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Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

Currently reading

Visible Empire
Hannah Pittard
The Deptford Trilogy
Robertson Davies
Life on Mars
Jennifer Brown
The Family Under the Bridge
Natalie Savage Carlson

The Carnivorous Carnival

The Carnivorous Carnival  - Brett Helquist, Lemony Snicket, Michael Kupperman

Isn't it nice when you stick with something for some time and it pays off? The ninth book in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate EventsCarnivorous Carnival, is by far the first really good book in the series. Like the other Unfortunate books, the formula in this one is largely the same, but it all gels so much better. Add in some really hilarious new characters and great scenes and you've got a solid children's book.


The Carnivorous Carnival excels for three reasons. First, the story is paced well and is logical (in a non-logical world). Sure, none of this series really makes any sense, but within this universe, this book is the most clear. Second, unlike some of the other books, the main characters all really fit into their roles. Violet and Klaus as Beverly and Elliot, respectively, with their voice changes and all. Sunny as Chabo (“Grrrr”). The Hook-Handed Man as The Hook-Handed Man. Plus, the audience, who played into the carnival so well. Third, the introduction of three new characters (who appear to be staying a little longer), especially Kevin, the ambidextrous freak. I hope to find that Snicket was able to keep them in the series for as long as they were relevant and entertaining.


I'm pushing hard on getting through this series now, because I have hopes of reading something different to the kids by Christmas. If the remaining four books are as good as this one, I shouldn't have difficultly getting it done.


A Series of Unfortunate Events:
The Bad Beginning – 3.1
The Reptile Room – 3.2
The Wide Window – 3.6
The Miserable Mill - 3.3

The Austere Academy - 3.4

The Ersatz Elevator - 3.3

The Vile Village3.1

The Hostile Hospital3.4

The Carnivorous Carnival - 3.9