Friday, June 24, 2016

Hardy Boys #140 Slam Dunk Sabotage, #141 Desert Thieves, and #142 Gator Swamp

In Hardy Boys #140, Slam Dunk Sabotage, Frank and Joe's basketball team is on the verge of winning the conference championship.  Someone is trying to keep the Bayport team from winning by seriously injuring Frank and Joe.

Even though this story is a sabotage book, it is an interesting sabotage book.

I wasn't sure I would enjoy this book, but the story isn't the usual sports story where gamblers bet on a game.  The culprit is obvious, but not because of any mistake the author made.

I greatly enjoyed this book.

In Hardy Boys #141, The Desert Thieves, Frank, Joe, and Fenton vacation in the Arizona desert.  The boys soon find a new case when they discover that valuable organ pipe cactus is being stolen from the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.

The author makes the villain extremely obvious because he protests way too much about the Hardys helping find the thieves.  He continues to protest for no good reason, since he ought to want help.  Even though on the surface this person is quite improbable as the culprit due to his role in the story, his bizarre protests make him the most likely culprit.  The author should have had this person protest a little bit and then act happy to have the boys help.  This is another case of an author messing up and making the clues too obvious.  I like for a book to have a little mystery.

I enjoyed this book.

In Hardy Boys #142, Lost in Gator Swamp, Frank and Joe vacation in the Everglades.  The boys soon learn of a bank heist, and the loot is said to be missing in the swamp.  The boys attend a rodeo, where they observe that several participants behave suspiciously.

As I read this book, I wondered why the Hardy Boys can't have a good adventure in a swamp that is actually written well.  Every Hardy Boys book set in a swamp falls far short of what it could have been.

This book is a bit convoluted.  I don't see why it is necessary to have a rodeo.  Furthermore, the book has too many characters, and I had trouble keeping them straight.

Early in the story, the boys are told that the money stolen from the bank was not currency.  Hmm.  It takes the boys forever to figure out that the money had to have been in coins, which likely are in the swamp and recoverable.  Idiots.

Frank and Joe suspect Randy is one of the culprits because he seems suspicious to them.  Randy is participating in the rodeo and is very touchy about his age, continually angrily declaring that he is 18 years old and old enough to compete in the rodeo.  Gee, I wonder what Randy's problem could possibly be? 

On page 82, Frank and Joe are actually told that Randy is in junior high.  They don't pick up on the statement and keep suspecting poor Randy of criminal acts.  This is an example of an author insulting the reader's intelligence.  Frank and Joe should have picked up on the statement about Randy and eliminated him as a suspect.  In fact, young readers would have appreciated Randy's dilemma even more if it had been revealed earlier in the story.  Randy could have then helped the boys from earlier in the story instead of them chasing him around like a suspect.

There is a lot wrong with this book, just like some other Hardy Boys swamp stories I could mention. 

This is a weak story.  I did enjoy it, but it was a bit annoying at the same time.

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