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.

TV Review: Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events

maxresdefaultA Series of Unfortunate Events, released on Netflix, is taken from the book series A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. I watched the show, and, personally, I really liked it. I had read the books a few years ago, so I don’t remember exactly how similar the series and the books are, but the way that the Netflix series is set up was intriguing. The narrator (Lemony Snicket), is played by Patrick Warburton, and repeatedly breaks the fourth wall as he explains what is going on with the Baudelaire orphans. The children lose their parents, as they did in the books, and have an incompetent adult looking after them, something viewers will quickly realize after watching the children’s first meeting with them. Also similar to the books, Count Olaf is constantly trying to get the children’s’ fortune. The end of the show (if I remember correctly, it’s only eight episodes) ends on a cliffhanger, since it doesn’t finish the whole book series, but ends somewhere in the middle of the series.

Throughout the series, there were moments where I was face-palming myself or getting mad at the characters (mostly the adults), but overall I really liked the acting and the plot. Again, I don’t exactly remember how things went in the original series, but I thought that a lot of the acting personified the book characters. I would definitely recommend this show to anyone interested, especially if they’ve already read the books.

-Aliya A.

A Series of Unfortunate Events Netflix Show?

seriesofunfortunateevents_netflixIf you have never read A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, you are missing out on an incredibly unique and amazing book series. This series is what made me fascinated in books as a child because it has such an alluring plot and intriguing narration. The story follows three bright young children named Violet, Klaus, and Sunny, who have recently been orphaned due to a fire in their mansion.Violet, the oldest Baudelaire, is fourteen at the start of the series and is known for the signature black ribbon in her hair and scrappiness in inventing. Klaus, her younger brother is twelve and has read more non fiction books than all of us combined, and therefore is knowledgeable in many topics. And last but not least, we have Sunny, a mere baby who has an insane talent of biting. Because of the children’s large inheritance, a sinister man named Count Olaf hunts these children down throughout the series and continuously conjures up plots to steal their fortune. These poor siblings are left to constantly move from one home to another, forced to always look over their shoulder.

Although this is a children’s series, it is evident from the summary that interwoven are themes of survival, tragedy, and woe, which allows it to be a series that can be enjoyed by all generations. Don’t be alarmed however, because this series does not leave you depressed and solemn, but rather fascinated by the twisting plot, and heart-warmed by the Baudelaire children. There are thirteen books, but most of them are thin enough to easily be finished in a day or two, so do yourself a favor and pick up A Bad Beginning, which is the first book, and you will not be disappointed.

In 2004 there was a movie made about this series, encompassing the first three books, however it did not continue on. Excitingly, Netflix has announced a TV show of A Series of Unfortunate Events, in cooperation with Paramount Pictures. This show is said to have a slightly darker atmosphere than the series, due to the fact that the book series’ original fans are not children anymore. I have linked the newly released trailer to the TV show, which stars Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf, Malina Weissman as Violet Baudelaire, Louis Hynes as Klaus Baudelaire, Aasif Mandvi as Uncle Monty, and many more.What I love about this cast is that the actors who play the Baudelaire orphans are around the same age their characters are, rather than being an 18 year old playing a 14 year old, which many book to screen adaptations do. The first season drops on Netflix THIS January, Friday the 13th. For fans like me who have been waiting for more than a decade, this is pretty monumental.

I would love to hear who else is excited about the Netflix reboot, so comment away!