Title: A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Wide Window.
Author: Lemony Snicket.
Genre: Fiction, adventure, children's lit, YA, teen, steam-punk, gothic fiction.
Publication Date: February 2, 1999.
Summary: Violet, Klaus, and Sunny are kindhearted and quick–witted, but their lives are filled with bad luck and misery. If you haven't got the stomach for a story that includes a hurricane, a signalling device, hungry leeches, cold cucumber soup, a horrible villain, and a doll named Pretty Penny, then this book will probably fill you with despair.
My rating: 7.5/10.
I would much prefer it if you were alive and well.
♥ If you didn't know the Baudelaire orphans, and you saw them sitting on their suitcases at Damocles Dock, you might think that they were bound for an exciting adventure. After all, the three children had just disembarked from the Fickle Ferry, which had driven them across Lake Lachrymose to live with their Aunt Josephine, and in most cases such a situation would lead to thrillingly good times.
But of course you would be dead wrong. For although Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire were about to experience events that would be both exciting and memorable, they would not be exciting and memorable like having your fortune told or going to a rodeo. Their adventure would be exciting and memorable like being chased by a werewolf through a field of thorny bushes at midnight with nobody around to help you.
♥ There is a way of looking at life called "keeping things in perspective." This simply means "making yourself feel better by comparing the things that are happening to you right now against other things that have happened at a different time, or to different people." For instance, if you were upset about an ugly pimple on the end of your nose, you might try to feel better by keeping your pimple in perspective. You might compare your pimple situation to that of someone who was being eaten by a bear, and when you looked in the mirror at your ugly pimple, you could say to yourself, "Well, at least I'm not being eaten by a bear."
You can see at once why keeping things in perspective rarely works very well, because it is hard to concentrate on somebody else being eaten by a bear when you are staring at your own ugly pimple.
♥ "..Captain Sham doesn't have a left ankle and only has one eye. I can't believe you would dare to disagree with a man who has eye problems."
"I have eye problems," Klaus said, pointing to his glasses, "and you're disagreeing with me."
"I will thank you not to be impertinent," Aunt Josephine said, using a word which here means "pointing out that I'm wrong, which annoying me."
♥ Just because something is typed—whether it is typed on a business card or typed in a newspaper or book—this does not mean that it is true. The three siblings were well aware of this simple fact but could not find the words to convince Aunt Josephine.
♥ Oftentimes, when people are miserable, they will want to make other people miserable, too. But it never helps.
♥ Tears are curious things, for like earthquakes or puppet shows they can occur at any time, without any warning and without any good reason.
♥ Mr. Poe smiled. "You see? You are very intelligent children, but even the most intelligent people in the wpr;d often need the help of a banker."
♥ If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats.
♥ Stealing, of course, is a crime, and a very impolite thing to do. But like most impolite things, it is excusable under certain circumstances. Stealing is not excusable if, for instance, you are in a museum and you decide that a certain painting would look better in your house, and you simply grab the painting and take it there. But if you were very, very hungry, and you had no way of obtaining money, it might be excusable to grab the painting, take it to your house, and eat it.
♥ The good people who are publishing this book have a concern that they have expressed to me. This concern is that readers like yourself will read my history of the Baudelaire orphans and attempt to imitate some of the things they do. So at this point in the story, in order to mollify the publishers—the word "mollify" here means "get them to stop tearing their hair out in worry"—please allow me to give you a piece of advice, even though I don't know anything about you. The piece of advice is as follows: If you ever need to get to Curdled Cave in a hurry, do not, under any circumstances, steal a boat and attempt to sail across Lake Lachrymose during a hurricane, because it is very dangerous and the changes of your survival are practically zero. You should especially not do this if, like the Baudelaire orphans, you have only a vague idea of how to work a sailboat.
♥ In front of the cave there was a sign saying it was for sale, and the orphans could not imagine who would want to buy such a phantasmagorical—the word "phantasmagorical" here means "all the creepy, scary words you can think of put together"—place.
♥ "It dawned on them" simply means "They figured something out," and as the Baudelaire orphans sat and watched the dock fill with people as the business of the day began, they figured out something that was very important to them. It dawned on them that unlike Aunt Josephine, who had lived up in that house, sad and alone, the three children had one another for comfort and support over the course of their miserable lives. And while this did not make them feel entirely safe, or entirely happy, it made them feel appreciative.
... They leaned up against one another appreciatively, and small smiles appeared on their damp and anxious faces. They had each other. I'm not sure that "The Baudelaires had each other" is the moral of this story, but to the three siblings it was enough. To have each other in the midst of their unfortunate lives felt like having a sailboat in the middle of a hurricane, and to the Baudelaire orphans this felt very fortunate indeed.