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The Penultimate Peril (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 12) (original 2005; edition 2005)

by Lemony Snicket

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4,307None1,141 (3.94)35
Member:Marensr
Title:The Penultimate Peril (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 12)
Authors:Lemony Snicket
Info:HarperCollins (2005), Hardcover, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Children's Literature, Read, 2005

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The Penultimate Peril by Lemony Snicket (2005)

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» See also 35 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
Diving into the next book with great abandon. No time to talk about this one, which was ( )
  Richard_Due | Feb 26, 2014 |
My feelings about this second-to-last book in A Series of Unfortunate Events are divided. On one hand, it is an impressive tying together of the series, a wonderful penultimate journey through the previous eleven books. On the other, it is unsettling, a fatalistic blow that buries the most redeeming aspects of the series beneath a darkness with implications I shudder to think about.

First, the good. The Penultimate Peril brings together many familiar characters and places them in a situation that is entertaining and appropriate. Those reading the story aloud will have to strain to remember the voices of so many characters throughout the series and keep them straight (not an easy task, but I was up for the challenge). The drama, action, and humor are all turned to full for this chapter in the Baudelaire story. It's a good mix, and certainly a wonderful addition.

But the decisions made by our “heroes,” well, they seem out of character, though there was some indication of it in the previous volume. This sudden change in approach, this resignation to despair and acceptance of fate is very fatalistic. I understand—and have liked—Snicket's growing maturity throughout the series, forcing bigger words and larger questions as the book number increased, but this may be going to far. Not only does it all seem forced, but the reactions themselves are rather insipid. Perhaps this is merely an indication of what is to come in the final book—maybe this change is purely a plot device for the final chapter—but in the meantime, the only heroes a child can have in this series have been dashed against the cliffs of a pessimistic philosophy. As the Baudelaires would say in this chapter of their lives, eventually they'd only have failed you anyway.

Though a series of unfortunate events, A Series of Unfortunate Events has always shown some glimmer of hope, if in no other way than in the hearts of the Baudelaires. Now, looking out at the coming horizon, it looks quite bleak. I guess Snicket said all along it wouldn't be a happy ending, but I didn't expect the darkness to infect everything. Here's to hoping Snicket left a ray of light in The End.

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
The Penultimate Peril3.4 ( )
  chrisblocker | Dec 6, 2013 |
Maybe 13 books was just going too far. I mean, I want to finish out the series just to find out what happened, but at this point, it's becoming more of a chore than a pleasure. It's also kind of depressing how true the author stays to the title of the series. Truly, they are all unfortunate events, and you seriously begin to wish you had never started. But the books are so well-written. I can't say no. So, would I recommend these books? Yes. Only if you get them all 13 and treat them like one big book and read them all at once and just get it over with. ( )
  amyolivia | Oct 25, 2013 |
The Last Safe Place is safe no more. All the "noble" adults let the Baudelaire orphans down. Ends with the Baudelaires sailing away with Count Olaf. I have to say, Sunny's words are not just gibberish. I almost want to go back and read them again to see if I can pick up more stuff. In this one, the author lets their political leanings show. The word was "scalia" and it was interpreted as "it seems nonsense to interpret it literally". Justice Scalia is one of the few who still believe in Original Intent in regards to the U.S. Constitution. Whatever... ( )
  Bookstooge | Sep 26, 2013 |
I started this book awhile ago - and then didn't get past the picnic. So I tried again, and was able to get through it pretty fast. It's definitely interesting how the author explores both sides of morality, and how someone (or some people) can dabble on both. But it does start getting a little rushed, there are some characters that just appear and then disappear without us knowing them. ( )
  AmberTheHuman | Aug 30, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lemony Snicketprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Helquist, BrettIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Curry, TimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Beatrice -- No one could extinguish my love, or your house.
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Certain people have said that the world is like a calm pond, and that anytime a person does even the smallest thing, it is as if a stone has dropped into the pond, spreading circles of ripples further and further out, until the entire world has been changed by one tiny action.
Quotations
The burning of a book is a sad, sad sight, for even though a book is nothing but ink and paper, it feels as if the ideas contained in the book are disappearing as the pages turn to ashes and the cover and binding—which is the term for the stitching and glue that holds the pages together—blacken and curl as the flames do their wicked work. When someone is burning a book, they are showing utter contempt for all of the thinking that produced its ideas, all of the labor that went into its words and sentences, and all of the trouble that befell the author.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0064410153, Hardcover)

10 Second Interview: A Few Words with Daniel Handler

Q: Your Wikipedia (online encyclopedia) entry defines you as author, screenwriter, and accordionist. Is that how you would describe yourself?
A: I find that nothing makes people back away faster at a social gathering than "accordionist." Except perhaps "screenwriter." And, even "author" always makes people nervous, so I usually say "writer."

Q: How long have you been writing?
A: All my life really, since I was able to write all I wanted to do was write. I think largely I ended up becoming a writer because I could think of nothing else that I was good at--at all. As a kid, I always wanted to be a writer, and I had no backup plan whatsoever as an adult.

Q: Are the Baudelaire children ever going to be happy?
A: Well, they are happy on a regular basis, just not for very long. Um, are they ever going to be happy permanently? I don't know any permanently happy people, thank goodness.

Q: Okay, then is the series going to end on a happy note?
A: Well, I always remind readers of the Snicket books that happy is a comparative term, so the end will be happier than some people would think, but less happy than others.

Q: When can fans expect the final book?
A: I believe the thirteenth volume will be released in the fall of 2006, although something terrible could happen to the author at any moment and then the books would not be released at all.

Looking for more from Daniel Handler? Check out his answers to Amazon.com's The Significant Seven.

An Interview with Lemony Snicket

Lemony Snicket has captured the hearts of childen and adults alike with the hilariously gloomy series that began, of course, with The Bad Beginning. Amazon.com had a chance to question the author of this marvelously morbid and delightfully depressing series, and the communication was grim indeed. Read the cumbersome communique and see for yourself.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:37:52 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The Baudelaire orphans disguise themselves as employees of the Hotel Denoument and find themselves pursued by the evil Count Olaf and by others.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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