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The Grim Grotto (A Series of Unfortunate…
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The Grim Grotto (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 11) (original 2004; edition 2004)

by Lemony Snicket, Michael Kupperman (Illustrator), Brett Helquist (Illustrator)

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4,496551,082 (3.86)39
Member:brittanygates
Title:The Grim Grotto (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 11)
Authors:Lemony Snicket
Other authors:Michael Kupperman (Illustrator), Brett Helquist (Illustrator)
Info:HarperCollins (2004), Hardcover, 352 pages
Collections:Your library, Gates Family Library, Fantasy, Fiction, Juvenile
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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The Grim Grotto by Lemony Snicket (2004)

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English (54)  French (1)  All languages (55)
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
The 11th book in the Series of Unfortunate Events: The Grim Grotto discloses that the Baudelaires are just one in a whole line-up of families who are or were members of the VFD and that the schism in the organization is the cause of much of the trouble that the Baudelaires encounter. How benevolent was the original VFD? Who is on what side? Even their supposed allies can switch sides suddenly. On the bright side, Sunny is becoming quite resourceful and eloquent. Can't wait to finish the series and have all questions answered. ( )
  Marse | Jul 6, 2014 |
One of the more unusual books in the series, finally Olaf has stopped with disguises and we are finally getting some more information on VFD, I swear the author has us on a drip-feed. ( )
  katie1802 | May 10, 2014 |
The unfortunate saga surges forward; this time, underwater. At the end of the last book, the Baudelaire children were being carried helplessly down the Stricken Stream after narrowly escaping Olaf's clutches yet again. This new entry in the series picks up at the moment the last book stops, with the three siblings clutching a toboggan that is recklessly plunging down the river. Their desperate situation takes a turn for the better, though, when they bump into a periscope and are admitted to the Queequeg, a submarine manned by members of the V.F.D. Captain Widdershins ushers them into the main hall of the vessel, where they meet his stepdaughter, Fiona, and a familiar friendly face - Phil from the lumber mill. They are all wearing waterproof suits sporting the profile of Herman Melville, and the Baudelaires step into their own suits, complete with old-fashioned diving helmets.

In recent books in the series, the roles have changed for the children. Instead of fighting to escape and flee from the bad situations Olaf forces upon them, they are now on the offence, working to thwart the villainous people and be in charge of their destiny. The position holds true here. The siblings welcome the chance to join Widdershins and his crew in the search for the mysterious sugar bowl. Captain Widdershins knows why this bowl is so important, but he won't tell the children, because some secrets are too terrible to know. The Baudelaires do know that Olaf and Esme want it, though, and this is incentive enough to find it first. Klaus uses his knowledge of tidal charts to help Fiona track a course for where the sugar bowl could have gone, and the ship heads towards the grim grotto, an underwater cave located adjacent to a facility that was once run by the V.F.D. (before being burned to the ground, of course).

When the submarine can't proceed further in the narrowing tunnel, the children disembark in their diving suits. They float through an underwater passage, carried by the same current that theoretically carried the destination to the same location soon to welcome them. They wash up on a beach, and as if a dry beach in an underwater grotto was not eerie enough, this one has three lamps bearing the letters V.F.D. and an assortment of sea borne debris. The children begin to sift through the accumulation, and although they find several intriguing clues, the sugar bowl is absent. Eventually, after barely escaping death by the highly toxic medusoid mycelium mushroom, they swim back to the submarine, only to discover that Captain Widdershins and Phil are gone. Before they can digest this awful turn of events, an even more horrible reversal occurs, as Olaf sneaks up on them in his octopus submarine and takes them captive.

The day only gets worse for the Baudelaires. Fiona recognizes the hook-handed man; he is her long lost brother, Ferdinand. With the abandonment (as she supposes) of her stepfather, and the reunion with her brother, Fiona switches sides. Her betrayal saddens Violet and Sunny, and shocks Klaus, who was developing a deeper attachment to her. She is not excited about her new allegiance, though, and helps the Baudelaires to escape back to the Queequeg. They find a telegram from Quigly, and decode the verse fluctuation (messages hidden in poetry) to discover a secret meeting spot. The book ends with them landing on Briny Beach, for the second time in the series after its tragic setting at the start of it all, and meeting an adult who might finally help them in their unfortunate cycle.

