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The Grim Grotto: Book the Eleventh (A Series of Unfortunate Events)

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Overview

Warning: Your day will become very dark - and possibly damp - if you read this book.

Plan to spend this spring in hiding. Lemony Snicket is back with the eleventh book in his New York Times bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Lemony Snicket's saga about the charming, intelligent and grossly unlucky Baudelaire orphans continues to provoke suspicion and despair in readers the world over. In the eleventh and most alarming volume yet in the...

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A Series of Unfortunate Events #11: The Grim Grotto

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Overview

Warning: Your day will become very dark - and possibly damp - if you read this book.

Plan to spend this spring in hiding. Lemony Snicket is back with the eleventh book in his New York Times bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Lemony Snicket's saga about the charming, intelligent and grossly unlucky Baudelaire orphans continues to provoke suspicion and despair in readers the world over. In the eleventh and most alarming volume yet in the bestselling phenomenon A Series of Unfortunate Events, the intrepid siblings delve further into the dark mystery surrounding the death of their parents and the baffling VFD organisation.

Ages 9+

Still pursued by the evil Count Olaf, the Baudelaire orphans attempt to reach a very important VFD meeting, but first they must travel in a rattletrap submarine to the Gorgonian Grotto, a dangerous underwater cave, in search of the sugar bowl.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Grab hold of your diving gear: Lemony Snicket's Book the Eleventh is here and as woeful as ever! Continuing the saga of the Baudelaire orphans and their quest to locate the sugar bowl, The Grim Grotto follows the three children aboard the Queequeg submarine, which is piloted by VFD "allies" Captain Widdershins and his stepdaughter Fiona. While the Queequeg might seem like a safe haven at first, the orphans' luck quickly turns sour after they search the Grim Grotto for the bowl and return with Sunny's life in mortal danger. Of course, Count Olaf and his scheming cohorts don't make things any easier -- especially concerning Fiona -- but thankfully, smart thinking restores Sunny's health and a Volunteer Factual Dispatch yields a shocking surprise. As you might expect, this installment contains all of the action and turns of events that has earned Snicket's series bestsellerdom, but as you might not expect, this entry reveals fascinating clues and unexpected characters who could provide the Baudelaires with help in reaching the end of their dismal journey. Another piece of the brilliant Series of Unfortunate Events puzzle that will twist your nerves into knots.
Publishers Weekly
Tim Curry, whose appropriately unctuous and sometimes slimy delivery are a hallmark of the audiobook versions of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events titles, is thankfully up to his old tricks. Curry returns on the 11th installment, The Grim Grotto, to play Snicket, Count Olaf and all the gang with welcome flair. The enhanced CD features word games, photos and artwork when played on a personal computer. Curry also returns as the linchpin on a new, multivoice recording of The Bad Beginning, the first book in the series, which ties in to the feature film release of Paramount/Nickelodeon/Dreamwork's Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
The Baudelaire orphans, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny continue to have more adventures in this book, the eleventh, in "The Series of Unfortunate Events." As they escape from the Mortmain Mountains, the trio finds themselves on a toboggan traveling down the Stricken Stream. They find themselves staring into a periscope sticking out of the water and their lives take another turn, as they become passengers on a submarine. This was my first look into the world of this delightful series. There are lots of exciting and heart-stopping moments. The author has a unique style that has the reader chuckling all through the story. Captain Widdershins and his stepdaughter, Fiona, try to help the orphans locate the sugar bowl before Count Olaf and his partners can find it. These are fast-paced books that will keep the reader turning the pages to reach the ending. I do suggest you start at the beginning of the series to understand all of the adventures until this point, if not, the story can still stand on its own as a great tale. Should I even hint that there is a glimmer of hope for the orphan trio as the book concludes? 2004, HarperCollins Children's Books, Ages 7 up.
—Barbara Youngblood
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780064410144
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/21/2004
  • Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events , #11
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 45,335
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 1120L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 1.22 (d)

Meet the Author

Lemony Snicket

Lemony Snicket is often despondent, mostly about his published research, which includes A Series of Unfortunate Events and The Composer Is Dead.

Brett Helquist's celebrated art has graced books from the charming Roger, The Jolly Pirate, to the alarming New York Times bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events, to the cozy E. B. White Read-Aloud Award finalist bedtime for bear. He lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.

Michael Kupperman has done many illustrations for such publications as Fortune, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. He frequently writes scripts for DC Comics. This is his first book.

Biography

As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end -- and, in the case of Lemony Snicket, all unfortunate things must come to an end, too. After seven years and thirteen episodes, the much beloved A Series of Unfortunate Events books are drawing to a close. At least, that's what Snicket's "handler" Daniel Handler says.

