Audio Review: A Series of Unfortunate Events Books 8 & 9 by Lemony Snicket

The Hostile Hospital (Book 8) & The Carnivorous Carnival (Book 9)
Author: Lemony Snicket
Publisher: Harper Collins
Age Group: Children’s
Source: Library
Book 8: Amazon     Barnes and Noble     IndieBound
Book 9: Amazon     Barnes and Noble     IndieBound
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Challenge: Series: Catch-Up 2012

Summary from GoodReads:

The Hostile Hospital:

Dear Listener,

This audio is the only one which describes every last detail of the Baudelaire children’s miserable stay at Heimlich Hospital, whcih makes it one of the most dreadful audios in the world.

There are many pleasant things to listen to, but this audio contains not one of them. Within it are such gruesome details as a suspicious shopkeeper, unneccessary surgery, anesthesia, heart shaped balloons, and some very startling news about a fire. Clearly you do not want to hear about such things.

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 have sworn to research and record this story as best I can, so I should know that this audio is something best left on the ground, where you undoubtedly found it.

With all due respect, 
Lemony Snicket

The Carnivorous Carnival:

Dear Listener,

The word carnivorous means meat eating and this carnivorous volume contains such a distressing story that consuming any of its contents would be far more stomach-turning than even the most imbalanced meal.

It would be best if I didn’t mention any of the unnerving ingredients of this story, particularly, an unruly crowd, a wooden plank, and Chabo the Wolf Baby. I also shouldn’t mention the features of the interactive CD, which include:

Perplexing word games
Photos from The Lemony Snicket Archives
Art from The Brett Helquist gallery
Sadly for me, I continue to research the lives of the Baudelaire orphans, but your time might be filled with something more palatable. With all due respect,

Lemony Snicket

My Thoughts

A number of years ago I started A Series of Unfortunate Events, listening to them via audiobook.  The first few were narrated by Tim Curry, then a few were narrated by the author (who was okay, but no Tim Curry), then Tim Curry was back narrating.  First, I have to say, holy cow, Tim Curry should narrate more audiobooks.  He was absolutely perfect narrator for the Baudelaire’s story.

Anyway, after listening to seven, I stopped.  I just couldn’t listen to anymore, but I had every intention to come back to the series.  I just never did.  I think part of the reason was I wasn’t really sure where I left off (I actually think I did read book 8 before).  But another part was that the books started to feel a bit repetitive.  And there are 13 books!

When Brittany started Series: Catch-Up 2012, I knew this was the perfect time to finish A Series of Unfortunate Events.  I started with The Hostile Hospital.  Even though it had been a few years since I had read book 7, it was pretty easy to pick up where the story was.  After finishing The Hostile Hospital, I immediately started book 9, The Carnivorous Carnival.

I really like how Lemony Snicket addresses the reader.  Although the book often deals with dark situations, it never feels too traumatic, which is a good thing, since these are intended for children.  At the same time, I don’t think Snicket talks down to the kids – another good thing.

I absolutely love Violet, Claus and Sunny.  They are wonderful protagonists, and I really care about them.  I hope that their fortune changes for the better at the end of the series.

I have to say, though, after listening to these two, I was getting a little weary of the repetitiveness.  I mean, it is all about the Baudelaires trying to fool Count Olaf, and somehow at the end of the book they move on to a different place.  However, there was a bit of a cliffhanger at the end of The Carnivorous Carnival, and am quite excited to listen to book ten.  Only four more books to go!!!

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