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General Hardy Boys Discussion => General Hardy Boys Discussions => Topic started by: SDLagent on June 17, 2010, 02:49:38 AM

Title: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: SDLagent on June 17, 2010, 02:49:38 AM
The Hardy Boys #2 The House on the Cliff by Franklin W. Dixon.

(http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080304211419/hardyboys/images/b/ba/HouseOnTheCliff_MBI_cover.jpg)
Original text by Leslie McFarlane first published in 1927.

(http://i40.tinypic.com/15s6i6h.jpg)
Revised text by Harriet S. Adams first published in 1959.

It's time to start discussing this month's Book Club choice, The House on the Cliff. I choice to read the original text, although I have read both versions before. I'll post my review of tomorrow (since I still haven't finished the book), but I'll start things of, right now, by posting a quote from the book:

"I don't believe in working for nothing."
-Fenton Hardy, page 71.
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: MacGyver on June 17, 2010, 11:23:35 AM
Hmm- well, I guess I can't blame Fenton too much. I mean- it's not like you see Carson Drew going pro bono. ;D
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: hardygirl847 on June 18, 2010, 01:34:04 AM
I too will have to review later. It's 1:30AM right now. My bed is calling me.

This quote is interesting to me because he's just a heroic type of character, I tend to forget he does this for a living. The boys rarely get appreciation, recognition, or money for the crimes they solve. He also could refer to doing other things instead of working. Out of context it can be hard to tell.

Also, my brain is a little on the fried side....so I will revisit this all later. :)
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: SDLagent on June 18, 2010, 02:12:49 AM
This quote is interesting to me because he's just a heroic type of character, I tend to forget he does this for a living. The boys rarely get appreciation, recognition, or money for the crimes they solve. He also could refer to doing other things instead of working. Out of context it can be hard to tell.

Same here. Often the boys work for nothing and sometimes even refuse money. I guess this is one trait they didn't inherit from their father. Mind you, things were probably different when Fenton was younger, before he had a family to feed.
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: tomswift2002 on June 18, 2010, 07:44:08 PM
Same here. Often the boys work for nothing and sometimes even refuse money. I guess this is one trait they didn't inherit from their father. Mind you, things were probably different when Fenton was younger, before he had a family to feed.

But don't forget that the Hardy Boys are amateur detectives, whereas Fenton Hardy is a professional detective.

Plus the boys are still teenagers who can live with their parent's while they are still in school.
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: SDLagent on June 18, 2010, 09:12:37 PM
But don't forget that the Hardy Boys are amateur detectives, whereas Fenton Hardy is a professional detective.

Plus the boys are still teenagers who can live with their parent's while they are still in school.

That's what I meant by "when he was younger". Should have added "before he was a pro".
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: SDLagent on June 19, 2010, 11:39:27 PM
Review: This is a really fun read. And, really, that's all I ask from a Hardy Boys mystery. It's fast paced and, unlike some of the early Hardy Boys, every chapter contributes to the main plot, rather than a sub-plot. Overall, this is my all-time favorite Hardy Boys novel. Upon re-reading it this time around, though, I have to admit it's not the best .

First of all, the mystery itself isn't very hard to figure out (I'm sure we all knew Fenton was at the house on the cliff way before his boys did), but I can over look that, because, overall, I found Frank and Joe's investigation very exciting. However, the plot device used to keep Fenton Hardy alive is very weak. Obviously, they couldn't have killed-off Fenton but they could have thought-up a more believable reason to have the smugglers keep Fenton alive. Fenton having information the smugglers want would have worked a lot better then them keeping him alive so he can sign some document that says he won't "talk". Not only do I find it hard to believe that Fenton wouldn't just sign the paper and then go back on his word, I find it even harder to believe that the smugglers would even give him that chance. They tried to kill Yates (and then kidnapped him and kept him alive which I also find pretty unlikely), so why would they spare Fenton? Not only is this unbelievable but it makes the bad guys seem less dangerous, and, in doing so, makes the story less exciting. We are told (over and over again) that the bad guys are ruthless, but we certainly aren't shown it.

