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Tintins oplevelser: Soltemplet by Hergé
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Tintins oplevelser: Soltemplet (original 1949; edition 2006)

by Hergé (Author), Niels Søndergaard (Translator)

Series: Tintin (14)

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1,351119,729 (4.09)14
The classic graphic novel. Tintin discovers that one of the last Incan descendants has kidnapped his missing friend, Professor Calculus. Tintin and Captain Haddock follow the kidnapper to Peru--can they save Calculus?
Member:spacewang
Title:Tintins oplevelser: Soltemplet
Authors:Hergé (Author)
Other authors:Niels Søndergaard (Translator)
Info:Kbh. : Carlsen, 2006. - (64 sider) : alle ill. i farver : 31 cm. - baseret på faksimile af franske vers. fra 1949
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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Prisoners of the Sun by Hergé (1949)

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» See also 14 mentions

English (7)  Spanish (3)  Danish (1)  All languages (11)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
I like Inca-related things but this Tintin was not one of the best I'd read. Tintin crosses the Andes and goes through the jungle in search of Professor Calculus. ( )
  questbird | May 17, 2020 |
My review, as published in Tintin Books:

"Prisoners of the Sun" is a memorable 'Tintin' story, full of attention-grabbing set pieces, and there's no surprise it has been adapted so many times. But, it's not one of the greatest 'Tintin' albums, at least in my opinion.

Tintin, Haddock and Snowy set sail for Peru to find the missing Professor Calculus. There, they travel to isolated towns and through the Andes in search of a lost Inca temple. This is a beautifully drawn album, with Herge revelling in his research into Peruvian culture. There's a lot of colour, depictions of native wildlife, and movement between lush greens and browns to the whites of the mountains. There's plenty of amusing comedy here - particularly in Haddock's battle with the South American animals, and Calculus' inability to grasp the severity of their situation - and some of the earlier sequences, such as the journey aboard a runaway train, are bracing and thrilling.

Things drag a bit, however, once our heroes reach the Andes. As in many of his middle period albums, Herge was fascinated by the research and spent a lot of time padding his stories. The excursions are lovingly crafted and enjoyable, but not much really happens between Tintin's arrival in Peru and his discovery of the temple. Interestingly, Herge had to cut out page after page of story when he transferred the original comic strips into book form, but most of it was diversions from the narrative anyway. A lot is still left in - including several pages of animal attacks in the Andes. (That's not to say it isn't worthwhile reading, it just doesn't teach us anything new).

Similarly, the period in captivity is not exciting at all. We don't learn anything about the Inca captors, nor about Tintin and his friends. Instead, for several pages, Haddock and Snowy continue to doubt Tintin and wonder how they can escape. It must've played really well to the original readers, I'm sure (!). On the other hand, the cutaways to the Thom[p]sons - who are searching the globe unsuccessfully for Tintin - are hysterical.

The climax of the story - in which Tintin successfully tricks an entire culture using science - always felt a little backward to me, even as a child. Apparently, Herge himself doubted the believability of this story (which was passed down from Christopher Columbus himself), but decided it would make a good climax. In the end, though, the Inca and Tintin come to understand each other, and accept that neither one was entirely right. Herge humours himself a little bit with further dream sequences, and an occult-based resolution to the plot, but his Inca are sincere and well-meaning people who don't come across too much as stereotypes, so it's forgivable.

Reading back on my review, I realise that I sound quite undecided about my feelings. At the end of the day, this is an enjoyable read and uses Herge's characters well, with appropriate emotional resonances and lovely artwork. Unfortunately, it's quite predictable and seems to go on far too long without much to tie things together for the middle third of the story. Not the best, but a welcome addition to the series nonetheless. ( )
  therebelprince | Apr 27, 2020 |
Hergé steals a plot device from H. Rider Haggard in this one, or perhaps, to be more generous, pays homage to the master of the adventure story.

Despite my slight annoyance on that point, this concluding "episode" is the better of the two-part story begun in The Seven Crystal Balls.

Runaway trains, secret societies, mountain madness and high jinks in the jungle are just a few of the dangers facing Tintin, Captain Haddock and Snowy, crammed into just 64 pages. The action rarely lets up! ( )
  Michael.Rimmer | Jan 14, 2014 |
Although there were some parts that were probably not completely pc (they were published fifty years ago), I really loved returning to the antics of Tintin, Snowy, and Captain Hadock (especially all of his run-ins with various wildlife in this particular volume). Apparently reading and rereading books with a character who is often seriously intoxicated has not had the least effect on my development :p ( )
  swampygirl | Dec 9, 2013 |
The story begun in The Seven Crystal Balls continues in Prisoners of the Sun as Tintin and Captain Haddock fly to Peru hot on the heels of the kidnappers who abducted Professor Calculus in the previous book. Continuing the pattern established in the diptych of The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham's Treasure, the first book in this story consisted of mysteries and investigation while this, the second volume, is mostly pulp adventure in an exotic location. Unlike Red Rackham's Treasure, Tintin and Captain Haddock very definitely face opposition in this book, in the form of what appears to be a pervasive conspiracy among the Indian inhabitants of Peru.

Because Tintin and Captain Haddock flew to Peru, they arrive ahead of the Pachacamac and wait for its arrival. While consulting with the local police, Tintin spots an Indian spying on them, a fact that the police dismiss. While they wait, Hergé takes the opportunity to set up a running gag involving Captain Haddock and spitting llamas that will recur throughout the rest of the book. Thompson and Thomson also show up (despite not previously being part of the investigation into Calculus' kidnapping) just in time to provide some humor involving bird poop and bowler hats.

