Who Could That Be at This Hour? (All The Wrong Questions, #1)
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Who Could That Be at This Hour? (All The Wrong Questions #1)

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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  11,204 ratings  ·  1,358 reviews
The adventure began in a fading town. Far from anyone he knew or trusted, a young Lemony Snicket started an apprenticeship for a secret organization shrouded in mystery and secrecy. He asked questions that shouldn't have been on his mind. Now he has written an account that should not be published that shouldn't be read. Not even by you. Seriously, we recommend that you do...more
Hardcover, 258 pages
Published October 24th 2012 by Little Brown (first published October 1st 2012)
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Joel
Jan 22, 2013 Joel rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
Do any actual kids like Lemony Snicket books, or are they only read by hip parents who think that they are the kind of books they want their kids to like?

Because, sure, I'd think it was neat if my daughter was into, like, opaquely plotted genre satires stuffed with obtuse narration, whimsical wordplay, literary references and impenetrable characters, books that tackled life's big philosophical questions through a meta-filter of storytelling.

But actually, kids want to read Captain Underpants and...more
Bern
There was a book, and there was a twist and there was annoyance. I was reading said book, I was hit by a twist in it - which here means I was surprised by the writing inside it, not that it somehow managed to bend my body unnaturally - and when I was done with the book, I was annoyed.

I should've asked myself why I ever thought it would be any different than Lemony Snicket's other wonderful books, or why I even supposed it wouldn't be in the first place, but instead I asked myself all the wrong q...more
Sara
For me starting to read this book was like coming home from a long vacation to your own bed and toiletries and cuddly cat. So you will possibly guess that this review might be slightly biased toward the tendency I have to love everything DanielLemony HandlerSnicket puts his hands on.

The things I loved about this book:

1. The setting. So. Weird. And quirky. A town by the sea that's no longer by the sea that's major industry is extracting ink from caves populated by terrified Octopi? How does one t...more
Barb Middleton
You getting this all right, son, or am I goin' too fast for ya? Oops. Wrong character. That's hard-boiled detective Sam Spade. Thirteen-year-old Lemony Snicket would say, This was nonsense, of course, but there's nothing wrong with occasionally staring out the window and thinking nonsense, as long as the nonsense is yours, which pretty much sums up this twisty tale. There's the nonsense of the mystery. There's the nonsense of the word definitions. There's the nonsense of the town with its missin...more
Nathan Siegel
I'm not sure if I would be a reader today if not for "A Series of Unfortunate Events" .

A few nights ago, I was in a small town, and in that small town was an "obscure" a word which here means "so small and pushed aside only an avid reader (or VFD member) would notice it." I walked inside and began talking to the owner about how I review books on "Goodreads", a word which here means "a website used to express one's opinion of a literary piece or work." She then went into the "back room" a word wh...more
Teresa
The question I had before picking up this book was, What should I read when the antibiotic I'm taking makes me feel more ill than what it's supposed to be treating? I'm not sure if that's a "wrong question," but this book was a right answer.

At some point I realized -- with the stolen item and its convoluted travels and the girl that maybe shouldn't be trusted -- I was reading a mild parody of the The Maltese Falcon, which added to the fun. And, though it's not obvious, the dialogue of the last c...more
Dan
This is the newest book from Lemony Snicket. It's the first of four volumes that form the authorized autobiography of the author, titled "All the Wrong Questions", and act as a sort of prequel to A Series of Unfortunate Events. I say "sort of" because so far there's very little link between the two series but that's not to say there is no link at all.

In this book 13 year old Lemony Snicket begins an apprenticeship to S. Theodora Markson, a woman who seems hopeless at solving the cases she's bee...more
Ellen
Review soon!
Laysee
Anyone who, like me, had enjoyed reading “A Series of Unfortunate Events” will be thrilled to learn that Lemony Snicket has embarked on writing a prequel to it. “Who Could That Be At This Hour?” is the first book in a new series titled “All The Wrong Questions”.

