Review: The Reptile Room

“Bad circumstances have a way of ruining things that would otherwise be pleasant.”

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Title: The Reptile Room
Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 2
Author: Lemony Snicket
Genre: Fiction, Children’s, Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Pages: 192
Read: March 2016
Rating:
4-stars-small

the book | the author | the series

Dear Reader,

If you have picked up this book with the hope of finding a simple and cheery tale. I’m afraid you have picked up the wrong book altogether. The story may seem cheery at first, when the Baudelaire children spend time in the company of some interesting reptiles and a giddy uncle, but don’t be fooled. If you know anything at all about the unlucky Baudelaire children, you already know that even pleasant events lead down the same road to misery.

In fact, within the pages you now hold in your hands, the three siblings endure a car accident, a terrible odor, a deadly serpent, a long knife, a large brass reading lamp, and the reappearance of a person they’d hoped never to see again.

I am bound to record these tragic events, but you are free to put this book back on the shelf and seek something lighter.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

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My thoughts:

Finally Mr. Poe found the children a decent guardian! Dr. Montgomery Montgomery – he prefers Uncle Monty and don’t let him hear you teasing him about his name, he’s very sensitive about it – is a scientist who specializes in reptiles and the Baudelaires seem to enjoy being with him. Uncle Monty keeps his reptile collection in a room called the Reptile Room, hence the title of the book. All sorts of reptile can be find in the room, including the Incredibly Deadly Viper which, contrary to its name, is a very friendly and harmless snake.

All was well until Count Olaf came into their lives again. This man is so evil he will do everything to get the Baudelaire fortune. He’s even capable of killing someone! He disguised himself as Uncle Monty’s new assistant Stephano. The children recognized him right away but was not able to tell their Uncles because he always gets in their way.

All three children thought of walking down the hall to Uncle Monty’s room and waking him up to tell him what was wrong. But to get to his bedroom, they would have to walk past the room in which Stephano was staying, and all night long Stephano kept watch in a chair place in front of his front door. When the orphans opened their doors to peer down the dark hallway, they saw Stephano’s pale, shaved head, which seemed to be floating above his body in the darkness. And they could see his knife, which Stephano was moving slowly like the pendulum of a grandfather clock. Back and forth it went, back and forth, glinting in the dim light, and the sight was so fearsome they didn’t dare try walking down the hallway.

Isn’t he creepy? Something in that paragraph reminded me of an evil vampire haha. Well, Uncle Monty knew something was wrong with his new assistant. But before they can do something about this, Count Olaf had already executed his plan. Poor Uncle Monty. 😦 Fortunately, Mr. Poe arrived before Olaf was able to take the children away. The things is Mr. Poe is almost of no use at all. He wouldn’t believe the children that Stephano is actually Count Olaf in disguise. He says that the children are just in shock and trauma because of their previous encounter with Olaf blah blah blah. The children were almost taken away by Count Olaf, but thanks to Violet who came up with the evidence, Mr. Poe saw through Olaf’s disguise and realized what he had done.

Count Olaf may have failed this time but the book’s ending is very far from happy. Olaf was able to run away before the authorities can catch him and the Baudelaires are once again homeless and orphans. If not for Count Olaf, I think the children would have been happy with Uncle Monty. But then again, this wouldn’t happen to them at all had their parents not died in the fire.

I recommend this for people who loves to feel schadenfreude, which here means, “a German word for the pleasure felt seeing the Baudelaires experience such troubles and misfortunes at a very young age.”

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