Sonya Huser's Reviews > The Reptile Room

The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket
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's review
Jan 18, 2012

it was amazing

I love love love this book. In the first book, the Baudelaire orphans are forced to live with their closest (geographically the closest) relative, a criminal named Count Olaf, who is only keeping them alive until the oldest comes of age, at which time he plans to murder them and steal their fortune.

Ingeniously, the Baudelaires escape and the second book finds them living with 'Uncle Monty,' a kind and fascinating herpetologist. Of the books I've read, this one is my favorite. Uncle Monty is by far the best guardian they have in the series. As the series progresses, the books get more and more depressing just as Lemony Snicket warns us. However, for almost half this book the orphans are actually relatively happy.

You'll either hate it or love it. I think the writing is so clever. For example:

"There is a type of situation, which occurs all too often and which is occurring at this point in the story of the Baudelaire orphans, called "dramatic irony." Simply put, dramatic irony is when a person makes a harmless remark, and someone else who hears it knows something that makes the remark have a different, and usually unpleasant, meaning. For instance, if you were in a restaurant and said out loud, "I can't wait to eat the veal marsala I ordered," and there were people around who knew that the veal marsala was poisoned and that you would die as soon as you took a bite, your situation would be one of dramatic irony. Dramatic irony is a cruel occurrence, one that is almost always upsetting, and I'm sorry to have it appear in this story, but Violet, Klaus, and Sunny have such unfortunate lives that it was only a matter of time before dramatic irony would rear its ugly head." (32-33)
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