Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Re-Read 2015: The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket

Summary from Goodreads:
Dear Listener,

I am sorry to say that the lives of the Baudelaire orphans, Violet, Klaus and Sunny, are filled with bad luck and misery. All of the stories about these three children are unhappy and wretched, and the one you are holding may be the worst of them all.

If you haven't got the stomach for a story that includes a hurricane, hungry leeches, cold cucumber soup and a doll named Pretty Penny, then this audio will probably fill you with despair.

I also shouldn't mention the interactive features of the CD, which include:
A perplexing word game
Photos from The Lemony Snicket Archives
Art from The Brett Helquist gallery

I will continue to record these tragic tales for that is what I do. You should decide for yourself if you can possibly endure this miserable story.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket
Life is not easy for the Baudelaire orphans. After the disaster at the end of book 2, I knew the kids were heading for another rough situation in book 3. And for some reason, I really remembered book 3. There’s something about people being eaten alive by leeches and children stealing a boat in the middle of a hurricane that just sticks with you.
As you might imagine, the stakes are higher, the adventures are scarier, and the orphans have everything to lose. There was a never a good spot to stop listening to this high action installment of the story. I had to know what would happen and where a certain relative was. I just had to know.
I love that the adults in these books all have their flaws. The children’s’ aunt is so terrified of everything. She refuses to answer the phone or turn the oven on because of her irrational fears. And while it’s clear she’s not fit to raise 3 children, the Baudelaire orphans come to care for her any way. These poor kids are just desperate for a family at this point.
And then of course there’s my least favorite character: Mr Poe, who not only keeps placing the children in these terrible homes, but also never believes them when they remark on how terrible their situations are. Can’t he just accept that whenever the children claim to see Count Olaf, that they are in fact seeing Count Olaf? They are always right!
Any way, I really enjoyed this installment. Though, I think I might have liked it more when I first read it many years ago. It’s gotten a bit formulaic for my tastes now. And sadly, I know the repetitive nature of the stories will only continue. However, the formula will not get in the way of me completing the books again. I want to know things!
Also, the author himself reads the books on audio for books 3-5 (I believe). It took me a little while to get used to the new narrator. I soon came to really enjoy the author’s reading, particularly the parts where he doesn’t cough. The character, Mr. Poe is a big cougher and where Tim Curry would physically cough for what felt like five minutes straight, Lemony Snicket will just mention the coughing.
However, volume is now a concern. I raise the volume all the way up to be able to hear all Mr. Snicket is saying because he has a soft voice most of the time, but when he voices a character like Count Olaf, I always jump out of skin because the volume is astronomically higher. Basically, I can either listen to the audio at a volume where I can’t hear most of the narration, but hear certain characters really well. Or, I can listen to the audio very loudly and understand all of it, but just deal certain character’s voices being insanely loud. Of course, I picked the latter option. Though, I must say it’s the not the safest option while driving.
This is one of the more action-packed stories, so I of course loved this installment. The absurd humor was great. And I love all the characters (except Mr. Poe). It does drag a little in its repetitive nature, but not to the point of making me want to stop my reading of the series entirely, at least not yet. I give this one an 8/10.

No comments:

Post a Comment