Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Grim Grotto

The Grim Grotto
© 2004 Lemony Snicket
323 pages

I continue the Series of Unfortunate Events. By this point in the series, the format has completely changed. The Baudelaire orphans are no longer being protected by the system and ushered from place to place: having lost communication with Mr. Poe after he dropped them off at the Vile Village, the orphans are taking care of themselves as best they can. While trying to find answers to why their parents were killed, and why their friends' parents were killed, and why a dozen other things, they are competing with Count Olaf and occasionally running into people who are part of the overall story: the story of VFD and its fight against the likes of Count Olaf. One of those people is Captain Widdershins, who pops up out of the water unexpectedly in his submarine and invites the Baudelaire Orphans in. Fortunately for the children, Widdershins is not a friend of Count Olaf, and does not try to kill them. He worked with their parents and feeds them some information while constantly blabbering. His personal philosophy is "He who hesitates is lost", and this extends to thinking about what you want to say. He and his stepdaughter Fiona come friends and allies of the orphans, although like most Baudelaire friends they won't be around for long. The novel is dominated by the orphans' search for an artifact from the VFD headquarters that is apparently quite important. Count Olaf does make an appearance, but with the usual courage the Baudelaires thwart his evil schemes. Interestingly, by this point villains have been introduced that cow even Olaf into staring at his shoes and laughing nervously -- and they feature in the plot.

The main story seems to be shaping up nicely: although I'm pretty sure the great mystery of VFD has been spoiled for me by a single line in the movie*, I'm still very much interested in what happens.

*"Sgdqd Aqd svn jhmcr ne odnokd hm sgd vnqkc -- sgnrd vgn rsAqs sgd ehqdr, Amc sgnrd vgn ots sgdl nts."

Because blogger has no "spoiler" language to hide that sort of statement, I coded the line. It's rather easy: B is A and A is A -- because it can't really be Z.





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