It will come as NO shock that the next installment of our book group was Lemony Snicket’s The Vile Village. That’s the fun thing about reading a series, you already know what you’re going to read and you just have to space them out so you don’t read them too fast. That being said, I have the next four already on my kindle ready to read!!!
The series, as I said in my response to The Ersatz Elevator, appears to be picking up pace. The Baudelaire orphans seem to be taking on more responsibility for their own well being/future (or as much as they can) with the incompetent adults around them doing nothing. I’m glad to say the rest of book group agrees that it’s starting to pick up the pace.
In yet another commentary on how society treats children we see Snicket take on the colloquialism “It takes a village to raise a child.” He takes it to the literal sense in that villages volunteer to take in orphans and take responsibility for them. But really they just take on the bad things like giving chores and dolling out punishment. It’s like the people that want to volunteer at a nonprofit just for the photo of them working with the underserved and or to say they did it once.
I really liked the ending of this one when all three of the Baudelaires, including Sunny, take on more independence. They also take the final step in becoming self-determined and or self responsible. I can’t say what happens because I think it reveals a lot about the future of the books, but I’m very excited for the next set. I’ve got to get at least one galley out of the way before I can plow through the next four, but you know they’re coming!
Recommendation: Start with book five? I mean the first three give a little bit of background information and provide a better idea of Count Olaf’s horrible character, but really they’re so cookie cutter and don’t start changing until the fourth one and then kick off with this one.
Opening Line: “No matter who you are, no matter where you live, and no matter how many people are chasing you, what you don’t read is often as important as what you do read.”
Closing Line: “Violet, Klaus, and Sunny looked at on another and took a deep breath, gathering up all their courage to face all the bolts from the blue that they guessed—and, I’m sorry to say, guessed correctly—lay ahead of them, and then the self-sustaining Baudelaire orphans took their first steps away from town and toward the last few rays of the setting sun.” (White out to avoid spoilers, highlight to read.)
Additional Quotes from The Vile Village
“A newspaper, as I’sure you know, is a collection of supposedly true stories written down by writers who either saw them happen or talked to people who did. These writers are called journalists , and like telephone operators, butchers, ballerinas, and people who clean up after horses, journalists can sometime make mistakes.” (Loc. 160)
“If you jump in front of a moving train, you have a very good chance of experiencing a painful voyage unless you are wearing some sort of train-proof suit. And if you jump for joy, you have a very good chance of experiencing a painful bump on the head, unless you make sure you are standing someplace with very high ceilings, which joyous people rarely do.” (Loc. 967)