Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Hardy Boys

Even young teens could see that Frank and Joe Hardy, sons of a famous detective, stumbled onto way too many crazy plots. How many secret coves, smuggling operations, and hidden treasures can one town have? And what self respecting villain would be repeatedly thwarted by a couple of kids? Still, that’s the world created, ostensibly, by Franklin W. Dixon. In reality, the series was the brain child of Edward Stratemeyer, who put together a team of anonymous scribes to churn out books based on his outlines, then printed them under the by-line of the made-up Dixon. Thus it’s been since 1927, though after 1959 the first 38 adventures were revised and reissued with changes said to “incorporate the most up-to-date methods used by police and private investigators.” In truth, the books were shortened and rewritten to, among other things, remove their most racial stereotyping. More changes came after Simon & Schuster bought the line in 1979. Attempts were made to appeal to older readers (with the Hardy Boys Casefile Series) and to younger ones (with the Frank and Joe Hardy-The Clues Brothers line). But these were to the two-fisted originals what Tiny Toons and Muppet Babies are to authentic Looney Tunes and classic Muppets.

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