Friday, February 3, 2012
Nancy Drew #12 Message in the Hollow Oak
Actually, the detectives' time off ran out, so that is the reason. They ask Nancy to find the treasure. I realized as I read the book that Nancy spends very little of her time searching for the hollow oak. Most of her time is spent at the dig, on a towboat, and in a search for a missing student. Since Nancy searches so very little, the detectives could surely have found the hollow oak themselves.
During one scene, Nancy is awakened when an intruder arrives at the dig. She chases after the intruder, yet she is able to return to her room, immediately fall asleep, and sleep until the morning. I'm pretty sure that Nancy also had a nighttime adventure in the revised text Broken Locket and was able to fall asleep immediately.
I'm impressed. Whenever I have excitement of any kind late in the evening, I need several hours to calm down enough in order to get to sleep. And then I usually do not sleep well. Nancy is amazing.
Kit Kadle is a dumb name.
On the towboat, a log sails through a window, nearly killing someone. The boys offer to replace the window and promptly do. Wait... what? The towboat keeps extra windows on board just in case one breaks?! Wow! I should buy a bunch of windows and store just in case we have a hailstorm this springnever mind that the last time a window broke from hail was back in 1999. I just have to be prepared because it is bound to happen again eventually...
Did I mention that Kit Kadle is a dumb name?
The final chapter of the book is titled "Kit and Caboodle." Is that why the villain is named Kit, just so that we could have a cute chapter title?
As I read further, I reflected that the story of Annette Chap and Norman Ranny's romance is a little old-fashioned. Nancy's encounters with the villains, Tom Stripe and Raymond Niles, are a bit over-the-top, but those parts could have been rewritten. Bess has a sleepwalking scene that is just plain bizarre. Later, Nancy and her father get together a posse with which to confront the villains. The revised text Nancy Drew books always follow the law to the letter, so removing the part about the posse is understandable.
I feel that the Stratemeyer Syndicate would have been better off to have found a way to keep the original text story but modernize it. I was thinking about how this could have been done.
How about have Bess win a property in Canada by choosing the winning name for a new food product? Bess gets frightened when strange men try to get her to sign over the deed to her new property. Nancy, Bess, and George travel to Canada to see what's up. Adding to the suspense, the girls have no idea that the land might contain gold.
In the case of The Message in the Hollow Oak, I enjoyed the original text much more so than the revised text. The revised text is weak, but the original text is engaging and suspenseful all the way through. There is no comparison.