Bobby's Reviews > The End

The End by Lemony Snicket
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's review
May 20, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: children

So I finally finished the last installment of A Series of Unfortunate Events, and I am not sure what I feel to be honest so my rating of this book may or may not be relevant, and may be subject to change. I gave it a 4 because in my opinion, it wasn't a perfect ending, but it wasn't a terrible ending depending on how you look at it. In a way how it ended felt sort of fitting for the series in which it wasn't necessarily a "depressing" end, but at the same time it wasn't a "happy" ending... but it definitely felt like a "realistic" ending.

One of the quotes in the book kind of set up deciphering the ending surprisingly well, which he has done in the previous installments of the series as well.

(view spoiler)

So as this lengthy quote states, I think that he ended the series the way he did because he didn't want to cap off everything, and give the series an unrealistic "happily ever after", but yet give the series enough closure due to the fact that it was indeed the last installment of the series. I also think that he didn't want to give an answer to all the questions that were presented and take away all the theories and mysteries that the reader's imagination has been coming up with. I think by the end time you by finish The End, you can tell that Lemony Snicket, or you know.. surprise surprise... Daniel Handler is pretty notorious for answering a mystery / question with more mysteries / questions.. which when you think about it is somewhat intriguing, because he is making you actually think quite intently to figure out things yourself, instead of just getting spoon fed all the answers, hence why I think he included the quote, "Well it depends on how you look at it" so many times within this book, because we the readers need to look at the ending ourselves, and make our own conclusions... which I actually find quite fascinating in all honesty.

My thoughts on a few specific things:
(view spoiler)

In conclusion, this book definitely wasn't my favorite of the series.. even though it was "the end." I felt like it kind of started out fairly dull, and then it felt like nothing of real import started happening until half way through the book. I definitely wish this book had more references, and "flashbacks" to the beginning of the series like the Penultimate Peril did, but Lemony Snicket did mention within the Penultimate Peril that the 'Denouement' and the end of a story are two separate things. That being said, it felt like the Penultimate Peril was the denouement of the series (Which Lemony Snicket actually said it was in the Penultimate Peril.. by saying that the loose ends in the Baudelaires lives were going to all come unraveled.. however I STILL WISH THEY WOULD OF UNRAVELED MORE IN THE END.)However, even though I didn't love this book. I did enjoy reading this series, and frankly I am glad that I decided to read them when I was 22 vs 12 years old because I feel like I appreciated the language and the writing style a lot more than I would of as a child. His style of writing is definitely different from any other author that I have ever encountered, and I look forward to reading more novels written by Lemony Snicket, as well as Daniel Handler!

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Quotes Bobby Liked

Lemony Snicket
“Thinking about something is like picking up a stone when taking a walk, either while skipping rocks on the beach, for example, or looking for a way to shatter the glass doors of a museum. When you think about something, it adds a bit of weight to your walk, and as you think about more and more things you are liable to feel heavier and heavier, until you are so burdened you cannot take any further steps, and can only sit and stare at the gentle movements of the ocean waves or security guards, thinking too hard bout too many things to do anything else.”
Lemony Snicket, The End

Lemony Snicket
“If you have read this far in the chronicle of the Baudelaire orphans - and I certainly hope you have not - then you know we have reached the thirteenth chapter of the thirteenth volume in this sad history, and so you know the end is near, even though this chapter is so lengthy that you might never reach the end of it. But perhaps you do not yet know what the end really means. "The end" is a phrase which refers to the completion of a story, or the final moment of some accomplishment, such as a secret errand, or a great deal of research, and indeed this thirteenth volume marks the completion of my investigation into the Baudelaire case, which required much research, a great many secret errands, and the accomplishments of a number of my comrades, from a trolley driver to a botanical hybridization expert, with many, many typewriter repairpeople in between. But it cannot be said that The End contains the end of the Baudelaires' story, any more than The Bad Beginning contained its beginning. The children's story began long before that terrible day on Briny Beach, but there would have to be another volume to chronicle when the Baudelaires were born, and when their parents married, and who was playing the violin in the candlelit restaurant when the Baudelaire parents first laid eyes on one another, and what was hidden inside that violin, and the childhood of the man who orphaned the girl who put it there, and even then it could not be said that the Baudelaires' story had not begun, because you would still need to know about a certain tea party held in a penthouse suite, and the baker who made the scones served at the tea party, and the baker's assistant who smuggled the secret ingredient into the scone batter through a very narrow drainpipe, and how a crafty volunteer created the illusion of a fire in the kitchen simply by wearing a certain dress and jumping around, and even then the beginning of the story would be as far away as the shipwreck that leftthe Baudelaire parents as castaways on the coastal shelf is far away from the outrigger on which the islanders would depart. One could say, in fact, that no story really has a beginning, and that no story really has an end, as all of the world's stories are as jumbled as the items in the arboretum, with their details and secrets all heaped together so that the whole story, from beginning to end, depends on how you look at it. We might even say that the world is always in medias res - a Latin phrase which means "in the midst of things" or "in the middle of a narrative" - and that it is impossible to solve any mystery, or find the root of any trouble, and so The End is really the middle of the story, as many people in this history will live long past the close of Chapter Thirteen, or even the beginning of the story, as a new child arrives in the world at the chapter's close. But one cannot sit in the midst of things forever. Eventually one must face that the end is near, and the end of The End is quite near indeed, so if I were you I would not read the end of The End, as it contains the end of a notorious villain but also the end of a brave and noble sibling, and the end of the colonists' stay on the island, as they sail off the end of the coastal shelf. The end of The End contains all these ends, and that does not depend on how you look at it, so it might be best for you to stop looking at The End before the end of The End arrives, and to stop reading The End before you read the end, as the stories that end in The End that began in The Bad Beginning are beginning to end now.”
Lemony Snicket, The End

Reading Progress

May 20, 2012 – Shelved
July 13, 2014 – Started Reading
July 13, 2014 – Shelved as: children
July 13, 2014 –
page 115
July 13, 2014 –
page 189
July 14, 2014 – Finished Reading

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