Again with the cliff hangers and the sudden reveals?! It’s like Snicket figured out people were getting bored or he was playing the long game and waiting to reveal everything in the last half of the series making it worth the trudge through!
Similar to The Carnivorous Carnival, I was excited to see the Baudelaire’s being separated and having to work on their own to solve problems. Since we’re seeing this through Sunny in the last book and this book, it’s definitely felt more like character progression than Klaus’ and Violet’s interests in reading/researching and inventing that were built in from The Bad Beginning. Don’t get me wrong it sucks they are separated and Count Olaf seems to be getting closer and closer to achieving his goals, but they’re verging on real peopleness now!
Again as I discussed in my last post, I think what’s making me enjoy the series more now is that Snicket is extrapolating what happens to the Baudelaire’s and making you feel it and apply it to your own life. Take these two quotes:
“Fate is like a strange, unpopular restaurant, filled with odd waiters who bring you things you never asked for and don’t always like.” (Loc. 341)
“Deciding on the right thing to do in a situation is a bit like deciding on the right thing to wear to a party. It is easy to decide on what is wrong to wear to a party, such as deep-sea diving equipment or a pair of large pillows, but deciding what is right is much trickier.” (Loc. 2179)
This definitely isn’t the first time Snicket has had absurd connections to the real world, but these two both hit me like whoa that makes sense on a deeper level.
The story is getting more complex and we’re further into the mystery of the VFD and every so often a bit more leaks out. There are apparently people more villainous than count Olaf and we may or may not have met them in this novel. [There was an odd moment in one scene that made me think otherwise – think of Klaus’ and Violet’s disguise in the last book and what they did. Yeah part of that rang true when these people appeared, to me at least.]
We also met a character that I was not expecting to meet, I figured out who it was pretty quickly even before the unmasking, but even then I was a little taken aback by the reveal. Especially, after what feels to have become the Baudelaire’s mantra after what they discovered at the end of The Hostile Hospital.
And to wrap it up, in case you’re wondering, adults are still useless and somewhat idiotic. There was however a moment of hope in this novel when there was a defection of sorts and I had to smile because of why it happened. It was very touching and Sunny being involved only made it more so.
Recommendation: Definitely worth the read the more I think about them. Sometimes it’s hard to remember how much emotional growth kids go through there were three years between the release of the first book and this book, and between the first book and the last book there were seven years. It’s not quite as long a journey as Harry Potter, but still it’s lengthy and Snicket had to write with his fan base as they aged. I think Snicket has done a great job writing to the age group he started with and has grown with them if you think about a seven-year old starting the series and a 14-year-old finishing it, there’s a lot that kid goes through doubling their lifespan on earth.
Opening Line: “A man of my acquaintance once wrote a poem called “The Road Less Traveled,” describing a journey he took through the woods along a path most travelers never used.”
Closing Line: “As Sunny said, she and her siblings did not know where to go, and they didn’t know how to get there, but the Baudelaire orphans were winding there anyway, and that is one thing I know for certain.” (Whited out to avoid spoilers, highlight to read.)
Additional Quotes from The Slippery Slope
“‘I know that having a good vocabulary doesn’t guarantee that I’m a good person,’ the boy said. ‘But it does mean I’ve read a great deal. And in my experience, well-read people are less likely to be evil.'” (Loc. 899)
“‘There are secrets everywhere,’ Quigley said. ‘I think everyone’s parents have secrets. You just have to know where to look for them.'” (Loc. 1430)