One of the things I really liked about this book, and hadn't really noticed before re-reading it this time, is the differences between the brothers. We see Frank's definitely the leader, while Joe is happy to follow. Also, Joe is a little more reckless than Frank. Nothing new, here, but what I liked is that instead of being told the differences between the brothers, like a lot of Hardy Boys books do - whether it be Originals or Casefiles, we are shown their differences by what they do and how they interact with each other. Show, don't tell. That's good writing.

Rating: 4/5 stars.
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: MacGyver on June 20, 2010, 12:04:15 AM
Quote
One of the things I really liked about this book, and hadn't really noticed before re-reading it this time, is the differences between the brothers. We see Frank's definitely the leader, while Joe is happy to follow. Also, Joe is a little more reckless than Frank. Nothing new, here, but what I liked is that instead of being told the differences between the brothers, like a lot of Hardy Boys books do - whether it be Originals or Casefiles, we are shown their differences by what they do and how they interact with each other. Show, don't tell. That's good writing.
True that. :D

Quote
First of all, the mystery itself isn't very hard to figure out (I'm sure we all knew Fenton was at the house on the cliff way before his boys did), but I can over look that, because, overall, I found Frank and Joe's investigation very exciting. However, the plot device used to keep Fenton Hardy alive is very weak. Obviously, they couldn't have killed-off Fenton but they could have thought-up a more believable reason to have the smugglers keep Fenton alive. Fenton having information the smugglers want would have worked a lot better then them keeping him alive so he can sign some document that says he won't "talk". Not only do I find it hard to believe that Fenton wouldn't just sign the paper and then go back on his word, I find it even harder to believe that the smugglers would even give him that chance. They tried to kill Yates (and then kidnapped him and kept him alive which I also find pretty unlikely), so why would they spare Fenton? Not only is this unbelievable but it makes the bad guys seem less dangerous, and, in doing so, makes the story less exciting. We are told (over and over again) that the bad guys are ruthless, but we certainly aren't shown it.
I understand your point- but I think the writers have to be careful what all they do show with the bad guys- since the main audience for these books was kids. But yeah- there's always a certain suspension of disbelief required when you read these things and wonder why the bad guys would have bothered to keep the good guys alive. There are valid and good reasons sometimes- but sometimes they are just keeping them alive because it's a main character and you know he's not going to die in the series. ;)
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: SDLagent on June 20, 2010, 12:08:39 AM
True that. :D
I understand your point- but I think the writers have to be careful what all they do show with the bad guys- since the main audience for these books was kids. But yeah- there's always a certain suspension of disbelief required when you read these things and wonder why the bad guys would have bothered to keep the good guys alive. There are valid and good reasons sometimes- but sometimes they are just keeping them alive because it's a main character and you know he's not going to die in the series. ;)

I can see what your saying, but considering early on in the story we got a description of someone being shot to death, I don't think think they were too worried about that kind of thing.
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: MacGyver on June 20, 2010, 02:01:44 PM
Hmm- that's true too. Considering the whole idea of children's literature itself was still fairly new at that time, I'm thinking some of those concerns arose later on. I guess I'd like to think writers would always be careful with what they present to children. Eh- maybe it was just a less plausible plotline here on the part of the author...
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: SDLagent on June 21, 2010, 06:11:01 PM
I've added a poll. Vote!
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: tomswift2002 on June 22, 2010, 11:23:36 AM
I've added a poll. Vote!

For which version?
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: SDLagent on June 22, 2010, 04:16:39 PM
For which version?

Yeah, that's a bit of a problem isn't it?
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: hardygirl847 on June 22, 2010, 11:15:12 PM
Same here. Often the boys work for nothing and sometimes even refuse money. I guess this is one trait they didn't inherit from their father. Mind you, things were probably different when Fenton was younger, before he had a family to feed.

