Lemony Snicket - Shastrix Books

Lemony Snicket

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The Wide Window

The Wide Window

Lemony Snicket

12th December 2013

The third book in the series maintains the quality of the second, better than book one. In The Wide Window, the trio of unlucky siblings are sent to live with a distant relative in a house overlooking a lake, and to hide from the ever-present Count Olaf, who is out to steal their fortune.

A quick read that took just three sittings, and was reasonably enjoyable. It seems the perfect tone of narrative for reading aloud to a child, but the content is more appropriate for a slightly older child who can read for themselves - it's a narrow target between those two age-ranges that I'm not sure the book quite hits.

The series has become repetitive, predictable, and a little annoying by this point, and I have no real desire to keep reading - but I can see that for some people this may be just what you're looking for.

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The Reptile Room

The Reptile Room

Lemony Snicket

21st June 2013

I found myself reluctant to pick up book two in this series after having mixed feelings about the first, however I thought that the story and style has improved making for a much more enjoyable tale.

Three orphans, fresh from the disasters of the first book, are sent on to be fostered by a distant relation who keeps reptiles, but its all downhill from there. As the cover suggest, nothing really goes right for this family.

Where the first book was depressing, I thought this one was more humorous and entertaining, and although it deals with death and misfortune, it's not in a way that comes across as scary. The humour is certainly the emphasis.

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The Bad Beginning

The Bad Beginning

Lemony Snicket

12th February 2012

The title actually does say it all. When three siblings are orphaned, they are sent to live with an evil distant relative who wants nothing more than to steal their inheritance.

As an adult, this is a very quick read, but for children I can see each chapter being a perfect length for a bedtime story - but only if they are mature enough to cope with the disaster that befalls the characters at every turn.

Snickett has a captivating writing style - informal and entertaining despite the unfortunate nature of the subject matter. He doesn't shy away from introducing new vocabulary and makes learning new words into part of the joke. In a couple of places he breaks the fourth wall, which felt a bit odd to me as it didn't happen early on and broke the flow a little, but otherwise I felt the narrative was very good.

I'm not sure whether I will be bothering to pick up books two to thirteen though. I think it's very much a book for children to enjoy and even as a younger adult it all seemed a little depressing and, dare I say it, silly.

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Top books

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  2. The Reptile Room
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  4. The Bad Beginning
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  6. The Wide Window