Lemony Snicket's Penultimate Peril

Just got an excited call from The Boy that we received this today. Obviously haven’t read it yet, so please box any spoilers, but just wondering if anyone here is reading this one or even aware that it was out already?

Mine came today too, and I’ll start it tonight. I don’t remember much of what went before, but with these books, that doesn’t matter so much.

So only one more story in the Baudelaire saga after this one?

Does anyone else think the parents aren’t really dead? I don’t know why I think this. It’s just so sad, what’s happened to the orphans. Deliciously and often hilariously sad, but sad just the same.

The Penultimate Peril, huh? Does that mean the guy is gonna stop with the next book?

Well, “penultimate” is a long word which, in this case, prsumably means “next-to-the-last,” so you will probably safely assume that, yes, it does mean that.

Of course, we all know what regularly happens to “safe assumptions” where the Baudelaire orphans are concerned, don’t we?


Maybe it’s the Peril that’s penultimate, and not the book.

Meaning that the peril they’re facing is almost the worst possible, but not quite.

Yes. This is the twelfth book. His original plan was to write 13 books each with 13 chapters.

It was good. Not my favourite but it’s not a spoiler to say that the Hotel Denouement figures and so you know that a lot of loose ends are starting to get gathered up. Unfortunately, my memory is really bad.

[spoiler]Back when this board was speculating about the next book I said it would take place at the Hotel Denouement and I was right! There was doubt because the denouement would be the end, but Lemony Snicket goes into the fact that sometimes the denouement isn’t the end, like in the 3 Bears the denouement is when they catch Goldilocks but the actual end of the story is when the bears all perish in a forest fire.

I thought it was cool that Kit Snicket was pregnant even though it had nothing to do with anything. I also like that Tomboy was defined as insulting term for girls who are doing something that someone finds unusual.

My favourite parts were Esme wearing only 3 lettuce leaves taped on (Esme is a regular L’il Kim), when Dewey said that wicked people never have time to read and it’s what makes them so wicked, “A bag of Candy is not a traditional Indian dish,” and being born yesterday.

I was confused by a bunch of things and I’m not sure if I was just too sleepy and missed something or if they were more loose ends. I didn’t understand the triptych with the elevator that was before the “not a chapters”, why Vice Principal Nero had the bags of money, or the significance of the chemist outside the sauna.

Usually the last full page illustration showing them going off to the next adventure has one detail that’s a clue about the next book’s theme but I couldn’t find one this time. The note to the editor will also have a clue and it is a napkin from a bar on a ship so I guess the final one will take place at sea again so there didn’t need to be any clue in the full-page illustration since they are already at sea. Next week I will listen to the audiobook and I will try to pay more attention to all the clues. [/spoiler]

I don’t know. I saw the movie on a US Air flight from San Diego to Philadelphia and didn’t really care for it. So I haven’t really wanted to read the books.

As is usually the case, the books are much better than the film. They are written at a comfy level for about 7th grade kids, so you can breeze right through them. But they’re also similar to the old Bugs Bunny cartoons. There are lots of little injokes that fly right over the little one’s heads. Thes ain’t the classics, but it is very enjoyable children’s fiction.

I had the Penultimate Peril on hold at the library and recieved it yesterday. With superhuman effort, I turned it back in without opening it. Now to wait for the audiobook!

(That way, the kids and I don’t have to fight over who gets it first. I could read it to them, but we prefer Tim Curry.)

pokey, bless you for using the spoiler box; asterion, the movie sucked!

I was disappointed with the movie too. It looked right, but there was way too much Jim Carrey and not nearly enough of the Baudelaires, and what there was of them was pretty lifeless.

I liked it, though there was more wrapping-up and less comic foible than in the previous books. Also a lot of theme wrangling, e.g. is there such thing as a noble person, etc etc. Still hilarious, though. How many young adult books have you read that mention both opium dens and a reference to absinthe?

Note: Hubby & I are going as Violet and Klaus for Halloween. Gotta find a snaggletoothed doll for Sunny today!

I tried reading the first book but found myself getting thrown out of the story by the frequent explaining of what words meant. It often wasn’t in a joking manner (or so it seemed), so either he was aiming at a lower reading level than 7th grade (I’d assumed grade school) or it was an affectation I simply didn’t care for.

:sobs: I want this book in the worst way but can’t seem to find it here, nor its release date. I’ve been waiting for ages, it seems.

While this does hold true for the first book, the definitions definitely start to get a lot more tongue in cheek throughout other books.

And the Sunnyisms were usually hilarious (Busheney, anyone?)

The book was just released here, so I guess it will take a little longer to get to Sud Afrika. If worse comes to worst we can find a way to get you a copy.

I closed my eyes and scrolled down to the end of the Thread . . .

. . . I’ve still got 90 pages left!

I’ll check in when I’ve finished!

pokey I think I can help with your questions:

The triptych showed Kevin? (the ambidextrous one), dressed as the washerwoman, drilling a hole in the wall to see the elevator cables. Not sure why he was doing that. Red Herring?
The money belonged to Mrs. Bass, she was instructed to bring valuables to the cocktail party (as were other “guests”) but since she didn’t have any valuables, she turned to a life of crime. Another red herring?
The Chemist was Colette in disguie.

I liked it. I can’t wait to see how this all will end.

Wow! Boy, am I glad I waited to read the last 90 pages before posting!

This one really gets dark! And it’s got moral ambiguity up the wazoo! i.e. The less than noble actions taken by the Beaudelaires, the consequences of those actions and the question of how the good of it weighs against the bad, and just how far down the road to Villainy it may take them. The moral ambiguity is enough to have me, as an adult, distraught. Pretty friggin’ heavy for kids reading.

[spoiler]Bingo on Collette as the Chemist (although I’m not sure why or what she was doing).

Thanks for mentioning Kevin with the drill and the elevator cables. I had forgotten about that and I don’t think it was ever addressed more overtly than in the illustration. I don’t know on this one.

You’re right that Mrs. Bass got the money through robbery, but you missed that the robbery was a frame-up job.
During the trial she accuses the Beaudelaires of being Bank Robbers and submits blueprints of the bank as evidence.[/spoiler]

OH MY GOD! This was the first story element of the entire series that really seriously got to me and made me so sad that I had to put the book down, stand up and walk around to deep breathe for a bit before picking the book up again!

[spoiler]Dewey is the baby’s father!!!
Dewey who was KILLED when the Beaudelaires dropped the harpoon gun!!!
And Kit doesn’t know yet that he’s DEAD!!!
First her brother, now the father of her baby!!!

A couple chapters after Dewey was killed Snicket references the unfortunateness of his death and mentions that Dewey left behind a distraught and pregnant wife. Earlier when we meet Kit, Snicket not only describes her as being pregnant, but also as being distraught.[/spoiler]

I agree that the later books that are wrapped up in advancing the increasingly complex plot and unraveling the big mystery, tend to have fewer laughs than the earlier books, but now that I’ve read so far I am sufficiently involved by the story and appreciate the humor when it arises- less frequent though it may be.

First off…


That was awesome.
There just seems like there’s a lot of things to get tied up in the final book.

For some reason, I’m still expecting the parents to be alive. Anybody else getting that vibe?
I’m curious if Lemony himself will actually meet the Beaudelaires.
Are we going to see the triplets again? I kept waiting for them in this book.