But before getting to what promises to be "the most unfortunate event of all," it is first necessary to familiarize oneself with the mysterious man who created a mega-selling series of children's novels pivoting on the premise of placing young people in peril. According to his autobiography Lemony Snicket: the Unauthorized Autobiography, Snicket "grew up near the sea and currently lives beneath it. To his horror and dismay, he has no wife or children, only enemies, associates, and the occasional loyal manservant. His trial has been delayed, so he is free to continue researching and recording the tragic tales of the Baudelaire orphans." Hmmm. Perhaps an autobiography purporting that it may or may not be true isn't the best place to begin.

Instead, let us focus on Daniel Handler, the man who might actually be responsible for composing the Series of Unfortunate Events books according to certain skeptics (which include Handler, himself). Daniel Handler has been asked many times why anyone would want to make a career of chronicling the ghastly trials of a trio of ill-fated orphans. "When I was young, my favorite stories were not the sort of children's books that are constantly being thrust at you when you're little," he explained in an audio essay on Barnes & Noble.com. "I didn't like books where people played on a sports team and won a bunch of games, or went to summer camp and had a wonderful time. I really liked a book where a witch might cut a child's head off or a pack of angry dogs might burst through a door and terrorize a family. So, I guess it should not be surprising that when I turned to children's literature I tried to think of all sorts of interesting things to happen to small children, and all of these things were pretty dreadful."

Handler has long made it clear that his wildly popular series would be limited to thirteen installments. The Penultimate Peril: Book the Twelfth finds the much-beleaguered Baudelaire orphans "enjoying" a family vacation at a menacing hotel, and Handler is wrapping up his saga with The End: Book the Thirteenth, which promises to tie up all remaining threads in the story in an undoubtedly exciting manner.

However, the conclusion of his series is no indication that Handler plans on bringing his writing career to an end. He has also written adult-targeted titles under his own name, including his latest, Adverbs: A Novel. This exploration of love, which Publishers Weekly deemed "lovely" and "lilting," may forgo the trademark Lemony Snicket wry morbidity, but Handler ensures readers that the book isn't without its own unfortunate events. "It's a fairly miserable story, as any story about love will be," he says. "People try to find love -- some of them find it, some of them don't, some of them have an unhappy time even if they do find it -- but it is considerably more cheerful than any of my so-called children's books."

Good To Know

Daniel Handler has a potentially embarrassing confession to make: he is an avowed accordion player. Handler says that when he told his parents about his decidedly uncool musical pursuits, they reacted "as if I had taken up heroin."

His interest in music does not end with the accordion. Close friend and leader of indie-rock band The Magnetic Fields Steven Merritt has written an original song for each audio book version of the Series of Unfortunate Events books. Merritt and Handler will be releasing a CD of all 13 "dreadful" songs when the final installment of the series is published in late 2006. Handler also lent his accordion-laying talents to The Magnetic Fields' critically acclaimed album 69 Love Songs.

Handler's persistence may rival that of the never-say-die Baudelaire orphans. His first novel, The Basic Eight, was rejected 37 times before it was finally published.

He enjoys the work of novelist Haruki Murakami so much that Handler devoted an entire essay to the subject in the plainly and guilelessly entitled Village Voice review, "I Love Murakami."

According to a former high school classmate writing in the local paper, Handler was "voted not only Class Clown, but also Best Actor, Chatterbox, and Teacher's Pet."

A few fun facts from our interview with Handler:

"I can cook anything."

"I know one very good card trick."

"I auditioned for an enormous role in the film Gigli."

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    1. Also Known As:
      In some parts, people get to know him through his handler, Daniel Handler.
    2. Hometown:
      Snicket is something of a nomad. Handler lives in San Francisco, California.
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 28, 1970
    2. Place of Birth:
      Handler was born in San Francisco in 1970, and says Snicket's family has roots in a land that's now underwater.
    1. Education:
      Handler is a 1992 graduate of Wesleyan University in Connecticut.
    2. Website:

Table of Contents

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First Chapter

A Series of Unfortunate Events #11: The Grim Grotto

Chapter One

After a great deal of time examining oceans, investigating rainstorms, and staring very hard at several drinking fountains, the scientists of the world developed a theory regarding how water is distributed around our planet, which they have named "the water cycle." The water cycle consists of three key phenomena -- evaporation, precipitation, and collection -- and all of them are equally boring.

Of course, it is boring to read about boring things, but it is better to read something that makes you yawn with boredom than something that will make you weep uncontrollably, pound your fists against the floor, and leave tearstains all over your pillowcase, sheets, and boomerang collection. Like the water cycle, the tale of the Baudelaire children consists of three key phenomena, but rather than read their sorry tale it would be best if you read something about the water cycle instead.

