Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Vile Village by Lemony Snicket and read by Tim Curry

Summary from Goodreads:
Dear Reader,

You have undoubtedly picked up this book by mistake, so please put it down. Nobody in their right mind would read this particular book about the lives of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire on purpose, because each dismal moment of their stay in the village of V.F.D. has been faithfully and dreadfully recorded in these pages. I can think of no single reason why anyone would want to open a book containing such unpleasant matters as migrating crows, an angry mob, a newspaper headline, the arrest of innocent people, the Deluxe Cell, and some very strange hats. It is my solemn and sacred occupation to research each detail of the Baudelaire children's lives and write them all down, but you may prefer to do some other solemn and sacred thing, such as reading another book instead.

With all due respect,

Lemony Snicket
I really love these books. I also have been super enjoying listening to them all on audio. I think this one may have been my favorite so far. The word play, the humor, the witty intelligence of it all, and the characters, just make for one remarkably fun series. Also, side note: I got into a long conversation about the series with an adult checking out one of the books at work! She also couldn’t get over how smart and amazing these books were. I love finding fellow fans to sing the praises of books over.
Any way, this book really takes the phrase: “it takes a village to raise a child,” very seriously. The orphans are now sent to a village, as compared to a guardian or a school. When given a list of villages to choose from, of course the children pick the one named V.F.D, in hopes of it providing some kind of clue into finding their triplet friends.
The vile village of V.F.D. proves to be rather vile. The kids are forced to follow an obscene list of rules put on the by the town elders. The town elders are very found of the many crows who inhabit the village and the most important rule is to not bother them. The children again aren’t given an education, but instead a profession. They are meant to follow the handyman around the village and to spend the day doing everyone’s chores.
Luckily, for them clues do come to pas in regards to their kidnapped friends. They have mysterious poetry they have to decipher. Too bad Olaf comes back and blames the children for murder. There’s an angry mob of villagers that plan on burning the children at the stake. There’s self-sustaining hot air mobile homes, murders of crows, mysterious fountains, secret codes hidden in couplets, exciting reunions, prison breaks, narrow escapes, and my all time favorite ending as of yet.
These books do have a repetitive nature and certainly a formula that can get a bit tiresome. However, the books are finally getting to the part in the series when they are branching out a bit differently. They aren’t all the same any more. And a larger orverarcing plot arc is finally coming into the picture.
This one also had a particularly sad moment when Klaus realized it was his birthday (as he was sitting in a prison cell, awaiting his burning at the stake). And I had a tear in my eye when he compared it to his previous year’s birthday. These books can be hilarious, absurd, and full of adventure, but they can all sneak in these emotional moments as well. Really, I was quite impressed with this installment. It’s definitely one of my favorites. I give it a 10/10.

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