I wonder if this mentality has to do more with life experience than money. Fenton has all over the world solving crimes as private investigator as well as in law enforcement. He could have had a similar mentality at one time like his sons but learned through harsh real world experiences that taught him otherwise. Being a family man, I can see how he would have also put weight on being able to provide for his family. That is definitely important too. He wasn't around a lot though so maybe Laura helped raise them to believe in helping people for the sake of helping and not for anything in return. ?

Darn...I am bad at this whole quote thing so....

SDLagent, you said that you liked being shown the character differences more than being told. I completely agree. In some instances it is necessary for an author to give a "heads up" just to help with the story line but usually the imagery etc really make up the characters. Their actions and even dialog can say a lot about them. With it being a children's novel, it would be okay to spell it out more but I don't think it's needed. Frank and Joe are such classic characters... :)

You also said that the bad guys were not completely believable. I agree with MacGyver that we have to let ourselves dive into the story regardless of how plausible it is. A lot of HBs are not the more realistic, but that's part of their charm. You want to believe that they could be possible and that 2 teenagers can kick some major butt! :) I always liked the Assassins the most because you could have them do anything and still have it in the realm of believability. The Assassins (and in comparison the Network) had access to so many different resources, people, science, etc that it was okay if they did something a little out of the ordinary. It's easier to take. I like to write them in my fanfic because they can be the most broad and fun. I also like them to win a little too....No way the Hardys would always get a way from true bad guys.

That is definitely the problem with some of the antagonists in the HBs novels. The bad guys are just never really good enough. I can understand that it's a children's series, but I think the Casefiles are more exciting because they do not follow this trend. Well, not as much. Introducing harsh characters like the Assassins really made for more entertainment. Finally, someone who was not so easily outsmarted.

I always want the Hardys to come out on top and save the day, etc. They could break a rib or get a little bruised though too...They are only human after all. ;)

As for THOTC, it was only the second HB novel, so maybe we can give it some slack. I bet that if we read it back then, before reading anything else or considered better, we would feel differently.

At least it's still a fun, satisfying read. :)
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: SDLagent on June 23, 2010, 12:07:59 AM
Yeah, it's still my favorite, but I realize it's not the best.
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: hardygirl847 on June 24, 2010, 10:58:35 PM
That's how I feel about Brother Against Brother. The ending gets some criticism but I love it!!!!

As for TOTC, it's the 2nd one ever....so it could never be the best unless Dixon writers wanted to go downhill from there. Luckily, it was only uphill.

However, some writers were better than others....for sure. EX: UBs.
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: MacGyver on June 25, 2010, 01:34:48 AM
I still don't understand the criticism about the ending to "Brother against Brother"- I suppose some readers were expecting an emotional outrush when Frank and Joe reunite and Joe regains his memory- but honestly, they did have a reconnecting scene and the readers' emotional strengths had just about been spent through all the build up throughout the book. There was still action going on in this reuniting scene and the Hardys being the professionals they are had to jump back to the situation at hand. This was the falling action at this point and after that comes the resolution. I personally think "Brother Against Brother" was very well written all throughout and I love it! I enjoy all of The Hardy Boys books to some degree at least- (although I certainly prefer the Originals, Digests and Casefiles and even the graphic novels to the UnderCover Brothers)- but all the Casefiles have been good with me. And this one is one of my top favorites.
    And to get back to the original topic- "The House on the Cliff" is quite incredible. The plot certainly has been pretty fast-moving in the original text version that I'm reading. (The storm scene at the Polucca house makes me think of "The House on Possessed Hill" episode of The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries". Or at least makes me want to watch it. I love those kinds of episodes with the dark and stormy night settings! :D 8))
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: SDLagent on June 25, 2010, 02:26:20 AM
And to get back to the original topic- "The House on the Cliff" is quite incredible. The plot certainly has been pretty fast-moving in the original text version that I'm reading. (The storm scene at the Polucca house makes me think of "The House on Possessed Hill" episode of The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries". Or at least makes me want to watch it. I love those kinds of episodes with the dark and stormy night settings! :D 8))

