Sunday, October 9, 2011

Books #44-#55, or, The Rest of A Series of Unfortunate Events

I read the first volume of Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events back in library school during my semester of reading all children's and YA things (for credit! being a librarian is awesome!). It was a quick read, and I enjoyed it, but I was so involved in reading a wide variety for that class that I did not continue the rest of the series.

Until last month, that is, when at the bequest of a friend I checked out the rest of the series from the library. This particular friend is something of a Lemony Snicket devotee, a word which here means he will enthusiastically, unabashedly, and charmingly talk about nothing else if you'll let him. He's actually had a phone conversation with Daniel Handler, the only person known to have personally interacted with Mr. Snicket in recent years. Anyway, after I grew weary of not understanding this friend's Lemony Snicket references, I read the rest of the books.

I will say just a few things about the books, as I really don't know that I can characterize them well enough to adequately convey just how intricate and interesting they are. The very basic premise is that the three Baudelaire children, orphaned after their parents' deaths in a fire, are perpetually trying to evade the schemes and clutches of one Count Olaf, a man who desperately wants to get his hands on the Baudelaire fortune. The first few books in the series focus almost entirely on the escape of the Baudelaires from Count Olaf, but as the books become higher in number, the plot develops most compellingly. Suddenly there is conspiracy, a secret organization, strange and intricate interconnectedness of characters and events, and a great many other things that keep the reader both interested and baffled, including parsley sodas.

If you've read these books, I would love to chat with you about the redeeming qualities of adult characters, the physical setting of this series of events, and the possible backstories of most, if not all, of the characters.

If you haven't read these books, you might consider doing so if you tend to also like books with extremely intricate plots, irreverent narrators, and/or a bit of macabre whimsy. Let me know what you think.

1 comment:

  1. Okay, that's it. I am adding these to the to-read list. Maybe this is exactly what I need for fall break next week.