We are introduced to Lemony Snicket, a near 13-year-old, who was recruited as a neophyte to an enigmatic secret society and sent on his first mission to investigate the case of a missing statue. It was an investigation calculated to frust...more
Cleo
I read the Series of Unfortunate Events series maybe 5 years ago, and really enjoyed them, so I was excited to learn that Lemony Snicket had a new book coming out- about himself. The narrator of the book is the thirteen year old Lemony Snicket. He is now an "apprentice" to S. Theodora Markson. Don't even think about asking what the S. stands for. They arrive at the town of Stain'd-by-the-Sea, which manufactures ink, and is no longer by the sea. There are many mysterious characters and shady goin...more
Betsy
Last year I was running a bookgroup for kids, ages 9-12, when the subject of children’s books adapted into films came up. We talked about the relative success of Harry Potter, the bewildering movie that was City of Ember, and the gorgeous credit sequence for A Series of Unfortunate Events. Then one of the younger members, probably around ten years of age, turned to me and asked in all seriousness, “Do you think they’ll ever make a movie out of The Spiderwick Chronicles?” I was momentarily floore...more
rhea
Excited to get this book I jumped it ahead in the stack, I knew it'd be a quick read too. The first chapter or 2 I was worried that it wouldn't be as good as A Series of Unfortunate Events, but it picked up quickly and the word play and story line were exactly what you would want from his books (it was probably me jumping the gun too soon on first book intro stuff). It is a fun book and I cannot wait for the next book in the series! My bookshelves are thankful this series will only be 4 books, l...more
Ty
I enjoyed "Who could that be at this hour", especially when I opened it and immediately could tell it was written by Lemony Snicket. Interestingly, he used his own name as the protagonist in this story. Lemony (the book character) is an "almost thirteen year old" boy who has been apprenticed by the fifty-second (on a list of fifty-two) detectives. His associate, S. Theodora Markson, thinks of him as silly or dumb most of the time, though makes rather idiotic assumptions herself. The book starts...more
Josh Ang
I enjoyed the "Unfortunate Events" series, and picked this up with some glee, anticipating the sharp wit and double entendres that distinguished that series from the wealth of other children's lit out there. This first of four volumes promised to give readers a closer glimpse of who Lemony Snicket (the narrator behind the Baudelaires' perilous story) was before being involved with the Baudelaires' parents and the VFD.

In this installment, 13-year-old Snicket is apprenticed to the lowest ranked a...more
Emma
Lemony Snicket is a clever thirteen year old who just graduated from a school where he received a very extraordinary education. Now he is apprentice to his new mentor, S. Theodora Markson. Theodora and Lemony are hired to solve a mystery of a missing statue in the town of Stain’d-by-the-Sea, which is no longer located anywhere near the sea. In this town, Lemony, accompanied by the worst mentor he could have possibly chosen, meets a variety of people, from a sub-librarian to a girl reporter. As h...more
Brandy
Oh, Lemony Snicket, you've lured me into reading yet another entertainingly written, but incredibly unsatisfying book. You'd think after being downright lividly irritated about the unanswered questions at the end of the Series of Unfortunate Events books (13 books of enticing clues and no answers! Who does that??? And with a children's series?), I would know better. But the cool illustrations and the promise of a relatively short 4-book series convinced me to pick this book up from the table at...more
Jessica
Feb 12, 2012 Jessica marked it as to-read
I can't wait to read this!!!
Erica
Lemony Snicket books are a joy to read simply for the wordsmithing. About every other sentence is some kind of witty turn of a phrase. One of my favorite jokes was descriptions of children’s books from the perspective of an adolescent. (It helps if you know/remember your children’s lit; if not, it’s worth looking up online if you don't catch the reference.) As in the Series of Unfortunate Events books, Snicket uses the theme of precocious children and incompetent adults, which makes for some hil...more
Bryan Murdock
So clever. Very much in the same style as A Series of Unfortunate Events with smart children, dumb adults, mysterious organizations, clever references to other books, new vocabulary ("a word which here means..."), and really odd names (Stain'd By the Sea, Ellington Feint), but it is a bit less depressing than A Series of Unfortunate Events simply because the child heros are not captives of an evil man like Count Olaf. I doubt there will be a happy ending (that's right, this book is not self-cont...more
Violet Sinnarkar
Jun 19, 2014 Violet Sinnarkar rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who've never read Snicket before, if you're under eleven years old
A librarian recommended Lemony Snicket to me in third grade, and I loved him. Immensely.

His writing style is quirky in that ambiguous way that is appreciated by eight-year-olds who are never told about anything that matters, but he never stopped you there, in that exasperated tone that I heard so frequently from other adults. Snicket practically taught me how to read, leaving trails of metaphors and references and definitions, and nudging kids to find them. I read the series again, in the sixth...more
Jon
Find reviews and more at City of Books

There is a book that is strangely addicting and very mysterious. I am talking about none other than Lemony Snicket's latest Who Could That Be At This Hour? which covers Mr. Snicket's apprenticeship with V.F.D. Who Could That Be At This Hour? is the first book in a 4 book series which serves as a sort of prequel to A Series of Unfortunate Events. I was very impressed with this Middle Grade mystery which really exceeded all my expectations.

