Iris's Reviews > The Grim Grotto

The Grim Grotto by Lemony Snicket
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's review
Feb 02, 2011

it was amazing

** spoiler alert ** Although the "turning point" happened earlier in the series, I think this is the book that really well illustrates the point that people, events, and the world in general is not just black and white. I actually really love that the first few books in the series does start off that way. Bad guys are bad, and good guys are good. The Baudelaires' parents were noble people, and Count Olaf is wicked. But more and more as you read along you realize that this is not true. Lemony Snicket acknowledges this by comparing this to the way a child views the world. As you get older and wiser, things just get more complicated, and nothing is ever just plain "good" or "bad." The symbol of the eye in these books is a symbol of all that is bad in the world. But suddenly they see the symbol on people who are supposedly good. And then everything just becomes a jumble.

The hook-handed man is a very minor but important character in my opinion. In The Grim Grotto he gives this whole speech that stood out to me:

"You should know that the Daily Punctilio doesn't tell the whole story, Baudelaires. Just as the poison of a deadly fungus can be the source of some wonderful medicines, someone like Jacques Snicket can do something villainous, and someone like Count Olaf can do something noble. Even your parents -"

and then he never gets to finish. But soon they learn that their parents had done something despicable. Also, the fact that in book 13, Klaus assumes that it was Count Olaf who set their house on fire and killed their parents, and Olaf just laughs at his ignorance, saying something like, "Is that REALLY what you think?" I just love that. Makes you realize, there's so many layers to everything. And don't forget that "chef's salad" quote.

Also, the Edgar Guest stuff in this book is pretty hilarious. It reminds me of the way Pierce Hawthorne makes fun of Billy Joel in Community. Neither Edgar Guest nor Billy Joel are particularly offensive, which is why I find this so ridiculous and funny. Although, I think I just broke the rule of a joke no longer being funny if you have to explain the joke, so -- ah. Nevermind.
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