It’s been long — literally years — since I abandoned Nancy Drew to the unavoidable circumstance of growing up.
After such a long time, I was able to lay my hands again on the series when I visited a book fair at home.
This book fair comes to my hometown twice a year; in July and in December. And though I have been to the fair more times than I care to remember, I am, unashamedly, every time overwhelmed by the collection they seem to display.
Any vain pride that I have about knowing a lot of books, is just washed away in a huge wave of unheard authors and books.
But it was Nancy Drew that helped buried memories surface. So I bought a Nancy Drew: Girl Detective trilogy. (I didn’t even know Nancy Drew came in trilogies!) This particular trilogy is the Eco Mystery Trilogy.
I started reading the first book and was surprised (like countless times before when it came to books,) with the narrative. All of the previous Nancy drew books I had read followed the third person narrative. This trilogy however, was of Aladdin Publications (whose books I’ve never read before) and followed the first person point of view. That was unexpected. I have never experienced Nancy describing a situation from her view. It was rather bizarre. It had always been the narrator-writer, Carolyn Keene, who told us about Nancy and her friends.
This Aladdin Publications raised a question in my mind: how was the stories originally written? It is possible that the author herself adopted a change of point of view? As always, I turned to Wikipedia. It says that Carolyn Keene was a pseudonym that multiple authors wrote by. So Nancy Drew was a work of multiple authors, the revelation leaves me a little disappointed.
Moving on to other things, there was one other thing about the story that caught my attention than anything else. It was the simplicity of the narration. This is one thing that almost everyone speaks of nowadays. But what I’m trying to point out here is that the books are so simply written that it involves less or no effort to read it.
That’s really important, in any book. As we grow up, we move on to bigger and, what we assume, better books that are merely complicated reads. In other words, they are just simply too tough to read easily. Which is one of the reasons reading has become a chore.
Mysteries are knotted, complicated and twisted. If a writer (or many) can vividly bring crime scenes to our minds, without using twisted vocabulary and grammar, then it is a good read, isn’t it?
Children’s and young adult mysteries like The Famous Five, The Secret Seven, Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys are all great examples of simply describing serious plots.
We do need more of such books, if we are to encourage youngsters to read. Maybe after reading effortlessly and loving it, kids would opt to explore the more complicated plots.
Just a random thought.