Once the Pachacamac arrives, it becomes clear that it had been tipped off that Tintin and Captain Haddock were waiting for it, and the ship displays a quarantine flag. Tintin sneaks on board at night and finds Professor Calculus, but he also finds General Alcazar's old knife-throwing act assistance Chiquito, who informs Tintin that the good professor is under a death sentence for the sacrilege of wearing the golden bracelet he had put on as a lark in The Seven Crystal Balls. What is unclear at this point is why the conspirators felt the need to kidnap and drag Calculus halfway across the world to carry this sentence out rather than just bump him off right away. But they did kidnap him, and now it is up to Tintin and Haddock to get him out of the hands of his captors.

After getting a lead on the kidnappers, Tintin heads off after them and Haddock soon catches up with him, but not before sending Thompson and Thomson out of any active role in the story by sending them the wrong direction (which, all things considered, is probably the best thing to do when one is trying to solve a mystery). Unfortunately, they are foiled by what appears to be a Peruvian-wide conspiracy among the Incan inhabitants, whose actions range from merely trying to hinder Tintin and Haddock, to trying to kill them. Their luck changes when Tintin comes to the aid of a young Indian boy named Zorrino when he is bullied by a pair of Hispanic Peruvians. Tintin's most dominant personality trait - the willingness to always stick up for the little guy - comes in handy as it results in their getting a guide who claims to be able to lead them to Calculus, and a talisman handed to Tintin by a mysterious Indian who witnessed Tintin's bravery. In the world Hergé constructed for Tintin, bravery and honor are rewarded with good fortune, or at least good turns done in response. In this regard, Hergé's world is a much fairer and nicer place to live than ours.

With Zorrino guiding them, Tintin and Haddock set out on a Lost World type expedition into the heartland of Peru, traveling through rocky hills, snow covered mountains, and trackless jungle having numerous exciting encounters with the local fauna and overcoming the natural obstacles of the terrain until they finally stumble onto the hidden Incan Temple of the Sun. It turns out that the Incan Empire didn't get destroyed, it just went underground. One has to wonder though, if the modern day descendants of the Incans are this organized and this devoted, why wouldn't they dominate Peruvian politics? Setting that aside, the idea of a secret Incan nation does make for interesting adventure, although they do have an awfully draconian method of dealing with transgressions: everyone pretty much gets condemned to death right away. Tintin does get a minor bonus by being kind to Zorrino again and handing off the medallion he got from the mysterious stranger, but it is a kind of Pyrrhic bonus because it consists of being permitted to choose the hour that he, Captain Haddock, and Professor Calculus will be executed.

At this point, a little serendipity raises its head, and a scrap of newspaper the Captain saved to light a fire with in the snowy mountains turns out to contain a tidbit of information that gives Tintin what he needs to formulate a plan that he thinks will save their lives. The only problem is that the plan Tintin comes up with, and the scenes in which this plan is executed show that despite coming a long way since the days of Tintin in the Congo, Hergé still has a very patronizing attitude towards non-Europeans. Tintin's plan involves an upcoming solar eclipse and fooling the Incans into thinking that their Sun God was displeased with them and rejected their sacrifice by blotting out the sun. But the Incans in the story are devoted to a Sun God, and most cultures that place a high emphasis on celestial bodies also go to great pains to become very good at astronomy and predicting the movements of the heavens. It seems almost inconceivable that Incans who have gone to such great pains to maintain an ancient temple and a continent-wide network of loyal supporters would be clueless about an impending solar eclipse.

Whether it is believable or not, Tintin's plan works and everyone is saved. To provide some comic relief beyond Calculus' usual misunderstanding everything that is said to him, Hergé incorporates some Thompson and Thomson related humor as the two detectives get hold of Calculus' pendulum and try their hand at divining the location of the missing trio. Their efforts work about as well as can be expected, and the panels of them wandering the world intercut with the story of Tintin, Haddock, and Calculus provide some silly humor. Before too long Tintin has his captors eating out of the palm of his hand, and in an almost off-hand conversation has the temple priests agree to release the explorers who unearthed the mummy of Rascar Capac from the mystic imprisonment they had subjected them to. At this point, Tintin agrees not to reveal anything he has learned, eliminating any possibility of Tintin doing anything related to his supposed job, like writing a story. In return, Tintin is shown the hidden treasure of the Incas, a massive hoard of gold and gems. And this raises another question: given that the native Americans in the story are clearly poor and oppressed, one wonders why this vast wealth isn't being used to do something about this rather than sitting in a giant vault in the middle of nowhere. A secret empire that does nothing but hoard everything valuable doesn't seem like a secret empire that would command much loyalty.

With a story that could have been penned by Arthur Conan Doyle or Lester Dent, Prisoners of the Sun is a fun romp through South American adventure tinged with fantasy and just a little bit of European arrogance. The book also includes some very nice artwork, including beautiful larger panels such as the one depicting Tintin and Captain Haddock breaking into the Incan throne room. This was the last of the occupation era books, and marks the full development of Hergé as a spinner of pulp influenced action tales, a trait that served him well once his full creativity could be unleashed after the defeat of the Axis powers and liberation of Belgium. Like all of the two-part stories, this one is a high-water mark for the Tintin series, and a must read for a Tintin fan.

This review has also been posted to my blog Dreaming About Other Worlds. ( )
  StormRaven | Jan 23, 2012 |
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hergéprimary authorall editionscalculated
Janzon, Allan B.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Janzon, KarinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lonsdale-Cooper, LeslieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Turner, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zendrera, ConcepciónTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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A Callao, chez le chef de la police ...
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