lois duncan has started using cell phones

Lois Duncan is back! As in she’s editing her books to contemporize them. I love her, and I still haven’t read all of her stuff, so when I saw The Twisted Window available on NetGalley, I jumped on it. At that point, I didn’t know that it was an older book being rewritten; I just thought she was awesome and writing new thrillers.

Turns out it’s an oldie, but I was still happy to read it. Unlike my usual favorite Lois Duncan stuff, this one wasn’t a supernatural thriller, just a good ol’ strange, handsome boy meets girl and enlists her to help with a kidnapping thing. You know, the usual. Given the genre, I’m not going to bother telling you more than that, plot-wise. It’s not Duncan’s best, but it’s solid and a fun weekend read.

So the thing about Lois Duncan is that, even though when I was reading her books as a teenager they were already super dated, she’s still awesome. I don’t think anybody cares that nobody talks like that anymore, that dating practices have changed, and that nobody has cell phones or computers. Unlike Judy Blume books, which kind of terrify prepubescent girls when they read that getting your period means wearing a belt under your clothes, Lois Duncan books are a little jarring, maybe, but just fine, since thrillers these days kind of suffer from our ultra-connectedness and GPS. And the problem with rewriting a book that was written in 1988 is that simply changing “I need to set up my phone line” to “I need to set up my DSL” doesn’t make the book contemporary when everything else about it is still “Find me in the phone book,” “Let’s go out for a Coke,” and being able to run away for a week and have your mother not check up on you.

I don’t really know what else to say about this. Good book, bad edit? I vote for reading the paperback.


4 thoughts on “lois duncan has started using cell phones

  1. I hate the notion that we need to “update” books. I didn’t have a record player in 1996. That doesn’t mean I didn’t know what one was, or couldn’t–God forbid–ask or look it up.

    Once again, we underestimate kids.

    • True! Although your comment makes me think that maybe I’m just a big loser. In 1996 I was eight, and we had a tape player and record player. Didn’t get a CD player til I was about 12, and didn’t get a dishwasher or clothes dryer until I was 16. The microwave came at the very end of high school. So maybe that’s why I don’t care for updated Duncan? haha. But yeah, I like the idea of updating her covers and repackaging them for new readers, but adding some awkward references is unnecessary.

  2. I’m still a teenager myself and I’ve read a good amount of Lois Duncan books. I honestly don’t think they’re outdated, nor should it be updated, a good read is a good read.. Right?

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