Tuesday, September 25, 2012
E-Reading: Book Review of #3 The Bungalow Mystery by Carolyn Keene
Author: Carolyn Keene
Publisher: Gross and Dunlap
Part of a Series: Nancy Drew series
Type of book: Mystery, death, guardians, 1900s, bank fraud, young adult, feminism, detective, River Heights
Year it was published: 1930
While trying to help a friend out of a difficulty, Nancy has a perilous experience in and around a deserted bungalow, from which only her bravery and quick thinking save her.
In goodreads reviews, there is a description of Laura being horrified by doing housework. Unfortunately I might have missed this scene in the book. The book is more of tell rather than show and tell variety. Multiple times I am told to hate a character simply because the woman had a terrible experience of having a flat tire and so forth. I actually sympathized with her instead of hating her. There is also a very negative attitude towards actors (oh how times change!) Nancy is very independent and turns down the date just to solve the mystery. And just like in previous novels she's giving and so forth. Neither the cousins Bess and George show up, and neither does Ned nor Bess and George's boyfriends.
Its possible to be independent.
It's written in third person narrative completely from Nancy's point of view. Despite the exciting start, I found this novel to be boring.I think anybody reading this will understand it quickly which is good, but its obvious that this isn't a modern book that will be liked by me. Today there are young adult novels written that can be enjoyed by people above the age limit as well as by teens themselves, I hope. While the book can be seen as classic for children, (it was published in 1930s and in just 18 years it will be 100 years since the books started to come out,) it might not be considered a classic for me.
Children's Books, Mystery & Thrillers
About this author
Carolyn Keene is a writer pen name that was used by many different people- both men and women- over the years. The company that was the creator of the Nancy Drew series, the Stratemeyer Syndicate, hired a variety of writers. For Nancy Drew, the writers used the pseudonym Carolyn Keene to assure anonymity of the creator.
Edna and Harriet Stratemeyer inherited the company from their father Edward Stratemeyer. Edna contributed 10 plot outlines before passing the reins to her sister Harriet. It was Mildred A. Wirt Benson, who breathed such a feisty spirit into Nancy's character. Mildred wrote 23 of the original 30 Nancy Drew Mystery Stories®, including the first three. It was her characterization that helped make Nancy an instant hit. The Stratemeyer Syndicate's devotion to the series over the years under the reins of Harriet Stratemeyer Adams helped to keep the series alive and on store shelves for each succeeding generation of girls and boys. In 1959, Harriet, along with several writers, began a 25-year project to revise the earlier Carolyn Keene novels. The Nancy Drew books were condensed, racial stereotypes were removed, and the language was updated. In a few cases, outdated plots were completely rewritten.
Other writers of Nancy Drew volumes include Harriet herself, she wrote most of the series after Mildred quit writing for the Syndicate and in 1959 began a revision of the first 34 texts. The role of the writer of "Carolyn Keene" passed temporarily to Walter Karig who wrote three novels during the Great Depression. Also contributing to Nancy Drew's prolific existence were Leslie McFarlane, James Duncan Lawrence, Nancy Axelrod, Priscilla Doll, Charles Strong, Alma Sasse, Wilhelmina Rankin, George Waller Jr., and Margaret Scherf.
Apparently the version I read came from 1950s rather than 1930s. I think there were too many exclamation marks and the whole story was transparent to me. Nancy's hair in this book is gold with reddish tints, which means we are getting closer and closer to when she becomes a redhead. I couldn't like or relate to any of the characters and unfortunately exclamation points added to my dislike which also caused me to roll eyes instead of saying "oh my god, got to know what happens next!" Nancy's friend from the previous book showed up in this one too. (Helen Corning, although she played a very brief role before permanently disappearing from the book. I don't know if she was in first book.) The reason I'm reading these books is that I've always wanted to read all Nancy Drew books fully, (56 original ones,) and now I can try to accomplish my goal.
3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)