Author Topic: #1 Dead On Target  (Read 640 times)

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Offline tomswift2002

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#1 Dead On Target
« on: January 25, 2017, 07:28:22 AM »
I'm currently re-reading "Dead On Target", and is the book ever packed with action.  The current Adventures series really pale in terms of the amount of action that occurs in the books.  A lot of times the boys are "Let's go here and talk to...", but in "Dead On Target", it's "Our only clue is London, so let's head there". 

It's to bad S&S wouldn't scrap the Adventures and bring back the Casefiles.  Hate to say it, but as the most successful spin-off, the Casefiles are still kicking the other spin-offs, even though December 2017 is the 20th anniversary of the last new Casefile.
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Re: #1 Dead On Target
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2017, 03:16:35 PM »
I love The Hardy Boys in general and the Casefiles is certainly one of my favorite series. However, it's important to remember one thing with this, as I'm sure you already know- these books were written for a teenage audience instead of a children's audience, like the original series and all the continuations thereof were and are. (I don't know if the Undercover Brothers or Adventures or the Clues Brothers, Secret Files and Clue Books should be considered continuations or spin-offs, but the point is that all of them are written for children of various ages.)
        So I think the Casefiles could get away with a lot more things that the Digests, UB, Adventures, etc. haven't been able to do as well.
While I do enjoy the Digests and I am glad for those continuing the original series' continuity, I'm not so much of a fan of more recent efforts like UB and Adventures. (Though the Clues Brothers books are great! It's sad that I found myself raving over a Clues Brothers book a while back and loved it much more than a UB book I had also read recently at the time.)
         And I certainly love the Casefiles and the 1988 Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys Supermysteries series. I would gladly read more of either of those series. Those series, along with Nancy Drew Files and the Tom Swift IV series, are all set in the same continuity universe and it's nice to read those books that maintain the same continuity. The Hardy Boys and Tom Swift Ultra Thriller books are in that category too and I also enjoy those. I have had copies of them for a long time but never got to reading them until recently, long after I'd read the entire Casefiles series and Supermysteries series. (I've read a Tom Swift book before; I like him okay, but he's not really my favorite.) Thus, I had kind of put off reading the Ultra Thrillers for last, but I'm glad I read them- it was a nice blast back to the Casefiles universe. And I definitely still enjoy rereading them from time to time.
           But who knows what the future holds as to further Hardy Boys adventures (or Adventures)? Speaking of anniversaries, this year is the 30th. anniversary of the start of the Casefiles series itself. :) 8)
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Offline tomswift2002

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Re: #1 Dead On Target
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2017, 08:40:06 AM »
I would disagree, especially with the Originals-Digests.  Recently as I've been re-reading the revised texts, I've found that the amount of violence in the books was pretty high.  I was surprised at the number of times the Hardy's even handled guns in the revised texts, which is something you more relate to the Casefiles.

But even when I compare a later-Digest to the Adventure series, the plots seemed more sophisticated.  With the recent Adventure "Bound For Danger", it felt like I was reading a plot that would've worked just fine in the Clues Brother or Secret Files series, but was really being "puffed" out to work at the level that the book was being aimed at, and was very unsophisticated.
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Re: #1 Dead On Target
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2017, 11:48:56 AM »
Quote
I would disagree, especially with the Originals-Digests.  Recently as I've been re-reading the revised texts, I've found that the amount of violence in the books was pretty high.  I was surprised at the number of times the Hardy's even handled guns in the revised texts, which is something you more relate to the Casefiles.
Hmm- that's an interesting analysis. Of course, it's been a long while since I've read the original series, so I'm sure my memory may well be off. I would still argue that the violence level is at least a bit amped up in the Casefiles. (For instance, compare the Casefiles to the Digests- particularly the later ones- and I think you'll see some differences. [outside of outliers like #150]) As to Frank and Joe handling guns in the originals and revised text books, I think there was more of an expectation at the time period for boys to be capable with such things. (i.e. learning how to shoot a rifle for hunting purposes.) It does feel like sometimes the Hardy Boys of the original series are truly hardy boys- much more so than the stereotypical image of today's youth.
           That's a really interesting comparison of the Adventures and Clues Brothers/Secret Files books. Wow- that's just a sad statement on the books today. Maybe it's also just about the culture of the times and the audience level. Or maybe the writing staff is just not as invested in the series anymore.
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Offline tomswift2002

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Re: #1 Dead On Target
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2017, 10:52:41 AM »
I was just looking at some of the early Digests that were printed by both Wanderer and Minstrel, and I noticed that on the Minstrel editions for, just #'s 59 - 66, the Reading Level for those books range from a 5.5 on the "Stone Idol", all the way up to a 7.1 on "Night Of The Werewolf".  Basically what that means is that someone about half-way through Grade 5 could understand Idol, but for Werewolf they would need a level of someone who had been in Grade 7 for 1 month.  Just for comparison with the Casefiles, I looked at "The Skyfire Puzzle, and it had a Reading Level of 7.0 on it.  And for most of the Stratemyer Syndicate Digests (59-83) the average reading level is right around 6.8, so you would have to be close to finishing Grade 6 to understand the books, and even the early Simon &  Schuster Digests (86-91) were averaging around the 6.7-6.9 range.  When I looked at later Minstrel books, such as 141-145, the range was was between 4.8 and 6.4. 

