I actually collect, in an off hand way, the Stremeyer Syndicate's Tom Swift books (the old "Tom Swift And His Electric Eggbeater" ones from the early 20th C.). I'm really quite neutral on Nancy Drew.....though any thing my old lady friend liked is pretty much good with me. The Hardy Boys , however, always aroused passionate loathing in me. I think I feel rather the same way as Jules Feiffer did about Batman's sidekick..... they were just too sickeningly good. At least with the Three Investigators (slightly better written, by the way) one was fat, one was stupid, and one was weak - pretty much the way things were in my neighborhood. The Hardy Boys, on the other hand, were sort of interchangably and unendurably great and "plucky". In fact, I think what drew me to hard-boiled fiction in the to begin with was that there were no sweet, plucky folks to be found or, if you were looking for 'em, you should look in the refrigerator first.
When I was growing up, in the sixties and early seventies, crime fiction seemed to me to pretty much mean Mannix or The Damn Hardy Boys. Then I read Tony Goodstone's _ The Pulps_ and subsequently read Chandler's _The High Window_ and then, 'cuz there was nothing else in the house, Spillane's _ I, The Jury_. Neither one of them were very good books, but they were a long way from the Hardy Boys and they stoked my appetite.
By the way, I feel like the cop's daughter in _Farewell, My Lovely_ was a nice NancyDrew type, HB style.
Also, BTW, _Floater_ was a really good book, albeit one that I had forgotten till you guys reminded me. My favorite line was at the end when the cop asks why he always kills intellectual girls...." I had to. I have no rapport with stupid women."
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