Friday, February 17, 2012

There's a Reason I Love Lemony Snicket

We're going to pretend I posted this yesterday and wasn't running crazy late.

First order of business: Cassie hosted me over at Reading, Writing and Lovin' It today. Click the link and check us out. A big thanks to Cassie as well!

Time for February's round of Books That Made Me Love Reading.

The book, or I should say books, that I reread are Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

I didn't get through all thirteen books, because I have other stuff to read and honestly rereading The Penultimate Peril is a bad idea for me. 

That book made me really grumpy the last time I read it and I'm sure my family wouldn't like a repeat. Not that I don't love the book, it's my favorite in the series, just that much bad crap happens in that book that it makes me hate the world. The warning given often throughout the series is true. 

Lemony Snicket is one of the authors that made me love authors. Just to be clear, I always wanted to be a writer, I just gained a greater appreciation of authors after reading Snicket. And I read these books after Harry Potter if that says anything. 

On to the actual point, reviewing the books.

One of the things I love the most about these books is that the author creates a character for himself inside the series and writes as that character. Obviously Lemony Snicket isn't the guy's real name. Well, maybe not obviously, people name their kids weird things sometimes. But still...

Each book in the series starts with a tribute to Lemony's lost love Beatrice. My favorite being:

For Beatrice-

I cherished, you perished,
The world's been nightmarished 


For Beatrice-

Dead women tell no tales.
Sad men write them down.

is a pretty good second. 

Every time I read A Series of Unfortunate Events I'm reminded how much I love it. There are certain things that, when going back to them, I question my judgement on. Like the old X-men cartoon series. Anyhow, Lemony Snicket constantly justifies my like, adoration, and slight obsession with his work.

In book one The Bad Beginning we're introduced to the Baudelaire children. The books starts with the children learning that their parent's have died in a fire that destroyed their home.

Their well being is left in the hands of a bumbling banker who hands them over to their closest (in physical proximity) relative Count Olaf. Count Olaf is a slim ball who makes the children miserable while trying to come up with a feasible scheme to off the kids while still getting their money.

The books continue with promise of a suitable life being waylaid by jack assery over and over again, many times at the hand of Count Olaf. Laced among the sabotage, schemes and blatant stupidity of others is a tragic love story.

Going back to Lemony Snicket starting each book with a tribute to Beatrice, throughout the series their story very slowly unfolds. The life of a spy is very heartbreaking one, especially when your lover is lead to believe your dead and then you can't do anything to stop her from dying.

Aside from the constant, heart wrenching drama the series pull you in with -- including the fact that when Count Olaf finally gets his it's actually rather tragic and causes some misty eyes -- Snicket is an incredibly clever author.

The series has little ploys, some entertaining, some just ingenious, that pull you in:

  • While reading my copy of The Austere Academy I was upset to find that my pages were torn part way through. In attempting to repair the torn pages, I realized that the pages were torn in a specific pattern that left them fully readable. At this point, it dawns on me that it was the crabs inhabiting the shack the children were forced to live in that tore my pages. 
  • In The Carnivorous Carnival, a chapter that starts by talking about deja vu has you flip the page only to see the exact same page again. 

I could gush for hours about my love of this series, especially with them fresh in my mind, but I only have so much room in this one humble post. I'm glad to have given myself the chance to reenter Snicket's crazy, tragic and brilliant little world.

What books made you love reading?


  1. When I was a kid, I fell completely in love with The Faraway Tree books by Enid Blyton. It's probably where my love of all things magical began. :)

    I have never read Lemony Snicket, but it looks like I should!

    1. I've never had the pleasure of reading that series but I'm all for anything magical.

  2. I suppose it was Edgar Allen Poe that made me enjoy reading, and that wasn't until I was a teenager.

    1. I do love Poe. I was rather upset when we were studying Poe in 8th grade and my class talked the teacher into going back to worksheets because Poe was too complex for them.

  3. I fell in love with reading very young. My father was in the Navy and spent months on sea duty, he did have an incredible collection of classic lit. So I read, a lot.

    The first series I really fell in love with was the First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. ;D

    1. I think I would've faired a lot better had I started on classic lit. At a younger age. People just don't write like they used to. I'll have to check those books out.

  4. The first books I swallowed were the Boxcar Children books. I remember turning on my closest light and huddling by the crack in the door so my parents wouldn't know I was still awake :)

    And great interview over at Cassie's blog! :)

    1. I remember the Boxcar Children books. Those are good ones. I should add those to my list of rereads. I don't think I ever finished the whole series.

  5. I've never read Lemony Snicket... I think I shall, now that you've given such a hearty recommendation.

  6. I never read Lemony Snicket. Something about them just didn't interest me at the time. But now relatively recently, I've had a few people mention them and speak highly of them. I'm willing to give them a chance.

  7. I haven't read Lemony Snicket, either. I did see the "unfortunate" film adaptation of the first book several years ago. Please tell me that the books are much, much better!


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