EDIT: I was just checking a few other Digests and titles like The Lure Of The Italian Treasure get up to reading levels as high as 7.6.  Just in the 150 to 170 range I found The Crisscross Crime, The Carribean Cruise Caper, The Lure Of The Italian Treasure & Training For Trouble to have Reading Levels between 7.1 and 7.6.  With Crisscross in there, it makes me wonder if the others were recycled Casefiles that made those Digest stories get back closer to the 10-14 range for the G&D hardcovers in the same series.  But one thing that I noticed with the Digests in the 150 to 170 range was that books like 170 Kickoff To Danger, which has a 4.8 level, I remember finding that it was one of those stories where the plot wasn't as complex as Italian Tresure (which had a 7.6) and I was wondering why the Hardy's were dealing with it.

Also another thing I found is that the Secret Files/Clue Books are aimed at 6-9 year olds, which does overlap with the Adventures 8-12 range.


And the Hardy Boys Casefiles/SuperMystery'88 series have Reading levels between Grade 6 & 8.  Even the pre-1987 PC books give us an idea of who the Stratemeyer Syndicate was targeting, 10-14 year olds.  And since "The Test Case" came out in 2001, the Aladdin books have read for 8-12 year olds.  But really the Adventure series has felt aimed at just 7-8 year olds.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2017, 09:46:10 PM by tomswift2002 »
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Re: #1 Dead On Target
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2017, 08:29:55 AM »
Wow- interesting stuff. Yeah, I guess maybe the focus has changed some for The Hardy Boys books (and spinoffs) over the years. That probably comes with editorial staff changes and such like that.
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Offline Katie

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Re: #1 Dead On Target
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2017, 10:03:55 PM »
If they'd just relaunch the Hardy Boys Casefiles series as ebooks, I'd be very happy! How hard would that be...seriously... ::)  They did it with Nancy Drew, like, last year!
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Re: #1 Dead On Target
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2017, 02:38:28 AM »
eBooks could help The Hardy Boys Casefiles series reach a whole new audience for sure.
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Offline Katie

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Re: #1 Dead On Target
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2017, 09:17:56 AM »
eBooks could help The Hardy Boys Casefiles series reach a whole new audience for sure.

Than why don't they do it? They did it for Nancy Drew.
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Re: #1 Dead On Target
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2017, 08:11:43 PM »
I don't know. I thought there were some Casefiles in eBook format though?....
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Offline Katie

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Re: #1 Dead On Target
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2017, 10:37:41 PM »
I don't know. I thought there were some Casefiles in eBook format though?....

There's not. I wish there was. :(
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Offline tomswift2002

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Re: #1 Dead On Target
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2017, 11:35:29 PM »
"Darkness Falls" has been an ebook for a decade now.

But with "Dead On Target", it's really interesting how people think that the Hardy's get their van in this book, but that's not the case.  When you read Chapter 18 the author leaves it with the Hardy's expecting a cash reward, since the Mall association has said that they would get a reward, but the type of reward is left in the air, and the Hardy's are expecting cash that they would put toward another car. 
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Offline Katie

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Re: #1 Dead On Target
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2017, 10:51:38 AM »
"Darkness Falls" has been an ebook for a decade now.

But with "Dead On Target", it's really interesting how people think that the Hardy's get their van in this book, but that's not the case.  When you read Chapter 18 the author leaves it with the Hardy's expecting a cash reward, since the Mall association has said that they would get a reward, but the type of reward is left in the air, and the Hardy's are expecting cash that they would put toward another car.

I know that one was, and still is, the only one. Was/is Nancy Drew more popular than the Hardy Boys Casefiles? I love reading the Hardy Boys Casefiles, as I've said before, the books seem to be even more in date now.
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Re: #1 Dead On Target
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2017, 01:19:51 PM »
Nancy Drew books are definitely more popular than The Hardy Boys, from what I can tell. I think it's mainly reflective of the statistic that more girls tend to read than boys (unfortunately) and many girls (not necessarily all) tend to prefer heroes and heroines of their own gender, so they are apt to read Nancy Drew and maybe not as apt to read The Hardy Boys.
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Offline tomswift2002

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Re: #1 Dead On Target
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2017, 09:51:13 PM »
Even as far back as 1930, Nancy Drew was more popular.  In 1927 Tom Swift was the most popular fiction series for kids.  But by 1932 Nancy Drew had taken that position.
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