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The Insomniac Reader

Books and snarky commentary inspired by insomnia induced reading marathons.



Who Could That Be At This Hour? - Lemony Snicket, Seth I only read the first book of Snicket's popular A Series of Unfortunate Events. I enjoyed it. I plan to finish the series at some point. But as an exhausted book series junkie, I have a hard time getting overly excited about series these days. There are just too many of them out there. And they take up a lot of time, especially when it seems like the writer is just crapping out mediocre stories for profit. By the third book you might realize that things are starting to get boring and it's only downhill from there. It could be the fifth book and it seems that the writer forgot that they were continuing a series and not vomiting nonsensical sentences until something book length happened. Or you could end up reading a series you don't like all that much, you know the writing is not all that good, the characters annoy you, but you're already invested in it so now you have to know what happened.

It's exhausting.


But then every so often a series comes up that makes me excited about spending the time and money reading about the same characters again.

When I started reading, I didn't think I was going to like this book, and was beginning to regret my "Oooh the cover is pretty and it's pretty cheap on Amazon right now!" impulse buy. It begins with a young Lemony Snicket working for the painfully incompetent S. Theodora Markson in the mostly abandoned and very strange town called Stain'd-by-the-Sea. They're hired to retrieve a statue of the Bombinating Beast, which may or may not be stolen.

I really didn't think it was going to be interesting, but as you start to get into the book more, the story starts to become an interesting puzzle. New characters are thrown in, both helping and complicating Snicket's mission. All the fathers of this town seem to be sick. Or kidnapped. Or busy. But they're mysteriously never around. Adults are few and far between. The only taxi is driven by two boys who accept book recommendations as a form of payment. This Bombinating Beast statue, supposedly a silly tchotchke, is suddenly incredibly valuable. There's a reporter's daughter who reports everything that happened in a town where nothing happens. There's a strange coffee drinking girl from somewhere else who is trying to get her father back from a mysterious villain who can mimic any voice.

Then there's Snicket's other mission. Because he does this "in order to do something else."

I had no idea where any of it was going. I still don't know. But you know what? It was fun.

You've won me over Lemony. So when the second book finally comes out, what I want you to do is to shut up and take my money.