Title: A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Hostile Hospital.
Author: Lemony Snicket.
Genre: Fiction, steam-punk, children's lit, YA, teen, adventure.
Publication Date: September, 2001.
Summary: The Baudelaires need a safe place to stay - somewhere far away from terrible villains and local police. A quiet refuge where misfortune never visits. Might Heimlich Hospital be just the place? The Baudelaire Orphans will spend time in a hospital where they risk encountering a misleading newspaper headline, unnecessary surgery, an intercom system, anesthesia, heart-shaped balloons, and some very startling news about a fire.
My rating: 9/10.
♥ There are two reasons why a writer would end a sentence with the word "stop" written entirely in capital letters STOP. The first is if the writer were writing a telegram, which is a coded message sent through an electrical wire STOP. In a telegram, the word "stop" in all capital letters is the code for the end of a sentence STOP. But there us another reason why a writer would end a sentence with "stop" written entirely in capital letters, and that is to warn readers that the book they are reading is so utterly wretched that if they have begun reading it, the best thing to do would be to stop STOP. This particular book, for instance, describes an especially unhappy time in the dreadful lives of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire, and if you have any sense at all you will shut this book immediately, drag it up a tall mountain, and throw it off the very top STOP. There is no earthly reason why you should read even one more word about the misfortune, treachery, and woe that are in store for the three Baudelaire children, any more than you should run into the street and throw yourself under the wheels of a bus STOP. This "stop"-ended sentence is your very last chance to pretend to "STOP" warning is a stop sign, and to stop the flood of despair that awaits you in this book, the heart-stopping horror that begins in the very next sentence, by obeying the "STOP" and stopping STOP.
♥ Of all the ridiculous expressions people use - and people use a great many ridiculous expressions - one of the most ridiculous is "No news is good news." "No news is good news" simply means that if you don't hear from someone, everything is probably fine, and you can see at once why this expression makes such little sense, because everything being fine is only one of many, many reason why someone may no contact you. Perhaps they are tied up. Maybe they are surrounded by fierce weasels, or perhaps they are wedged tightly between two refrigerators and cannot get themselves out. The expression might well be changed to "No news is bad news", except that people may not be able to contact you because they have just been crowned king or are competing in a gymnastics tournament. The point is that there is no way to know why someone has no contacted you, until they contact you and explain themselves. For this reason, the sensible expression would be "No news is no news," except that it is so obvious it is hardly an expression at all.
♥ An associate of mine named William Congreve once wrote a very sad play that begins with the line "Music has charms to soothe a savage breast," a sentence which here means that if you are nervous or upset, you might listen to some music to calm you down or cheer you up. For instance, as I crouch here behind the altar of the Cathedral of the Alleged Virgin, a friend of mine is playing a sonata on the pipe organ, to calm me down and so the sounds of my typewriter will not be heard by the worshipers sitting in the pews. The mournful melody of the sonata reminds me of a tune my father used to sing when he did the dishes, and as I listed to it I can temporarily forget six or seven of my troubles.
♥ "That's true!" the reporter said. "I can see the headline now: 'MURDERER ATTEMPTS TO MURDER MURDERER.' Wait until the readers of The Daily Punctilio see this!"
♥ "I just don't understand it," said Klaus, which was not something he said very often.
Violet nodded in agreement, and then said something she didn't say very frequently either. "It's a puzzle I'm not sure we can solve."
♥ With any word, there are subconscious associations, which simply means that certain words make you think of certain things, even if you don't want to. The word "cake," for example, might remind you of your birthday, and the words "prison warden" might remind you of someone you haven't seen in a very long time. The word "Beatrice" reminds me of a volunteer organization that was swarming with corruption, and the word "midnight" reminds me that I must keep writing his chapter very quickly, or else I will probably drown.
♥ Just about everything in this world is easier said than done, with the exception of "systematically assisting Sisyphus's stealthy, cystsusceptile sister," which is easier done than said.
♥ "You can't kill all of us," the hook-handed man replied. "In fact, I doubt you have the courage to kill anyone."
"It doesn't take courage to kill someone," Klaus said. "It takes a severe lack of moral stamina."