Excerpt from The Carnivorous Carnival by Lemony Snicket, Brett Helquist, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Carnivorous Carnival

Book the Ninth (A Series of Unfortunate Events)

by Lemony Snicket, Brett Helquist

The Carnivorous Carnival
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Oct 2002, 304 pages
    Jan 2003, 286 pages

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

'Are we there yet?' The voice of the hook-handed man broke a long silence.

'I told you not to ask me that anymore,' replied Olaf with a snarl. 'We'll get there when we get there, and that is that.'

'Could we possibly make a short stop?' asked one of the white-faced women. 'I noticed a sign for a rest station in a few miles.'

'We don't have time to stop anywhere,' Olaf said sharply. 'If you needed to use the bathroom, you should have gone before we left.'

'But the hospital was on fire,' the woman whined.

'Yes, let's stop,' said the bald man.

'We haven't had anything to eat since lunch, and my stomach is grumbling.'

'We can't stop,' Esmé said. 'There are no restaurants out here in the hinterlands that are in.'

Violet, who was the eldest of the Baudelaires, stretched to place her hand on Klaus's stiff shoulder, and held her baby sister, Sunny, even tighter, as if to communicate with her siblings without speaking. Esmé Squalor was constantly talking about whether or not things were in -- a word she liked to use for 'stylish' -- but the children were more interested in overhearing where the car was taking them. The hinterlands were a vast and empty place very far from the very outskirts of the city, without even a small village for hundreds of miles. Long ago the Baudelaire parents had promised they would bring their children there someday to see the famous hinterlands sunsets. Klaus, who was a voracious reader, had read descriptions of the sunsets that had made the whole family eager to go, and Violet, who had a real talent for inventing things, had even begun building a solar oven so the family could enjoy grilled cheese sandwiches as they watched the dark blue light spread eerily over the hinterlands cacti while the sun slowly sank behind the distant and frosty Mortmain Mountains. Never did the three siblings imagine that they would visit the hinterlands by themselves, stuffed in the trunk of a car of a villain.

'Boss, are you sure it's safe to be way out here?' asked the hook-handed man. 'If the police come looking for us, there'll be no place to hide.'

'We could always disguise ourselves again,' the bald man said. 'Everything we need is in the trunk of the car.

'We don't need to hide,' Olaf replied, 'and we don't need to disguise ourselves, either. Thanks to that silly reporter at The Daily Punctilio, the whole world thinks I'm dead, remember?'

'You're dead,' Esmé said with a nasty chuckle, 'and the three Baudelaire brats are murderers. We don't need to hide -- we need to celebrate!'

'We can't celebrate yet,' Olaf said.

'There are two last things we need to do. First, we need to destroy the last piece of evidence that could send us to jail.'

'The Snicket file,' Esmé said, and the Baudelaires shuddered in the trunk. The three children had found one page of the Snicket file, which was now safe in Klaus's pocket. It was difficult to tell from only one page, but the Snicket file seemed to contain information about a survivor of a fire, and the Baudelaires were eager to find the remaining pages before Olaf did.

'Yes, of course,' the hook-handed man said. 'We have to find the Snicket file. But what's the second thing?'

'We have to find the Baudelaires, you idiot,' Olaf snarled. 'If we don't find them, then we can't steal their fortune, and all of my schemes will be a waste.'

'I haven't found your schemes to be a waste,' said one of the white-faced women. 'I've enjoyed them very much, even if we haven't gotten the fortune.'

Text copyright 2002 by Lemony Snicket. Illustrations copyright 2002 by Brett Helquist. All rights reserved. Not to be used or reproduced in any matter whatsoever without written permission.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Of Arms and Artists
    Of Arms and Artists
    by Paul Staiti
    In the late eighteenth-century, the United States of America was still an emerging country, ...
  • Book Jacket: So Say the Fallen
    So Say the Fallen
    by Stuart Neville
    Noir crime fiction – Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett anyone? – is an American invention...
  • Book Jacket: The Mothers
    The Mothers
    by Brit Bennett
    Every now and then the publishing industry gushes about a young author destined to become the next ...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    News of the World
    by Paulette Jiles

    Exquisitely rendered and morally complex--a brilliant work of historical fiction.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    North of Crazy
    by Neltje

    The remarkable life of a woman who carves her own singular path.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Cruel Beautiful World
    by Caroline Leavitt

    A fast moving page-turner about the naiveté of youth and the malignity of power.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.