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Hergé and Agatha Christie: similarities

#1 · Posted: 9 Sep 2004 02:14
Agatha Christie appears to have influenced Hergé somewhat with some of the Tintin adventures. I noticed her novel, The Big Four is quite a similar espionage adventure to The Calculus Affair.

Anyone notice anymore similarities?
#2 · Posted: 9 Sep 2004 03:19
I agree. The Big Four is similar in a lot of ways to The Calculus Affair, with the secret formulas and such. However, I enjoyed The Calculus Affair more, because I felt that Hercule Poirot was less suited for an adventure novel than Tintin. It is also one of Agatha Christie's most unique novels in my opinion.
But to get back to what you were saying...
Yes, Herge's plots are often very similar to Agatha Christie's. The element of mystery is always there, especially in later adventures, and there are some cases where one can see similarities. For example, as Michael Farr points out in The Complete Companion, during the Cigars of the Pharaoh, when Tintin is having dinner at the bungalow in India, the eerieness of the setting is very Christie-like. The guests are gathered for what initially appears to be a normal occasion, the weather outside is ominous, Mrs. Snowball faints, seeing "a white ghost" which later turns out to be Prof. Sarcophagus in a bedsheet. But the atmosphere is without doubt similar.

Also, not trying to get off topic here, but my parents were saying the other day, that Christie's egg-headed sleuth is a bit similar to the Thompsons in physical appearance. Bald, with prominent black moustaches, wearing clean suits, with canes...and they are Belgian!
#3 · Posted: 12 Sep 2004 14:41
Perhaps Agatha Christie was influenced by Hergé by making her most famous character a Belgian.... ;)
(I know she probably came before him, though... or did she? (I am actually asking!))
#4 · Posted: 12 Sep 2004 14:56
No, her character, Hercule Poriot first appeared in 1922 in Agatha Christie's first crime novel. I can't remember the title but it was very good. I've read many of her books (possibly 34?) and Big Four is my favourite. Too many of them involve murders over wills but I guess there are only so many crime novels you can write without repeating yourself.
#5 · Posted: 12 Sep 2004 22:54
“The Mysterious Affair at Styles” is the first Poirot mystery.
#6 · Posted: 13 Sep 2004 01:27
That's the book. Have you read it jock?
#7 · Posted: 4 Jan 2006 21:44
Here in England, I unfortunately think that Hercule Poirot is more famous than Tintin due to the ITV series, were Poirot is (in my opinion), brilliantely played by David Suchet. But Tintin is still well known, and what about Inspector Maigret - all famous belgian's.
#8 · Posted: 4 Jan 2006 22:52
what about Inspector Maigret - all famous belgian's.

I think you will find that Inspector Maigret is French, not Belgian… Georges Simenon, on the other hand (Maigret’s creator), was born in Belgium.
#9 · Posted: 21 Apr 2006 20:42 · Edited by: Moderator
I would say that The Big Four is the only one which is overly like any of Hergé books.
All of the others are murders and crimes, so they may be a bit more like The Castafiore Emerald.
The exploding mountain in The Big 4 was more like something from an Edgar P. Jacobs book.

I doubt that Poirot was inspired by Tintin, as the reason Tintin was Belgian was because Hergé was.
I mean, you could make comparisons, but then you could make comparisons with anyone.
Then again, they do both have a distinguishing feature - one their quiff, the other that moustache - which, ironically, Poirot actually removes in The Big 4!
#10 · Posted: 22 Jun 2006 11:10 · Edited by: Moderator
For what it's worth, I've always thought that The Castafiore Emerald was what Tintin would be like if he were written by Agatha Christie, but that The Calculus Affair was more John le Carré.

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