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The Reptile Room

A Series of Unfortunate Events No.2

By (author) Lemony Snicket
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Egmont UK Ltd, London, United Kingdom
Imprint: Egmont Books Ltd
Published: 7th Jun 2001
Dimensions: w 133mm h 185mm
Weight: 295g
ISBN-10: 0749746122
ISBN-13: 9780749746124
Barcode No: 9780749746124

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Kirkus UK
Harry Potter devotees who turn to Lemony Snicket's series expecting more of the same are in for a shock. These books are pervaded by an unrelieved Gothic gloom; a miasmic air of menace and misery hangs over the pages, and nothing ever seems to go right for the wretched Baudelaire siblings, Violet, Klaus and baby Sunny. Orphaned when their parents are killed in a fire, they are handed over to the mysterious Count Olaf for safe keeping. In the first book, The Bad Beginning, the children manage to foil the evil Count's dastardly plot to marry Violet and embezzle the family fortune. At the start of this sequel it appears the hapless trio's fortunes are finally on the up. But with Count Olaf still lurking in the shadows, you never can tell.... The horrors of Book 1 are far behind them, and the children are sent to stay with their uncle Monty, a kindly soul with a penchant for snakes and coconut cream cake. A dedicated herpetologist (snake expert), he has built a reptile room which houses every variety of snake known to man - and many that aren't. He is about to embark on a trip to Peru, accompanied by his young relatives. All he needs is the arrival of his new assistant, Stephano, to complete the party. But the advent of Stephano heralds further tragedy for the Baudelaires. Death is lurking round every corner, no one can be taken at face value, and it needs all of Violet's inventiveness, as well as Sunny's passionate attachment to a snake, to save the children from a dreadful fate at the hands of their old enemy. This is the second in the series, which Snicket has promised will run to 13 in all. The books are fast-paced, flavoured with a wry humour and take more than a sideways swipe at the whole genre of children's writing - the author explains the meanings of unfamiliar words in asides, thus displaying the very condescension he abhors, and a careless 'damn' causes outrage. Despising the 'lily-liveredness of children's books', he lays on the doom and gloom with a trowel. Judging by the ecstatic response from children on both sides of the Atlantic, they'll take as much of this as Mr Snicket can throw at them. Why stop at 13? (Kirkus UK)