My Rating: ★★★☆☆ 3.5/5
Author: Lemony Snicket
Genre: Gothic Fiction
If you have picked up this book with the hope of finding a simple and cheery tale, I’m afraid you have picked up the wrong book altogether. The story may seem cheery at first, when the Baudelaire children spend time in the company of some interesting reptiles and a giddy uncle, but don’t be fooled. If you know anything at all about the unlucky Baudelaire children, you already know that even pleasant events lead down the same road to misery.
In fact, within the pages you now hold in your hands, the three siblings endure a car accident, a terrible odor, a deadly serpent, a long knife, a large brass reading lamp, and the appearance of a person they’d hoped never to see again.
I am bound to record these tragic events, but you are free to put this book back on the shelf and seek something lighter.
With all due respect,
“Waiting is one of life’s hardships.”
The orphans encounter another misfortune. They move in with a herpetologist and live quite happily on the street until Montgomery hires an assistant for their travels. It’s really Olaf in disguise and he eventually kills the doctor. Count Olaf escapes with one of his minions, and the orphans are in misery.
A big theme in this book is simply the importance of teamwork. Once they encounter Count Olaf again they realize the importance of working together in order to solve their problems without any help. This first comes into play before Stephano (Count Olaf) replaces Dr. Montgomery’s assistant. Violet, who is good with making mechanical things is put to work preparing and repairing snake traps for their expedition to Peru. Klaus spends his time reading about all of the reptilian species in Peru in the library. Sunny who is really good at biting things (for she is a baby) is put to task in biting one long piece of rope into smaller pieces. When Count Olaf arrives and kills Uncle Monty, Violet makes a lockpick to unlock his case for evidence, Klaus finds more evidence from a book about a poisonous snake called the Mamba du Mal, and Sunny distracts the adults with her blood-curdling but fake scream. After all of this they uncover the tattoo on Count Olaf’s painted ankle and he escapes with his minion who was disguised as a doctor. All in all the Baudelaire orphans are left in misery once again.
The conflict between the orphans and Count Olaf posed as a big part of the whole book. The orphans knew that the man who called himself Stephano was really Count Olaf. Count Olaf looked so much like a different person that no one believed them. When it was too late, and Uncle Monty got murdered, the three of them cracked the case. They proved that the man who called himself Stephano was actually Count Olaf after they rubbed off the makeup on his ankle, revealing his tattooed eye. Before they called the cops (oddly they never did) Count Olaf was gone with the disguised doctor. The conflict which was man versus man or Count Olaf versus the Baudelaire orphans was crucial to the story or else it wouldn’t have been suspenseful. The conflict played a very important role in the book.
All in all, the book was good. When Stephano arrived to Uncle Monty’s house, I wished I could tell Montgomery that Stephano was Count Olaf. And the book was filled with wit, gothic humor, and lots of suspense. The best part was when the orphans foiled Count Olaf’s evil plan. I did have one BIG question on my mind though. Why hadn’t any of them called the cops when Dr. Montgomery died. Even if it seemed he got bitten by the Mamba du Mal, wouldn’t you call the cops immediately? Regardless, I believe that Mr. Poe actually works with Count Olaf secretly. But that is just a thought. Next book here I come!
© Boundless Daydreams 2016