Violet, the eldest phenomenon, was nearly fifteen years old and very nearly the best inventor the world had ever seen. As far as I can tell she was certainly the best inventor who had ever found herself trapped in the gray waters of the Stricken Stream, clinging desperately to a toboggan as she was carried away from the Valley of Four Drafts, and if I were you I would prefer to focus on the boring phenomenon of evaporation, which refers to the process of water turning into vapor and eventually forming clouds, rather than think about the turmoil that awaited her at the bottom of the Mortmain Mountains.

Klaus was the second eldest of the Baudelaire siblings, but it would be better for your health if you concentrated on the boring phenomenon of precipitation, which refers to vapor turning back into water and falling as rain, rather than spending even one moment thinking about the phenomenon of Klaus's excellent skills as a researcher, and the amount of trouble and woe these skills would bring him once he and his siblings met up with Count Olaf, the notorious villain who had been after the children ever since their parents had perished in a terrible fire.

And even Sunny Baudelaire, who had recently passed out of babyhood, is a phenomenon all to herself, not only for her very sharp teeth, which had helped the Baudelaires in a number of unpleasant circumstances, but also for her newfound skills as a cook, which had fed the Baudelaires in a number of unpleasant circumstances. Although the phenomenon of collection, which describes the gathering of fallen rain into one place so it can evaporate once more and begin the entire tedious process all over again, is probably the most boring phenomenon in the water cycle, it would be far better for you to get up and go right to your nearest library and spend several boring days reading every single boring fact you can find about collection, because the phenomenon of what happens to Sunny Baudelaire over the course of these pages is the most dreadful phenomenon I can think of, and I can think of a great many. The water cycle may be a series of boring phenomena, but the story of the Baudelaires is something else entirely, and this is an excellent opportunity to read something boring instead of learning what became of the Baudelaires as the rushing waters of the Stricken Stream carried them away from the mountains.

"What will become of us?" Violet asked, raising her voice to be heard over the rushing water. "I don't think I can invent anything that can stop this toboggan."

"I don't think you should try," Klaus called back to his sister. "The arrival of False Spring has thawed out the stream, but the waters are still very cold. If one of us fell into the stream, I'm not sure how long we could survive."

"Quigley," Sunny whimpered. The youngest Baudelaire often talked in a way that could be difficult to understand, but lately her speech had been developing almost as quickly as her cooking skills, and her siblings knew that Sunny was referring to Quigley Quagmire, with whom the Baudelaires had recently become friends. Quigley had helped Violet and Klaus reach the top of Mount Fraught in order to find the V.F.D. headquarters and rescue Sunny from Count Olaf's clutches, but another tributary of the Stricken Stream had carried him off in the opposite direction, and the cartographer -- a word which here means "someone who is very good with maps, and of whom Violet Baudelaire was particularly fond" -- didn't even have a toboggan to keep him out of the chilly water.

"I'm sure Quigley has gotten out of the water," Violet said quickly, although of course she was sure of no such thing. "I only wish we knew where he was going. He told us to meet him somewhere, but the waterfall interrupted him."

The toboggan bobbed in the water as Klaus reached into his pocket and drew out a dark blue notebook. The notebook had been a gift from Quigley, and Klaus was using it as a commonplace book, a phrase which here means "notebook in which he wrote any interesting or useful information." "We decoded that message telling us about an important V.F.D. gathering on Thursday," he said, "and thanks to Sunny, we know that the meeting is at the Hotel Denoue ment. Maybe that's where Quigley wants to meet us -- at the last safe place."

"But we don't know where it is," Violet pointed out. "How can we meet someone in an unknown location?"

The three Baudelaires sighed, and for a few moments the siblings sat quietly on the toboggan and listened to the gurgling of the stream. There are some people who like to watch a stream for hours, staring at the glittering water and thinking about the mysteries of the world. But the waters of the Stricken Stream were too dirty to glitter, and every mystery the children tried to solve seemed to reveal even more mysteries, and even those mysteries contained mysteries, so when they pondered these mysteries they felt more overwhelmed than thoughtful. They knew that V.F.D. was a secret organization, but they couldn't seem to find out much about what the organization did, or why it should concern the Baudelaires. They knew that Count Olaf was very eager to get his filthy hands on a certain sugar bowl, but they had no idea why the sugar bowl was so important, or where in the world it was. They knew that there were people in the world who could help them, but so many of these people -- guardians, friends, bankers -- had proven to be of no help at all, or had vanished from their lives just when the Baudelaires needed them most. And they knew there were people in the world who would not help them -- villainous people, and their number seemed to be growing as their treachery and wickedness trickled all over the earth, like a dreadful water cycle of woe and despair. But right now the biggest mystery seemed to be what to do next, and as the Baudelaires huddled together on the floating toboggan they could not think of a thing.

