Book review: The Three Investigators - And the Secret of Terror Castle

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Book review: The Three Investigators - And the Secret of Terror Castle

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Buch - The Three Investigators - And the Secret of Terror Castle

Every true “The Three Investigators”-Fan dreams about following the adventures of Jupiter, Pete and Bob in the original American edition. “The Three Investigators and the Secret of Terror Castle”, finally available for your reading device! Alfred Hitfield has found new helpers: The Three Investigators Jupiter, Pete and Bob. Their first task is to find a haunted house for a movie set. But when the boys arrive for an overnight visit at Terror Castle, home of a deceased horror-movie actor, they soon discover how the place got its name.

Cover: Aiga Rasch
Author: Robert Arthur
Publisher: Kosmos
Publication Date: 2015
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Re: Book review: The Three Investigators - And the Secret of Terror Castle

Beitrag von Jamie Allison »

The Secret of Terror Castle, the first T3I novel, written by Robert Arthur in 1964.

It begins with the actual founding of The Three Investigators team, with the printing of the first business cards. It isn't uninteresting to see the HQ already being around, as it used to be just a meeting point used by Jupe, Pete, and Bob for solving minor mysteries and now becoming THE place for them to found a detective team.

Jupe uses his talent as an actor (which he gained as a child actor, a time he obviously isn't proud of) to get to Alfred Hitchcock in order to look out for a haunted castle for him. Given how he won a lottery using his mathematic and logical gifts, he won a Rolls-Royce including a driver called Worthington, coming from the UK. Passing by is even more obstacled due to Henrietta Larson, who happens to be T3I's former schoolmate and now serves as Hitchcock's secretary. Well, for a given definition of the term "school-MATE", as one should say, given her nickname "Bossy Henrietta" for reasons.

Imitating Hitchcock's posh British accent was probably not that impressive. :-D

But Jupe was able to convince Hitchcock. Bob, disabled due to an accident, managed to find a haunted castle.

In a series of accidents (the most prominent being one attributed to their arch-rival E. Skinner Norris by finding his flashlight saying "E.S.N." - but that, as Pete says, could also be for "Exceptionally Scared and Nervous") and ways to scare T3I in a way which was obviously new to common scientific knowledge in the 1960s, T3I manage to solve the mystery about a former actor from the 1920s, whose voice didn't match the audience's expectations afterwards, given how pitched it was.

And let's not forget the part Jupe making his legs do what he wants. To run. :-D

_______________

"The Secret of Terror Castle" was the beginning of an era. For me, it's a pity, that the series gave its initial run in the 1960s and ended within the very same decade, from Arthur's perspective. If he could have had more knowledge as to how "The Secret of Terror Castle" has been adopted into audio dramas in Germany specifically and also in the UK, what could HIS OWN inscenation have been like, had he been given more years to live? Given that his career as an author of audio dramas himself, I personally wouldn't call it unlikely to assume, that in case he had lived a few years more, we could have audio dramas of T3I as well. The ways he created his style of writing, clearly focussed on dialogues, which shows the quality of his writing the most, might make this obvious, or at least assumable. Sadly, this is for a better world to know ...
Zuletzt geändert von Jamie Allison am 01.05.2024, 18:33, insgesamt 2-mal geändert.
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Re: Book review: The Three Investigators - And the Secret of Terror Castle

Beitrag von Perry Clifton »

Nice Review! ...:...

Exactly, the thought of Robert Arthur creating the audio dramas for his own series, which has turned into a successful audio drama phenomenon in Germany without his participation, is especially interesting. His writing style clearly lend itself to an adaption of this kind, due to his career background of course. The emphasis on dialogue, the clear sentence structures and the restraint of the narrative voice work very much in favour of such a translation. And his experience in the "classic" rules of the radio drama game would have certainly had an enriching effect. One shudders positively at the thought of an adaption of the Screaming Clock by the man himself...

Especially in contrast to certain contemporary forces, who prefer to turn their own books into more or less pure audiobooks... ...#...
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Re: Book review: The Three Investigators - And the Secret of Terror Castle

Beitrag von Jamie Allison »

Thank you! :-)

It would be very interesting to know what radio/audio dramas of T3I would have sounded like within Arthur's lifetime. In case of the Fiery Eye and Skeleton Island, we might have gotten some idea as to what it has led into in the Czech Republic. Albeit I won't deny, that I personally do prefer the German adaption just because, unlike the Czech one, it contains Liz Logan, who is still hoped to be Bob's girfriend somewhere in the future. ;-) But of course, this issue leads too far and should be discussed somewhere else. By the way, may I adopt the phrase "to shudder positively" into my vocabulary, just in case I'll ever end up in a need of it? It sounds as if it wants to give somehope a small bite of hope. :-)

Really, it would be awesome to listen to the final product Arthur might have turned it into, if he had been given the opportunity. Or in general, what T3I could have sounded like in an American radio drama production. In order to get this, I'd even accept spooks in my dreams despite all the nightmares I tend to face. :-D
Zuletzt geändert von Jamie Allison am 01.05.2024, 18:37, insgesamt 2-mal geändert.
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Re: Book review: The Three Investigators - And the Secret of Terror Castle

Beitrag von Perry Clifton »

Jamie Allison hat geschrieben: 30.04.2024, 22:52...unlike the Czech one, it contains Liz Logan, who is still hoped to be Bob's girfriend somewhere in the future...
There's only one Liz, and her name's not Zapata ...III...
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Re: Book review: The Three Investigators - And the Secret of Terror Castle

Beitrag von Jamie Allison »

Perry Clifton hat geschrieben: 30.04.2024, 23:41 There's only one Liz, and her name's not Zapata ...III...
Neither Zapata, nor Carroll, or whatever certain authors may come up with, unless it's Logan. And even in that case, it shouldn't be fucked up again ... ;-)
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