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Lemony Snicket's 'woeful' new book

November 01, 2005|by ROBERT KELLER

I'm sorry to tell you that the article that you are about to read is unpleasant. If you wish to read an article containing information about three orphans - Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire - and a notorious villain, Count Olaf, then this article is for you.

However, if you prefer articles that are far happier than this one, might I suggest reading the other articles on this page, as they will not make you cry.

For those of you who choose to stay, you might want to keep a few tissues around.

"The Penultimate Peril," the twelfth book written by Lemony Snicket, continues the story of the Baudelaire children, who have inherited great wealth, and their nemeses, who want to take it away from them. If you have not read the other books in the series, it might be difficult to understand this book and the plot.

But Lemony Snicket fans will find a lot to like, if you like plots that never end happily. Once again, Count Olaf has made sure that the orphans' lives are miserable. Ever since the fire which made the Baudelaire children orphans, Count Olaf has been trying to get his hands on the children's inheritance. Fortunately, VFD, a secret organization, has made sure that Olaf has not succeeded. So far.

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Violet Baudelaire, the eldest child, loves to invent. Unfortunately, in "The Penultimate Peril," she has not had one moment to spare for inventing. Klaus, the middle child, loves to read. Everything he reads, he remembers. He has not had a single chance to read a good book in a while. Sunny, the youngest, loves to bite things. Again, she has had no time to bite anything in the book.

For you younger kids, be thankful that the reading level for the twelfth book is too high for you to understand. Words such as "penultimate," "concierge" and "flaneurs" might be confusing to younger readers.

I myself have read it and given it 10 out of 10 stars, but that is after careful examination and wiping many tears from my eyes.

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