Today, I have the great pleasure of interviewing Vivi and Karl about their thoughts on A Series of Unfortunate Events. They’ve been working their way through the series throughout this pandemic, and they’re ALMOST done all 13 books. Here’s what they said.
Q: So, how far along in the series are you?
V: We’re almost done book thirteen.
Q: If you had to give me the elevator pitch for the series, what would it be?
K: The Baudelaire orphans need to discover the mystery of their parents’ lives and demise.
Q: What has your favourite book been so far?
V: That’s tricky, but…The Reptile Room (book 2) was really good. It:
A) had the “Ah ha!” joke. (Basically, it’s trying to explain what Sunny says. She says ‘ah ha’ and all she means by ‘ah ha’ is ‘ah ha.’)
B) It made you understand who the characters were. It brought out where the series was going to take itself.
K: I would say that my favourite book was The Carnivorous Carnival (book 9). For the first time, it took the story in a truly new direction. It began to blur the line between what is noble and what is treacherous.
Q: Who is your favourite character in the series?
V: Sunny…or Violet. But Sunny, probably.
K: Violet. I think you can connect with Violet the most. Obviously, Sunny is the funniest, but you can understand Violet and the difficulty she’s going through.
Q: Who is your least favourite character in the series?
V: Mr. Poe makes me frustrated, because if you were a good guardian, you’d listen to the Baudelaires and understand what they were going through, and not just sit there and let Count Olaf do whatever he wants.
K: Mr. Poe…I mean, obviously he does what he’s mean to do: he lets them down every time. He represents adults not believing children. He’s just so awful. He’s so oblivious. Every time he shows up, you’re like <anguished wail>. At the end of Grim Grotto, where they ignore him and they walk away from him, it’s such a good scene.
Q: Was there any plot twist you didn’t see coming? Like, a shocking moment?
V: For me, it was that Sunny told Count Olaf to burn down the hotel.
K: The Baudelaire orphans burning down the carnival. That’s a bit of a shock.
J: There seems to be a lot of burning things down.
V: That’s the entire thing.
K: The fire plays a massive role in the story. All the safe places are burnt down.
Q: What’s the ending going to be? What do you think?
V: This is tough, because Lemony Snicket hasn’t revealed any secrets so far. I think the Baudelaire orphans will sail away from the island, with Kit Snicket and the Quagmires on their side. And that’s when they’ll reveal all the secrets they have.
K: It’s incredibly hard to know. Because the thirteenth book goes in such a different direction…I think they’re finally going to reveal the truth about their parents, and what they did to Count Olaf’s parents. But the question of how, exactly, Lemony Snicket is going to end this and what they’ll do after could be anything. We do know the Baudelaire orphans survive, but we don’t know about Count Olaf.
Q: Who do you think this book is for?
V: I say, it’s for older kids who like having a humorous element to their stories, but they would be okay with sadness. At the beginning, there was a LOT of death. They haven’t really had a moment of happiness.
K: I would say, it is for kids who like complex stories, kids who really love playful language. A key concept in the book is the fact that people who read books are honorable and noble and people who don’t read books are treacherous.
J: I fully agree with that sentiment.
Join us next time when we get Karl and Vivi’s reaction to the ending of the whole series!