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Tintin-The-Castafiore-Emerald-Page-009This is a very unusual Tintin book - the action takes place almost entirely at Marlinspike mansion, the residence of Captain Haddock, who is very much the central character for a change - confined to a wheelchair after his tumble down the stairs, and assailed by the overwhelming singer Bianca Castafiore. A side plot relates to the emerald of the title, apparently stolen; is it the gypsies, who Captain Haddock has invited to stay in the meadow? Or the dubious-looking paparazzi? Or the cowed accompanist, Wagner? Or is it something else entirely? There is more going on here than immediately appears, though I feel not quite as much as Tom McCarthy thinks, and it is a fun ride.

The Castafiore Emerald features four female characters (Castafiore, her maid Irma, and the gypsy mother and daughter) which is more than most of the other Tintin books combined...

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