Monday, January 3, 2022

Review of "Over the Rockies With the Air Mail," by Franklin W. Dixon

 Review of

Over the Rockies With the Air Mail, by Franklin W. Dixon

Four out of five stars

Very much an early century YA adventure

 First published in 1927, this book is very much in the vernacular of adventure stories of the early quarter of the twentieth century. The dangers posed to the hero, aviation pioneer Ted Scott are constant and way over the top. It opens in the midst of a massive blizzard with white-out conditions. Scott is approached by a physician that is desperate to fly to a medical emergency and the only way there is by air. At first, Scott refuses, considering it suicide. Yet, when he learns that a life is in danger, he relents and flies over rough country where there are peaks and visibility almost non-existent.

 In true heroic adventure style, when it is discovered that he must land immediately due to lack of fuel, Scott conducts a semi-crash landing. He ends up colliding with a haystack that cushions their landing. By following a fence, Scott and his passenger find assistance and the life is saved.

 In the standard style of stories by the house name Franklin W. Dixon, Scott is knocked out a couple of times and ends up crashing another plane, this time in the wilderness of the Rockies. While he and his passenger manage to survive uninjured and even maintain control of their weapons, the coincidences pile up to the point of absurdity. They survive an attack by a grizzly bear by of all things running it off a cliff, shoot the head off a rattlesnake in mid-strike and are rescued by a wilderness expedition led by a romantic rival.

 If you read this book with any other mindset than one of analyzing it outside the context of the YA adventures of the time, you will likely utter a few derisive ha-has. However, if you can keep the proper historical context, it can be enjoyed.

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