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Books I read, music I hear...My imperious opinion on both.

Friday, October 21, 2005

A Short Review - The Penultimate Peril - Lemony Snicket

And here it seems we find the penultimate book in A Series of Unfortunate Events. I did find it necessary to look up the word "penultimate" which, of course, means next-to-last.

The ending of The Grim Grotto was rather exhilerating to me. The idea of the tables turning and the Baudelaires finally finding a member of V.F.D. (Kit Snicket) waiting for them in a taxi after their boldness in spurning Mr. Poe's further involvement. I am not really going to say what happens in this book play by play but I'll try and give an idea of what it does and doesn't do.

The whole idea of the tables being turned doesn't seem to carry over to this book. The siblings relationship with Kit is short lived and though it seems like things will come to a head on Thursdays V.F.D. meeting at the last safe place. L.S. himself tells us at one point that we have reached the denouement though I am just as confused as to if I agree as the three siblings were with the chaotic gathering of so many characters from their recent lives at Hotel Denouement.

When one reads this you'll find yourself flooded with more information that does little to elucidate. The Baudelaires father is named Bertrand (I don't recall if this was previously known), Count Olaf became an orphan because of poison darts, the Baudelaire parents were given poison darts by Kit Snicket at a performance of La Forza del Destino, the Baudelaires may have a previously unknown sibling** and so on.

**I say this because near the beginning of the book reading the reversed sentence(s) one reads that they were being watched as they sat outside Hotel D by a previously unknown sibling. Come to think of that however I beleive it is in reference to Dewey Denouement who they meet later in the book. He was the triplet brother of Frank and Ernest the hotel managers. One a villian one a volunteer. It is never revealed which is which.

All in all it seems this twelfth book raises a great many questions without revealing a great deal more. It also seems somewhat chaotic. I wish it weren't so long until Book the Thirteenth. It is going to have to be thick volume to clear up everything half revealed so far. It seems the Village of Fowl Devotees (at least the crows) or the eagles from the Mortmain Mountains will have something to do in the next book as they are featured in the last illustration flying in on the horizon. Of course in The Grim Grotto a hot air mobile home was on the horizon and it is only mentioned in TPP. If you've read the other books I've no doubt you'll read this as well however I don't think it will answer your questions.