Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Carnivorous Carnival (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #9)” as Want to Read:
The Carnivorous Carnival (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #9)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Carnivorous Carnival

(A Series of Unfortunate Events #9)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  103,937 ratings  ·  2,362 reviews
Dear reader,

The word "carnivorous," which appears in the title of this book, means "meat-eating," and once you have read such a bloodthirsty word, there is no reason to read any further. This carnivorous volume contains such a distressing story that consuming any of its contents would be far more stomach-turning than even the most imbalanced meal.

To avoid causing
Hardcover, 286 pages
Published October 17th 2002 by HarperCollins Publishers
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Carnivorous Carnival, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Rosie Hi, This question as already been answered but I thought I would put my two cents in. I've just finished re-reading this book and I think the purpose…moreHi, This question as already been answered but I thought I would put my two cents in. I've just finished re-reading this book and I think the purpose of having the ambidextrous man being considered a freak is to highlight how ridiculous the idea of freaks is - something shown in the scene at towards the end where the crowd are calling Esme's suit and the man with pimples freaks even though they aren't part of the freaks and aren't freakish in any way. It fits with the whole series where the only sane characters seem to be the orphans and is just a silly reminder that the adults in the series aren't the most sensible of people. I'm likely overthinking things but that's what I got from the book this time around reading it. (less)
Juan Sánchez It's a cliché -a fancy word that simply describes something that happens very often- in stories where the protagonists are children. They need to face…moreIt's a cliché -a fancy word that simply describes something that happens very often- in stories where the protagonists are children. They need to face their own problems because is part of their personal growth. To achieve that, is necessary the existence of incompetent adults(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  103,937 ratings  ·  2,362 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Carnivorous Carnival (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #9)
C.G. Drews
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, read-2018
Okay but first off: OBLIGATORY TEARS because the Netflix S2 has finished and now we get to wait alone in the dark with only a piece of salmon for company for the rest of the show. But I mean, obviously you can read the books and find out what happens. But ya know. I'm still here to complain. ANYWAY! This one is quite dark?! Not as creepy as the hospital, but there is a pit of lions that they're going to throw people into so. \_(ツ)_/ Good quality literature. No wonder I turned out how I did, ...more
Once again I get the chance to say (write?) the most glorious words in the English language: This is a particularly fantastic installment in the GREATEST SERIES OF ALL TIME.

In case you're new here or somehow able to ignore me doing the internet equivalent of nonstop screaming about this series: I LOVE THESE BOOKS SO MUCH.

This one is, as mentioned, particularly next-level at putting all other excuses for literature to shame. It breaks from the typical format. Our lil gang grows up. There's an
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
In this installment, the Baudelaires arrive at Caligari Carnival after hitching a ride in Count Olaf’s trunk. Their plan, as usual, is to seek safety from Count Olaf, but they soon discover that there’s nowhere to go, and Count Olaf will be in the vicinity for some time to come. They take a huge chance by disguising themselves as freaks in order to participate in Caligari Carnival’s freak show (Violet and Clause as a two-headed freak, and Sunny as Chabo the Wolf Baby), which lands them working ...more
Mark Lawrence
Dec 19, 2014 rated it liked it
The children arrive hidden in the trunk of Count Olaf's car. A new turn of events - they know where Olaf is and it's them who are in disguise.

The good-evil, noble-villain theme expands. The children are the spies. In addition they meet and join the circus 'freaks' who they see put to the test - decent people in a hard place offered difficult choices - will they act like noble people or villains? The circus freaks are a test case, an example, perhaps an illustration of how Olaf's hench-people
Nov 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing
My daughter and I adored the entire series, but this episode is my favorite. It contains perhaps the funniest of Lemony Snicket's etymological digressions. It marks the point where the larger story begins to evolve, where the traumatized young Baudelaire orphans first turn the tables on their arch-nemesis, Count Olaf. And it's also a point where both the orphans and the story mature, evolving from a good-vs-evil fairy tale of morbid victimhood into a subtle study of moral complexity.

