Synopses & Reviews
Arguing that the Tintin books' characters are as strong and their plots as complex as any dreamed up by the great novelists, Tom McCarthy asks a simple question: Is Tintin literature?
Taking a cue from Tintin himself — who spends much of his time tracking down illicit radio signals, entering crypts, and decoding puzzles — McCarthy suggests that we too need to "tune in" and decode if we want to capture what's going on in Hergé's extraordinarily popular work.
What emerges from McCarthy's examination of Tintin is a remarkable story of illegitimacy and deceit, in both Hergé's work and his own family history. McCarthy's irresistibly clever, tightly constructed book shows how the themes Tintin generates — expulsion from home, violation of the sacred, the host-guest relationship turned sour, and anxieties around questions of forgery and fakes — are the same that have fueled and troubled writers from the classical era to the present day.
"Tintin and the Secret of Literature requires a good-faith investment of your time, not least because of the Tintin series' relative obscurity here. Nevertheless, McCarthy has given his American readers a savvy perspective on his sophisticated views of fiction, which we will (I hope!) continue to enjoy in coming years." Los Angeles Times
"[Offers] entertaining insights into one of the most celebrated of all comic strips." The Independent (UK)
"A high-spirited double riff on the comic books and the theory alike." Evening Standard (UK)
"He picks up such potentially dry notions with...flair and humour, weaving them through the books with...highly un-academic glee." Sunday Herald (Glasgow)
"[Tintin and the Secret of Literature demonstrates] that Herge's oeuvre is as...symbolically resonant as Proust or Shakespeare...fascinating." The Observer (UK)
"[His] chatty style is so forcefully confident and his argument so tightly constructed and so well-supported....It's brilliant." Daily Telegraph (UK)
About the Author
Tom McCarthy's novel Remainder was recently published to critical acclaim.