The comments to "Will the Real Nancy Drew Step Forward?" prompted me to think about why I like either the original or revised text version of each Nancy Drew book. I read the revised text books as a child and first read the original text books as an adult.
Generally, my opinion of the original text books is that they are quaint, old fashioned versions of the familiar stories. I tend to laugh during some parts of the books when I encounter a passage that is particularly old fashioned or backwards.
The original text books are much more descriptive and are written better, but many of my favorite parts from the revised text books are missing, which means that I tend to prefer the revised text books.
For those who prefer the original text books, my comments here are solely my opinion, and I hope I give them in a fashion that is not offensive. The original text books are good, but I prefer the familiar ones from my childhood. It is just a matter of perception.
I have not read any of these books in around 10 years, so I have to keep my comments general.
#1 The Secret of the Old Clock
I like the added interaction that Nancy has with the relatives in the revised text.
In the original text, the dialect of the "colored" caretaker, Jeff Tucker, is jarring. Racial issues aside, the dialect is obnoxious. Except for a few rare instances in scattered books from other series, I cannot stand the misspelled and difficult to read words that I have to sound out in order to know what was intended by the author. Sometimes, I can't figure it out.
For those reasons, I prefer the revised text.
#2 The Hidden Staircase
Nancy stays at the mansion without Helen Corning in the original text. In the revised text, she is accompanied by Helen. I like Helen Corning, so I prefer the revised text.
#3 The Bungalow Mystery
Both texts are very similar and about equally enjoyable. I tend to prefer the revised text because it has extra events that I remember from reading it as a child.
#4 The Mystery at Lilac Inn
The theft of the diamonds in the original text annoys me. I much prefer the revised text in which Nancy and Helen stay at Lilac Inn in order to help Emily.
#5 The Secret at/of Shadow Ranch
I do not like the original text book at all. The whole business with Martha Frank and Lucy is not interesting to me. I much prefer the revised text book with the mystery of the treasure that was hidden by Dirk Valentine on Shadow Ranch.
#6 The Secret of Red Gate Farm
Both texts are good and tell exactly the same story. I like them both about the same.
#7 The Clue in the Diary
I can't remember the specific differences in the texts, but my feelings on this one are the same as Red Gate Farm.
#8 Nancy's Mysterious Letter
Both versions are very similar. I lean towards the revised text in my preference.
#9 The Sign of the Twisted Candles
I like the original text a lot, but the trouble is that the revised text has Nancy searching for the secret compartments at great length. I have always enjoyed that part, so I prefer the revised text.
#10 The Password to Larkspur Lane
Both versions are excellent.
#11 The Clue of the Broken Locket
I cannot stand the utter stupidity of allowing two shallow people who like to party to adopt two young children. It makes no sense whatsoever. Therefore, I cannot stand the original text.
The revised text is full of coincidences, but at least it does not annoy me.
#12 The Message in the Hollow Oak
The original text seems like a trip into the Wild Wild West with Nancy Drew. I remember laughing at one passage in which the criminal stops to admire Nancy's spunk. Um, okay.
I like the revised text version that features the archaeological dig.
#13 The Mystery of the Ivory Charm
Both versions have some crazy stuff in them, but I recall that the original text book is far crazier. Therefore, I prefer the revised text.
#14 The Whispering Statue
The ending of the original text book is surreal. The revised text book is kind of stupid, especially when Nancy and her friends pose behind empty picture frames and the criminals can't tell that what they are seeing are not portraits. Seriously? It seems to me that Nancy and her friends would appear to be people sitting behind empty frames. Do the criminals lack three-dimensional perception?
Despite the flaws, I like the revised text a little better.
#15 The Haunted Bridge
Both texts are good and tell the same story. I like them about the same.
#16 The Clue of the Tapping Heels
As I recall, parts of the original text are a bit weird. I prefer the revised text.
#17 The Mystery of the Brass Bound Trunk
I like the revised text much better. I love the part where Nancy and her friends search the mysterious trunk and find what is hidden inside.
#18 The Mystery of the Moss-Covered Mansion
These two stories are completely different. Even though the revised text is kind of stupid, I prefer it.
#19 The Quest of the Missing Map
Both versions are about the same. I like both of them.
#20 The Clue in the Jewel Box
As with Missing Map, I like both versions about the same.
#21 The Secret in the Old Attic
I dislike both versions, due to not having read this one as a child.
#22 The Clue in the Crumbling Wall
This book is one of my favorites. I prefer the revised text.
#23 The Mystery of the Tolling Bell
I dislike both versions due to a reason similar to the one for Old Attic
#24 Old Album through #34 Hidden Window
Beginning with #24, the differences in the original and revised texts are minimal enough that it makes little difference which version is read. For the majority of these books, I prefer the original text because just about all of the text is exactly the same, yet the original text is fleshed out better.
There you have it. What are your thoughts?