It's a pity
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Carnivorous Carnival (A Series of Unfortunate Events #9), Lemony Snicket
Unfortunate Events series follows the tragic tale of three orphans - Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire - who are investigating their parents' mysterious death. The siblings are saddled with an evil guardian named Count Olaf (portrayed by Emmy-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris), who will do whatever it takes to get his hands on the Baudelaires' inheritance. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny must outsmart Olaf at every turn,
Richard Cardenas
Apr 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
I loved the carnival theme this book had going, I was excited that Klaus, Violet, and Sunny dressed up in disguises to fuck up Count Olaf's shit, the mystery of V.F.D is still unsolved, one of their parents might be alive and those poor lions oh my gahhhh...


This was me after reading that ending:


- Richard
¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪SomeBunny Reads (Phoenix)•*¨*•♫♪
“...The answer to nearly every question is written down someplace. It just might take a while to find.”

In their ninth misadventure, for once, the Baudelaire orphans and not the horrible count Olaf are the in incognito ones, disguising themselves among the "freaks" of a Carnival. And, for once, it's count Olaf who's going to be the victim of their clever plan... or maybe not?

I can't believe I am already almost done with this series! It really is been quite a ride! This book was different than
I liked this book a lot more that I thought although everytime I am close to finding out everything it just slips form my fingertips and I have to wait for the next book.
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
Such an intriguing addition to the story, the carnival vibes were cool!

Bumping this up from 4 stars to 5. I last read this when it first came out in 2002! So that was FIFTEEN YEARS AGO. God I feel old. For some reason I had it in my head that I didn't enjoy this one as much as others in the series, but I was clearly mistaken because this is a great instalment. I like how books 2-7 involve Count Olaf in disguises trying to fool the Baudelaires, and books 8 and 9 involve the Baudelaires in disguises trying to fool Count Olaf. Madame Lulu is a cool
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this might be my favourite A Series of Unfortunate Events book yet!
Nov 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Just dipping into this series to find out what it is all about. Maybe I should have tried book 1 first but
I happened on this one by accident.
I think if I had read this when I was a child I would have loved it. Despite all the terrible things that
happen to the Baudelaires there is always a feeling that they will find a way out and since I hated
suspense back then this would have suited me down to the ground.
As an adult I enjoyed the dryness of the narrative, the slightly snarky comments and
Kate (GirlReading)
Feb 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
3.75* Similarly to book eight, this wasn't the most memorable in the series but I absolutely loved the intensity of the ending! I thought the kids starting to question and doubt themselves and their actions was really interesting too! This was a slightly drearier book in tone than the others, but it worked in connection to the Baudelaire's reclining and undoubtably exhausting situation! I can feel the ending getting closer and I'm looking forward to finally (hopefully) getting some answers ...more
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books, 2017
Oh no! A literal cliffhanger! Don't worry, Sunny! I'll rescue you!

Onward Swifty, to Book the Tenth!

Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
A brilliant little book from the series. Quite different than the previous books, as the kids go on their own adventure other than following a guardian.
Deborah Markus
Snicket engages in some serious moral wrangling in this volume, and forces the reader to do the same. At a crucial moment, the Baudelaire orphans meet a woman who wants to be a good, strong person -- but because her motto is "give people what they want," she can always be manipulated by villains, and always tells herself that she must be a good person, because isn't giving people what they want a good thing to do? The simple answer, "Not if they want bad things!" never seems to occur to her.

Leah Craig
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
“I don't care who falls in!” announced the pimpled man. "To me, a woman in a turban is just as freaky as a two headed person. I'm not prejudiced!”
Jan 30, 2017 rated it liked it
3 Stars.

My binge read of this series continues. If you've been following my reviews, you may notice that the ratings have been dropping, mainly because I feel that the story is becoming a little too repetitive and that there would be some really simple solutions to the children's problems. I don't want to spoil anything, but at the start, Violet, Klaus and Sunny are near Olaf's unattended car and instead of thinking "Let's use Violet's mechanical skills to hot-wire this car and Klaus' knowledge
Ashley Daviau
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every time I read one of these books I feel like I'm instantly transported to my childhood and it's the most wonderful feeling in the world! This is one of my favourite books out of the series, I'm a sucker for anything based in a carnival. It's been so long since I first read this book that I had forgotten most of the plot, I was actually quite surprised by the twist at the ending and now I'm quite looking forward to getting started on the next book to see how the Baudelaires manage to get out ...more
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, mystery
~3.5 stars~
Sorry for all of these half stars lol That's just the way I rate stuff sometimes :P
As for the review, it's gonna be short lol I feel like we know more about a certain organization and I am intrigued to find out what will happen in the 10th book next! For some reason, I can't help but keep reading these! I just want to know what happens next...even though I know it will be unfortunate. (Catch my pun anyone? Yeah, I know that was terrible...I'm sorry xD lol) It's the same old same old
Tina (Book.Enchantress)
4.5 Golden Stars

