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The Vile Village by Lemony Snicket
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The Vile Village (2003)

by Lemony Snicket

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events (7)

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5,74954738 (3.77)57

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Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
Due to their less-than-illustrious past, Mr. Poe can no longer find a guardian willing to take on the task of caring for the Baudelaire children. Instead, he sends them to be raised by a village of their choice as part of a community program. The children choose V.F.D in the hopes that the village will offer them some insight into their increasingly perilous and perplexing situation. But that's not necessarily what they'll receive.

It was a relief to read this seventh installment in comparison to the past two books. Yes, terrible things happen, but a loose end is sort of tied up even if it doesn't provide any answers, and we get closer to the truth of the Baudelaire orphans' situation. This book actually felt like lighter material, even though it wasn't--a man is killed due to a terrible injustice and a crippling number of laws that make it impossible for him to prove his innocence--but we also finally see a guardian who treats the Baudelaires well and doesn't really abandon them (they were abandoned by Jerome, fired by Sir, and expelled by Nero) even though he is a pretty touch-and-go protector. Not only does Hector offer a getaway vehicle, but he also aids in the saving of the Quagmire triplets which left me personally so relieved as I couldn't stand the idea of the orphans having to deal with the guilt of the Quagmire triplets' capture on top of their owns griefs.

But this book doesn't just offer that relief, unfortunately. All we know of V.F.D is that it starts with Volunteer; an innocent man who knew the Baudelaire parents (and who Lemony Snicket also knew) was killed before he could impart any information whatsoever; and the notebooks that the Quagmire triplets tried to give to the Baudelaires were torn to shreds by a well-aimed harpoon. And worse, the Baudelaires have been accused of murder and are now outlaws--unless they can clear their names, Mr. Poe will no longer be of any service to the children. From this book forward, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny must make their own way in the world. ( )
  Rituleen | Jun 20, 2016 |
Trying to figure out the secret of VFD, which their friends the Quagmire triplets hinted at in the last book, the Baudelaire orphans go to live in a village titled "VFD" in a pamphlet. But alas, the villagers have no desire to parent the orphans, and isntead expect them to spend all their days cleaning up after the town's flock of crows (a flock so large that it completely blankets the town, making it look like a shivering mirage from afar). And of course, Count Olaf appears to make their lives even more miserable. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
"In this large and fierce world of ours, there are many, many unpleasant places to be. You can be in a river swarming with angry electric eels, or in a supermarket filled with vicious long-distance runners. You can be in a hotel that has no room service, or you can be lost in a forest that is slowly filling up with water. You can be in a hornet's nest or in an abandoned airport or the office of a pediatric surgeon, but one of the most unpleasant things that can happen is to find yourself in a quandary." ( )
  Glaucialm | Feb 18, 2016 |
"It takes a village to raise a child..." But, knowing the Baudelaires' luck; it takes a village to neglect a trio of poor orphans and to force them to do all the chores. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
I read a complaint when these books first came out that they were too horribly violent to be appropriate for children. This was before "The Hunger Games," which I'm sure threw that particular complainer into a state of permanent shock. This was also missing the point, which is that while the Baudelaire orphans are in constant peril, the dangers are as ridiculously over the top as the ingenious escapes the children manage to contrive. You can't really believe any of it, so you can sit back and enjoy the show.

The genius of these books is that they maintain a certain level of absurdity, while managing at the same time to make the reader care. The Baudelaires are likable and developed characters who are fighting to survive in a strange universe. Those of us with any memory left of early childhood can relate.

"The Vile Village" makes some terrific points about the kind of people who care more about paperwork and rules than humanity. Those of us who have attended school and/or worked for large corporations can *definitely* relate.

The book also gets in a dig at people (you know who you are) who are indifferent to human suffering, but who'll drop everything and weep for an injured bird.

( )
  Deborah_Markus | Aug 8, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lemony Snicketprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Curry, TimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Helquist, BrettIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Beatrice -- When we were together I felt breathless. Now, you are.
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No matter who you are, no matter where you live, and no matter how many people are chasing you, what you don't read is often as important as what you do read.
Quotations
The children looked at one another again, a little less hopefully this time. The quoting of an aphorism, like the angry barking of a dog or the smell of overcooked broccoli, rarely indicates that something helpful is about to happen. An aphorism is merely a small group of words arranged in a certain order because they sound good that way, but oftentimes people tend to say them as if they were saying something very mysterious and wise.
"'Murder' is the word for a group of crows, like a flock of geese or a herd of cows or a convention of orthodontists."
Entertaining a notion, like entertaining a baby cousin or entertaining a pack of hyenas, is a dangerous thing to refuse to do. If you refuse to entertain a baby cousin, the baby cousin may get bored and entertain itself by wandering off and falling down a well. If you refuse to entertain a pack of hyenas, they may become restless and entertain themselves by devouring you. But if you refuse to entertain a notion - which is just a fancy way of saying that you refuse to think about a certain idea - you have to be much braver than someone who is merely facing some bloodthirsty animals, or some parents who are upset to find their little darling at the bottom of a well, because nobody knows what an idea will do when it goes off to entertain itself, particularly if the idea comes from a sinister villain.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0064408655, Hardcover)

The seventh book in Lemony Snicket's splendidly gloomy Series of Unfortunate Events shadows the three Baudelaire orphans as they plummet headlong into their next misadventure. Mr. Poe, their ineffective legal guardian, having exhausted all options for finding them a new home with relatives (including their 19th cousin), sadly entrusts his young charges' fate to a progressive guardian program formed with the premise "It takes a village to raise a child." Before they know it, the Baudelaires are being whisked off on a bus to a village (vile) named "V.F.D." Snicket fans who read The Austere Academy and The Ersatz Elevator will jump to see these three initials, as they provide a clue to the tragic disappearance of the Baudelaires' friends, the beloved, equally orphaned Quagmire triplets.

To the orphans' dismay, V.F.D. is covered in crows--so much so that the whole village is pitch-black and trembling. "The crows weren't squawking or cawing, which is what crows often do, or playing the trumpet, which crows practically never do, but the town was far from silent. The air was filled with the sounds the crows made as they moved around." Another disturbing element of the town is that the Council of Elders (who wear creepy crow hats) has thousands of rules, such as "don't hurt crows" and "don't build mechanical devices." Fortunately, the Baudelaires are taken in by a kindly handyman named Hector who cooks them delicious Mexican food and secretly breaks rules. Still, neither Hector nor an entire village can protect the orphans from the clutches of the money-grubbing Count Olaf, who has relentlessly pursued them (actually, just their fortune) since The Bad Beginning. Fans won't want to miss any of this marvelously morbid series! (Ages 9 and older) --Karin Snelson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:00 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Under a new government program based on the saying "It takes a village to raise a child," the Baudelaire orphans are adopted by an entire town, with disastrous results.

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