit of panicked searching before a they receive a telegram from Calculus telling Tintin and Haddock to join him in Syldavia, the fictional country that provided the setting for King Ottokar's Sceptre. Of course, the two set out immediately, even though Syldavia appears to be something of a potential nightmare for Captain Haddock given their lack of alcohol coupled with their national affinity for mineral water.

On their arrival in Syldavia, Tintin and Haddock are whisked away in a chauffeured car through mysterious checkpoints until they finally find Calculus safe and sound at the secret Sprodj Atomic Research Center. It turns out that Syldavia has rich deposits of uranium, and decided to develop an industry around this discovery. because this is the world of Tintin and the governments he likes are altruistic, the Syldavians rejected out of hand the idea of using their radioactive riches to build weapons (despite their obvious and ongoing rivalry with the pugnacious Bordourians), but instead decided to focus on humanitarian applications, one of which is to be a mission to the moon. Calculus reveals his previously unmentioned expertise in astronautical matters which has led the Syldavians to invite him to head up their moon project. And because the best way to get asked to join a mission to the moon is not to have lots of relevant technical expertise, but rather to be friends with the eccentric scientist heading the project, Tintin and Haddock are tabbed to join him on his journey. When this book was written in 1953, humans had not even put a single satellite into earth orbit, which makes Captain Haddock's mirth at being asked to journey to the moon somewhat understandable.

Although this is the fourth book since Professor Calculus was introduced to the series, Destination Moon is the first in which the Professor is really fully developed as a character. When he was introduced in Red Rackham's Treasure, Calculus was an eccentric inventor who was comically almost deaf. When he appeared in the two-part story The Seven Crystal Balls and Prisoner of the Sun he served mostly as a plot device to drive the action forward by getting kidnapped. Calculus isn't actually in Land of Black Gold except as a reference in a letter. However, having finally shed his baggage from World War II, Hergé pushed Calculus to the forefront of this story, and unleashed his pulp fiction story telling abilities. In the process, he took Calculus from a source of additional comic relief and developed him into a more fleshed out character, revealing (among other things) that despite his continuous assertions that he is "only slightly deaf in one ear" that he is actually aware that he is virtually deaf. Calculus also displays a sensitivity about his work that manifests as an explosive temper, humanizing him and making one consider that maybe it is better if Calculus can't hear anyone else and is able to simply let the various questions about the merits of his work slide by without noticing them.

And it is probably the featured role that Calculus plays in this book that makes it top my list of Tintin adventures. Despite the fact that the book makes constructing a rocket that will carry a mission to the moon seem much too easy, and glosses over the enormous amount of infrastructure that would be required as well as the massive cost that such an endeavor would entail, it mostly plays fair with the science, and considering it was written in 1953 by a man with no technical background at all, it is a remarkably sophisticated depiction of the preparations for a lunar expedition. It was certainly enough to fire the imagination of my twelve year old self even though by the time I read these books the Apollo program was a decade in the past, and as a result I knew that this story wasn't anywhere close an accurate depiction of how men had actually gone to the moon. Even so, the over sized panels showing the nuclear pile, the test rocket and finally the full-sized moon rocket help give the story a verisimilitude that makes it convincing that even if people didn't go to the moon this way, they could have, at least sufficiently so to make the story believably enjoyable. The brief interlude during which Calculus loses his memory kind of ruins this to a certain extent however, as without his contributions all work on the moon expedition grinds to a halt. It just doesn't seem plausible that the entire gargantuan project would depend entirely on the contributions of a single man, no matter how brilliant he is supposed to be.

