Summary and book reviews of The End by Lemony Snicket

The End

A Series of Unfortunate Events #13

By Lemony Snicket

The End
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  • Hardcover: Oct 2006,
    368 pages.

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Book Summary

You are presumably looking at the back of this book, or the end of the end. The end of the end is the best place to begin the end, because if you read the end from the beginning of the beginning of the end to the end of the end of the end, you will arrive at the end of the end of your rope.

This book is the last in A Series of Unfortunate Events, and even if you braved the previous twelve volumes, you probably can't stand such unpleasantries as a fearsome storm, a suspicious beverage, a herd of wild sheep, an enormous bird cage, and a truly haunting secret about the Baudelaire parents.

It has been my solemn occupation to complete the history of the Baudelaire orphans, and at last I am finished. You likely have some other occupation, so if I were you I would drop this book at once, so the end does not finish you.

With all due respect,

Lemony Snicket

Chapter One

If you have ever peeled an onion, then you know that the first thin, papery layer reveals another thin, papery layer, and that layer reveals another, and another, and before you know it you have hundreds of layers all over the kitchen table and thousands of tears in your eyes, sorry that you ever started peeling in the first place and wishing that you had left the onion alone to wither away on the shelf of the pantry while you went on with your life, even if that meant never again enjoying the complicated and overwhelming taste of this strange and bitter vegetable.

In this way, the story of the Baudelaire orphans is like an onion, and if you insist on reading each and every thin, papery layer in A Series of Unfortunate Events, your only reward will be 170 chapters of misery in your library and countless tears in your eyes. Even if you have read the first twelve volumes of the Baudelaires' story, it is not too late to stop peeling away the layers, and...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
About This Guide
A Series of Unfortunate Events is the term HarperCollins uses to describe a sequence of books written by Lemony Snicket concerning the miserable plight of the three Baudelaire children at the hands of the sinister Count Olaf. It is a New York Times Best-selling series and has sold hundreds of thousands of copies in North America and will soon be appearing all over the world. This guide is a desperate attempt to stop this travesty before it is too late. The discussion topics, suggested reading list and author biography in this reading group guide are intended to guide the public toward books that are less dreadful and so to promote comfort and vitality rather than despair and anxiety in our large and ...
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Reviews

BookBrowse

Some early reviews for The End comment that the story ends rather suddenly without any real conclusion; don't be put off by these reviews which you may find published elsewhere, as they may well be based on reading an unfinished copy of the book. Wanting to give reviewers a chance to read the final volume but also wishing to maintain the suspense, the publisher sent advanced reading copies to reviewers but purposely did not include the last two chapters. Unfortunately, a few of the early reviewers did not pick up on this all important detail when writing their reviews!   (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

Full Review Members Only (983 words).

Media Reviews
New York Times - Henry Alford

Where, in the end — and in “The End” — does the “Unfortunate Events” series leave us? It leaves us reminded of what an interesting and offbeat educator Handler is. In between all the exotic ethnic food references and the gallows humor and the teaching of words like “denouement” and “vaporetto,” the books seem at times like a covert mission to turn their readers into slightly dark-hued sophisticates.

The Houston Chronicle

The series' ending is sad. And definitely unfortunate: The End leaves some loose ends....It does, however, provide a bittersweet ending, one that readers won't expect.

San Francisco Chronicle

Handler never talks down to readers. In fact, he talks up to kids: His text is full of literary allusions (starting with the orphans' last name, taken from the 19th century French poet Charles Baudelaire) and sophisticated vocabulary that narrator Snicket wryly interrupts the story to explain.

The Guardian (UK)

[A Series of Unfortunate Events] is America's answer to JK Rowling and the Harry Potter series, the seventh and also last of which is hungrily anticipated. Both have captivated children and brought them back to books.

Reader Reviews
Lone Wolf

The End but Not The End
The End has left me wondering more and driving to read more of the mysterious Lemony Snicket. The book leaves in the end reminding us though unfortunate events happen you must keep on going. The Baudelaire's story will never end and will entertain ...   Read More

Tanayja Ford

Four Thumbs Up!!!
Lemony Snicket is a FANTASTIC writer! High schoolers could even enjoy this series because my mother even loves to read these books!

BookWorm

GREAT!
This book was FABULOUS. I have been waiting so long for it and now i have finally read it. I couldn't put it down! (No really, my mum had to pull it out of my hands to get me to eat dinner!). I HIGHLY recommend the entire series- IT WONT BE A WASTE ...   Read More

maddie holtson

a wonderful book!!!
I've read the whole series and I absolutely love it!!! The only part that I had a problem with was the ending because I expected my questions to be answered. I think that is part of Lemony Snicket's mysterious way of writing! I still think it is my ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

Did you know? (continued)

  • Handler started writing the Lemony Snicket books after he published his first novel The Basic Eight.  The suggestion came from Susan Rich, a children's book editor who now works at Harper Collins. Initially he thought it a terrible idea thinking that the sort of things he would come up with would be totally inappropriate for a children's publishing house, but then he had an idea - which she liked, and the rest is history. 
  • His pseudonym came about while researching The Basic Eight, when he needed to contact right-wing organizations to get pamphlets and learn their dogma but didn't want to use his real name.  It quickly took on a life of its own and became an in-joke with his ...

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