Genre: Children's Literature
Setting: A fictitious carnival in the hinterlands
First Sentence: When my workday is over, and I have closed my notebook, hidden my pen, and sawed holes in my rented canoe so that it could not be found, I often like to spend the evenings in conversation with my few surviving friends.
This novel is the ninth in the author's thirteen book series entitled "A Series of Unfortunate Events."
At the end of "The Hostile Hotel" the Baudelaire orphans were hidden in the trunk of Count Olaf's car. The Evil count, with his evil assistants were headed to the hinterlands. They were escaping the count's latest failed attempt to steal the orphans' fortune.
The orphans were in the trunk because there was no other place to hide from the count. Also, the orphans think that count might lead them to information about the Baudelaires' parents.
After traveling through the hinterlands for hours the villains and the children arrive at the Calgari Carnival. The count and his henchpersons were unaware of their secret cargo.
In order to escape detection, the orphans disguise themselves as carnival freaks. Madam Lulu hires them and adds them to the carnival's freak show.
The carnival business is slow. So Count Olaf decides to increase business. He purchases a group of lions. He intends to starve the lions, and then throw a freak into the lion pit.
The news of the lion show spreads quickly. On the day of the show there is a large crowd excited to see hungry carnivores devour a freak.
When Madam Lulu discovers the orphans searching her caravan she reveals information about the orphans' parents. One of the parents may be alive in the Mortmain Mountains.
Will the lions devour a freak?
Will the lions devour and orphan?
Will the orphans disguises fool Count Olaf?
Will the orphans learn the truth about their parents?
How will the orphans get to the Mortmain Mountains?
At the end of this book, the orphans are once again in harms way.
I need to read on.