Wow! Talk about dated fiction! The original Tom Swift series could almost be considered charming if it wasn’t for the racism. I was honestly surprised when one of the bad guys walloped Tom from behind without asking his permission first. This is NOT like the Tom Swift, Jr. series; I mean, Tom’s a mechanical wizard, but he’s not quite yet inventing the science-fiction devices he’s known for. This book was VERY mundane – the height of the fantastic was a turbine engine his father designed, but that was only the Maguffin for the plot.
The chapter in which the word “darky” is used multiple times, and the quaint and very racist handling of Eradication (the token black guy), will be incredibly off-putting for the modern reader. Also, there are/were apparently nothing but dirt roads between Shoppton and Albany in New York. So be forewarned.