Yeah, this story has very film noir feel to it in some ways.
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: hardygirl847 on June 25, 2010, 11:34:05 AM
MacGyver, I don't get the whole criticism for BAB either. I never thought the ending was a problem. Frank and Joe were never really that affectionate or emotional in the canons. A lot of ppl write them in fan fic as having more angst but it's not like that with the canons. However, I still love the story and thought the boys handled the situation well. They were a little preoccupied with living and getting out of the bad situation. Not a lot of time for hugging and etc.

Yeah, this story has very film noir feel to it in some ways.

I'm not very familiar with film noirs but I at least know of them. I get why you would think that. :)
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: SDLagent on June 25, 2010, 04:37:25 PM
MacGyver, I don't get the whole criticism for BAB either. I never thought the ending was a problem. Frank and Joe were never really that affectionate or emotional in the canons. A lot of ppl write them in fan fic as having more angst but it's not like that with the canons. However, I still love the story and thought the boys handled the situation well. They were a little preoccupied with living and getting out of the bad situation. Not a lot of time for hugging and etc.

It's not so much the lack of emotion, it's how easily Joe recovered. Losing your memory's a big a thing, and it wasn't even mentioned in the next book. They should have treated it like Iola's death.

I'm not very familiar with film noirs but I at least know of them. I get why you would think that. :)

I'm a big fan of film noir and hardboiled detective stores.
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: hardygirl847 on June 30, 2010, 01:47:01 PM


It's not so much the lack of emotion, it's how easily Joe recovered. Losing your memory's a big a thing, and it wasn't even mentioned in the next book. They should have treated it like Iola's death.

I'm a big fan of film noir and hardboiled detective stores.

Well the kind of amnesia Joe had is actually quite rare. So using it in a book with less than 200 pages, is hard enough. It's even harder to explain how he regained his memory so quickly. Keeping in mind that these books were meant for young adults and/or children, they overlooked that part. I never thought it was a problem but I can see why it would be questioned. In fact, I hope to write my own fan fic with a similar idea but with a twist. I choose not to worry about the logistics too much. It's all for fun. :)

That's cool that you're a big fan of those! :)
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: SDLagent on June 30, 2010, 03:33:22 PM
Joe Hardy: "He may have been-"
Frank Hardy: "He may have been murdered. And we're going to find out about it."