I'm struggling to give it 4 or 5 stars, because this story was awesome! one of my favourites in the series. but.... idk

real rate after re-reading idk when.


the wheel turns, this time, if the Baudelaires wants to get away & know some information, they have to hide in front of the villains' eyes.
Jul 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-star
Mini Review: Might be my favorite so far! This one finally abandons the formulaic plot of its predecessors. The setting of the carnival was one of my favorites, all in all really happy with this one!
Timothy Urges
Jul 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
3.7/5 ~ Nothing too crazy happens in here, I thought the carnival part was way more used, instead it’s just a very vague background except for a few elements, freaks, fortune telling and lions. The story doesn’t make much progress either but as I always say these are very fun and light books and this helped me during these hard days ...more
Nov 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
The series continues with its breath of fresh air, revealing more information of the mistery regarding the children.

The only complain is that it acts more as an explanation and bridge to the next books than anything. The good thing is that it ends like never before in this series.

Full interested ahead with this series
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read
With the Baudelaire orphans, it was as if their grief were a very heavy object that they each took turns carrying so that they would not all be crying at once, but sometimes the object was too heavy for one of them to move without weeping.
Sep 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Hard to believe that this guy can continue to think up new and even more unfortunate events for these three poor children, but he never disappoints!


" a valuable thing to do, and it is often an enjoyable thing to do, but it is not a polite thing to do, and like most impolite things, you are bound to get into trouble if you get caught doing it..."

"Besides getting several paper cuts in the same day or receiving the news that someone in your family has betrayed you to your
Mar 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"But the sad truth is that the truth is sad, and that what you want does not matter. A series of unfortunate events can happen to anyone, no matter what they want."

The Baudelaire orphans have found themselves in a very dangerous situation and the only way to survive is to disguise themselves. They come so close to discovering answers, but those answers are ripped away from them. Overall, The Carnivorous Carnival is a ridiculous and absurd installment in The Series of Unfortunate Events and I
Mission Blue
Jun 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: english
There are only four books left. I'm going to give myself a break after reading 9 of them!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Lemony Snickett 24 135 Dec 31, 2019 03:06AM  
The Nooks of Books: The Carnivorous Carnival 1 4 Jan 28, 2015 03:52AM  
The ASOUE Challenge: Books Alluded 1 6 Nov 08, 2014 09:06AM  
Olivia's motto 4 46 Sep 18, 2014 03:23PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • A Series of Unfortunate Events
  • The Wrath of Mulgarath (The Spiderwick Chronicles, #5)
  • Milk and flowers
  • The Seeing Stone (The Spiderwick Chronicles, #2)
  • Lucinda's Secret (The Spiderwick Chronicles, #3)
  • The Ironwood Tree (The Spiderwick Chronicles, #4)
  • The Incomplete History of Secret Organizations: An Utterly Unreliable Account of Netflix's A Series of Unfortunate Events
  • Venezia
  • Walking: The Ultimate Exercise for Optimum Health
  • A Brief History of China: Dynasty, Revolution and Transformation: From the Middle Kingdom to the People's Republic
  • Morte no Nilo
  • The Field Guide (The Spiderwick Chronicles, #1)
  • Coffee and Faerie Cakes
  • Atlantis United: Sports Academy Book 1
  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard (Hogwarts Library)
  • Prince Caspian (Chronicles of Narnia, #2)
  • Jacob Lawrence
See similar books…
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:

For All The Wrong Questions:

Other books in the series

A Series of Unfortunate Events (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • 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 Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #4)
  • The Austere Academy (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #5)
  • The Ersatz Elevator (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #6)
  • The Vile Village (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #7)
  • The Hostile Hospital (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #8)
  • The Slippery Slope (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #10)
  • The Grim Grotto (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #11)
“Miracles are like meatballs, because nobody can exactly agree on what they are made of, where they come from, or how often they should appear.” 1556 likes
“Grief, a type of sadness that most often occurs when you have lost someone you love, is a sneaky thing, because it can disappear for a long time, and then pop back up when you least expect it.” 1102 likes
More quotes…