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

by Lemony Snicket, Brett Helquist (Illustrator)

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4,95567925 (3.92)41
Member:amerynth
Title:The Penultimate Peril (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 12)
Authors:Lemony Snicket
Other authors:Brett Helquist (Illustrator)
Info:HarperCollins (2005), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:read 2013, fiction, young adult, children's

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The Penultimate Peril by Lemony Snicket (2005)

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The Baudelaire orphans are sent to Hotel Denouement in order to find out the identity of the mysterious J.S., and to ensure the safety of the building and its inhabitants until the rest of the members of V.F.D arrive. But complications arise when the Baudelaires cannot discern friend from foe and must carry out a series of confusing tasks that have them wondering if they themselves are helping those who would cause them harm.

The Penultimate Peril continues to deliver bizarre situations and surreal jokes as Snicket delves into the children's first official V.F.D. mission. As with the other books in this series, careful readers are rewarded with answers to mysterious questions and realizations that offer more information about the schism and at least one possible reason behind Olaf's determination to take down the Baudelaire orphans. An especially delightful aspect of these past few books has been Snicket's references to past events so that even the most innocuous guardians--like Aunt Josephine--take on a new, sometimes sinister, light. In the Penultimate Peril, not only does the reader see constant references to past events in relation to current ones, but characters reappear from as far back as The Bad Beginning. Good authors can trace back their timelines and track the adventures of most if not all of their characters. We see this not only in books but in television--the Harry Potter series, and Steven Universe, for example--and it serves as a sign of creators who truly care about the works they are creating.

In ASOUE, readers discover that they are not just watching children get carted around to cruel or ineffectual guardians because the world is an unpredictable place. The children are actually pawns in a game that is much bigger than they are, and that has been going on for much longer than they were even alive. Realizing this, and realizing that the Baudelaire Orphans are still only really trying to defeat Count Olaf--not solve the schism war despite being thrown into it--puts these books in an interesting place. The fate of the world is at stake here, but it isn't the Baudelaire's duty to finish the war that started when their parents were children. It's impossible, in fact, given how little they really understand the situation and given how impossible it is to get straight answers from any of the adults involved. The lives of the Baudelaire children is surrounded by the events and aftermath of the schism, but it isn't really about that. ASOUE is about the Baudelaires trying to survive in a world determined to cause them harm, without becoming as treacherous as Count Olaf. ( )
  Rituleen | Jul 30, 2016 |
I liked this book, but it for sure wasn't my favorite in the series. Now I'm just wondering how the entire series ends! I would recommend this book though. 4 out of 5 stars. Good story line and character development. ( )
  Beammey | Jul 23, 2016 |
As is fitting for the wrapping up of a story, all of the still living characters from the series show up at the Hotel Denouement. Despite the best intentions of the "good" adults, the children are still unprotected and furthermore are still struggling with the question of whether they have become as wicked as Count Olaf. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Jul 8, 2016 |
The closer I got t o the end of this series the more nervous I became. Especially with some of the revelations in this book. The gloom and doom factor is really high in the part of the series. It follows the same basic plot as the rest of the books, they find someone they can trust, that trust is broken through some devious means by Count Olaf and the orphans are in worse shape than before. Although this time is brings back characters from the other volumes and sort out the best of the best and worst of the worst. ( )
  Rosenectur | Mar 10, 2016 |
We've gotten to the meat of the action now! All of the good guys, bad guys, and of course, the Baudelaire orphans descend upon the Hotel Denoument. A sugar bowl (containing what?) is expected to arrive there at any moment, and everyone wants to be ready to grab it for themselves. The Baudelaires are enlisted to help VFD get the bowl, but their attempts to help are complicated by every possible conundrum and coincidence.

The complications and puzzles are perhaps a little *too* complicated and puzzling, and Snicket's repetitive style is particularly frustrating in this book, when so much action is going on and there are so few pages left to explain all the mysteries. Nevertheless, the book is a fun, slightly tense, read. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lemony Snicketprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Snicket, Lemonymain 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.
First words
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:02 -0400)

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

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