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review 2017-10-28 16:14
The Secret of the Old Clock ★★★☆☆
The Secret of the Old Clock - Carolyn Keene

After reading and comparing the 1930 original with the 1959 revision, it’s clear that much of the original charm was lost in the update. The original version featured a boisterously independent Nancy and a raucous cast of characters and events, but also some horrifyingly racist caricatures. In cleaning up the latter, the revision also cleaned up Nancy and the book’s events and settings to a syrupy sweet Nancy and ruthlessly G-rated mystery that is pretty dull in comparison. 4 Stars for the 1930 original, written by Mildred A Wirt Benson, and 2 Stars for the 1959 revision, written by Harriet Stratemeyer Adams, averaging to 3 stars overall.

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review 2017-10-28 16:12
The Secret of the Old Clock ★★★☆☆
The Secret of the Old Clock - Russell H. Tandy,Sara Paretsky,Carolyn Keene

After reading and comparing the 1930 original with the 1959 revision, it’s clear that much of the original charm was lost in the update. The original version featured a boisterously independent Nancy and a raucous cast of characters and events, but also some horrifyingly racist caricatures. In cleaning up the latter, the revision also cleaned up Nancy and the book’s events and settings to a syrupy sweet Nancy and ruthlessly G-rated mystery that is pretty dull in comparison. 4 Stars for the 1930 original, written by Mildred A Wirt Benson, and 2 Stars for the 1959 revision, written by Harriet Stratemeyer Adams, averaging to 3 stars overall.

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text SPOILER ALERT! 2017-10-27 13:09
The Secret of the Old Clock – ND1.9
The Secret of the Old Clock - Russell H. Tandy,Sara Paretsky,Carolyn Keene
The Secret of the Old Clock - Carolyn Keene

Nancy Drew Project continued: Reading the 1930 & 1959 versions of The Secret of The Old Clock simultaneously, comparing differences in the story and characters, and pondering dated plot points. Spoilers: full plot description below.

 

This wraps up the first book in the series! I've finished with the initial read on the second book, The Hidden Staircase, and am starting to organize my thoughts about it, so hopefully will have the first post in a week or so. 

 

The Secret of the Old Clock – ND1.9

 

1930 (Ch 23-25) vs 1959 (Ch 18-20)

 

After interminable pages of suspense, the bank deposit box is found to contain a handwritten will, more recent than the one that left everything to the Tophams. There are some changes in the 1959 version in the details of how they gained access to the box and how the legal papers were handled.  

 

The reading of the will takes place in the Drew’s residence, for some reason, with everyone concerned present. Unsurprisingly, the bulk of the estate goes to the cousins. 1930 Tophams sail grandly in, are generally unpleasant, and storm out. 1959 Tophams add a few shrieks about unpaid bills and the daughters having to go to work.

 

1930 wrapup: The Tophams were apparently deep in debt and nearly bankrupt on losing the inheritance, having to move from their tacky McMansion into a small house and no longer “able to carry themselves so high”. The Turner sisters and Mathew brothers aren’t mentioned. Abigail Rowan is now in good health with a full time trained nurse. Allie and Grace have used the money to spruce up their farmhouse and Allie is busy building her chicken farm empire. Nancy refuses a monetary reward but asks for the clock as a memento.

 

1959 wrapup: The Tophams were apparently deep in debt and nearly bankrupt on losing the inheritance, having to move from their beautiful home into a small house, to “give up their extravagant way of living”, and the snooty daughters forced to get jobs to make ends meet. The Mathew brothers get to start planning their travels. The Turner sisters sob for joy that they can now provide for little Judy, who didn’t even exist in the original version. Nancy brings a casserole to Abby Rowan, who is relieved that she will be able to supplement her pension and cackles delightedly that Nancy “outwitted those uppity Topham women”. Allie and Grace are planting flowers (because real ladies don’t do farmwork?)  and ready to sign Allie up for voice lessons. Everybody heaps praise on Nancy, who is modest and embarrassed and blushes. She refuses all rewards but Allie and Grace insist on her giving her the clock as a memento.

 

Index of posts for The Secret of the Old Clock:

ND1.1

ND1.2

ND1.3

ND1.4

ND1.41

ND1.5

ND1.6

ND1.7

ND1.8

ND1.9

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text SPOILER ALERT! 2017-10-22 18:39
The Secret of the Old Clock – ND1.8
The Secret of the Old Clock - Russell H. Tandy,Sara Paretsky,Carolyn Keene
The Secret of the Old Clock - Carolyn Keene

Nancy Drew Project continued: Reading the 1930 & 1959 versions of The Secret of The Old Clock simultaneously, comparing differences in the story and characters, and pondering dated plot points. Spoilers: full plot description below.

