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The Penultimate Peril (A Series of Unfortunate Events: Book 12) Hardcover – 19 Oct 2005


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Egmont Books Ltd; First edition (19 Oct 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405223375
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405223379
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 18.5 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lemony Snicket was born before you were and is likely to die before you as well. He was born in a small town where the inhabitants were suspicious and prone to riot. He grew up near the sea and currently lives beneath it. Until recently, he was living somewhere else.

Mr Snicket first received his education from public schools and private tutors, and then vice versa. Early in life, he learned to reupholster furniture, a skill that turned out to be far more important than anyone imagined. He has been hailed as a brilliant scholar, discredited as a brilliant fraud and mistaken for a much taller man on several occasions.
A studied expert in rhetorical analysis, Mr Snicket has spent the last several eras researching the travails of the Baudelaire orphans. During his spare time, he gathers evidence and is considered something of an expert by leading authorities. Recently, he had to give up his hobbies due to laws regarding musical performances in mountainous terrain.

Lemony Snicket published his first book in 1999 and has not had a good night's sleep since. Mr Snicket is the author of quite a few books, all dreadful, and has been falsely accused of many crimes, all falsely. Once the recipient of several distinguished rewards, he is now an escapee of several indistinguishable prisons. He is widely regarded as one of the most difficult children's authors to capture and imprison. There are thirteen books in the A Series of Unfortunate Events, which should be avoided at all costs.

To his horror and dismay, he has no wife or children, only enemies, associates, and the occasional loyal manservant. Lemony Snicket's extended family, if they were alive, would describe him as a distinguished scholar, an amateur connoisseur, and an outright gentleman. Unfortunately this description has been challenged of late, but Egmont Press continues to support his research and writing on the lives of the Baudelaire orphans. As he continues with his investigation, interest in the Baudelaire case has increased. So has his horror.

Until recently, he was presumed to be 'presumed dead'. Instead, this 'presumed' presumption wasn't disproved not to be incorrect. Most things written about him are not true, but this is. More miserable news about Mr Snicket and his dreadful books can be found at www.unfortunateevents.com.

Product Description

Review

Intelligent, morbid bestsellers. -- Daily Mail

Meet Harry Potter’s worst nightmare. -- Evening Standard

About the Author

Author Lemony Snicket was born before you were and is likely to die before you as well. He was born in a small town where the inhabitants were suspicious and prone to riot. He grew up near the sea and currently lives beneath it. Until recently, he was living somewhere else. He is a broken man, wracked with misery and despair as a result of writing 'A Series Of Unfortunate Events'. He spends his days wandering the countryside weeping and moaning and his evenings eating hastily-prepared meals. He has also written the mystery series 'All the Wrong Questions'. Artist Seth is no

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Bookworm on 20 Oct 2005
Format: Hardcover
The 12th book in 'Series of Unfortunate Events', actually entitled 'The Penultimate Peril', is the strangest one so far. Far from being conventional childrens' novels, Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) has written very intelligent books, name-dropping authors or novels who make a point he can use to comic effect. Also, the plot is very convoluted, and while this book does answer one or two questions, it poses about a hundred other left unanswered. But in a year, we'll get the final book, and I have every confidnece it will be worth the wait.
This book finds the Baudelaires reaching the Hotel Denouement, and the mysteries that lie therein. The plot whizzes along at a cracking pace, with the reader being just as confused as the siblings at several points. One neat part allows you to choose the order in which you will read the chapters, as each centres on either Violet, Klaus or Sunny. Also, many of the characters from previous books return, as the loose ends from the past begin to come together. As Snicket himself says at one point, a denouement refers to the tying-together of loose ends, but not necessarily the end.
This is the case here - once again, the novel ends on a cliffhanger, but the final book is set up marvelously, with much at stake for our heroes. The full mystery of VFD has yet to be resolved, as does the mystery of Beatrice, the Snickets, and why a fire department would want animals ... Overall, this book works reasonably well on its own, but essentially whets the reader's appetite for what should be an excellent ending.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Chris Chalk on 14 Nov 2005
Format: Hardcover
The twelfth and Penultimate book in the series is another corker. It offers more tantalising morsels of what final acts of Peril await our 3 intrepid explorers but again leaves us with a feeling that the end maybe something quite unexpected. This book is the first one in the series where you really get the feeling that all may not end in a happy way. Throughout the terrifying ordeals that the Baudelaire’s have gone through you have been left with a sense that something will make everything better. I am really not so sure anymore…
The story picks up where the Grim Grotto leaves off with Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire still hunting down the Hotel Denouncement and the final safe place for VFD, they are currently assisted by mysterious Kit Snickett – will she be another guardian for the Baudelaire’s to fear? Or will she be noble of mind, brave of spirit and frankly useless as a guide? Or will she finally be the allusive guardian the Baudelaire’s have been searching for? Someone who will bring them up in a protective, caring environment?
One thing I should mention at this point is that this is the twelfth book in the series and as such if you chose to start it here you are going to miss out on a lot of back story. As with all of the Series of Unfortunate Events books they have been easy to read stand alone, I do feel you lose something from not reading them in the order that they were intended to be written.
However, back to the dastardly plot…
The books have been plunging head first towards a crescendo of an ending for sometime now.
Read more ›
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Danny Briggs on 19 Oct 2005
Format: Hardcover
Warning! This may contain spoliers:
When i bought the Penultimate Peril i was expecting a great, action-packed mystery book. I had read every other book in the series and had been looking forward to this book for months. I was not let down. The Penultimate Peril is a fantastic book, just what you'd expect it to be, maybe even more. The book is well planned, from beginning to end, with some funny jokes too. There are a lot of events, which are all exciting for the reader, infact i hardly put the book down. I read it within 24 hours of release, and can't wait for the next book. The Baudelaires travel to the Hotel Denouement with Kit Snicket, a strange woman we met in the last book. There, they have a picnic- my favourite part- and discuss what they will all be doing for the next few days. The Baudelaires will become concierges and will try to find the mysterious JS, either a volunteer or villain. Will they succeed? Or will the notorious Count Olaf reach the sugar bowl before them? All awaits in the Penultimate Peril. Great book. No wait... fantastic.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Ash Crane on 4 Dec 2005
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book. Lemony Snicket's books are stuffed to the brim with character and confusion - which is what makes them interesting. Some people may argue that the books are horribly repetitive, and that once you're read the first, you might as well have read them all. On the contrary, Snicket comes up with a diverse plot with hilarious unique events that are new and original. Part of the fun that gives this book its light is the misery the poor orphaned main characters, Violet, Klaus and Sunny, have to go through - but don't let this put you off if its a laugh you're looking for rather than a tear-jerker. You'll find yourself really sympathizing with the children, yet giggling at the stupidity of Snicket’s fabulous world. Strangely enough, unlike in your usual children’s story, the heroes aren’t always perfect. In any average fairy-tale the hero who saves the main characters at the end is brave, wise and noble – but in this book the heroes are far from wise, not too brave or noble, and very rarely manage to save the main characters. The Penultimate Peril is different, and that’s part of its charm. Anybody who wants a laugh and a taste of wacky fun mixed with hilarious misfortune – read this book.
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