The Ersatz Elevator, by Lemony Snicket

I promise this is the last Unfortunate Events post until I go on another road trip. Though that might be pretty soon. You never know.

In this one, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny are back to regular — well, as regular as you can get in this series — guardians, in this case Jerome and Esmé Squalor. Luckily, the Squalors actually live in a very nice 71-bedroom penthouse apartment, though there’s no elevator to get there, elevators being “out” right now. But since orphans are “in,” they get to live with the very fashionable Esmé, who doesn’t ask them to make staples or saw lumber but does ask them to wear pinstripe suits. Unfortunately, Olaf shows up right quick and bad things happen and the orphans barely escape his clutches.

Note: listening to four of these books right in a row is a really bad idea, because they are very similar and you start to wonder if it wouldn’t hurt just to skip the next half-hour or so because you know essentially what’s going to happen. I recommend spacing these out much, much further.

But this book is one of my favorites of the series, mostly because we finally get an overarching storyline that is more than just “it sucks to be the Baudelaires.” The kids meet up with their triplet friends from the last book, who tell them about a mysterious “V.F.D.” that will become very important over the succeeding books. Hooray for giving the series something to hold on to!

Rating: 8/10
(A to Z Challenge, Support Your Local Library Challenge)

See also:
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Pass me yours, if you’ve got ’em.

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