I was not disappointed with this one! I hadn’t read “Airport” since I was a kid in the 1960s so needless to say, I didn’t remember anything about theI was not disappointed with this one! I hadn’t read “Airport” since I was a kid in the 1960s so needless to say, I didn’t remember anything about the story. Some of my favorites as a kid were “Tower Treasure,” “House on the Cliff,” “Missing Chums,” and “Cabin Island”– all written by Leslie McFarlane. I don’t remember considering “Airport” as a favorite but I’m not sure why. It was a great story. It starts out with the boys going to the new Bayport airport in their roadster and being practically run off the road by a plane apparently trying to land. The plane crashes and the pilot blames the boys for the crash. The pilot had been drinking and was later fired as a mail pilot because of this.
This story was written in 1930 during prohibition so drinking was against the law at the time and I guess the pilot could have been arrested for this. Anyway, after this great start to the story, the next 50 pages or so focus on the graduation from high school of both Frank and Joe (it is explained that they were in the same grade because Frank had been ill one year). This includes a class picnic where Chet eats everything in sight and is then disappointed because he didn’t have room to eat chocolate cake! The story includes all of the boys’ chums including Biff, Tony, Phil, and Jerry Gilroy (who I didn’t really remember). The story also provides some good continuity from previous stories including recaps of “Tower Treasure” and the previous volume “Cabin Island.” Both Hurd Applegate from “Treasure” and Elroy Jefferson from “Cabin” put in appearances and play a role in the story. And, as part of the story, the boys actually revisit Cabin Island and get caught in an obligatory storm in the bay. I really like McFarlane’s writing style and his use of words – some a little antiquated now, but very colorful. The pace of this story wasn’t near as frenetic as some of the later stories where the Hardys take off to distant locations at a drop of a hat. Of course, this story is the first time the Hardys even ride in an airplane. The actual “mystery” in this story doesn’t get going until after page 50. It basically involves a plot to steal a $50,000 payroll from a mail plane by the pilot of the plane that ran the Hardys off the road and a couple of his nefarious cohorts. In the mean time, the Hardys get framed for an earlier mail robbery and wind up getting arrested. Part of the evidence against them was a footprint of Joe's new shoes that were left at the airport. His shoe size was only a six! High school kids must have had smaller feet in those days! Applegate and Jefferson bail the boys out of jail which allows them to follow the crooks by hiding as stowaways in the tail of a plane the bad guys had purchased to assist in the $50,000 heist. (Before stowing away in the plane, the boys buy some provisions including a couple of “automobile robes” to keep warm in the plane. I’ve never heard of an automobile robe – I assume it was something like a blanket used for passengers in open-air cars to keep warm in those days.) To get at the cash, the crooks force another mail plane out of the sky by lowering a rope from their plane into the propeller of the other plane – this was done at night (unlike the Rogers cover art) so the pilot must have been one heck of a stunt pilot to pull that off! The boys foil the robbery at the end by getting the drop on the crooks with some guns they had brought along (the guns hadn’t been mentioned in the story until the plane was forced down – I guess McFarlane forgot about this).
Overall, an enjoyable read which made me realize why I enjoyed the Hardys so much as a kid growing up in the 60s. This one was very nostalgic!...more
Just finished rereading this one. I'm not sure when I read this the first time. The copy I have is an original text version with DJ, however, I don'tJust finished rereading this one. I'm not sure when I read this the first time. The copy I have is an original text version with DJ, however, I don't think this one was included in my collection when I was a kid. It's a copy with the brown endpapers from about 1958. My older brother (who is now 72) had a collection of Hardy Boy books that he had accumulated in the 1940's and 50's. I started reading these when I was about 9 or 10 (in 1959 or 1960). The last one in my brother's collection was Lost Tunnel which was published in 1950 so Wildcat Swamp published in 52 wasn't included in his collection. In the 60s, I filled in the gaps with some of the later books as well as the ones my brother didn't have. I think I acquired the copy I now have on ebay or in a used book store but I'm quite sure I read it when I was in my teens - maybe I borrowed a copy.
Anyway, I thought the story was very good with lots of action. It's not real clear where the story takes place - possibly in Utah or Colorado where I know there have been many fossil discoveries (I grew up in Utah). Growing up in the west, I liked the Western setting including the cowboys and use of horses to get around in the rugged environment. (I also used to enjoy reading Zane Grey and other western novels). The premise about the crooks going to all that trouble to look for a rich oil deposit did seem a little far-fetched. It seemed like more work than the average bad guy would want to do without a for-sure payoff. Also the chances of getting caught seemed pretty overwhelming. However, what Hardy boy story is not a little far-fetched? Overall though, a very enjoyable Hardy adventure....more
This is one of the later Hardy Boys stories that I had never read. I believe the last book I read as a kid was #43 "The Aztec Warrior" published in 19This is one of the later Hardy Boys stories that I had never read. I believe the last book I read as a kid was #43 "The Aztec Warrior" published in 1964 when I was 14. The subsequent books I purchased as an adult up to #58 but I hadn't read most of them.
