Monday, August 06, 2007

Tom Swift

On the way home from Bible Camp, my ten year old son and i listened to a 4 hour book downloaded from Librivox. Tom Swift and the Visitor From Planet X, written by Victor Appleton II. It went over well. There was a cliff hanger every chapter, except the last. This could be serialized on radio easily. 20 Chapters, so they must have only been ten or fifteen minutes each. That's short enough for nearly any attention span.

The reader, Mark Nelson is very good. No memorable mistakes. Maybe there aren't any. He does it with a 1950's style, with gusto, WoWee! But should you want to read it yourself, the full text is available on Gutenberg.

It's science fiction, with an action/adventure feel, but i had difficulty placing just when it might have been written. It has a 1950's style, but seemed to have references to more modern inventions. Fortunately, one doesn't have to guess, since Wikipedia knows it was written in 1961. And, it knows who Victor Appleton II is, and what a busy guy Tom really is. He had something like a hundred such adventures. And those are just the ones that have been written up so far.

The story has it all. Hot sex - well - there was a quick kiss on the cheek. I wasn't paying attention. It might have been Tom's sister. And, it has violence. Well, there was an earthquake, and some property damage. Space aliens, including the Visitor from Planet X. I was hoping the space alien would have something to teach us about global warming or world peace. Not a word. The one named villain turned out to be a spy working for the good guys. In retrospect, it's hard to believe there were 19 cliff hangers.

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