This is another quote I liked from The House on the Cliff. Frank and Joe are talking about Fenton and I think it sums-up some of the differences between them pretty well. Joe the eternal optimist. Frank the realist.
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: MacGyver on July 28, 2010, 08:46:31 PM
For the record, I finally did finish "The House on the Cliff" (the original text) and it was quite good! I do have to say though- I can definitely see where people would complain about racial stereotypes. I don't think the characterization of Li Chang was a big thing, though some people would get upset over the "Chinaman" phrase. He's a man from China- it works. Of course, of much more concern than this was the phrase Frank uses on page 77. Whoa! I had never heard that phrase before though I can figure out the meaning from the context. For those wondering, yes- he used the "n-word" in referring to black people. I have never used that word and never would condone that- but at the same time, I also know that it was used by a lot of people in society in 1927. It doesn't mean it's right, but it is what was accepted then. I think Frank's phrase was supposed to be referring to a runaway slave or perhaps a perception that a black man might be likely to attack or rob him in a dark alley, which honestly isn't far removed from some people's racial stereotypes today.
   So though I know I would never see Frank or Joe saying that word today in any context, I'm also trying to remember that Frank was probably repeating a popular phrase he had heard from others, but it still doesn't excuse it.
Well, I'm sure this is a major reason (alongside the stated reason of updating to modern police technology and such) that the books were revised in 1959. And it is nice to note to The Hardy Boys' credit that they were good friends with Tony Prito, son of Italian immigrants (which this book states pretty clearly) as well as Phil Cohen, who I understand is later identified as Jewish. So they do know and are friends with people of different backgrounds. And much later in the Digests, The Hardy Boys gain a recurring friend in Jamal Hawkins, who's probably the only recurring black character I can think of offhand. (I assume he's meant to be black in any case, given the illustration from "The Hypersonic Secret" and "Slam Dunk Sabotage". The name is a clue too, but I can't necessarily assume that he must be black just because "Jamal" seems to be a stereotypical "black" name.)
      And The Hardy Boys cartoon is the first cartoon to have a regular black main character in Pete Jones, so especially for 1969, that's a nice feat too. At least there's some feeling of redemption there.
          But aside from these things, the pacing was definitely quick and the plot certainly had a number of cliff-hangers that really kept you interested. I was quite excited to finish this book (probably because I was getting frustrated at not having enough time to read it often along the way).
        I also wonder though- I don't think the note that Fenton supposedly sent his family was ever really cleared up. Did he send it or not? I'm guessing the gang sent it, but I suppose it doesn't really matter honestly.
Snackley is also an interesting name for a villian or for anyone for that matter. And I liked the twist at the end about Jones (actually Yates) being one of the smugglers and threatening to go to the police. Yeah, it may not seem probable to readers today (or maybe even back then really) that either Yates or Fenton would've been kept alive that long (and in Fenton's case, much less allowed to be freed if he signed a paper saying he wouldn't go to the cops)- but it does say something about Fenton's integrity. It's nice to see someone of such strong principles portrayed. But I think there also may have been a stronger concern at that time at what level of violence children were allowed to see.
I also thought the passageways underneath the cliff leading up to the house was great! I love that kind of stuff- reminds me a bit of Enid Blyton's "The Famous Five" (which I also love reading 8)).
I also find it funny that Redhead Blount's first name apparently actually was Redhead- at least he's referred to as such. But I assume that's a nickname.
Oh yes- and I find myself highly skeptical of Chet's handspring on page 211. LOL! ;D
(Considering that this is the boy who also works up to at least 3 dishes of ice cream at the victory celebration. ;))
       Overall though, "The House on the Cliff" (both original text and revised text really) is a great story. It definitely ranks as one of the best.
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: SDLagent on July 29, 2010, 01:28:50 AM
I've seen the word "Niger" used in other The Hardy Boys books ("...there's a Niger in the woodpile"), but I missed it in this one. Which page was this?

Also, I never found The Hardy Boys very racist (at least compared to other books of the era), considering the fact that the boys had, like you mention, Italian and Jewish friends. In The Tower Treasure, Tony even had an accent which some people might find racist, but, in my opinion, is realistic for kid who just moved to the US in the last few years and is new to English. Strangely enough, both Tony and Phil became more and more American (starting with Tony losing his accent), until, in later books, their ethnic backgrounds aren't even mentioned. Eventually, though, I think Tony's Italian roots were acknowledged again, but I think it was only his parents who were from Italy, not Tony, himself.
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: MacGyver on July 29, 2010, 08:54:17 AM
Quote
I've seen the word "Niger" used in other The Hardy Boys books ("...there's a Niger in the woodpile"), but I missed it in this one. Which page was this?
Actually, that's exactly the phrase that was used and Frank says it at the top of page 77. (that's in the Applewood reprint version anyway.)
At the end of the book, Tony says that the excitement he had the day he helped Frank and Joe catch the bad guys was more fun than he had had since his family moved to the US. So apparently he at least remembers some of being in Italy, unless moving to the USA is in fact his earliest memory.
 But yeah- I've never known The Hardy Boys to be racist and I don't honestly think they were meant to be portrayed that way even in this instance I quoted. I think Frank was repeating something he had heard and using a phrase that was accepted at the time, but he was using it to be illustrative and was not necessarily trying to be racist (although the word itself would certainly be considered racist today.)
   But it certainly wasn't just The Hardy Boys that used this word in books of that era... Pretty sure I've seen it in other books- "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain and "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee
(and in all three of these I can generally understand the reason it would be used, but I still don't like seeing it. But it is what it is...)
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: hardygirl847 on July 29, 2010, 02:05:29 PM
That is heartbreaking to have that word associated with something I love so much. AND it was Frank who said it? Even more heartbreaking.

