Frederic Tuten   Tintin in the New World: A Romance.
Morrow, 239 pages, $22

reviewed by Clarence Brown

Frederic Tuten’s new fiction is precisely what Flann O’Brien said that the modern novel should be: a self-evident sham. Everything about the physical book, from the clear plastic jacket to the original Roy Lichtenstein frontispiece to the breathless blurbs, bespeaks its status as authentic bogus, the very imago of New York postmodernism: unassailably chic and incoherently hip.

Though the name Tuten looks like the triliteral root that engendered the character Tintin, the eponym is in fact the work of another man’s imagination. The Belgian Georges Remi (1907–1983), who built his nom de plume Hergé on his reversed initials, R.G., was one of the greatest of comic-strip artists.

Though I am almost exactly the same age as Tintin, he...


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