Sunday, July 17, 2016

Who Could That Be at This Hour?

by Lemony Snicket

Story summary: What happened to his parents? Where is that screaming coming from? Is it too late? This book contains these and other wrong questions.*
First in the "All the Wrong Questions" series: the story of a young Lemony Snicket and his apprenticeship in a secret society.

Why You Will Like This Book:
  • Puzzling
  • Clever
  • Meta

And Why You Might Not:
  • Full of bleak, unpleasant people in a bleak, unpleasant town.
  • It's strange. A little too strange for me.

Thoughts: I hadn't been planning to read this book. A Series of Unfortunate Events was amusing and clever, but I'd had my fill. However, someone somewhere said the later books in this series got quite good, and then I found a really fun Youtube story game, and I couldn't really pass this book by any longer.

This first in the series was not really my style. I love Snicket's meta-ness and puzzles, but they are not that apparent here, and I find his bleakness and strangeness creepy and boring. Hopefully it is accurate that the later books get quite good. I'm planning to continue the series mostly for that reason alone.

Grade: 2 1/2 stars (2 stars for the book, and an extra 1/2 star for the cover and title and author descriptions and marketing and general style and all that stuff that Snicket is really good at)

If You Like This, You Might Also Like:
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart: Because there are puzzles and it's clever, but it's also a lot happier than Snicket's books.
  • The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken: I haven't read this in a while, but I remember liking it a lot when I was young, even though it has similarly bleak people and places.
  • Roald Dahl might also be a good recomendation, though I'm not sure if I've actually read any of his books. Maybe James and the Giant Peach a long time ago?

* Taken from the dust jacket.

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