It's obviously been changed since then because I never saw it in the newer version I read.

I realize that it was a "sign of the times" but still... Wholesome Hardys used that word?!

So glad they don't anymore.
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: MacGyver on July 29, 2010, 05:42:54 PM
It's funny that the word was originally derived from the Latin "niger", which means black. Also, in Spanish, "negro" means black.
But regardless of its origins, the word is definitely offensive and I'm glad the 1959 revisions cleaned that junk out. I wish it wasn't such a commonplace phrase in 1927 that Leslie McFarlane would've even thought it would be okay for The Hardy Boys to be using such words. But it's important to remember history and understand what America really was like then- and try to learn from it and be better for it now.
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: SDLagent on July 29, 2010, 11:12:15 PM
I don't think moving to the US is Tony's earliest memory since, like I said, Tony had an accent in the first book.

That is heartbreaking to have that word associated with something I love so much. AND it was Frank who said it? Even more heartbreaking.

It's obviously been changed since then because I never saw it in the newer version I read.

I realize that it was a "sign of the times" but still... Wholesome Hardys used that word?!

So glad they don't anymore.

It doesn't really bother me. At all. This book was published in 1927. If this book was published last year, I'd be upset, but this is how everybody talked in the 1920s. We've talked about the language of The Hardy Boys series being outdated before, such as the use of "gay", and this is just another example.
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: MacGyver on July 30, 2010, 09:05:26 AM
True, but with the usage of "gay", that word does still mean "happy". (As in The Flinstones' theme song wherein "we'll have a gay old time!") But the word is just not commonly used with that meaning anymore. That usage is more of an unintentional thing where the writers could not possibly know that the word would come to have a very different meaning.
(Like how "fanny" has a quite different meaning in British slang than when Enid Blyton was using it as one of the character's names in her "Famous Five" series of books back in 1942. And modern reprints now actually change the character's name to Frances or Franny because of this.)
     Since it first gained common usage, "nigger" has always meant the same thing and it's always been derogatory. Unfortunately, that is how some people talked then and so I can accept it as a reflection of the historical times, but I still don't like it.

(And hey- just noticed this was my 777th. post! Seven being the number of perfection and/or completion and 3 being the number of the Trinity (God the Father, God the Son Jesus Christ and God the Holy Spirit)- that's pretty awesome! Stryper used to hang this number as a banner sometimes at their shows and I know they've used it in their albums and such. 8))
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: hardygirl847 on August 01, 2010, 03:48:27 PM

     Since it first gained common usage, "nigger" has always meant the same thing and it's always been derogatory. Unfortunately, that is how some people talked then and so I can accept it as a reflection of the historical times, but I still don't like it.


Agreed. Spencer, I see where you're coming from totally. However, since MacGyver pointed out that it has always been a nasty word...it still upsets me that it was written in a children's book.

But then again slavery and other inhumane events still bother me. I really don't have a right to be so offended by certain things, as they are not part of my personal ancestry.  In general, I  can get passionate about human rights sometimes.

It might make for an interesting debate, but I am glad it was taken out and changed from the original text.
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: hexton on August 01, 2010, 05:24:25 PM
It doesn't really bother me (Fleming was similar in some of his Bond novels-especially Live and Let Die) as it was part of the times. I'll admit that when I first started reading some of these original texts it did stick out like a sore thumb.
Original HOTC is good, but the revised does simply read better. The revised is at least a 4 out of 5.
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: hexton on August 01, 2010, 05:26:36 PM
It's not so much the lack of emotion, it's how easily Joe recovered. Losing your memory's a big a thing, and it wasn't even mentioned in the next book. They should have treated it like Iola's death.

