Thursday, 14 January 2016

#re3 - The Wide Window

This should be the last Lemony Snicket book to talk about in the coming weeks. Sorry, but had a really bad time with last month's reading slump, and I just seem to go towards the first three books of Series of Unfortunate Events (not sure why, but hey-ho!)

The Baudelaire orphans travel to Lake Lachrymose to stay with their relative, Aunt Josephine, who seems to be afraid of everything. The front door mat, the stove, door handles, the lake itself (but the lake, she has good reason to fear it). And her love for grammar is... well...

But the Baudelaires are trying to make the best of it. Expect... expect that Count Olaf is after them and their fortune, and will stop at nothing for it. And they see him with his fake disguise that seems to fool all the adults, and with Hurricane Herman on the way (a hurricane? On a lake?!), will they escape him again?

This has the same feel as the first two books, which is very nice in a weird way. It's nice that, this early in the series, we know the rhyme of the series (though this is beginning to wear a bit thin). And it's interesting to meet the guardians as,over the course of these three books, each has been different and quite unique. Count Olaf being the villain so we have to meet him from the off. Uncle Monty from The Reptile Room, who cared for the Baudelaires deeply (and they to him) and wanted them to see the world and love life. And now, Aunt Josephine, who loved grammar and her safety more than the children's care, but is still an adult who, in the series, is quite an interesting character. She is quirky, which fits pretty well in this quirky yet gothic read.

But still, tiny things bugged me. Like I said earlier on, this is beginning to fit into a pattern (Baudelaire's go to guardian, Count Olaf appears in bad disguise, the children see through disguise but no adult does [how stupid are these adults?!], guardian goes missing/dies, children prove Count Olaf is Count Olaf, Count Olaf escapes and Baudelaire go to next guardian, thus the cycle continues!) and while this is ok for the start of this 13 book series, this can't be the pattern for all 13 books! It just can't! Even for a middle grade series, this can't be the pattern to each book as readers will bore quickly!

But there was something I saw in this reread that I missed the first time. There are two tiny details in the final chapter that hint to series as a whole. On page 211, Lemony Snicket mentions the following sentence (I put in bold the bit that needs to be taken notice of): "And we can never know exactly what was happening to Aunt Josephine as the children sat on the dock, unable to help her, but I will say that eventually - about the time when the Baudelaire orphans were forced to attend a miserable boarding school...", Snicket is revealing what is going to happen in two book times, in a book titled "The Austere Academy". 

Also, four pages earlier, Count Olaf pipes up something, hinting to everyone who is paying close attention that he was involved in the fire that made the Baudelaires orphaned and killing both their parents. He says, after Mr Poe tells Count Olaf will be arrested and charged for fraud, murder and endangerment of children, "And arson". This is the earliest hint, to my knowledge, that Count Olaf gives to show he was involved in the fire and yet, no one seems to have heard him.

Am oddly enjoying (up to a point) rereading these books, I might continue rereading and discovering (Remember, I didn't read the whole series and I didn't read the books I have read in order [1, 2, 3, 10, 13 then 4]) for rest of the year. Maybe. Till Netflix air their version of the series...

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