I know I don’t usually do the whole ‘book review’ thing but sometimes you read something that you love and you just have to share it with the world. Over the past few weeks I have worked my way through all 13 books from A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler). It is a credit to how much I enjoyed these books that I have done very little over the past few weeks other than read (let me insert again here how much I love my Kindle!)
A Series of Unfortunate Events, follows the story of Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire following the death of their parents in a fire. As the title states they undergo many ‘Unfortunate Events’ as they are placed with one useless guardian after the other, all the while being stalked by Count Olaf who wishes to get his hands on the childrens’ inheritance.
There was one simple reason I found these books so enjoyable and that was the unique and hilarious narration provided by Lemony Snicket. These books are written in the 2nd person – you know that one we are told to never use. Not only that the author is constantly defining words as he uses them, I am sure another absolute no, no for an author but here it works so well (particularly when the definitions are not quite right). Another advantage of writing a novel from the perspective of a fictional narrator is that the narrator can of course be integrally linked to the story (along with a number of his family members).
Unfortunately there is a ‘but’ that I need to insert here. Once again the ending just didn’t cut it. (If you missed my last post on endings that didn’t cut it you can find it here). Maybe I am just too picky, but I feel that when an author generates a complicated world with dozens of different sub-stories, we the reader deserve to have all those loose ends tied up. I won’t give the ending away here, save to say that there were so many story lines with no definitive end, that had I been reading with a traditional book instead of a Kindle I may well have thrown it across the room in frustration. Perhaps, if we are lucky, the four new books that Lemony Snicket is publishing later this year may answer some of these questions.
It really is a shame that the movie franchise never took off. The first and only movie (which incorporates books 1-3) is worth a viewing if only to watch Jim Carrey embody the evil Olaf to perfection.
Excluding the disappointing ending I found these books very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very enjoyable (if you haven’t read the books, sorry you don’t get my joke, if you have read the books, sorry, I just couldn’t help myself). And I would recommend them to anyone, young or old, who enjoys a good laugh (and yes I did laugh aloud reading these books).
Have you read these books? Did you enjoy them? Did you feel the ending let you down? Are there any other books/series that you feel let you down at the end? I always love hearing from you.