I'm a big fan of film noir and hardboiled detective stores.
Now I really have to read BAB-it sounds like it could almost be a noir story.
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: hardygirl847 on August 01, 2010, 11:50:25 PM
BAB is my fave hexton!! Don't know about it being a noir type of story but I LOVE it!
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: SDLagent on August 02, 2010, 04:36:58 PM
Now I really have to read BAB-it sounds like it could almost be a noir story.

I was actually saying this story, The House on the Cliff, has a noir vibe. A lot of The Hardy Boys books from the 30s and 40s do to a certain extent but out of all the ones I've read, the original text of The Melted Coins really does.
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: NancyDrew on August 13, 2010, 09:56:00 PM
I actually pulled out both versions to read when I saw this thread about a week ago. I won't go on about it because y'all had so many wonderful thoughts already but I did find it interesting Frank's character vs. Joe's. Frank is clearly the leader in the story and plays a larger role in content. At least that's what I thought.

I also found the time differences and changes interesting. Such as the use of "prison" in the revised verson but "penitentiary" in the original. And the head criminal (not only had a name change lol) but also was mentioned to originally be going to the electric chair and then changed to put away for a long time. I thought that was neat to compare them.
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: SDLagent on August 16, 2010, 02:14:40 AM
I actually pulled out both versions to read when I saw this thread about a week ago. I won't go on about it because y'all had so many wonderful thoughts already but I did find it interesting Frank's character vs. Joe's. Frank is clearly the leader in the story and plays a larger role in content. At least that's what I thought.

I noticed that too. Frank is the leader! And not just of Joe, of the chums too. Tony (who, we find out in a later book, is the same age as Frank) makes a few suggestions but other than that the other boys are content to follow Frank's directions, more or less, without question.
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: MacGyver on August 16, 2010, 01:52:06 PM
Makes sense- Frank is the older one, so Joe is generally going to acquiesce to his leading.
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: NancyDrew on August 16, 2010, 06:13:05 PM
 
I noticed that too. Frank is the leader! And not just of Joe, of the chums too. Tony (who, we find out in a later book, is the same age as Frank) makes a few suggestions but other than that the other boys are content to follow Frank's directions, more or less, without question.

Makes sense- Frank is the older one, so Joe is generally going to acquiesce to his leading.

I know that Frank is older but I was surprised at just how much he dominated the speaking and action vs Joe.

And I agree about Tony. Also, with Chet, is role is greatly increased with the revisions. Not only his speaking but even participation in scenes he originally wasn't in. Even though the cover still only shows three guys. :P I guess they tried to revise it to make in even. Although I thought Tony had a bigger role in the 1st than second but I could be wrong.
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: MacGyver on August 16, 2010, 08:05:00 PM
I would probably agree with that. Tony certainly had a pretty hugely important role in the first edition of "The House on the Cliff".
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: SDLagent on August 17, 2010, 03:08:15 AM

I know that Frank is older but I was surprised at just how much he dominated the speaking and action vs Joe.

And I agree about Tony. Also, with Chet, is role is greatly increased with the revisions. Not only his speaking but even participation in scenes he originally wasn't in. Even though the cover still only shows three guys. :P I guess they tried to revise it to make in even. Although I thought Tony had a bigger role in the 1st than second but I could be wrong.

There was only three guys in the boat in the original. Was this changed in the revised? Is this what you are talking about? If not, the cover's correct.
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: NancyDrew on August 17, 2010, 05:00:12 PM
In the revisions, there is four guys: Tony, Chet, Joe and Frank so the cover is not accurate in the revised version.
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: hardygirl847 on August 21, 2010, 11:40:30 PM
You would think that the publishers, editors, writers, illustrators, etc....would notice that! Were they just too lazy or out of funding to change it?! lol
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: tomswift2002 on August 23, 2010, 05:58:11 PM
You would think that the publishers, editors, writers, illustrators, etc....would notice that! Were they just too lazy or out of funding to change it?! lol

Not really.  The 1950 Bill Gilles cover of The Sinister Sign Post depicts both Frank and Joe Hardy watching the scene on the beach, even though only one of them was there in the actual scene in the book.
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: SDLagent on August 23, 2010, 09:57:54 PM
You would think that the publishers, editors, writers, illustrators, etc....would notice that! Were they just too lazy or out of funding to change it?! lol

I remember reading once about The Hardy Boys Casefiles that the cover artist would sometimes draw a cover that didn't match-up with story, so the ghostwriter would have to make last minute changes to some-how fit the scene on the cover into the story.