Well, I thought the story was just okay. The pace was very frenetic with the boys traveling to Zurich and then to Mexico on some false leads while they were trying to solve the mystery of who stole some gold bars from the Wakefield mint (could this actually be Philadelphia since it was 100 miles from Bayport on the way to NYC?) As stated in a previous review, the storylines about the theft of the gold in Wakefield and the gold artifacts in Mexico don't really fit together very well. The story could have been better if it focused only on the Mexico adventure. Actually, the Jungle Pyramid and the adventure in the Yucatan was kind of a side trip to the main storyline of the gold theft from the mint so the title is kind of misleading.
All in all, I would rate this one about a 5 out of 10. I think I prefer the Hardy mysteries where the boys stick around Bayport rather than travel from country to country at the drop of a hat!
I recently pulled out my copy of Yellow Feather from the shelf which had a Christmas inscription from 1962 (I was 12 at the time). This is an OT versionI recently pulled out my copy of Yellow Feather from the shelf which had a Christmas inscription from 1962 (I was 12 at the time). This is an OT version copyright 1953 in brown tweed with brown and white endpapers. The DJ lists to Devil's Paw.
I'm sure I had not reread this book since 1962-63. None of the book was familiar to me - it had completely gone from my memory. I did find this one to be quite enjoyable. It had the makings of a good Hardy mystery including secret panels, a hidden tower, a great invention from Chet (the propeller sled - didn't know that Chet had actually invented the snowmobile!) , help from Fenton Hardy, and a good mystery with the boys trying to find a missing will.
This book was never one of my favorites as a kid but I'm not sure why. Some of the ones I did consider as favorites such as "The Secret Panel" and "The Disappearing Floor" were somewhat disappointing when reread as an adult. I guess your perspective changes as you grow older. Anyway, as I said, I thought this mystery was very enjoyable. ...more
I sat down and reread the OT version of Footprints today and I must say that I really enjoyed it! The copy I read has the Gretta dust jacket which lisI sat down and reread the OT version of Footprints today and I must say that I really enjoyed it! The copy I read has the Gretta dust jacket which lists to "Lost Tunnel" so I would guess this is about a 1950 edition (the year I was born). I know I read this book as a kid but I don't remember anything about it. My older brother had a near complete set of Hardy books and I devoured these in the early 60s. I think I acquired my current copy through ebay or from a used book store. Anyway, as I said, I really enjoyed it. This is one of the notorious books (along with Mark on the Door and Hidden Harbor) that includes language bordering on racism. And yes, the book is full of "pidgin English" and the Chinese characters are referred to as "Chinamen" but I'm sure that was reflective of a lot of literature of the 1930s. Footprints was written in 1933. The plot has to do with the smuggling of Chinese into the US because of restrictions on Chinese immigration at the time. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 suspended Chinese immigration and was not repealed until 1943. I know Leslie McFarlane is credited with authoring this book; however, the style seems quite different from some of the earlier books he wrote. But overall, I thought the story was more adult than some of the other volumes. This could have been written by Sax Rohmer, author of the Fu Manchu stories. The Chinese smuggling premise was probably a real occurrence at that time. There was also some humor thrown in - some related to Riley the cop and some dialog on page 116 that could have come out of an Abbot and Costello routine. Cally Shaw and Iola Morton were trying to find out the name of a disguised Chinese dressed as a girl. His name was Tom Wat so when they asked Joe her name, he said "Wat." Of course they heard this as "What" and a dialog reminiscent of "Who's on First" ensues. There were a few things in the book that were more than coincidental and the person who left the Footprints under the window turned out to be someone (I won't give who this is away) who's feet were probably bigger than a size six as measured by the boys. Also, although I love the Gretta cover, the scene where the Chinese are fighting on the dock was not witnessed by the Hardy Boys as shown on the cover. Overall I would give this one about an 8 out of 10....more
I spent a few hours rereading the OT of The Short-Wave Mystery. This is one of the few Hardy Boys stories where I actually remembered some of the detaI spent a few hours rereading the OT of The Short-Wave Mystery. This is one of the few Hardy Boys stories where I actually remembered some of the details from when I first read it as a kid in the 1960s - I remembered that Chet's hobby in this one was taxidermy and also that the mystery had something to do with Hudson's Bay.
Well I would rate this one as just average based on my reread. The plot had to do with the theft of radio parts by a gang led by Spike Hudson. There were several warehouses in and around Bayport that were robbed by the gang. The gang would then assemble the parts into radios for sale. This whole premise seemed a little preposterous to me -- why steal radio parts instead of already assembled radios or electronic equipment? These crooks must have had degrees in electrical engineering to be able to assemble radios from parts! Then there was the usual coincidences - the crooks were also stealing stuffed animals -- some to conceal radios inside, others to scare off intruders from Hudson's hideout -- and of course since Chet was doing taxidermy some of the stuffed animals were stolen from him. Also, a subplot was about a group of missing scientists who crashed their plane in Canada. Of course they crashed just over a hill from where Spike Hudson had his hideout on Hudson's Bay so the Hardys were able to rescue them and nab the crook at the same time!
