Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography
Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography

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Annotation: The elusive author provides a glimpse into his mysterious and sometimes confusing life, using fanciful letters, diary entries, and other miscellaneous documents as well as photographs and illustrations.
Catalog Number: #175241
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Chapter Book Chapter Book
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2002
Edition Date: 2002
Pages: xvii, 212 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-056225-0 Perma-Bound: 0-605-32950-8
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-056225-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-32950-8
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2001051745
Dimensions: 18 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Part of the fun of the droll Series of Unfortunate Events books is narrator Lemony Snicket's practice of making cryptic remarks about his knowledge of and involvement in the Baudelaire orphans' shadowy background story. These mysterious events are unlikely to be explained before the thirteenth book, the projected end of the series. In the meantime, readers fixated on this puzzle will be happy to pore over this unauthorized autobiography, an eclectic scrapbook of documents such as letters, newspaper articles, and transcripts of meetings and conversations, illustrated with vintage, black-and-white snapshots. Despite bits of humor that extend from the clever title to the reversible book jacket, from the copyright statement to the index, the book comes across as a rather formless vehicle for clues and red herrings. Without the customary characters and plot to keep the momentum going, some readers will bog down before finishing the book. Only for devoted Snicket fans . . . but, of course, libraries are full of devoted Snicket fans.
Horn Book
Snicket, the pseudonymous author of this series, presents his own (fictitious) life story in this cleverly designed but self-indulgent volume. Readers hoping for edification--about the elusive Snicket's life or the fate of his literary creations, the Baudelaires--may find the content of this hodgepodge of letters, newspaper clippings, diary entries, and archival photographs to be not just enigmatic but completely baffling.
Publishers Weekly

"A certain maniacal glee went into the creation of this archly humorous volume," said PW. "The contents lead readers on a merry goose chase. The 13 (naturally) chapters burst with red herrings, non sequiturs, mysterious letters, diary entries—not to mention fading b&w photographs with captions such as 'Total strangers' and 'W?H?O?' " Ages 10-up. (May)

School Library Journal
Gr 4-8 Beneath a simple, seductive Tyvek cover resembling manila and plain brown paper, snippets of Snicket's life appear in 13 chapters of notes, letters, newspaper clippings, songs, photos, telegrams, screenplay excerpts, steamship tickets, and meeting minutes. Daniel Handler prefaces the material. It is not stated who compiled this information, although there is a speculative tale of how it reached the publisher. Snicket begins with a letter about the inaccurate report of his death published in The Daily Punctilio and comments on a folk song detailing his abduction at a young age by the V.F.D. It is noted that all members of this organization were snatched at an early age, chronicled with black-and-white photographs. Subsequent documents from and about characters in "A Series of Unfortunate Events," such as Poe, Olaf, Esme, and others, may or may not reveal their connection to V.F.D., which is used as an acronym for many different organizations, events, and things. Allusion is made to a solid connection between the Snickets and Baudelaires; clearly they are in imminent danger and in need of the many disguise suggestions provided. The book's high-gloss pages have the look of a scrapbook with many gray pages reminiscent of early photocopies. References are made to Kafka, Fitzgerald, and children's authors. There is a circuitously cross-referenced index. Snicket fans will clamor for this intriguing parody of an autobiography/mystery. -Laura Scott, Baldwin Public Library, Birmingham, MI Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Word Count: 19,817
Reading Level: 7.3
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 7.3 / points: 3.0 / quiz: 59380 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:6.9 / points:6.0 / quiz:Q30727
Lexile: NC1270L
Guided Reading Level: W
Fountas & Pinnell: W


A Warning from the Publisher:

Many readers have questions about Lemony Snicket, author of the distressing serial concerning the trials of the charming but unlucky Baudelaire orphans, published under the collective title A Series of Unfortunate Events. Before purchasing, borrowing, or stealing this book, you should be aware that it contains the answers to some of those questions, such as the following:

1. Who is Lemony?

2. Is there a secret organization I should know about?

3. Why does Lemony Snicket spend his time researching and writing distressing books concerning the Baudelaire orphans?

4. Why do all of Lemony Snicket's books contain a sad dedication to a woman named Beatrice?

5. If there's nothing out there, what was that noise?

Our advice to you is that you find a book that answers less upsetting questions than this one. Perhaps your librarian, bookseller, or parole officer can recommend a book that answers the question, "Aren't ponies adorable?"

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