As the series nears its end, the books are getting larger, but the entertainment is high enough that I appreciate the extra pages. Snicket started with an original concept, darkly funny but a bit limited, and in ensuing books has developed a complicated plot and nuanced world mythos that is very compelling. The history of the V.F.D. is alluring, and the sugar bowl is completely mysterious. The plot is clearly drawing ever tighter as it heads to the big confrontation, and I am eager for the moment. The Baudelaires are evolving into stronger and more complex characters. Violet and Klaus have both developed romantic attachments, all three have created friendships outside their small family circle, and Sunny is growing up and has abilities beyond just biting. I really care about those children, and want them to win. This was a great addition, and I look forward to finishing the final two books in the series. ( )
  nmhale | Dec 4, 2013 |
The Grim Grotto starts off wonderfully. There is a good mix of what makes this series entertaining. We're introduced to two new characters—one as hilarious as Aunt Josephine was, the other as seemingly loyal as the Quagmires (and cute too). The conspiracy continues to unravel, Sunny continues to utter adorableness, and events continue to grow more and more unfortunate.

The second half of the book wasn't nearly as wonderful, primarily because the book loses its humor, becomes trapped by the adventure taking place, and relies a bit too heavily on the established formula, a phrase which here means Count Olaf would've gotten away with his villainous crimes had it not been for those meddling kids. Nevertheless, it sets up a nice introduction to the next book.

Despite my waning attention toward the end, I thought this book was one of the best of the series. Mystery, humor, adventure, heartbreak—it's all here. Only two more to go!

A Series of Unfortunate Events:
The Bad Beginning3.1
The Reptile Room3.2
The Wide Window3.6
The Miserable Mill3.3
The Austere Academy3.4
The Ersatz Elevator3.3
The Vile Village3.1
The Hostile Hospital3.4
The Carnivorous Carnival3.9
The Slippery Slope3.6
The Grim Grotto3.9 ( )
  chrisblocker | Nov 25, 2013 |
It was really weird reading this book because at the same time I was reading Operation Mincemeat. Both of these spend some amount of time taking place in a submarine. Pretty funny. Anywho, I'm getting close to the end. I already checked out the next one. Things are definitely getting complicated. ( )
  AmberTheHuman | Aug 30, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Snicket, Lemonyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Helquist, BrettIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kupperman, MichaelIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Curry, TimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Beatrice -- Dead women tell no tales. Sad men write them down.
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After a great deal of time examining oceans, investigating rainstorms, and staring very hard at several drinking fountains, the scientists of the world developed a theory regarding how water is distributed around our planet, which they have named "the water cycle."
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0064410145, Hardcover)

It's tough when the things that stand between you and your desired sugar bowl are a host of deadly mushrooms and an uncomfortable diving suit. The unlucky Baudelaire orphans find themselves in deep (once again) in this eleventh book in Lemony Snicket's odd-and-full-of-woe-but-quite-funny Series of Unfortunate Events. In The Grim Grotto, the siblings find themselves headed down Stricken Stream on a broken toboggan when they are spotted by the submarine Queequeg, carrying Captain Widdershins, his somewhat volatile stepdaughter Fiona, and optimistic Phil from Lucky Smells Lumbermill. The adventures that follow as the crew tries to get to the aforementioned sugar bowl before Count Olaf are so horrible that the narrator inserts factual information about the water cycle so that readers will get bored and stop reading the book. It doesn't work. As per usual, readers will want to soak up every awf! ul detail and follow the Baudelaires all the way back to the place we first met them--Briny Beach. (Ages 9 and older) --Karin Snelson

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:21:26 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Still pursued by the evil Count Olaf, the Baudelaire orphans attempt to reach a very important VFD meeting, but first they must travel in a rattletrap submarine to the Gorgonian Grotto, a dangerous underwater cave, in search of the sugar bowl.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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