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The Beatrice Letters by Lemony Snicket

The Beatrice Letters

by Lemony Snicket

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While not as well known (and a lot harder to get hold of) than The Unauthorised Autobiography, I personally felt that this collection was a little more heart-felt. It collects two sets of letters: One from a young Lemony Snicket to Beatrice - mother of the Baudellaires; the other from a mysterious person who also uses the name of the deceased Baudellaire as she tries to hunt down Snicket and learn the whereabouts of the orphans...

While the letters are a little confusing at first, especially as they are intended to be read before the final book, it does slowly become clear what is being said. The letters penned by Snicket show us glimpses of a love that began in the third grade and ended in tragedy, cutting off just before Violet was born. The others paint a slightly more hopeful tale, of a resourceful girl going to great lengths to find the elusive author. Naturally, both are filled with the wordplay and hidden codes that you would expect from Snicket's work.

The book is nicely presented in a hard-backed portfolio. It also contains an ominous poster than gives a worrying glimpse of what will come in the final book. It also contains space to store the letters that can be punched out of the book, for anyone wishing to solve the hidden anagram. This was my only real flaw with the book as these letters are printed on glossy paper and have to be removed with great care to avoid tearing the book. They're a bit flimsy and won't stand up to a lot of rough treatment, so you might want to back them on card first if you wish to play around with them.

As with The Unauthorised Autobiography, this book will hold no appeal to anyone who has not read a majority of the main series but, if you have, it forms a nice addition to your series. It looks great on the shelf and, while it doesn't really answer a lot of questions, it gives a bit more insight into the personality and motivations of Snicket himself. It is certainly a must to complete any collection. ( )
1 vote ArkhamReviews | Aug 27, 2018 |
As a young man, Lemony Snicket writes a number of love letters to his unrequited love, Beatrice Baudelaire. Another Beatrice Baudelaire altogether writes letters to an older Lemony Snicket, hoping to get help from him in tracking down her lost relatives -- Violet, Sunny, and Klaus Baudelaire.

This book is a supplement to the popular children's book series, A Series of Unfortunate Events. While I quickly read all the books when they came out years ago, for some reason I never got around to this title even though I wanted to read it. When I watched the new Netflix series based on the books recently, I was reminded that I hadn't read this title yet so I checked it out of the library.

The book is quite lovely in creation, with the various letters sent back and forth illustrated to look like small notecards, crumpled up pieces of paper, and so forth. The letters themselves are rather funny in the clever, tongue-in-cheek, and snarky ways you'd expect from Lemony Snicket. There is one rather long passage about how much Snicket loves Beatrice that is a must read. It is beautifully touching with just enough humor and silliness to prevent it from becoming overly sentimental.

I did enjoy this title, but I think reading it closer to the original series would have been smarter. There were definitely some details and nuances that I did not remember well this many years later. So if you and/or your kids are reading and enjoying the Series of Unfortunate Events books, I'd recommend checking out this book soon after as well. ( )
1 vote sweetiegherkin | Feb 26, 2017 |
A quirky supplementary book to the popular Series of Unfortunate Events, this collection of letters is meant to be read before the thirteenth, and last, book in the series. Upon opening the book, one discovers that it is like an accordion file with two pockets. In the first pocket is the book, and in the second is a poster. The book alternates between written letters from two authors and pictures that are small screen shots from the larger poster with a cut-out letter in the middle. Some of the letters have evidence attached, such as photographs or playbills. The letters are written by Lemony Snicket to Beatrice, and by Beatrice to Lemony. It soon becomes apparent that the recipient Beatrice is the one from the forwards to all the books, the lady whom Lemony loves, and the writer Beatrice is an altogether younger girl who is searching for Lemony to help her find her family. Since I read the thirteenth book before I read this collection, I knew the identity of the younger Beatrice, but it would be a nice teaser to readers still waiting to read the finale. The poster, likewise, offers many clues to events that will transpire in the final Baudelaire adventure.

The letters maintain the same delightful dark humor as found in the Series of Unfortunate Events, with forebodings and word play galore. They also divulge quite a bit of information about Lemony Snicket's past, in particular his early relationship with Beatrice, which becomes a doomed and tragic memory later in his life. Furthermore, the package is so unique and original, with hidden codes, letters that are meant to be punched out and arranged in anagrams, and an accompanying poster. I always appreciate book innovations, and this is a lovely presentation with fun hidden information. It is like having embedded easter eggs, but in book form. Certainly fans of the Unfortunate Events series will enjoy this, but the material is so pointed that people unfamiliar with the Baudelaire adventures will be mostly puzzled. ( )
1 vote nmhale | Jul 28, 2016 |
Beautifully done. A little teaser for the final book ( )
  nx74defiant | Jun 4, 2016 |
Very confusing as a book, but the ultimate as a collectable item. ( )
  Glaucialm | Feb 18, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Snicket, Lemonyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Helquist, BrettIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060586583, Hardcover)

Top secret—only for readers deeply interested in the Baudelaire case. How I pity these readers.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:42 -0400)

Presents a collection of correspondence between the elusive Lemony Snicket and the mysterious Beatrice.

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