The eighth installment in the Series of Unfortunate Events picks up right where #7 (The Vile Village) left off. The kids are on the run from the nuts from the Village of Fowl Devotees, in a desolate wasteland. They happen upon a store, and try to contact Mr. Poe. The events of the previous few books have been reported in The Daily Punctilio, the newspaper in this world that always gets everything wrong. Unfortunately, there are pictures of the Baudelaires, so they’re definitely in danger of being caught. In fact, the first time this happens is at the store, but they escape by getting a ride with the “Volunteers Fighting Disease” – yet another V.F.D.
This VFD is heading to a hospital to sing stupid songs and hand sick people balloons, because apparently that’s better than medicine. Anyway, the kids end up working in the records room (or library, as it’s called, so Klaus has a purpose). They play a dirty trick on the mostly blind library guy, so they can get a look at the Snicket file, which supposedly contains information about their parents’ death (and if someone survived the fire).
Of course that nasty Count Olaf shows up in “disguise,” along with his nasty girlfriend Esme Squalor. They chase the kids down, and this time it’s Violet in peril. The younger Baudelaires come to her rescue, to a point, and the kids once again make it out alive. Alive, but not necessarily happy.
Again, one of the funner things about these books is to pick out the cultural references and Sunny-isms. Sometimes I have to look them up, but that’s part of the fun as well. I’m only slightly embarrassed by reading these books as an adult, but my excuse is that they didn’t come out until I was an adult, so it’s not like I had a choice.