“A Series of Unfortunate Events”April 17, 2009 at 5:04 pm | Posted in Children's Book, Fiction | 2 Comments
I finally finished volume 13 of A Series of Unfortunate Events. I’ve been chipping away at them over the past three years. It’s always a mixed feeling, on the one hand finally knowing the full story, yet on the other hand knowing there won’t be any more of it. If you haven’t read these yet, I’m going to vote that you give at least one of them a chance.
There are some readers who feel no interest in reading children’s books, and others who tend to appreciate them more with age. I’m definitely in the latter category. A Series of Unfortunate Events is like the best cartoons: it has jokes that work for kids and jokes that sail over their heads, aiming straight for the adult audience. Many of the characters and locations are named after famous literary or historical figures. There is one scene in which the children find some strange, unnamed objects; only an adult would be likely to realize that they include the Rosetta Stone and the Holy Grail. See what I mean?
These books are great for kids because the orphan siblings are polite, get along well together, and enjoy reading. I like to promote those things; I’m square that way. They’re also great because they’re quirky and original. I have to say that I was blown away by the ending because it was so different from what I expected. I thought, after 13 volumes, there would have to be some kind of grand summation of the fates of all the many characters. No way did I expect “Lemony Snicket” to break this unwritten rule of children’s fiction. Surprise!