[V] The Vile Village by Lemony Snicket

25 Apr

I’ve read a few books in The Series of Unfortunate Events, and while I don’t dislike them, I’m not a huge fan of them. This particular book I actually checked out once to read for last year’s challenge, but I ended up using The View from Saturday instead (RIP E.L. Konigsburg :(). I ended up with the ebook this year in a bundle of three Unfortunate Events books because that was the only thing immediately available from the library.

The Vile Village is the seventh book in the series and follows the three Baudelaire orphans to a village full of crows in an attempt to find a place for them to live. The evil Count Olaf is still after them, and they need to save their friends, the two surviving Quagmire triplets.

All of the kids I know who have read this series really enjoy it, and if I had first read these books as a child, I think I would have liked them a lot more. Daniel Handler (the man behind Lemony Snicket) does a good job of introducing hard words and writing about what they mean, teaching vocabulary in context while being entertaining at the same time.

However, for an adult who already knows what the words mean, all the explanations make you feel like you’re reading twice as many words for the same amount of content, and it slows down the pacing of the story. Also, I’ve only read a few of the books, but they all seem to be pretty similar, and because they are “unfortunate events,” they pretty much all have bad endings, which doesn’t make it a very satisfying read (and according to a student who has read all the books, the series itself also has a bad ending).

It’s all right if you like that kind of thing, but I got kind of tired of the “author” telling me to stay as far away from the book as possible every time I picked up one of the books in the series. I can ignore it if the book captivates my attention enough, but in this case, I think I might just listen to him.

Great for kids who like to learn big words, but maybe not for cynical adults like me. 😉

This post is my Blogging from A to Z entry for the letter V.


4 Responses to “[V] The Vile Village by Lemony Snicket”

  1. rebeccahgiltrow April 25, 2013 at 9:03 am #

    I read this whole series as an adult, and even though I did get a bit irritated every time a “big” word popped up I was given an explanation, I did enjoy all the books and was glad that I’d read them.

    • nita April 26, 2013 at 11:53 am #

      Thanks for visiting! I did like how he tried to make all the definitions kind of quirky and entertaining, though. I think if this was my first experience with the series, or if I had read the series in order from beginning to end, I might have been more forgiving. It was probably my fault for reading books out of order (blame A to Z for making me read “V” before having a chance to read everything in between :P).

  2. J. L. Schmidt April 26, 2013 at 11:32 am #

    I just read through the entire series this past Winter (as an adult) and I loved them. I have a large vocabulary, and his “definitions” didn’t bother me. Mostly they just made me snort with laughter as his definitions are so often “in context” and not dictionary definitions at all. I have rarely come across an author who so consistently can make me laugh out loud.

    Jasper Fforde is another… you might find him less obnoxious as he writes for adults. 🙂

    • nita April 26, 2013 at 11:48 am #

      I did think his definitions were funny, and I enjoyed them when I read them in the first book, I think (it’s been a while since I read it). But for me, I tend to read books for the stories that drive the characters forward, and if I don’t care about one or the other, I have trouble getting into them (especially when I’m reading a lot of books in a row).

      I like the idea of his “definitions,” and I think he did a decent job executing them, but they just didn’t capture my attention this time around. I think my review skewed toward the harsh side because it’s one of those series that I feel gets too few bad reviews. 😛

      Thanks for the reading suggestion! Fforde’s parodies sound like a lot of fun. 🙂

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