Author Topic: What is up with with the book lengths?  (Read 400 times)

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Offline Bigfootman

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What is up with with the book lengths?
« on: November 23, 2016, 06:49:58 PM »
So, I picked up a few Nancy Drew Diaries from a library, and noticed something odd about "The Sign in the Smoke", it's 272 pages long! According to Amazon, the other Nancy Drew Diaries books are 195 pages long....except for "Sabotage at Willow Woods", which is only 176 pages, and "Secret at Mystic Lake", which is 160 pages.

So I decided to look at the Hardy Boys Adventures, and look at this:
The Battle of Bayport: 160 pages
Showdown at Widow Creek:128 pages
Bound for Danger: 144 pages

Most of the books are either 128 pages long, or 144 pages long, a 16 page difference. From what I've heard, the text size is smaller in the Hardy Boys Adventures series then the Nancy Drew Diaries, but this doesn't explain the varying book lengths. Compare this to the Digests, UBs, and Casefiles. All three series have pretty consistent book lengths, some books are slightly longer or shorter then others, but not this much of a difference.



Offline MacGyver

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Re: What is up with with the book lengths?
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2016, 11:02:22 AM »
Even in the Digests and definitely in the UB books, there were occasional outliers that just had a totally different page length for a book- but yeah, I think they generally try to keep them to a certain standard. It felt like they were slipping already with the UB books; maybe it's happening again with the Adventures books.
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Offline Bigfootman

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Re: What is up with with the book lengths?
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2016, 12:24:38 PM »
Even in the Digests and definitely in the UB books, there were occasional outliers that just had a totally different page length for a book- but yeah, I think they generally try to keep them to a certain standard. It felt like they were slipping already with the UB books; maybe it's happening again with the Adventures books.

With the UB and GD books, there were certainly some outliers.
 Average book length for a UB or a GD: 160 pages
Pushed:154 pages
Comic Con Artist:192 pages
Double Down: 167 pages
Action!:144 pages
Mystery at Malachite Mansion: 144 pages
Sabotage Surrender:128 pages
But this happened mainly in the later books (with the exception of "Action!") and the books mainly stayed around 160 pages. And I did look through my collection of Hardy Boys Digests, and there are a few books that are 1-4 pages longer, but none that are that noticeably larger or shorter.

Offline MacGyver

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Re: What is up with with the book lengths?
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2016, 03:00:17 PM »
Keep in mind that with the release of The Hardy Boys #84, Revenge of the Desert Phantom, the Digests moved from a format of 20 chapters standard (in place since the revision of the G&D original series) to 15 chapters and varying amounts since then. But I feel the Digests from that point forward generally kept things pretty uniform.
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Offline tomswift2002

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Re: What is up with with the book lengths?
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2016, 08:38:10 AM »
Keep in mind that with the release of The Hardy Boys #84, Revenge of the Desert Phantom, the Digests moved from a format of 20 chapters standard (in place since the revision of the G&D original series) to 15 chapters and varying amounts since then. But I feel the Digests from that point forward generally kept things pretty uniform.

The standard 20-chapter format actually started with the OT of "Ghost At Skeleton Rock", and was then adopted for the revised texts and the remainder of the series.

But even back in Leslie McFarlane's day, some of the books didn't go 25 chapters.  And in the case of "The Mystery Of Cabin Island", the original manuscript only contained 23 chapters with Edward Stratemeyer asking McFarlane to come up with something to fill out the story.  So that's how we got the "Chicken Thieves" for Chapter 14. 

But I've noticed that Adventures vary wildly. 
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Offline MacGyver

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Re: What is up with with the book lengths?
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2016, 03:45:49 AM »
Okay- I didn't know about the Original Text books- I suppose I should have said "at least since the revised series" days, as I knew for sure it was in place then. I know there hasn't always been uniformity but they seem to have maintained that more or less for a lot of The Hardy Boys' history.
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"You can do anything you want to do if you put your mind to it."- MacGyver in "Cease Fire"