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Monday, April 3, 2017

The Penultimate Peril by Lemony Snicket

Genre: Children's Literature

Setting: The Hotel Denouement a fictional hotel with oddly numbered rooms.

First Sentence: Certain people have said that the world is like a calm pond, and that any time a person does even the smallest thing, it is as if a store had dropped into the pond, spreading circles of ripples further and further out, until the entire world has been changed by one tiny action.

This novel is the twelfth in the author's thirteen novel series entitled "A Series of Unfortunate Events."

The theme of this novel is exploring the nature of good and evil.  Count Olaf and his henchpersons have used evil means to try to capture the Baudelaire's fortune.  The orphans themselves had had to use evil actions in order to escape from the evil Count.

All along the way, the orphans have met relatively nobel people who have allowed evil to happen to the children.  These people have hung the children out to dry, rather be involved in the children's predicament.  The phrase "hand the children out to dry" means to let the children fend for themselves, and to then forget about them.

This book begins on a high note.  One of the orphans' allies, a member of the secretive and good VFD treats the orphans nicely and with concern.  But soon the children are thrust into the same old predicament.

The children are at the the Hotel Denouement.  Soon there will be a gathering of all the VFDs, both good and evil, to either protect or destroy the hotel.

The Baudelaires are given jobs that are definitely to dangerous for three young children.  Since no one will be honest with them, the children do things that probably more evil than good.  Due to their actions, there is a fatality.  And once again, good people who should know better, turn their backs on the children.

And you'll never believe who helps the orphans leave the hotel.

This was a very dark novel.   It made me reconsider good and evil in the first twelve books of this series.

Now on to the final unfortunate event - The End.


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