Thursday, March 15, 2012

Nancy Drew #15: The Haunted Bridge

The revised text of Nancy Drew #15, The Haunted Bridge, is a condensed version of the original story. As I read the revised text, I noticed one portion of the story that is flawed.

On page 138 of the revised text, Nancy is given two notes by the hotel clerk. One note is from Bartescue, and the other from Margaret Judson. The text specifically states that Bess and George have returned from changing in their rooms, and before they leave again, Nancy tells them about the two notes.

With only Ned present, Nancy places a note in the hand of a statue to communicate with Miss Judson, as requested in the note. Later, Bess and George see Bartescue take a note from the statue. George comments, "It must have been a note from someone." Wouldn't she know that Nancy received a note from Margaret Judson asking for a response to be placed in the statue? Nancy told them about the note from Margaret Judson, right? I was curious as to how this scene plays out in the original text.

In the original text, Bess and George are not present when Nancy receives the notes, and nothing is mentioned about them returning from their rooms. Ned is the only person told about the notes. George makes the same statement in the original text about the note from someone, but in this version, George does not know about the notes. If the revised text had not inserted the statement about Bess and George returning from their rooms and being told about the notes, the revised text would have kept the same logic as the original text. Those little details will get you every time.

With regard to both versions of the text, the story about Margaret Judson bothers me somewhat. I'd have to read both versions carefully and take notes, but the timing of the fire that destroyed Margaret Judson's property, and Carson Drew's search for a woman accused of theft seem off to me. I also find it strange that Mr. Drew takes Nancy around to various hotels to search for a woman with a compact, and this is done at random times and for varying amounts of time. It seems pointless, but of course Nancy sees Margaret Judson multiple times during her attempts.

I don't have any other thoughts about this Nancy Drew book. Both texts tell exactly the same story, and both versions are good. Since the revised text makes a mess of the scene with the notes, I vote in favor of the original text as a better story.


Mike G said...

While I do really enjoy the book(s), I always gravitate toward the original text version. As it is longer, I always feel it has more detail and less of a "cliffhanger at the end of each chapter" as most of the later volumes contained. I remember (many years ago) when I would look at the volumes listed on the back of the yellow PC versions that I would pick my next puchase based on the title and artwork. I always gravitated to the "haunted" titles first: Haunted Showboat, Haunted Fort, Haunted Attic, etc. I was disappointed when I first read this book that the "haunted" portion of the story was fairly quickly and easily explained.

The book spent quite a bit of time with Nancy's golf matches, and was fairly accurate in some of it's descriptions, making me wonder if Mildred Wirt was a golfer herself??

The artwork on all three versions was quite enjoyable. Again, the artwork kind of gave me the impression the "haunting" would be a more integral part of the plot. I loved the Tandy painting (as always)! I liked Nappi's first artwork from the early 1960s though I always felt that Nancy looked older than she should. I'm not quite sure why I have felt that way... Jennifer, I have really enjoyed these synopses

Mike G

Jennifer said...

The cliffhanger at the end of each chapter is extremely bad in the Nancy Drew digest paperbacks, such as #100 and up. Those books are so short that very little action occurs in each chapter, and whenever I would get to the next-to-last page of any chapter, I just knew that something shocking was about to occur. It got to be very annoying.

The haunted bridge part of the story is next to nothing, and I really noticed it upon this reading.

I appreciate you taking the time to comment. I always like getting a little feedback that tells me that people are enjoying what they are reading.

I just finished both texts of Tapping Heels, so look for that post to show up sometime in the next week. I just began reading the revised text of Brass-Bound Trunk, which has always been one of my favorites. I hope it holds up to my recollection as I read it this time!

Idylatoo said...

Unlike Mike, I kind of liked the fact that the haunting was solved rather quickly - usually for Nancy it takes the whole book to find out that the haunting was being orchestrated by the bad guy.

The Bartescue plot always annoyed me in this one. It just seems so pointless.

Laura said...

I LOVE/D Brass-Bound Trunk! Can't wait for that one. (But I always look forward to these review/compare-contrasts, no matter what the book, so eagerly awaiting Tapping Heels as well.)

Do you always read the RT version first when you compare, Jennifer?

MikeG: The Tandy covers are gorgeous, aren't they? (I much prefer the Tandy cover - Nancy in red - for B-BT to the Nappi one - brown with jewels up the right-hand side - but the Nappi has started to grow on me. I also prefer the one with Nancy in green - which might be another Nappi - to the brown but, again, the brown cover is growing on me.)

Jennifer said...

I can't remember what I did when I read the books around 18 to 20 years ago. I probably read the original text first followed by the revised text. When I read the books around 10 years ago, I read the original texts versions only up to #34, then all of #35 and up. It had probably been around 18 to 20 years since I had read any of the revised text books of #1-34. It is interesting how my perspective has changed for some of them.

For this reading, I am reading the revised text first for each title followed by the original text. By doing it that way, I can get the best feel for how good the revised text actually is without being influenced by the original text.

Shelley said...

I remember buying this from the Bookmobile in grade school, it was my first ND that wasn't secondhand. I think I bought it for the spookiness of Nappi's ghost (final version), though I really came to like it because the early 70's fashions remind me of the Monkees!