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The Wide Window

(A Series of Unfortunate Events #3)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  166,720 ratings  ·  5,146 reviews
Dear Reader,

If you have not read anything about the Baudelaire orphans, then before you read even one more sentence, you should know this: Violet, Klaus, and Sunny are kindhearted and quick-witted; but their lives, I am sorry to say, are filled with bad luck and misery. All of the stories about these three children are unhappy and wretched, and this one may be the worst of
Hardcover, 214 pages
Published February 25th 2000 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published February 2nd 2000)
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Ben Klayer I could toss in a really sarcastic comment, but I'm nice. So, I'll just leave you with something slightly biting ;)

Check it out at your local library.…more
I could toss in a really sarcastic comment, but I'm nice. So, I'll just leave you with something slightly biting ;)

Check it out at your local library. Buy it for your Kindle. Pick it up from Barnes and Noble. Something like that...(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Raiann If he did, it has not yet been revealed at this point in the books.

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  166,720 ratings  ·  5,146 reviews

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Jesse (JesseTheReader)
*I'm not going to rate this, because I've already read this book & stand by my first rating of it.

I know towards the beginning of this series that the books tend to follow a similar story structure, but I love that Lemony Snicket still finds fresh ways of telling the Baudelaire story!
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Mr. Poe is an idiot but it wouldn't work any other way! ...more
Feb 07, 2018 rated it liked it
It seems sort of insensitive to say this was fun but gee was this fun. I love reading middle grade because it's simply just fun. It always reminds me why I love reading so much ...more
Mark Lawrence
May 23, 2014 rated it liked it
By the third book of Snicket's series the formula is fully established and it is exercised here in full. Mr Poe dumps the kids on another kookie relative, Count Olaf turns up in disguise and they recognize him instantly. No adult will believe them. Olaf nearly gets his hands on the children. Through use of their singular defining skills the children thwart Olaf and the henchman selected to back him up this book. Mr Poe lets Olaf escape.

It's still well done, but this one worked less well for my d
R.K. Gold
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’m having so much fun reading this series for the first time!
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)

Once again, super enjoyable ride. It is interesting to now be reading these as I'm watching the show. I am not watching episodes until after I have finished the book, but I'm curious if my visual of the characters is changing as I watch the show. Just a thought.

I love how in this book, like the last, we get to see the Baudelaires growing into more intelligent and self-reliant people. Obviously they are still very naive in a lot of ways, being so young, but I love the way their relationsh
C.G. Drews
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Oh how I particularly LOVE THIS ONE. Which is obviously stunning for you because I've only been flailing rabidly over this series all week. Can Lemony Snicket do wrong??? Obviously not.

I also have a soft spot for this one because it's particularly bizarre. I mean, like the rest of the books aren't bizarre. But Count Olaf's schemes are just the worst. And I think I could've felt bad for Aunt Josephine's extreme anxiety disorder...but she kept cooking bad meals (unacceptable, food is life) and cor
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
You can also read this review @

The children have managed to avoid capture by Count Olaf again and now meet their new guardian, Aunt Josephine. She recently lost her husband and lives alone atop a hill in a rickety house overlooking Lake Lachrymose. What is it with Aunt Josephine? She seems kind and the children feel safe, but she’s afraid of everything you could imagine and she’s absolutely obsessed with grammar.

Life is quite boring there and the chil
I wrote a fairly oversized mini review for The Reptile Room. I do not foresee myself doing that for this one. It’s doesn’t inspire the same emotion.

Aunt Josephine is no Uncle Monty, guys. Like, she’s not supposed to be. But still.

However. There is still cool stuff to be found in this. It is still Lemony Snicket, after all.

The setting is particularly rad, which is impressive because this is one of my favorite worlds in all of literature. I like this lil village (shoutout to the Anxious
Tana 🌻 Cozyreadings
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2019, audiobook
If I was Mr. Poe I would start believing the children when they freak out about some person being count Olaf. Not the smartest man, for a banker lol
Sam Quixote
Jan 10, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oh my criminy, I am so done with this series! What happens in The Wide Window, the third book in A Series of Unfortunate Events? The EXACT SAME STORY THAT HAPPENED IN THE FIRST TWO BOOKS! The Baudelaire orphans are placed with a distant relative, the villainous Count Olaf tries to do away with them and steal their fortune, he predictably fails, escapes, and the kids are relocated to some other hapless relative so the whole damn thing can repeat itself in the next book! I noticed this disappointi ...more
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-reads

Ok this series is getting kinda inappropriate for children. I'm not even sure if it's a children's book anymore, since this one has a lot of dark, scary, and sensitive content in it. Nevertheless, it was still a fun and quick read just like the previous books. I really find it funny when Aunt Josephine keeps correcting everyone's grammatical errors. The kids always find a way to get out of their misfortunes, so there's really nothing to worry about them. But still, you can't help but symp
Jason Koivu
Nov 23, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Those super unfortunate orphans get stuck with another ineffectual guardian, who can't keep them safe from the dastardly Count Olaf. Looks like they'll have to find their own way out of this tight bind all by themselves, again!

Amateur Character Actor and Plotter of Evil Deeds............

Count Olaf


The The Wide Window has some colorful characters, wonderful settings and enough action to keep this one entertaining through out. The overly apt naming of people and places gives this a very old-school
Mar 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
4 STARS!!!


