Ben's Reviews > The End

The End by Lemony Snicket
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Jan 08, 09

Read in October, 2006

** spoiler alert ** A series of Unfortunate Events are an excellent series of books. I love the dark humour, the charactors, the fact that the author is himself a charactor in this strange world described by Daniel Handler. More than anything, however, I love the mystery. After almost giving up on book 4 due to the repetativness of the storys, Handler (or Snicket) gave me something to keep me reading... V.F.D. As soon as this was introduced books 5 through to 12 were an extremly pleasurable read and I had them read in no time flat. Then, I came to 13.
Let me start by saying none of the bloody questions are answered! I mean come on. It's all very well keeping us guessing, but its usually a good idea to tell us what the hell it all meant in the end. The fact that nothing, no sugar bowl, no what the hell does V.F.D. stand for?, no what the hell is that question mark? is answered means lazy writing. It's easy to believe Handler had no idea either, and just made up all these confusing secrets never intending to answer them, because he had no answer!
Fine, so no secrets. But what about the promising secret final meeting of V.F.D.? For 3 books we're promised that the Beaudaliares must get to it. The very good Penultimate Peril forshadowed this. What do we get? We're stuck on some crappy island for the entire book, with the kids learning how to sew and fish. Hardly the ending I was expecting.
Count Olaf is the same as ever. In the past few books he has been brilliant. His charactor has been developed from simply a money grabbing swine to a cold bloodied killer who will do anything to get what he wants. Now, we're back to sqaure one. He's back to wearing silly disguises. Still, at least here they don't fall for it! He creates even more questions with his unsure past relationship with Kit. So many things could have been done with him. The only thing I like is his death. Nicely finished off here.
So Count Olaf is rubbish, but ends good. What about the mysterious author? Do we learn anything about him? Well, we learn why he writes about the kids. He loved there mummy. Makes a hell of alot of sense. But there is the slightly annoying feeling that Handler only revealed this so he wouldn't have to reveal anything else. And believe me, he does not.
I never expected to learn everything. But as this book is more like a sunday school version of lost instead of a fitting conclusion, I feel dissapointed. I guess we'll never know what V.F.D. really was about. We don't even know if the kids survive. A poor ending to an otherwise fantastic series. It gains 2 stars for the only decent ending for the charactor Count Olaf.
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