The most rewardin...more
Eleanor
I was initially slightly worried when my sister gave me this book for Christmas, because though I loved reading the Series of Unfortunate Events as a child, I always felt that "Lemony Snicket" was cheating. I felt sure that reading more from this author with more experience with literature would leave me feeling negatively towards a series that I did thoroughly enjoy as a youngster. However, this book certainly did not leave me feeling cold. It has all the familiar elements from S.o.u.E.; the ri...more
Karina
For anyone who faithfully followed Series of Unfortunate Events in their elementary and middleschool years, this is nice bit of nostalgia. This new book is actually about the mysterious narrator, Lemony Snicket, and suggests that some of the mysteries leftover from the previous series might be revealed. Lemony Snicket *cough* Daniel Handler *cough* employs his familiar cynical humor, cleverness, and gloominess. Series of Unfortunate Events parodied gothic, while this new series parodies noir. St...more
David
Why did I read this book? Has this book added any value to my life? Will I bother reading the next installment?

These questions and more might be questions you will find yourself asking yourself while reading and after you've finished reading this book. It took me a while to get into this book. Because the writing style is unlike anything I'm used to, I found it hard settling into that comfort zone you get into when you're familiar with a writer's style and assured that the journey, regardless o...more
Dandelionsteph
I borrowed this from the library on impulse, as I expected the book to be enjoyable like the Series of Unfortunate Events.

It was disappointing.

Though it was the first in the series, I felt out of the loop, as if I was reading the third book in a continuity-heavy series and was expected to need no introduction to the situation and characters. While I read this over a short period of time, and should therefore have no issues remembering what is happening, characters (Hector and Lemony's friend wh...more
Sesana
I was a huge fan of A Series of Unfortunate Events, and all I really wanted from Who Could That be at This Hour? was more of the same. It is, after all, connected, being a prequel that chronicles Lemony's early adventures as an investigator. Certain trademarks of the series are gone (the many, many warnings to not read any further, for example) but it's still very much the same voice. If memory serves, the reading level is a bit higher than ASOUE, too. And you likely wouldn't have to read ASOUE...more
Amy Neftzger
Lemony Snicket has started a new series that follows a boy detective on his first job. The book reminds me somewhat of the Encyclopedia Brown mysteries that I read as a child, but the it's been brought up to date to engage modern readers. It also reminded me a bit of The Maltese Falcon, but perhaps that's because everyone was after a statue that may or may not have been of value. Whether or not you've read either of these other books, fans of Lemony Snicket will be happy to see that he's started...more
Ann
Very well-done. Lemony Snicket can bring off his extravagant cleverness; he makes furious stylization a compelling read. (Is Lemony Snicket ever not the main character in a Lemony Snicket book?) Not exactly my cup of tea; but it's an exciting new recommendation for the kids I work with at the public library. And there's more to come.
Christine
"Who Could That Be At This Hour?" is the first book of Lemony Snicket's new series, All the Wrong Questions, which serves almost as a prequel to his other series, A Series of Unfortunate Events. Though not really, because there aren't really connection between this book and the latter. Yet.

This book tells the story of a thirteen year old boy named Lemony Snicket, whose as far as my memory recalls, had been mentioned at least once throughout that latter series.


Well, damn. This book was a tsunam...more
Monica Edinger
I'm still not sure what I want to say about this one. Other than it is delightful quirky Snicket, this time doing noire. The book design and Seth's illustrations are wonderful!
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The Great Unknown 8 85 Apr 21, 2014 04:49AM  
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Lemony Snicket had an unusual education and a perplexing youth and now endures a despondent adulthood. His previous published works include the thirteen volumes in A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Composer is Dead, and 13 Words. His new series is All The Wrong Questions.

For A Series of Unfortunate Events:
www.lemonysnicket.com

For All The Wrong Questions:
www.lemonysnicketlibrary.com
More about Lemony Snicket...
The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1) The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #2) The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #3) The Austere Academy (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #5) The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #4)

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“Don’t repeat yourself. It’s not only repetitive, it’s redundant, and people have heard it before.” 89 likes
“They say in every library there is a single book that can answer the question that burns like a fire in the mind.” 79 likes
More quotes…