Aunt Josephine is the definition of a whack job. I think Meryl Streep portrayed her PERFECTLY in the movie and I had fun imagining her as Aunt Josephine in the book. It was awesome. Mr. Poe is still a dumb ass and I'm waiting for Violet or Klaus to pop off at him soon. I want one of them to scream their head off at him just once because he is just UGHHH!!! Count Olaf is such an asshole, I really want the children to turn the tables and come up with plan to exact some Kill Bill revenge
Kristina Horner
Jan 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childhood-books
After watching the first 4 episodes of the new ASOUE series on Netflix, I decided to pause while I re-read books #3-4. I'm so glad I did, because I remembered very little in terms of details past book two, having read these book over a decade ago.

I'm happy to see they still hold up and are tons of fun to revisit. And I'm loving the new series, so well done NPH and crew! Such a brilliant and faithful adaptation.

My only gripe in this 2017 re-read is the insensitivity around the person in Count Ol
Kate (GirlReading)
Jan 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade

(But equally kind of addictive?)

Once again this was such a fun read!! Although? I don't think I enjoyed it quite as much as the first two books, simply because it felt a little too similar and repetitive. I'm intrigued to see what the rest of the series has in store. I'm hoping that the storyline will start to differ slightly to the first three, as so far the basic underlying plot has had pretty much the same stru
MissBecka Gee
This had the most interesting storyline thus far.
Still super repetitive and weird style of writing.
We are going to take a break after book 4 and come back to the rest of the series after.
See if that helps freshen things up a bit.
Jan 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: z2017, childrens, ebook
Not as good as the first two for me. I didn't enjoy this story as much although the storytelling was up to its usual standard. I'm also getting kind of tired of pretty much the same thing happening in each book. I'm sure it's going to keep that format for the foreseeable future but I'm getting kind of bored of what feels like an endless loop to me. It would be nice to see something different so I'm not reading 13 versions of the same book just with different guardians and different morals to eac ...more
¸¸.•*¨*•♫ Mrs. Buttercup •*¨*•♫♪
“There are few sights sadder than a ruined book.”

Another funny volume, even though I enjoyed the first two more. I love aunt Josephine, and I can't help but imagining her as Meryl streep, and since she's one of my favourite actresses this may be one of the reasons why i like her so much! Anyway, it was fun, just the plot felt a little less interesting, especially the second half.

UPDATE: 19/Jan/2017

The review from before is invalid because I like this more than I did before.

This book was okay but I think didn't like it as much because it is a children's book. One thing I really don’t like it when the narrator of the book spoils it. He’s telling and story and then says what's going to happen much later in the book and it kind of ruins it.
I really enjoyed this book in the A Series of Unfortunate Events series.

The plot did feel like it was repeated from The Reptile Room.
Apr 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017

"In most stories, as you know, the villain would be defeated, there would be a happy ending, and everybody would go home knowing the moral of the story. But in the case of the Baudelaires, everything was wrong."

These books are so much fun to read.
Every time I'm so curious to see what's going to happen to those children.

In this book we are introduced to Aunt Josephine and the Count is always there to try to put his hands on the children.
So I'm starting thinking that maybe all the books ha
Brooke Nelson
Aug 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, 4-stars
Another fantastic addition to the series, but my goodness is Aunt Josephine annoying!

Similar to the first two book in the series, The Wide Window is just plain great. The characters, storyline and, most importantly, the humorous writing style feel like a perfect continuation of what I've already read.

My only real problem was Aunt Josephine. My gosh! She drove me nuts. I know she was supposed to, but still... She was just so irritating, and I never developed any sort of feeling toward her. Sh
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
The third in the series, The Wide Window sees Klaus, Violet and Sunny thrust once again into the home of another relative as they continue to escape the madness of Count Olaf. Mr. Poe takes them to Aunt Josephine, a widow who lives in a house that probably should be condemned, but serves as a sanctuary for their overanxious guardian. Barely are the children settled before they find themselves once again having to outmaneuver the selfish(yet clever) Olaf.

I continue to enjoy the humor and circum
Apr 08, 2017 rated it liked it
"Violet fell against one of the bedposts and banged her knee. Klaus fell against the cold radiator and banged his foot. And Sunny fell into the pile of tin cans and banged everything."

First, the trio had a greedy guardian, followed by a cool herpetologist as an uncle and now they have a grammar obsessed aunty. Geez, I don't whether to be glad that they evaded Count Olaf or pity these children for their misfortunes in life. Lol
This series is hilarious and I just can't stop reading it.
Ashley Daviau
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am just flying through these books! Despite being dark and gloomy, they are so fun and enjoyable to read. And no matter how many times I reread them, I enjoy them just as much if not more each time. I think a big part of the reason for that is that as I get older I can appreciate things about these stories that I didn't when I was younger and I noticed that a lot in this particular book. I found myself actually chuckling out loud at the subtle but clever humour that's woven throughout this sto ...more
Nov 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This audio book is narrated by ‘Lemony Snicket’. He doesn’t have the same perfectly creepy whisper voice Tim Curry had but he told the story well enough.
Interestingly, he also did not change his voice too much for each character.

Side note: This narrator (unfortunately) does not do the Poe coughing.
Vesra (When She Reads)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, mystery
These books are not my favorites or anything, but I think I enjoyed this one the most out of the three I've read :) ...more
Jun 21, 2016 rated it liked it
I guess I will have to take a short break from this series at some point soon - don't get me wrong the stories are fun and well executed but I guess there is a pattern forming here. And yes the title should really be a bit of a giveaway however all the same it does get a bit bleak.

You can sort of guess that in each book it would appear that the orphans have found their forever home only for forces to conspire against them (or a certain Count at least) and they are thrown back in to the system an
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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 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 Carnivorous Carnival (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #9)
  • The Slippery Slope (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #10)
  • The Grim Grotto (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #11)

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