Series of Unfortunate Events - complete set

Series of Unfortunate Events - complete set

Series of Unfortunate Events
by Lemony Snicket, Brett Helquist (Ilustrator)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Item: 13397
Current Retail Price: $133.95
Not in stock

Lemony Snicket (or whatever his name is) accomplishes in A Series of Unfortunate Events what all writers should attempt—he reshapes traditional storytelling to his own purposes. The result is wildly entertaining and timeless.

These are for children. They chronicle the adventures of orphaned kiddos investigating their parents' untimely demise (or was it a timely demise?), and involve things like a person so fat its gender cannot be determined, mushrooms that grow in the lungs and cause death within minutes, a baby who swordfights a vicious count, and signs made from chewing gum.

BUT this is only the Face Value (a phrase which here means only those elements which can be seen without looking beyond the surface). Snicket (a.k.a., Daniel Handler) crams so many literary references into each page of his sad saga that even the most attentive English major will miss a few.

He's also hilarious, imaginative, and a fine wordsmith. Some readers don't like the conclusion of the concluding volume; however, it's one of the most consistent endings to any series, ever. That's all there is to say on that subject. If you're looking for things to be "wrapped up" in the traditional sense, you'd better find a different series.

And yes, the Baudelaire orphans have it bad. This really is A Series of Unfortunate Events, and it becomes more unfortunate the longer it lasts. Snicket doesn't moralize—the Baudelaires are children of character, but their escapes from the evil Count Olaf are just more realistic portrayals of childhood than the sugary versions in other books.


  1. Bad Beginning
  2. Reptile Room
  3. Wide Window
  4. Miserable Mill
  5. Austere Academy
  6. Ersatz Elevator
  7. Vile Village
  8. Hostile Hospital
  9. Carnivorous Carnival
  10. Slippery Slope
  11. Grim Grotto
  12. Penultimate Peril
  13. The End
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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Exodus Rating:
FLAWS: Incipient nihilism, some scary elements
Summary: The hilarious and immensely literate adventures of the Baudelaire orphans and their repeated attempts to evade the evil Count Olaf.

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