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

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“Dear Reader,
You are presumably looking at the back of this book, or the end of THE END. The end of THE END is the best place to begin THE END, because if you read THE END from the beginning of the beginning of THE END to the end of the end of THE END, you will arrive at the end of the end of your rope.
This book is the las in A Series of Unfortunate Events, and even if you braved the previous twelve volumes, you probably can’t stand such unpleasantries as a fearsome storm, a suspicious beverage, a herd of wild sheep, an enormous bird cage, and a haunting secret about the Baudelaire parents.
It has been my solemn occupation to complete the history of the Baudelaire orphans, and at last I am finished. You likely have some other occupation, so if I were you I would drop this book at once, so THE END does not finish you.
With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket. ” 

When reading ‘The End’, you are constantly aware that every page you turn is another tick on the clock that marks the ever looming end of your journey with the Baudelaire orphans with every strike. It’s one of the strangest things about reading a truly brilliant book, although you want to reach the end as quickly as possible because you want to carry on reading the book you’re also terrified of reaching the end and having your escape into the world of the novel finish. The only solace a reader has at the end of a particularly good book or series is when the finale is so beautifully written and ties the story together so well that you could not have hoped for a better conclusion.

Luckily for me, Lemony Snicket is a master of his craft and not only was the final chapter of the history of the Baudelaire orphans completely perfect but the last book itself was brilliant. In ‘The End’ the Baudelaire’s are shipwrecked on a small island and attempt to integrate into a small, strictly governed community where the claustrophobic conditions breed unhappiness and contempt- the ideal conditions for a schism. As the islanders begin to quarrel with their controlling facilitator the Baudelaire’s try in vain to save their friend Kit Snicket while also trying to ensure Count Olaf does not release the deadly Medusoid Mycelium.

The great thing about this book was that it managed to feel complete and happy without having to make a grand show of closure. There was no attempt by the author to tie up every single loose thread and answer every single question the reader had- that would have taken up another 13 book series to find out what happened to every single character the Baudelaire’s met along the way who disappeared somewhere in the background of their misery and resolve every mystery of the V.F.D.. In fact, although the fates of many favoured characters such as the Quagmires remained unknown, and the depressing deaths of others, such as Kit and Olaf, do make for a melancholy ending they also make for a brilliantly written one. Because, in the end, the only answers you need involve the Baudelaires. The biggest hunger you feel while reading is the one to find out how the story of the three young orphans end and whether they will ever get some semblance of a break. Although the Baudelaire and Snicket orphans set off together back into the dangerous world that had served them so poorly before there is still a sense of hope in the image of the children sailing away and, in the final word of Beatrice, Snicket provides the perfect closure to an immense work.

I loved it, I have always loved it, and I doubt I will ever stop loving this incredibly brilliant series of books. But, if for some reason in the future I am once again so heartbroken that I feel as though no amount of sunshine will ever dispel the clouds in my heart, just point me in the direction of my childhood library, it has served me faithfully this far and I trust that the happy memories resting inside the covers will always be there to welcome me back home.

5-stars

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