The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket

Title: The Wide Window.
Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events #3.
Writer(s): Lemony Snicket.
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers.
Format: Hardcover.
Release Date: February 25th, 2000.
Pages: 214.
Genre(s): Fiction, Fantasy, YOUNG ADULT.
ISBN13:  9780064407687.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★☆.

Previously in the A Series of Unfortunate Events Series:
The Bad Beginning (AsoUE #1) by Lemony Snicket.
The Reptile Room (ASoUE #2) by Lemony Snicket.


Have you ever thought that you were unlucky? It would be an understatement for the Baudelaire children. Nothing in their life has or will ever be the same after the loss of their parents in a mysterious and deadly fire. As things seem to get better, there’s always something out of the blue that will shift their perspective and drown them in misery. While they might learn to get used to it, it won’t stop them from trying to get out of it as quickly as possible. And thus begins the next unfortunate event chronicled by Lemony Snicket himself. From deadly leeches to hurricanes, everything is possible for these poor children.

What is The Wide Window about? Picking up where things were left off in The Reptile Room, the story now sends Klaus, Violet, and Sunny to their Aunt Josephine who lives at the edge of a hill on top of Lake Lachrymose. As they finally feel relatively at peace under the protection of the strangely-scared aunt with an obsessive fascination for grammar, it was only a matter of time before the criminally-dangerous Count Olaf reappears in their life under a brand-new disguise that continues to fool everyone but the Baudelaire orphans. Can they escape his latest evil plan to capture these children and get his hands on their incredible fortune?

“Oftentimes, when people are miserable, they will want to make other people miserable, too. But it never helps.”

— Lemony Snicket

Writer Lemony Snicket continues to brilliantly deliver the Baudelaire orphan’s stories by utilizing a narrative formula seen in the previous two events. From his ability to seamlessly teach the reader new words and expressions, such as Brobdingnagian” or “the Gordian Knot”, to cleverly inserting himself within the story as an omniscient narrator who has seen it all and done it all, this latest unfortunate event sends these children into unwarranted trouble as they do everything in their power to stay alive and away from the clutches of Count Olaf. While they face these obstacles, through the latest new character of Aunt Josephine, the author also does a brilliant job in teaching us grammatical lessons that would otherwise be boring as you grow to love and hate her character and her inability to be the fearless guardian that the children need.

Similar to the previous stories, the Baudelaire orphans masterfully use their unique skills, whether’s it’s Violet’s creativity, Klaus’s intellect, or Sunny’s biting skills, to get themselves out of those situations where they’re constantly between a rock and a hard place. To fully enjoy this series, it is critical to practice a significant amount of suspension of disbelief as the world in which these children evolve is one where adults are dumb as a rock. This particular story also introduces fantasy elements that stretch the frontiers of reason a bit too much but still adds to the lunacy of events that these children are bound to face in a series where hope is merely a mythological creature. And don’t get me started on Mr. Poe. I’d have taken care of him myself if I were one of those kids.

The Wide Window is another thrilling and unfortunate event forcing the Baudelaire children to achieve survival against all the odds.





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