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The Composer Is Dead (Book & CD) Hardcover – 1 Mar 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Har/Com edition (1 Mar. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061236276
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061236273
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 0.9 x 27.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 86,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Lemony Snicket had an unusual education which may or may not explain his ability to evade capture. He is the author of the 13 volumes in A Series of Unfortunate Events, several picture books including The Dark, and the books collectively titled All The Wrong Questions.



Colin Meloy once wrote Ray Bradbury a letter, informing him that he "considered himself an author too." He was ten. Since then, Colin has gone on to be the singer and songwriter for the band the Decemberists, where he channels all of his weird ideas into weird songs. With the Wildwood Chronicles, he is now channeling those ideas into novels.

As a kid, Carson Ellis loved exploring the woods, drawing, and nursing wounded animals back to health. As an adult, little has changed—except she is now the acclaimed illustrator of several books for children, including Lemony Snicket's The Composer Is Dead, Dillweed's Revenge by Florence Parry Heide, and The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart.

Colin and Carson live with their sons, Hank and Milo, in Oregon.


Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I was incredibly disappointed with this book, and I surprisingly seem to be in the minority here.

I bought this book knowing that it is targeted at children, as are most, if not all, of Lemony Snicket's books. I did not, however, realize that those children had to be between the ages of 4 and 6. This book is very small, 10 pages at most, with every page barely containing more than 2 or 3 lines. I admit, the premise of the murder mystery is extremely interesting, and the way it was executed was superbly creative.

The conductor of the orchestra was found dead and Lemony Snicket interrogates the instruments of the orchestra. Very interesting, yes. But, you'll have to be very knowledgeable about classical music and instruments to understand the significance of what answers those instruments gave and the order in which they were interrogated in. So this book really works if you fit under 2 categories - that of a 4 to 6 year old, or a classical musician and instruments aficionado. Otherwise, I can confidently say, you would be wasting your time buying this book. It will take 5 minutes of your time, 10 if you're a very slow reader, and you will end up with nothing but a CD of classical music.

I thought it would be a lot more than it turned out to be, and maybe that's my fault.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of the practical resources used to teach children the various parts of an orchestra is the classic composition `Peter and the wolf' by Sergei Prokofiev. This new exuberant tale - which here means exciting and full of high spirits - almost pales the masterwork into insignificance.

Using a compelling score and myriad of composers for illustration - which here means to show off the power, majesty, and expression of musical instruments, what Daniel Handler (AKA Lemony Snicket - the fictitious `biographer' of the `Series of unfortunate events' `must read' chronicles) has done is brought the definition of an orchestra, and the purpose of each section and every instrument - right into the 21st century.

But the very witty story and wonderful orchestrations not only breathe new life into what is normally a very dry subject, there is MUCH more. Here we also learn lessons in leadership and teamwork, and the importance of collaboration. But that is not all! There is a wonderful joke when the soundtrack is played without the narration - which also serves as a utility for the more dramatic amongst us. And there is more - the quality of the SOUND is outstanding - which here means breathtakingly real. Could it get any better? Listen to the fabulous montage of composers in the final scene; and the virtuosity of each musician featured - and judge for yourself!
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Format: Hardcover
This is great.

really really great

some sort of murder mystery, comic, surriel thing... but in writing, and with paintings... and a CD!!

this is in fact the new 'Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra', but much MUCH better... because it's not edu-tainment, it's just good.

Try this instead of an endless course in orchestration... by Walter Piston... for expample...
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By Shaun Horrigan TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Jan. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is absolutely fantastic!

A beautifully illustrated book and a fully orchestrated and narrated CD in one.

Written in typical Lemony Snicket style, a word here which means with lots of unusual definitions of words.

The best way I can sum up this book would be to say that it is what happens when A Series of Unfortunate Events meets Peter and the Wolf.

If you or your children enjoyed his previous books you will love this.

Get it!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a perfect addition to learning about the instruments and sections of the orchestra. It is ideal for 9 years up. The recording on the CD is the story read by the author accompanied by a brilliant orchestral score. The music gives an idea of the 'characters' of the instruments along with their role in the orchestra. A nice alternative to Britten's 'Young Persons Guide' as well. Inspirational!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
So different ... but brilliant.
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