Sunday, September 24, 2006

15. The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket

ISBN 043920648 - HarperCollins, 1999

One of the reasons for the popularity of the Series of Unfortunate Events is that Lemony Snicket includes humour for grown-ups. As with tv programs like the Simpsons, and the Flintstones before them, parents enjoy watching because the "get" the satire, parodies and allusions. Here's an example from page 126 of The Reptile Room. "Ackroid!" Sunny said, which probably meant something like "Roger!"
Children will not understand why this is amusing. Mystery buffs will know it is a reference to a classic whodunit. "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (published in 1926) is a detective novel by Agatha Christie. It features Hercule Poirot as the lead detective. It is one of Christie's most well-known and most controversial novels, its innovative twist ending having a significant impact on the genre." Source:
The Baudelaire orphans are happier than they have been since the death of their parents living with noted herpetologist Montgomery Montgomery,whom they call Uncle Monty. As they prepare for a trip to Peru, Uncle Monty's new assistant Stephano arrives. It doesn't take long before his true identity is discovered.
Book the Second features the Incredibly Deadly Viper, the hook-handed man and Lousy Lane.

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