 

1930 (Ch 21-22) vs 1959 (Ch 16-17)

 

1930 Nancy flags down the cops and there’s an exciting chase scene as the robbers attempt to run the police off the road, then engage in a running gun battle before being subdued. Nancy asks that her name be kept off the record and the marshal bums a ride with her back to town. Nancy, realizing that she can’t explain the stolen clock in her car, hastily hides it in the roadster’s rear catch-all.

 

1959 Nancy flags down the cops and together they catch up to the robbers’ truck, then engage in a low speed chase until the robbers wreck themselves by toppling the truck into a steep ditch. No exciting gun battle, though. Nancy asks that her name be kept off the record and thoughtfully asks that the police “put in a good word” for Jeff Tucker so the Tophams don’t fire him for letting their house get burgled. Then the trooper bums a ride with Nancy back to town and Nancy lets him do the driving. WTF?!?! Nancy, realizing that she has a stolen clock in her car, turns it over to the trooper with a semi-confession, claiming to have been examining it to verify that it came from the Topham’s cottage. She does some mental gymnastics to justify withholding the information about the notebook.

 

Nancy and her father find out from the notebook that Josiah Crowley left a new will in a bank deposit box under an assumed name. 1930 Nancy enthusiastically wishes financial windfall on the Crowley cousins and financial ruin for the nasty, tacky Tophams. Her father is very proud of her accomplishment and unperturbed about her theft of the clock, using some lawyerly obfuscation to justify it. 1959 Nancy is more circumspect, wondering aloud if the Tophams will receive any money and unconcerned if the new will means their financial ruin. Her father is proud of her accomplishment and there’s no need to find legal loopholes for this virtuous modern Nancy’s actions.

 

...To be continued. 

 

Index of posts for The Secret of the Old Clock:

ND1.1

ND1.2

ND1.3

ND1.4

ND1.41

ND1.5

ND1.6

ND1.7

ND1.8

ND1.9

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text SPOILER ALERT! 2017-10-20 01:45
The Secret of the Old Clock – ND1.7
The Secret of the Old Clock - Russell H. Tandy,Sara Paretsky,Carolyn Keene
The Secret of the Old Clock - Carolyn Keene
 

Nancy Drew Project continued: Reading the 1930 & 1959 versions of The Secret of The Old Clock simultaneously, comparing differences in the story and characters, and pondering dated plot points. Spoilers: full plot description below.

 

1930 (Ch18-20) vs. 1959 (Ch 14-15)

 

After Nancy and Jeff Tucker tell their stories to the town marshal, Nancy leads the police on a chase to catch the robbers, having seen and recognized their tire marks in the dirt on the way back. When the road forks, Nancy and the police separate, with Nancy promising to notify police if she sees the criminals along the road. 1930 Nancy is definitely a speed demon, opening the throttle wide enough to worry Jeff Tucker and several times having to wait on the police after having left them behind, eating her little roadster’s dust. 1959 Nancy is less of a daredevil (or lawbreaker), keeping pace with the police.

 

1930 Nancy spots the robbers having a “drinking orgy” at a sleazy roadhouse, and breaks into their truck to find Josiah Crowley’s clock. 1959 Nancy spots the robbers “eating voraciously” in a rundown inn, and breaks into their truck to find Josiah Crowley’s clock. In both books, thrilling moments ensue as Nancy just barely hides herself before the ruffians return, once again behaving like Tolkien’s quarrelsome trolls. Nancy takes the clock apart and finds a notebook belonging to Josiah Crowley.

 

Noteworthy – Jeff Tucker’s character cleanup continues in this chapter. The 1930 verbal exchange between them would be cute, if it weren’t for the racist stereotyping. As Nancy burns up the road into town, Jeff advises her to slow down, as the persnickety town marshal has jailed him before. “For speeding?” she asks. No, he says, just for enjoying himself. Having been a frequent guest, he can give directions to the town jail, which, he says, is his favorite. The 1959 (Hee-Haw) Jeff Tucker of indeterminate race is entirely bland in every way, without criminal history, snappy dialogue, or a taste for drama and excitement.

 

...To be continued. 

 

Index of posts for The Secret of the Old Clock:

ND1.1

ND1.2

ND1.3

ND1.4

ND1.41

ND1.5

ND1.6

ND1.7

ND1.8

ND1.9

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