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review 2017-02-18 06:01
South American Revolutions
Tintin and the Picaros - Hergé

This is the last of the completed Tintin books and in a way does finally tie everything up. Granted, nobody ever lives happily ever after, but I do feel that it does round off and complete what I consider to be a ground breaking series of books that are incredibly funny and very entertaining. This album seems to follow on after the Castafiore Emerald as there are a few connections with the events in the previous album, however it appears that Flight 714 occurred between the two albums. Now while this is possible (as Bianca Castafiore is on a tour of Latin America that she began at the end of the Castafiore Emerald) I feel that the events of Flight 714 should probably come afterwards.

 

As mentioned, Bianca Castafiore, with her entourage, are traveling through Latin America and arrive at the fictional country of San Theodoros (the same country from The Broken Ear) and she and her entourage (which includes Thompson and Thomson) are arrested immediately after the concert on the grounds of participating in a conspiracy to overthrow the leader General Tapioca. What drags Tintin and his friends into the fray (other than the fact that their friends are in danger) is that General Tapioca is aware that prior to her tour, she had stayed with Captain Haddock and Tintin at Marlinspike, and that it was while they were there that the conspiracy was hatched. This is a very clever plot device Herge uses, which creates continuity in the albums. However, the story of Alcazar and San Theodoros has been sitting in the background since The Broken Ear, and it is only resolved here, at the end.

 

Herge does deal with alcoholism, particularly among native populations, in this album. We once again meet the Arumbaya and the white anthropologist who has decided to live with them. However, as a way to keep the native populations and the rebels suppressed, General Tapioca has been parachuting crates of alcohol into the jungles. This is important, and shows how skillful a storyteller Herge is, because right from the beginning Captain Haddock has suddenly lost his taste for alcohol. In fact, it is very amusing watching the Captain swear that he is being fed poison while everybody else is amazed at how wonderful the whiskey is. I won't mention what is going on because it will destroy a very subtle plot device.

 

This story is much greyer than many of the others because we have Tintin being involved in an attempted coup, however true to his character, he refuses to allow anybody to be killed, despite tradition being that after every revolution, the previous ruler and his inner circle are supposed to be killed. This is not always the case though, since many go into self imposed exile. We are see the dichotomy of the South American countries, as they fly into Tapiocapolis, they fly over a modern central business district, and then over the slums being patrolled by disinterested police. However, the catch is that after all has been said and done, when they are leaving, the fly back over the same slums, however the only difference is that the sign, instead of saying 'Viva Tapioca' it says 'Viva Alcazar'.

 

Sometimes I wonder why Alcazar is really Tintin's friend. He is not really the type of person that Tintin would really throw his lot in with. In the Broken Ear he was made Aide-de-Camp, however this was to enable him to complete his mission in locating the stolen fetish. Other times Alcazar seems to be more interested in other things, and in particular, in the Red Sea Sharks, is involved in shady business dealings with Dawson, one of Herge's villains. It is clear in this album though that Tintin has not come over to San Theodoros to put his friend back in power, but rather to rescue friends who have been locked up on bogus charges. Unfortunately, what is required is a change of government, so true to Tintin, he looks for a plan that will succeed with little, and preferably no, bloodshed.

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/285144499
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review 2017-02-17 17:01
Cyclops Road by Jeff Strand
Cyclops Road - Jeff Strand

Evan Portin has just lost his wife and is having a very bad day at work. But he comes upon a woman being mugged and finds that she doesn't need his help.

Harriet is a strange one for sure. She's never been in a car or seen a cellphone. Safe to say she's been pretty isolated. Oh, and she's on her way to kill a cyclops.

I know, right? Someone has a few screws loose. Maybe...?

Follow Evan as he takes the ride of his life.

 

 

I found this book entertaining as all get out, and unique, and very funny! I loved it! It was very different from the usual Strand novels. Can't say much more so I don't give anything away. I definitely recommend it though. It's not actually horror. I would put it more in the fantasy, sci-fi category.

 

4 stars

 

 

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review 2017-02-15 21:59
Once Upon a Dime: A Math Adventure
Once Upon a Dime: A Math Adventure - Nancy Kelly Allen,Adam Doyle

Once Upon a Dime: A Math Adventure, by Nancy Kelly Allen, is about an organic farmer named Truman Worth and he finds an unusual tree growing on his farm and decides to try different kinds of fertilizer on it to help it grow. The tree begins to grow different kinds of money and begins to change his life tremendously. This is a great book to read for a shared group reading to get them engaged and intrigued about counting money. You can introduce counting money by reading this book to the whole class and you can even make a lesson that centers around the book to help keep them interested in the lesson. You can even use it as something to do after teaching a lesson on how to count money and knowing what coins are what and what bills are what. You could make different math activities centers to go with the story to help reinforce the math lesson that you taught. By using this book it is a great way to tie reading into a math lesson. You could use this book for grades first through second grade. 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-02-15 13:06
Gorgon (Alex Hunter #5)
Gorgon - Greig Beck

https://bookstooge.wordpress.com/2017/02/15/gorgon-alex-hunter-5/

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review 2017-02-15 01:18
Arthur's Valentine (Arthur Adventure Series) - Marc Brown

I love reading the Arthur's Adventure Series by Marc Brown to my daughters when they were younger. The story was really cute. A great story to read on Valentine's Day. 

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