Not really.  The 1950 Bill Gilles cover of The Sinister Sign Post depicts both Frank and Joe Hardy watching the scene on the beach, even though only one of them was there in the actual scene in the book.


Both Hardy boys usually appear on the cover. No matter what. And they look like the conventional Hardy boys, too, even though sometimes are in disguise in the scene depicted on the cover. Like with Evil, Inc., where Frank and Joe actually had there hair died in the story but on the cover they do not.
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: hardygirl847 on September 02, 2010, 12:10:36 AM
Yeah the Casefiles were kind of notorious for that at times. It makes complete sense from the publisher's POV to have both boys and their "usual" appearance on the cover. I just don't know why they don't choose a different part of the story where it actually correlates with the front...?! Is that REALLY the ONLY part of the book the artist could draw???? lol
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: MacGyver on September 02, 2010, 01:27:47 AM
Exactly. What about all those times where the Hardy Boys are sitting in history class at school or eating lunch at home or stopping off at the restroom? I can just picture a cover when Frank leaning up against the wall next to the school restroom waiting on Joe- "The Mystery of the Mundane Monday (or How Much of the Mystery MeatLoaf did Joe Eat, For Crying Out Loud?)"
Not sure it would be the best marketing manuever out there- but it would be different.

(I'll have to go ahead and apologize now for giving in to a little bit of gross out humor there- of course, the cover wouldn't and shouldn't have anything graphic- the thought of a non-action scene like that for a cover just cracked me up though.) ;D
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: Mattie on September 02, 2010, 04:06:16 PM
They do give way too many unnecessary details though.
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: SDLagent on September 02, 2010, 07:21:46 PM
They do give way too many unnecessary details though.

Huh?
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: Mattie on September 02, 2010, 07:34:50 PM
Never mind.
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: hardygirl847 on September 06, 2010, 12:11:46 PM
Exactly. What about all those times where the Hardy Boys are sitting in history class at school or eating lunch at home or stopping off at the restroom? I can just picture a cover when Frank leaning up against the wall next to the school restroom waiting on Joe- "The Mystery of the Mundane Monday (or How Much of the Mystery MeatLoaf did Joe Eat, For Crying Out Loud?)"
Not sure it would be the best marketing manuever out there- but it would be different.

(I'll have to go ahead and apologize now for giving in to a little bit of gross out humor there- of course, the cover wouldn't and shouldn't have anything graphic- the thought of a non-action scene like that for a cover just cracked me up though.) ;D

LOL Well, obviously a more dangerous or intriguing cover will help the book get read, purchased, etc...But it seems that the artists would have more to work with than just one scene. Sometimes the scene isn't even depicted that way in the story.

Different...and funny..especially to us Hardy fans. It's like seeing the other side....all heroes have to do normal things at some point, right?

Maybe the story could be like a documentary about "a day in the life" where someone follows them around...and it just so happens to be a "boring" day. lol It would be funny to read someone else's comments or POV on Frank and Joe...as well as learn more about what the canons leave out. Obviously this would work more in fan fic than big publishing. :)
Title: Re: June 2010 Book Club Discussion: The House on the Cliff
Post by: MacGyver on March 17, 2017, 09:50:37 PM
"A rousing cheer for Pretzel Pete!" :) 8)
(https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/772/33501754385_6c662d49ac_k.jpg)

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3923/33345460922_9db46c0436_k.jpg)