I think when I originally read this, I was really intrigued by Chet's hobby of taxidermy and his workshop over the Hardy garage. This is probably why this detail stuck with me. The book also refers back to the "Old Mill" on Willow River. Not many of the stories refer to earlier volumes as part of the storyline. One other thing I wondered about was how big of a town is Bayport supposed to be? In this story, there are several electronics warehouses there and it also talks about tenements where a young group of boys live and get into trouble. I always pictured Bayport as a small town but from this story it appears to be a middle-sized city. ...more
I was at a local thrift store recently and purchased several of the Hardy Boy "digests" for 50 cents each. This afternoon, I read one of them #100: "TI was at a local thrift store recently and purchased several of the Hardy Boy "digests" for 50 cents each. This afternoon, I read one of them #100: "The Secret of the Island Treasure." I was pleasantly surprised by this one and quite enjoyed it. It was a sequel of sorts to "The Tower Treasure" and included an appearance by Hurd Applegate from "Treasure." The story starts with the boys visiting Applegate who had sold the Tower mansion to convert into condos! Well some workmen were working in one of the towers and discovered a hidden room which was originally Applegate's father's office. In the room, a treasure map is discovered leading to a treasure supposedly on "Granite Cay", an island in Barmet Bay. The Boys along with Chet accompany a group to find the treasure. Along the way there were several perils including Joe getting stuck in quicksand, a booby trapped treasure pit, etc. Overall, I would give this one a mild recommendation. I thought the writing was above average and the story definitely kept your interest. This is the first "digest" I have read in some time and I did miss some of the nostalgia of the OT Hardys. In this one the boys are driving a van instead of their coupe or motorcycles and even though the adventure was on the bay, the Sleuth was nowhere to be seen. The book was written in 1990 and included references to things such as video tapes... just not the same as an old short-wave. But still, quite enjoyable!...more
I really enjoyed this book! The Education of Little Tree is the story of a young orphaned 5-year old boy called Little Tree, who is taken in by his haI really enjoyed this book! The Education of Little Tree is the story of a young orphaned 5-year old boy called Little Tree, who is taken in by his half-Cherokee Granpa and Cherokee Granma. The story takes place during the Great Depression in the mountains of Tennessee. Little Tree learns how to survive in the mountains and how to respect nature. He also learns the ways of the whites, especially the politicians and tax collectors who are trying to put Granpa out of his whiskey business. The book is full of wisdom and sometimes hilarious anecdotes relating how Granpa keeps his business afloat and scares off would be investors in his business. While Granpa teaches Little Tree the ways of nature and his trade (whiskey making), Granma teaches him how to read and the benefits of an education. Towards the end of the story, Little Tree is taken away from his grandparents and placed in an orphanage to get a better education, but ends up being beaten and abused by the system.
This was a very inspiring story and many consider this a classic along with Huckleberry Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird. When it was originally published, it was touted as a true memoir of the author. However, it was later shown to be mostly fiction and it was found out that the author was a former member of the KKK and a speechwriter for Alabama Governor George Wallace. See this Wikipedia article on the book and its author.
Not sure how an ex-KKK member could write such a moving and inspiring story but overall, I would still highly recommend this!...more
I really enjoyed this page-turner from Berry. I have read a few of his Cotton Malone series but as much as I enjoyed those, I liked this one even moreI really enjoyed this page-turner from Berry. I have read a few of his Cotton Malone series but as much as I enjoyed those, I liked this one even more.
The book uses a lot of history related to Nicholas and Alexandra and the Romanov's to build a really fascinating story about the possible reinstatement of a tsar in Russia. Lawyer Miles Lord is in Moscow performing a background check on possible candidates to be chosen from the relatives of Nicholas II but when he starts to unearth possible evidence of a direct descendant, his life is put in jeopardy by those who are seeking to have a puppet tsar on the thrown including the Russian mafiya.
The book is based upon the theory that one or more of the Romanov children escaped when the rest of the Imperial family was murdered. Of course, the most well known child that could have escaped was Anastasia who has been the basis of movies and books. The plot is plausible and Berry uses history as a basis for his story. The book includes some good chase scenes and keeps one turning the pages. Berry also used a very good premise for how Anastasia and Alexi may have survived making the novel even more plausible. While the premise of a Russian return to tsarism may be far fetched, the current state of Russia and its attempts at a democracy make it perhaps not such a bad idea!
Overall, I really enjoyed this one and I will probably be reading more about the Romanov's. I have a copy of Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert Massie that I have been meaning to read for years. Maybe this has motivated me to do so....more