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LOOKING FOR NANCY

February 21, 2009

Drew, Nancy Drew…The classic Nancy Drew is apparently too cool and composed and competent and collected and well, cool to take if you are the editor/publisher of the modern versions of the girl detective. They had to make her less of a gem. In the newer novels, Nancy is (horror!) disheveled and the kind of girl who runs out of gas and gets rescued by the guy with the tow truck and nagged by Bess, now a master mechanic. Obviously, the traditional Nancy, alpha female of all time, is not a suitable role model for young girls. The Papercutz graphic novels do a bit better and allow Nancy to be stylish, but the new Hardy Boys novels where Frank and Joe are members of ATAC (American Teens Against Crime) and go on secret missions, alternating narrators by chapter, is a much better update than the Nancy Drew novels where action and competence seem to be traded for no, of course I’m not perfect and yes, I do have a rival, just like other girls. Combine Nancy and the Hardy Boys and it gets a little better, but still not enough.

And why the Nancy Drew rant…well, I miss her. I’m looking at the two Nancy Drew graphic novels I picked up at the comic book store (optimistically ordered; the series is now off my pull list) and there’s no challenge, no suspense, no fright, no Nancy conquers all and rescues Ned/George/Bess/Carson Drew far more often than anyone rescues her. And the new novels are even worse. I’ve stopped trying them out at the library, although I did still pick up the latest Hardy Boys for awhile as I like the action and the Joe/Frank interaction. But the 3 part series Murder House put me off that even.

I might try the next Drew/Hardy combo, Club Dread, but only if I happen across it. Until then, I’m sticking to vintage Nancy and Chet Gecko.

Nancy Drew the movie had a nice version of Nancy but did a huge disservice to the story by taking her out of River Heights.

Back to my shelves. We had Gayle’s mom ship her copies up from Kentucky after the disappointment of the movie. Time to enjoy them again. There’s a weekend plan.

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From → Books, rant, reading, Writing

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