Title: A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Carnivorous Carnival.
Author: Lemony Snicket.
Genre: Fiction, steam-punk, children's lit, YA, teen, adventure.
Publication Date: October 28th, 2002.
Summary: Everybody loves a carnival! Who can fail to delight in the colourful people, the unworldly spectacle, the fabulous freaks? A carnival is a place for good family fun - as long as one has a family, that is. For the Baudelaire orphans, their time at the carnival turns out to be yet another episode in a now unbearable series of unfortunate events. The siblings must confront a terrible lie, a caravan, and Chabo the wolf baby.
My rating: 9/10.
♥ It was confusing pretending to be completely different people, particularly because it had been so long since the Baudelaires were able to be the people they really were. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny did not think of themselves as the sort of children who hid in the trunks of automobiles, or who wore disguises, or who tried to get jobs at the House of Freaks. But the siblings could scarcely remember when they had been able to relax and do the things they liked to do best. It seemed ages since Violet had been able to sit around and think of inventions, instead of frantically building something to get them out of trouble. Klaus could barely remember the last book he had read for his own enjoyment, instead of as research to defeat one of Olaf's schemes. And Sunny had used her teeth many, many times to escape from difficult situations, but it had been quite a while since she had bitten something recreationally. As the youngsters approached the caravan, it seemed as if each step took them further and further from their real lives as Baudelaires, and into their disguised lives as carnival freaks, and it was indeed very confusing. When Sunny knocked on the door, Madame Lulu called out, "Who's there?" and for the first time in their lives, it was a confusing question.
♥ In most cases, the best strategy for a job interview is to be fairly honest, because the worst thing that can happen is that you won't get the job and will spend the rest of your life foraging for food in the wilderness and seeking shelter underneath a tree or the awning of a bowling alley that has gone out of business, but in the case of the Baudelaire orphans' job interview with Madame Lulu, the situation was much more desperate.
♥ Miracles are like meatballs, because nobody can exactly agree what they are made of, where they come from, or how often they should appear. Some people say that sunrise is a miracle, because it is somewhat mysterious and often very beautiful, but other people say it is simply a fact of life, because it happens every day and far too early in the morning. Some people say that a telephone is a miracle, because it sometimes seems wondrous that you can talk with somebody who is thousands of miles away, and other people say it is simply a manufactured device fashioned out of metal parts, electronic circuitry, and wires that are very easily cut. And some people say that sneaking out of a hotel is a miracle, particularly if the lobby is swarming with policemen, and other people say it is simply a fact of life, because it happens every day and far too early in the morning. So you might think that there are so many miracles in the world that you can scarcely count them, or that there are so few that they're scarcely worth mentioning, depending on whether you spend your mornings gazing at a beautiful sunset or lowering yourself into a back alley with a rope fashioned out of matching towels.
♥ Grief, a type of sadness that most often occurs when you have lost someone you love, is a sneaky thing, because it can disappear for a long time, and then pop back up when you least expect it. When I am able, I go out walking on Briny Beach very early in the morning, which is the best time to find materials important to the Baudelaire case, and the ocean is so peaceful that I feel peaceful, too, as if I am no longer grieving for the woman I love and will never see again. But then, when I am cold and duck into a teashop where the owner is expecting me, I have only to reach for the sugar bowl before my grief returns, and I find myself crying so loudly that other customers ask me if I could possibly lower my sobs. With the Baudelaire orphans, it was as if grief were a very heavy object that they each took turns carrying so that they would not all be crying at once, but sometimes the object was too heavy for one of them to move without weeping, so Violet and Sunny stood next to Klaus, reminding him that this was something they could all carry together until at last they found a safe place to lay it down.
♥ There are many difficult things in this world to hide, but a secret is not one of them. It is difficult to hide an airplane, for instance, because you generally need to find a deep hole or an enormous haystack, and sneak the airplane inside in the middle of the night, but it is easy to hide a secret about an airplane, because you can merely write it on a tiny piece of paper and tape it to the bottom of your mattress any time you are at home. It is difficult to hide a symphony orchestra, because you usually need to rent a sound-proof room and borrow as many sleeping bags as you can find, but it is easy to hide a secret about a symphony orchestra, because you can merely whisper it into the ear of a trustworthy friend or music critic. And it is difficult to hide yourself, because you sometimes need to stuff yourself into the trunk of an automobile, or concoct a disguise out of whatever you can find, but it is easy to hide a secret about yourself, because you can merely type it into a book and hope it falls into the right hands. My dear sister, if you are reading this, I am still alive, and heading north to try and find you.
♥ The curtain parted as if they were watching a play, and if I were you I would pretend that this is a play, instead of a book - perhaps a tragedy, written by William Shakespeare - and that you are leaving the theater early to go home and hide under a sofa, because you will recall that there was a certain expression that, I'm sorry to say, must be used three times before this story is over, and it is in the thirteenth chapter when this expression will be used for the third time. The chapter is very short, because the end of this story happened so quickly that it does not take many words to describe, but the chapter does contain the third occasion requiring the expression "the belly of the beast", and you would be wise to leave before the chapter begins, because that time didn't count.