Saturday, June 5, 2021

Review of "Tom Swift and His Motorboat," by Victor Appleton

 Review of

Tom Swift and His Motorboat, by Victor Appleton

Four out of five stars

Tom as an ace mechanic rather than an inventor

 This is the second in the original Tom Swift series and once again Tom is portrayed as an ace mechanic rather than as an inventor. In this case, he acquires a motorboat that is beset with mechanical problems. It is his father Barton Swift that is the inventor and as was the case in the first book, a gang of thieves is after the elder Swift’s inventions. They are clever and resourceful in their methods, and it is up to Tom to foil their efforts.

 Eradicate and his mule once again play a supporting role, and there is the glimmering of a relationship between Tom and Miss Nestor. The action between Tom and the villains is rather low key and they are largely recycled from the first book in the series. The dialogue is very much that of youth adventures shortly after the turn of the century. In that respect, this is a historical retrospective of YA literature of the time. It is also a look into the genesis of the Tom Swift character and how he evolved, both in the original series and then into the character of Tom Swift Junior.

 Since Tom is depicted as a mechanic rather than an inventor, this is not a science fiction book. Even the inventions of Barton Swift are not explained in any detail, so science is not really a part of the plot.

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