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Book Review:    Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography

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Children's Book Review: Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography

Author: Lemony Snicket

Published by: Harper Collins

Released: 2002

Reviewed: February 2005

Our Recommended Age: 7-up

Our Rating: A+




Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography



Buy: Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography at



This companion volume to the Lemony Snicket A Series of Unfortunate Events book series will delight children (and adult) fans of the wickedly anti-happily-ever-after serial. Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography is bursting its seams with the kind of tongue-in-cheek humor that its title promises.


This "unauthorized autobiography" presents a series of letters, newspaper clippings, score sheets, photographs, tickets, minutes of a secret meeting, postcards, and the like, that purport to reveal more about the children's author, Lemony Snicket. The chapters listed in the table of contents present a series of questions that readers truly want answers for (such as, "What is V.F.D?", "Why Isn't Mr. Poe as Helpful as He Ought to Be?", and "Why is Lemony Snicket on the Run?) that are crossed off and signed with the initials L.S. (They simply are not the "proper questions"). So, the question "Why does Count Olaf have a tattoo of an eye on his ankle?" is replaced with "Why has this building been abandoned?", for example.


The hardcover copy features a reversible book jacket so that readers can disguise the "objectionable" book as a pony book from the "Luckiest Kids in the World" series. (The paperback, of course, does not boast this feature). 


The book is very playful and humorous. An example of its silliness comes from the introduction, where a whole paragraph is devoted to a description of a woman worded in such a way as to give us nothing distinctly descriptive. The paragraph begins like this: "The stranger was a woman, at least as tall as a small chair and probably as old as someone who attended nursery school many years ago. She was entirely dressed in articles of clothing, and had nothing on her feet except a pair of socks and two shoes." Furthermore, this woman "began to speak in a voice that reminded me distinctly of her own." Humor is everywhere, even in lists of items included in the V.F.D. Disguise Kit ("...suit (black), suit (clown), suit (pinstripe), suit (sailor), suit (salmon), suit (sweat)..."). 


This companion book to the series is best understood if readers have read up to at least book 7 (The Vile Village) in the series, but even those only familiar with a few will certainly enjoy this "autobiography" that raises more questions than it answers.


Our Rating:




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Reviewed February 2005
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