Another part of the story that doesn't make much sense is the espionage subplot that runs through the book. This being a Tintin adventure, it seems inevitable that there should have to be some sort of plot line that involves intrigue and investigation, if for nothing else to give Tintin something to do while he is waiting for the rocket to be ready to launch. And, of course, to give Thompson and Thomson a reason to make their usual fumbling and incompetent appearance in the story. This subplot is set up from the moment Tintin and Captain Haddock touch down in Syldavia as some sinister looking characters spy on the pair and talk cryptically about their arrival, although this is somewhat lost in the swirl of paranoia involving checkpoints and secret policemen that dominates this portion of the book. Later, Tintin demonstrates he is brighter than the entire Syldavian secret police organization and figures out where a parachuted enemy agent would gain access to the secret research facility where everyone in the book is working, but then shows that he is lousy at providing security by not telling anyone else so that he is easily overpowered when the villains show up to rendezvous with their contact inside the facility. This does arouse sufficient suspicion that Tintin thinks to install a self-destruct switch on the unmanned rocket that Calculus sends to the moon, which prevents the rocket from being hijacked by the mysterious enemy. But this whole plot just seems silly. Exactly what are the villains going to steal? Are they planning on reverse engineering the rocket? One would think that simply having their inside man steal the plans would be an easier way of accomplishing this. And of course, without the nuclear fuel that the rocket uses, which is apparently all within Syldavia, building their own rocket would be somewhat useless. Are they planning on trying to claim credit for the rocket flight? This seems implausible unless the Syldavians are trying to keep the flight itself secret, which doesn't seem to be the case. The only thing left would be appropriating the lunar data the probe acquired on its flight, but that seems like a pretty small prize for hijacking a rocket. In short, while one could imagine stealing the engineering secrets of the moon project, going to the trouble to divert the rocket (and as a result pretty much give away the identity of the nation that engaged in this theft), seems to be quite silly.

Fortunately, the espionage plot doesn't overshadow the remainder of the book, and what is left is a book that somehow makes planning to go to the moon interesting. Even though most of the book takes place in a mostly secret facility that seems to be mostly built underground as people shuffle blueprints and test spacesuit designs, somehow Hergé is still able to make the story fun and exciting to read. Even though taking a dog to the moon is a patently unbelievable plot point, as is having the rocket's acceleration when it leaves Earth be so intense that everyone blacks out to the point that those monitoring their transmissions fear the crew may have died, the story is still well-crafted enough to seem mostly plausible. Punctuating the dry technical aspects of the story with the humor of Thompson and Thomson's misadventures with an x-ray machine and Captain Haddock's attempts to get tobacco and whiskey on board the manned rocket prevents the book from bogging down in boring detail. Although this book doesn't deliver a self-contained story - it ends on a cliffhanger that sets up Explorers on the Moon - it is still one of the best Tintin books, and the first half of the best story in the series.

This review has also been posted to my blog Dreaming About Other Worlds. ( )
1 vote StormRaven | Jan 28, 2012 |
First edition of this book in French
  haritsa | Sep 26, 2009 |
The book is in excellent condition given it is nearly 50 years old! It is from the SJ Ackerman collection (Forry Ackerman (1916-2008) was one of the great names in science fiction and imagi-movie memorabilia (also a hell of a nice guy). Coiner of the term "Sci Fi", he was the ultimate fanboy. Most famous for his editorship of Famous Monsters of Filmland, he was also well known for his monumental achievement that was the Ackermansion (all 3 of them)!)
  haritsa | Sep 20, 2009 |
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» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
HergéAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lonsdale-Cooper, LeslieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Turner, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zendrera, ConcepciónTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0316358452, Paperback)

Tintin begins his greatest adventure when he and Captain Haddock are rather cryptically summoned to join Professor Calculus in Klow. It turns out that the professor has joined a consortium in order to build a rocket that will land a person on the moon (this was in 1953, well before Neil Armstrong). Unfortunately, the project has attracted some unwanted attention from those who will resort to sabotage and skullduggery to steal the technology. Is the project successful? Well, it's probably not that great of a spoiler to reveal that the story is continued in Explorers on the Moon. --David Horiuchi

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:16 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Tintin, Snowy, and Captain Haddock join Professor Calculus' moon expedition.

(summary from another edition)

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