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5.0 out of 5 starsFive Stars
Reviewed in the United States on November 2, 2015
Building a legacy library and this is a great part of it! Read and grow.
3.0 out of 5 starsA look back at a simpler era in youthful fiction
Reviewed in the United States on July 31, 2015
If you've read the more recent Tom Swift book series, you'll probably find the originals kind of boring - and to be honest, they are. But they were written at the turn of the 20th century, so that might be expected. These predate Edgar Rice Burroughs' adventure tales by half a decade. This is more of the Rover Boys, the Chums of Scranton High, and Frank Merriwell vein.
This Tom Swift is more of a mechanic than a true inventor - at least at this point in his literary career - and is more concerned with mundane matters like helping his dad, or running a boat on the lake, or the like. The stories do have a certain quaint charm to them. This one has Tom squabbling with one of his teen-aged rivals and the thieves who tried to steal his father's patents in the first book. Everything's very polite and orderly, in a Waltons kind of way.
Not a bad book, not a completely dull one, either. It's definitely a look back on a forgotten era.
Reviewed in the United States on September 16, 2006
When I was a young boy I read the adventures of Tom Swift, Jr., the son of the Tom Swift in this series of books. I was accustomed to the science fiction stories in the new series, and I thought the original series would be similarly oriented. While this series of books incorporates technology, the level of technology is so archaic as to occasionally be humorous. Some terms are no longer used, and I suspect some technologies have changed so much from this series that I found it difficult to understand precisely what Tom was doing as he adjusted an engine.
This book is a sequel to the first book in the series, "Tom Swift and His Motor Cycle." In this story, Tom purchases a motor boat with a mystery. A gang of robbers appears to be anxious to steal the boat for some reason. The same gang of robbers also seems anxious to steal some of Tom's father's secrets. Tom and various companions cruise up and down Lake Carlopa at the blistering speed of 10 to 12 miles per hour, getting into various exciting situations. Tom frequently has to adjust his motor, which forever seems to fall into disrepair.
In the course of Tom's adventures, someone is injured and a tourniquet is required before that person goes to a sanitarium for treatment. Tom quickly acquires a fine shotgun and is happy of the fact. I was uncomfortable with the characterization of African-American Eradicate Sampson. Eradicate is illiterate and speaks poor English, though this series indicates that Eradicate is quite brave, intelligent and loyal. However, this book was written in another era. Consider that our knowledge and attitudes are very different from that era.
I initially found this book a little hard to read until I became accustomed to the style of the book. I have read quite a few books by Charles Dickens and Mark Twain that I thought were much easier to read. I do not know if this style was one that was used only for children and in this era or whether the style is that of author Howard Garis, who was the "Victor Appleton" of this book.
I found this book enjoyable once I became used to the style of the writing and once I was able to grasp the technology. I think that adults who are fans of Tom Swift, Jr. and those looking for a quaint mystery from the era before World War I will find this book an interesting read.
5.0 out of 5 starsGreat gift for a young person . . . .
Reviewed in the United States on December 9, 1998
This fine facsimile of a classic 1910 boys' adventure book would make a beautiful gift. Young people up to about age 14 would love it. Tom discovers a secret tunnel dug by criminals to access Swift Enterprises grounds and steal his secrets. He soups up a motorboat to get double the original speed. At one point, he fights for his life as he tries to outrace a boat full of gunmen from a criminal gang. Tom is kidnapped and imprisoned, but escapes. The style is lucid, simple, and clean for young readers. The setting of 1910 adds an exotic quality to today's readers. These were the best-selling boys books of all time, with possible exception of Hardy Boys. Your son or grandson would love it. In a beautiful reprint of the original edition.