Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography is a companion piece to A Series of Unfortunate Events. It was published in 2002 by HarperCollins. This book is by no means a necessary or mandatory read; it is merely a supplemental one.
“A Warning from the Publisher
Many readers have questions about Lemony Snicket, author of the distressing serial concerning the trials of the charming but unlucky Baudelaire orphans, published under the collective title A Series of Unfortunate Events. Before purchasing, borrowing, or stealing this book, you should be aware that it contains the answers to some of those questions, such as the following:
- Who is Lemony Snicket?
- Is there a secret organization I should know about?
- Why does Lemony Snicket send his time researching and writing distressing books concerning the Baudelaire orphans?
- Why do all of Lemony Snicket’s books contain a sad dedication to a woman named Beatrice?
- If there’s nothing out there, what was that noise?
Our advice to you is that you find a book that answers less upsetting questions than this one. Perhaps your librarian, bookseller, or parole officer can recommend a book that answers the question, “Aren’t ponies adorable?”
“My aunt, who is either a woman named Julie Blattberg or a woman whose name I am pretending is Julie Blattberg, gave me a small key that unlocked a box that contained a key which in turn unlocked another box that contained the information that makes up this book, and made me swear never to let it reach the public, even in the enormous, imposing living room of some abstruse—a word which here means “cryptic”—private club, among trusted associates enjoying after-dinner brandy…
That reminds me, the letter continued, I would like a brandy myself. Please excuse me for a moment.”
“When we grab you by the ankles,
Where our mark is to be made,
You’ll soon be doing noble work,
Although you won’t be paid.
When we drive away in secret,
You’ll be a volunteer,
So don’t scream when we take you:
The world is quiet here.”
Recommended Age Range: 10+
What I Liked:
This book is just plain fun. It’s full of photographs, letters, minutes, and scripts all teeming with tantalizing and mysterious information about V.F.D. I’m just going to quote from the Wikipedia page here: “The book helps clear up some loose ends from the series, but it also introduces many more mysteries, as well as elucidates details which readers might have missed in previous books. It also answers and raises many questions about the mysterious V.F.D. organization, a key player in A Series of Unfortunate Events. As it may, it even brings some sense of Mr. Snicket’s history.” There. That’s what the book is about. It really does fill in many of the gaps, as well as create some new questions, but it definitely explains V.F.D. a whole lot more without giving away anything at all.
Also, Beatrice’s identity can be found here again, if you’re really good with obscure details and ambiguous description.
It’s not important to read this book if you’re reading ASOUE, but it is a nice, funny supplement, and it does clear up a few things.
What I Didn’t Like:
People/Places/Things to Keep in Mind:
This list would be too long if I put everything in this book down, since this whole book is just chock full of important things to keep in mind, so here’s what’s probably most important:
–the Sebald Code
I’ve pretty much said everything about this book in my What I Liked section. It’s funny, it’s a great supplement to ASOUE, it simultaneously enlightens and confuses, and it’s just great fun to read.
Coming Up Next: The Carnivorous Carnival