Feb 16

You idiot. You fried the rest of the scout troop. Aim that thing before you turn it on.Click for full image

Tom Noir Comments: “Gee willikers, Joe, I see skeletons!”

“F#*% this noise, Tom!”
Published 1959

Actually, that cover IS a classical work of art!I would touch it without protective gloves.I've seen worse. Far, far, worse.Interesting, but I would still read it in public.Middlng: Neither awful nor awfully goodWould not like to be seen reading that!Awful... just awful...That belongs in a gold-lame picture frame!Gah... my eyes are burning! Feels so good!Good Show Sir! (Average: 6.83 out of 10)

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42 Responses to “Tom Swift and His Electric Retroscope”

  1. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Unfortunate placement of the author’s name, it looks like he’s wearing a kilt.

    Or, fortunate placement of the name, if that’s your thing…

  2. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    By pure coincidence, the only funny person on the Internet had something worthwhile to say about adventuring through time today.

    Fyook. 😀

  3. THX 1138 Says:

    If that doesn’t get stones out of horses’ hooves, I don’t know what will.

  4. anon Says:

    retroscope: (noun) a device for looking at people’s butts

  5. Tom Noir Says:

    “Are those skeletons?” asked Tom, sepulchrally.

  6. Tat Wood Says:

    The ad said I’d be able to see nekkid girls, but it just looks like a chicken feather in extreme close-up.

  7. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @Tom: ‘I’m afraid that’s a pineapple slice the fellow is holding aloft,’ said Tom dolefully.

  8. Anna T. Says:

    Is anyone else getting flashbacks of the opening of “The Last Crusade”?

    Also, is that a T. rex poking its snout in on the left? Or possibly a dragon?

    Also, has anyone else noticed the Aztec man carved on the wall with flames shooting out of his head?

  9. Bibliomancer Says:

    “This is an old tomb” said Tom cryptically.

  10. fred Says:

    Tom Swift and His Hipster Neckerchief.

  11. Perry Armstrong Says:

    “Golly!” said Tom, “I can see a copy of our Handbook in here.”

  12. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @Perry: ‘Tom said voluminously’, I think you mean. 😉

  13. Ray P Says:

    More of Erich von Daniken’s research assistants. I think the Toltec High Priest is demonstrating the sum of the hypotenuse.

    @Anna – yes, River Phoenix in Last Crusade came to mind at once.

  14. Tat Wood Says:

    Q: Can you see his woggle?
    A: No, but it’s a neat trick if he can do it.

  15. Tom Noir Says:

    “Our device is held up on a steel scaffolding!” Tom beamed.

  16. Tom Noir Says:

    “We don’t have any weapons!” said Tom disarmingly.

  17. Tom Noir Says:

    “The undead are all around us,” said Tom gravely.

  18. Perry Armstrong Says:

    I think they’ve found where Snow White hid the bodies!

  19. Tom Noir Says:

    “They’ll cut us to ribbons!” said Tom mincingly.

  20. Tom Noir Says:

    “I heard these retroscopes shipped with defective parts!” Tom recalled.

  21. Tat Wood Says:

    Someone has to do it…

    “I’m excited!” Tom ejaculated.

  22. Perry Armstrong Says:

    @Tat Wood: I’m guessing it’s a shared experience for most of us in this forum that at some point we’ve read the unabridged ‘War of the Worlds’ and needed to take a break at the same juncture 🙂

  23. A.R.Yngve Says:

    See also the titles

    Sorry. There’s just something about Tom Swift that deeply disgusts me.

  24. HappyBookworm Says:

    In Tom’s shoes, I think I would be just a trifle more impressed/startled/concerned about all those neatly lined up skeletons, even leaving aside anything I could see in that scope.

  25. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    ‘We must give this electric retroscope another amperage potential!’ Tom said revoltingly.

