Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Don't Read This Review

You will probably only get that reference if you read Lemony Snicket. And likewise you will probably only get this review if you're somewhat familiar with his work. This is my 300 word review:

Daniel Handler is a marketing genius, which here means a children’s book author with the ability to entice readers to buy his books. Lemony Snicket is not just his cool sounding pseudonym, but an enigmatic character as interesting as the Baudelaires, three orphans who are the central characters of his A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Snicket’s latest book, The Beatrice Letters, is a companion to A Series of Unfortunate Events and capitalizes on the intrigue surrounding his relationship with Beatrice, to whom every book is dedicated. Letters was conveniently released a month before The End, the final installment in the series, to be released Friday the 13th.

The Beatrice Letters is prettily packaged—a large hardbound book which opens like a file and contains a poster and the short book of letters between Snicket and Beatrice. The book itself can be read in less than half-an-hour.

The letters include clues to the mysteries laid out in the previous books. The most revealing is the fact that Beatrice’s last name is Baudelaire, but we also learn that there are two Beatrices and it is unclear whether the Beatrice who is writing to Snicket is the same Beatrice he is writing to. The fact that the letters are probably not in chronological order (no dates are given) adds to the confusion.

If it wasn’t for Snicket’s humor and clever use of the English language, this book would be nothing but frustration. But Snicket’s volunteer job as assistant obituary spell-checker at The Daily Punctilio where he corrects headlines like “Duchess of Winnipeg is Deaf” and other anecdotes are there to mitigate the pain.

The Beatrice Letters may be a clever marketing ploy which provides readers with more questions than answers, but it will satisfy Snicket cravings for those anxiously awaiting The End.

No comments: