Friday, November 5, 2021

Review of "Tom Swift and His Wizard Camera," by Victor Appleton

 Review of

Tom Swift and His Wizard Camera, by Victor Appleton

Four out of five stars

Classic Tom Swift as adventurer rather than inventor

 In this book, Tom invents a new camera for taking motion pictures. He does so after being approached by named James Period, called Spotty by his friends. Spotty is a businessman that has grandiose ideas about action movies that he wants created to be shown in theaters. He wants action from natural events such as volcanoes, earthquakes to wars, nature films of wild animals battling each other and being herded to encountering storms at sea. Therefore, his proposal to Tom is that Tom invent a camera that can capture such action and then use his airship to fly around the world to film the events.

 Ned, Mr. Damon, Koku and Mr. Nestor accompany Tom on his adventures and in this case, there is an unusual twist. Mr. Nestor has a major financial stake in the business ventures of Spotty, and he will face significant financial hardship if Tom does not agree to deal with Spotty. This overcomes Tom’s initial reluctance to travel the world in search of action/adventure to film.

 Very little ink is used in the actions leading up to the successful creation of the camera, most of the text deals with the travels of the group as well as the action that they experience and film. Spotty learns of events that are taking place and sends Tom messages concerning where he is to go. As would be expected in such an adventure story, members of Tom’s group often narrowly escape death or injury in their quest to get the best camera shots.

 Far more an adventure story than one about an invention, this one has Tom being more of an entrepreneur than a genius inventor. His goal in this case is to make money for himself and his associates.

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