  26. DaveM Says:

    @A.R.Yngve: Agreed, but the original Tom Swift books (by Victor Appleton rather than Victor Appleton II) even worse in some respects (horrifying but true). The very first book “Tom Swift and his Motor-cycle” is available on, and it’s a badly written action packed ride just bursting with misogyny and racism (chapter 8 is a doozy, you have been warned).

    Oh, fun fact: “Victor Appleton” was not a person, but a collective pseudonym used by a number of ghost-writers who then used the “Victor Appleton II” pseudonym for the later books (presumably to suggest these were new books by a younger more modern author).

  27. Jon K. Says:

    @DaveM: Yup, the Tom Swift books (as well as the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Bobbsey Twins, and many others) were products of the Stratemeyer Syndicate, the first book packager which exclusively published books for younger readers.

    Basically, early books (“The Rover Boys” series, etc.) were written by Edward Stratemeyer, but he soon turned to ghost-writers, supplying them a standard framework to which additional volumes of a series had to adhere.

    Re: the other part of your disdain for Tom Swift books – I thought this site was for critique of book COVERS, not the contents.

  28. DaveM Says:

    @Jon K: Thank you for that information, I had no idea so many of the early children’s adventure series were done like that (almost gives you a greater respect for Enid Blyton).

    As to your final point I could point out I was merely replying to an earlier observation, but no.
    Fair call. I’ll stick to mocking the covers.

  29. Jon K. Says:

    @DaveM (#28): I apologize for singling out your comment and for not including others’ in my earlier post #27.

  30. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @Dave, Jon: No, it’s my fault, really! If I hadn’t resurrected this thread, the cover would have sailed quietly by under the radar screen. I’m so sorry, won’t happen again.

  31. B. Chiclitz Says:

    “Dudes, this is groovy,” said Tom incisively.

  32. B. Chiclitz Says:

    “On the other hand, I sort of wish I’d never left that Australian zoo,” said Tom ruefully.

  33. A.R.Yngve Says:

    “Tom switched on the amazing Retroscope, and in an instant the hostile savages were incinerated. Only piles of bleached skeletons remained.
    ‘Golly!’ cried Tom. ‘This invention can cleanse the world of all the inferior races in a jiffy! I can’t wait to use it again!’ “

  34. Jon K. Says:

    @A. R. Yngve (#33): Are you even connected with reality anymore over there in Sweden, or have you gone the route of Thorarinn Gunnarsson and created a completely fabricated world for yourself?

  35. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @GSS Admin: I hereby request that Dead Stuff With Big Teeth be banned from posting to this site, too. This request is based on his inherent ability to confine his comments to the book covers, his incessant pestering of the site administrators, and the lack of the ha-ha in his long-winded posts. 🙂

  36. Jon K. Says:

    @DSWBT (#36): In your defense, at least you aren’t stooping to farcical hyperbole like A. R. Yngve has done in a couple of posts on this particular item.

    Thanks, though, for calling me on my public outrage. I have transgressed, I see.

  37. GSS Admin Says:

    @GSS Admin: I’ll put on the kettle for a nice cup of tea eh.. 🙂

  38. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @admin: if you short across the terminals of your electronic retroscope, the bit at the end gets rather hot, and you can just put the kettle on there without having to leave the comfort of your own archaeological expedition.

  39. A.R.Yngve Says:

    OK, I was too mean — insinuating that Tom Swift is a Nazi. Sorry! Of course he’s not a Nazi — he just looks like one on that cover…

  40. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    ‘It’s been a year and more, and no-one’s made a “colonoscopy” joke!’ Tom butted in.

  41. Yoss Says:

    “I have the probe ready!” his assistant piped in.

  42. B. Chiclitz Says:

    “This retroscope makes it impossible to tell the difference between past, present and future!” Tom said tensely.

    Oh, wait, I need to respond to DSWBT’s challenge—am I up to the task?

    “Is this spreading them far enough, doc?” Tom said cheekily.

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