Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Penultimate and Still Penultifreakin Not Wrapping Up

The following blog contains some spoilers of sorts for the latest A Series of Unfortunate Events book, "The Penultimate Peril." In actuality, the blog title itself contains somewhat of a spoiler, but it's too late to erase that from your mind. Well let's just say that I won't talk about story spoilers directly; rather my feelings of the book may prove spoilerific if you or any of your compadres decide to read the book. So if you want to go into the book with a completely clean clear slate, by all means, please hit the close button on your web browser now. That is rather ironic in itself because those who would care to read such a blog are the ones who'd want to read the book and therefore wouldn't want it ruined for them. And those who have no interest in the book wouldn't care to read through this blog because it goes on and on about something they are fairly indifferent about and therefore would probably best spend their blog reading time lighting books on fire (as that is what I assume those who do not like to read these books would do). So here's a sort of compromise. Whether you like A Series of Unfortunate Events or not, close the browser at this very second. Then, come back after you have finished the book to get a thorough feel for what I feel about Book the Twelfth and see if your conclusions match mine. Another case of confusion: if you closed the browser when I told you to, you wouldn't have gotten my complete instructions. Therefore I conclude that you are incapable of obeying instructions in any sort of way and you should just go ahead and read on with the review. (Note that I fully expect you to not read on since that is exactly what I told you to do you disobeying villain you.)

Now, assuming you've read the book, I must immediately express my slight (if not grand) disappointment with the book. Throughout the book, I didn't really feel that the book grabbed me like the previous books did. In fact, it felt like a chore reading through some of it. I also felt that the narrative was a little off. This book didn't have quite the same clever bite as most of the previous books (save for a hilarious prose regarding being born yesterday). Yes, I sort of kind of felt like the book was trying too hard to be clever, which might just be me, but that's how I feel.

Now, one thing that anyone who's read any of the books knows is that everyone besides the Baudelaires, the Quagmires, and Count Olaf (arguably) is an idiot. This philosophy is upheld to the umpeenth degree in this book. It's sad too because people who are supposed to be "knowledgable" are as dumb as the "dumbasses." This really pissed me off during reading time. In fact, there are many moments in this book that will piss you off if you like our three main characters.

Somewhat of a lot happens in this book, but it feels like not a whole lot happens at all. Many things change and some things are revealed, but for the second-to-last book of the series, it seems like more should have been revealed and/or wrapped up. I suppose Lemony Snicket sets up the final book pretty well by narrowing down the character list in the story, but maybe I was just expecting more.

I found this book very infuriating, frustrating, and depressing. I still like the series and can't wait to see how it ends up, and maybe the last book will put this penultimate book into prospective, but I was nonetheless underwhelmed by the book. Rest assured, there are many shining spots in the book (that would give away some plot points if I told you) that will make you smile, but gosh, I just can't say I enjoyed the book that much.

But then again, Mr. Snicket did warn us of exactly that.

Saying goodbye with a sad smile,