Tom Swift and His Flying Lab by Victor Appleton II

Tom Swift and His Flying Lab (Tom Swift Jr., #1)Tom Swift and His Flying Lab by Victor Appleton II

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I started collecting Tom Swift books a couple of years ago, partially for nostalgia, having read a few when I was young, and partially for preservation…I can’t rescue all of the old books, but I hate to lose these snapshots to public disinterest. As of this writing, I have 16 of the 33 Tom Swift, Jr. series and six of the original 40 (I was surprised there were so many.) After picking up Tom Swift and His Atomic Earth Blaster the other day, I realized I now had 11 of the first 13 and decided to read this one as a quick diversion from some of my more serious reading.

The Stratemeyer Syndicate churned out a lot of series aimed mostly at adolescent boys and some at girls. This was published in 1954 and full of imagination. Tom Jr. manages to invent a new alloy in hours, engage in high adventure with his best bud, Bud, survive cliffhanger danger every other chapter or so, and hobnob with renowned scientists at the tender age of 18 (oh, they are suitably impressed with our hero and confer with him for solutions to their problems!) The bad guys in the formula for this book are a combination of “Eurasian” and South American (just a tad ethno-offensive with “beeg” plane questions, etc.)

I found the original series to be highly offensive, if still intriguing. I know from memory that this series has its moments, but I’ll still pull one and another off the shelf this year to break up the reading depth. They are a nostalgic fun. I was rather surprised to see one word in here: obsteperous. The ten year old me in 1971 would have been opening up the dictionary!

My copy is the yellow cover reprint from sometime after 1966, as the series listed on the back goes up to #27.

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