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.