Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
Author Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler) reads volumes three and four of his Series of Unfortunate Events saga. A snappy, techno tune by a group called the Gothic Archies serves as toe-tapping introduction to Handler's chipper performance of his humorously melodramatic tales. The first two audiobooks in the series, performed by British actor Tim Curry, were released by Listening Library in March. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal Review
Gr 5-8-The dreary, miserable cloud of disaster continues to follow the Baudelaire children in the third book of this series by Lemony Snicket (HarperCollins, 2000). As in the previous books, the orphaned Baudelaire children are placed in a relative's care by their kind-hearted, albeit bumbling guardian, Mr. Poe. Within minutes of arriving at their new home, they realize that life with paranoid, grammatically correct Aunt Josephine will only cause their current situation to go from bad to worse. The only redeeming factor to a life of slimy cold cucumber soup, living on the shores of a leech-filled lake, or the threat of an approaching hurricane is the absence of the revolting Count Olaf whose sole desire is to steal the Baudelaire fortune. But as luck would have it, Count Olaf is successful in finding the Baudelaires and conniving his way into their lives. Never have the subjects of child endangerment, fraud, and murder been so appealing to young readers. And never has reverse psychology worked its magic as it does when the author reminds youngsters that he is not forcing anyone to read the horrible tale he must tell. Lemony Snicket is the sole narrator and does a fine job, especially as the sneering voice of Count Olaf. His rhythm and voice inflections correctly reflect each character's situation and emotions. Audiobook collections with the first two titles will want to purchase this one; otherwise, purchase all three.-Cheryl Preisendorfer, Portage County District Library, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Gr. 4^-7. Once again, Snicket recounts the tragic misadventures of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire, whom we first met in The Bad Beginning [BKL N 15 99]. In this book, the Baudelaire children are passed to a new guardian, cousin Josephine, who is deathly afraid of almost everything (she serves cold cucumber soup in her frosty house because she's afraid that the stove is too dangerous). The children's first, villainous guardian, Count Olaf, pursues them still, in hopes of getting their fortune; and though the children have no trouble recognizing him in his new disguise as Captain Sham, Aunt Josephine is duped. In keeping with his old-fashioned tone, Snicket offers plenty of advice to readers in asides: "Violet groaned inwardly, which here means said nothing but felt disappointed at the prospect of another chilly dinner." The effect is often hilarious as well as edifying. Despite their cruel misfortunes, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny maintain their close bond and their resilient spirit, so that readers never truly worry that they will be defeated in this or their next adventure. --Susan Dove Lempke
Horn Book Review
The Baudelaire orphans (fourteen-year-old Violet, twelve-year-old Klaus, and baby Sunny) continue to endure their lamentable lives--first staying with phobic Aunt Josephine, then forced to work in a lumbermill--all the while evading the tattooed fortune hunter, Count Olaf. The pretentious literary voice which makes these parodies so clever also becomes repetitive over the long haul. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Book Review
The third book in A Series of Unfortunate Events (The Bad Beginning, 1999, etc.) has all the stuff of its predecessors' melodrama--bold narration, dark humor, exaggerated emotions and dialogue, humorously stereotypical characters, and an overriding conflict between good and evil. The orphaned Baudelaire children, Violet, Klaus, and baby Sunny, experiencing still more misfortune, are sent to live with their irrationally fearful, grammar-spouting Aunt Josephine in a drafty old house that teeters dangerously above the leech-filled Lake Lachrymose. Here, they encounter Captain Sham who dupes Aunt Josephine but not the Baudelaires. They suspect evil of him, for he is really the villainous Count Olaf, who aims to steal their fortune. Their heroic efforts and a few harrowing escapes make up the giddy, preposterous plot, full of hurricanes and leeches, a peg-legged pirate and a place called Curdled Cave. Children and fortunate adults will relish the good-natured wordplay and the attempts at the heights of Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll; the three likable, independent orphans wend their way through modern fairy-tale action in a darkly humorous, look-out- for-the-next-one novel. (b&w illustrations) (Fiction. 10-12)