A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Ersatz Elevator by Lemony Snicket

The Ersatz Elevator is the 6th book in the Unfortunate Events series by Daniel Handler, pen name Lemony Snicket. Published in 2001 the book tackles the problems of wealth, the phoniness of pop culture, and the necessity of arguing. Similar to the previous novels it does this whilst exploring the lives of the Baudelaire orphans as they are passed to yet another guardian, who inevitably turns out to be a disappointment. 

The book immediately starts with the children meeting their new guardians, Jerome and Esme Squalor. They quickly learn that Esme only cares about what’s “in” and what’s “out” or what is popular and what is not. Lucky for them, orphans are in, thus they are allowed to stay in the roughly 76  room penthouse. Jerome on the other hand is an incredibly kind man who doesn’t care about popularity, but also hates arguing. To the point that he does whatever Esme says even if it involved eating salmon, a food he despises. Inevitably their enjoyment in the penthouse is short-lived after they spot Count Olaf, who is once again attempting to get his hands on the orphans and their fortune. From this point onwards the book is filled with mystery, adventure, and emotion. 

The book is by far one of the greatest in the series, as it walks the fine line between fiction and reality. It teaches the Baudelaires about the failings of adults and why the world is as bad as it is. Yet it also teaches them about how important it is to be brave, even in the face of total darkness. As well as expanding upon the mystery that has been growing throughout the series. You are left asking even more questions, and wondering why the Baudelaires are in the predicaments they are in. 

-Parker K.

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Ersatz Elevator by Lemony Snicket is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Libby.

Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events Review

I remembered reading this series in the fifth grade, so naturally, when I stumbled upon this series again on Netflix I had to watch it. Although it has been over years since I’ve read it, I was still able to make connections. This series is all about the orphans, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire as they try to get to the bottom of their parents’ sudden death. On top of this, they have to escape the clever Count Olaf who is willing to do just about anything to get his hands on the kids’ fortunes. Every episode gets them one step closer to uncovering the big mysterious deaths, which I must admit is like nothing I’ve seen before, but also includes Count Olaf and his clever disguises. Unfortunately for the three orphans, Mr. Poe (the man who is in charge of getting them to a safe home) doesn’t always see eye to eye. 

At first, I did think the series was a bit repetitive, but a couple episodes later everything started to get interesting again. There are points where you feel as if the plot is similar in every episode and personally, I’d rather watch a show that continues the same plot. After continuing the series, I realized that the more I watched the more the plot would continue, rather than seeming like every episode was a new story. Regarding the ending, it’s like nothing I’ve heard of before, but I would have preferred more closure. Although the ending wasn’t what I hoped for, it’s still worth watching because the story behind their parents is super interesting! I would rate this show a 8/10!

-Kaitlyn Y.