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Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

The Slippery Slope

The Slippery Slope (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #10) - Brett Helquist, Lemony Snicket

It's been interesting to watch the evolution of this series. The first four books certainly followed a particular formula with slight changes. The tone was almost gothic, with an attempt at dark humor. The next two stepped out a little farther, but remained close to that formula. Each book seemed to become more action based. With the seventh book, the arc that made this a series began to tighten. Over the next few books, the series became more of a mystery. And here, with book ten, The Slippery Slope the facts begin to come together; finally, I am drawn into more than just the individual plight of the Baudelaire children—I want to unmask the global conspiracy that lies at the heart of these unfortunate events.

 

The Slippery Slope wasn't the funniest in the series. It certainly wasn't the most action packed or memorable of the stories. What it is however, is that moment of reward—the “we're finally getting somewhere” moment. And that can be one of the greatest moments of a series. People don't want answers, they want those moments before they get their answers, as they sit on the edge of their seat waiting. Think about it, The X-Files was at its best when Scully's cancer was a big unknown and Mulder's life-long belief was being tested. Lost was at its best when we were given glimpses of the past and the future, but had no idea what the common thread was. I have a feeling A Series of Unfortunate Events will shake out the same way. I'm eager to have the answers, but I think the next couple of books, the moments when the clues are falling but haven't been pieced together yet, will be the best of the series.

 

A Series of Unfortunate Events:
The Bad Beginning – 3.1
The Reptile Room3.2
The Wide Window3.6
The Miserable Mill - 3.3

The Austere Academy - 3.4

The Ersatz Elevator - 3.3

The Vile Village - 3.1

The Hostile Hospital - 3.4

The Carnivorous Carnival - 3.9

The Slippery Slope - 3.6