It’s true… the final of 13 (14?) books of the research of Lemony Snicket (A Series of Unfortunate Events: 1999 to 2006) has been published and I finished reading them (both?) to the kids last night. Sigh! These tales of misfortune and woe have entertained my 3 children for years now and we’re all sad to see the last one finished.
Of course my youngest has already asked me three times to start over at the Bad Beginning and read all 13.0769 books all over again. The odd number is there because the last book, The End is actually 2 books with another book called “Chapter 14” after the last chapter (“Chapter 13”). Does that make any sense? You have to read it to see how that works.
And, if you really want to get technical, there are more books that are spin-offs from the series. The one that I’ve read is called Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography. It is very bizarre and more for older children or the adults (especially those who are cryptologists) who REALLY enjoy the series. Also there are The Beatrice Letters (published this year) and Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can’t Avoid (to be published in 2007) which I haven’t read yet. But I will.
I have to say that I loved The End. It was among the most adult children’s book I’ve read. It doesn’t hide the difficult parts of life from children and they (and I) respect that. Kids love suspense and wordplay and to be scared. It’s not an easy thing to pull off but Daniel Handler pulls it off. He’s very much like Roald Dahl in that way. If you follow the link (A Series of Unfortunate Events) to the Wikipedia article you’ll see an interesting attempt to pigeon-hole the author’s work into some kind of literary critischismic label (don’t you hate that?) which you can read if you like that kind of thing (and you probably don’t or you wouldn’t be reading my writing: that golber is obviously a pseudo-neo-post-Stoppardian-Absurdist-Anarchist!)
For those of you who have read the others, you won’t be disappointed in The End (other than the fact that it is the end).
Tomorrow I’ll post about how I started out as an Unfortunate fan.