‘A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Hostile Hospital’ by Lemony Snicket

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‘Dear Reader,
Before you throw this awful book to the ground and run as far away from it as possible, you should probably know why. This book is the only one which describes every last detail of the Baudelaire children’s miserable stay at Heimlich Hospital, which makes it one of the most dreadful books in the world.
There are many pleasant things to read about, but this book contains none of them. Within its pages are such burdensome details as a suspicious shopkeeper, unnecessary surgery, an intercom system, anesthesia, heart-shaped balloons, and some very startling news about a fire. Clearly you do not want to read about such things.
I have sworn to research this story, and to write it down as best I can, so I should know that this book is best left on the ground, where you undoubtedly found it.
With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket.’ 

The Hostile Hospital’ was yet another of Lemony Snicket’s story’s where any sort of vague notion of plot had entirely escaped my memory. In fact, whilst rereading this book I found that it was almost entirely like reading it for the first time. There were some details I found I recognised, such as the use of anagrams, but I didn’t recall that it was this book that that was revealed. All in all, rereading this book wasn’t like rereading it at all, and perhaps that’s why I enjoyed it so much. After all, reading a book you have read before and know you will enjoy is always lovely, but it is also not very exciting in the sense that you already know exactly what will happen. If the hero gets into difficulty, you know exactly how they will get themselves out of it and so there is no feeling of anxiety like there is when you read a story for the first time.

I think my favourite thing about this book is that it’s the first time the Baudelaire’s are truly on their own and at the mercy of Count Olaf. Before now, they’ve always had Mr Poe turn up at the end to take them away and help foil Olaf’s plan- no matter how useless he is he still represented a sort of safety to the orphans. But now, thanks to the accusations of the village of  V.F.D. and the Daily Punctilio the orphans are on the run for murder and can no longer rely on Poe or anyone else to save them from the dastardly schemes of Olaf and his sinister associates. This makes the book far more exciting and allows for a lot more tension and interest on the part of the reader as now the Baudelaire’s have to tend for themselves and rely only on each other.

For me, this book has the best ending of any that has come before it. The desperate decision of the children to run straight into the mouth of danger and climb into the back of Olaf’s car, hiding from the large crowd who would wish to arrest them or worse for murder and arson in the trunk of their greatest enemies car could not have been an easy decision to make but it make for an incredibly interesting end which made me want to immediately delve into the next book. The question of where Olaf goes in between his evil plots to terrorise the Baudelaire’s has interested me since the second book and although the idea of meeting more of Olaf’s friends is unsettling its also incredibly interesting. He is certainly a brilliant character and those who he associates with are always intriguing.

In short, I really enjoyed reading this book, probably more than I enjoyed reading almost all the other books in the series. Now I’m off to join Violet, Klaus and Sunny in the trunk of Olaf’s car.

5-stars

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