A Series of Unfortunate Events #11: The Grim Grotto. Copyright © by Lemony Snicket. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 376 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(260)

4 Star

(67)

3 Star

(28)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(12)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 377 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2012

    Best Lemony Snicket EVER!!

    I literally could not put this book down. I got it today and stayed up until midnight reading it! AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME BOOK!!!!!!!

    20 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Meghan's thoughts on The Grim Grotto.

    The book, "The Grim Grotto" is the eleventh book in this series by Lemony Snicket. It is realistic fiction. It is set with the Baudelaire orphans in a submarine. They, of course, are trying to escape Count Olaf for trying to steal the Baudelaire fortune.


    At the beginning the Baudelaire orphans, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny meet Captain Widdershins and his step daughter Fiona on a submarine that they see while floating down the Stricken Stream. The biggest problem of all is that Count Olaf is trying to catch the Baudelaire children.

    The story mostly takes place in a submarine (the Queequeg) floating down at the bottom of the Stricken Stream with Captain Widdershins and Fiona his stepdaughter. This setting does make the story more exciting, and it also makes it more intense.

    There isn't really a moral to the story, it is just for entertainment. It is a story about greed, jealousy, and courage. There was greed and jealousy because Count Olaf is greedy and jealous of the Baudelaire's fortune and courage because the orphans need courage to escape the clutches of Olaf.

    A short summary of this book is that the Baudelaires are floating down the Stricken Stream in a toboggan and they see a telescope from a submarine. The people in the submarine notice the orphans from the newspaper, and they invite them all in. The people inside seem very suspicious, and the children are very confused. They keep seeing signs of Olaf everywhere, and they are wondering what will happen next.

    Overall, I really liked this book; it was very intense and exciting. You never knew what was soon to come. I really didn't dislike anything about it. Nothing was confusing and nothing was predictable which made it all the better. Also, the ending was very unpredictable because out of nowhere things that no one expects to happen do. I would definitely give this book five stars.

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2012

    LOVE THIS SERIES

    These books captivate your attention.

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2011

    Cool

    I really liked it !!

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2011

    Amazing!

    It was an amazing book! Just like the rest of the series!

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 4, 2011

    A must read series!

    I love the series. My mom even read it too and she loved it too!
    A must read series!

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 24, 2011

    a series of u fortunete events

    the best of the books so far i cant imagine what the 12 and 13th books are like. you mist read 1-10 before u read this or u might not know what is going on. again, the best book of the series yet. A MUST READ book. im eleven i just turned 11a week ago and i started these books in march. the first few are short and easy to read but once u get to the 10th book they get better and longer. read this series its one of my favorite series andi read alot of books and i seriously mean a lot of books. read this book. this review is coming from an 11 year old that has read up to the 4th harry potter book and is on the 6th seekers book. (seekers is about bears and is by erin hunter) read the 11th series of unfortunate events book. i have not read the rest of the series but i bet u they will be great. read this book. i give it 5 stars and i guarentee you will give it 4 or5 stars like me.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2012

    Pretty good



    like it









    6 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2011

    AMAZ AMAAAAAZING

    AWESOME BOOK! Read all of thm and stil in luv with it

    6 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 16, 2011

    Wow

    I read the whole entire series. I bet that if you read this book , you feel the same i felt. OMG!!!!!!!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2011

    Hugs

    Great book. Sad. Its predictable but so unpredictable at the same time. Luv it!

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 21, 2011

    Good Book

    This is a great book and a great series

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2013

    Tgg

    My teacher reads this book .Its so mysterios in a good way.Thats why I gave it 5 stars.(I wih you could give more stars!!!!!)

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2012

    Aaahhhhhhhh

    I heart this book times ten it's opposite of horrible its sosososososososo amazing

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2011

    Reread machine

    I am rereading this book.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 25, 2011

    LOVE THIS BOOK AND SERIES

    I love this book its so good.
    After each chapter it makes you want to read more.
    I love that count olaf is in a submarine too its such a good book

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2011

    About to start the second chapter

    So far so good but eho am i kidding theyre always good

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 27, 2011

    anticipating

    it is a really good book that makes you ask a lot of questions to yourself.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 20, 2011

    AWSOME

    This book is a good book. But i must warn you, its sas. In fact, thw whole series is sad!!! But, it will keep you wondering about what might happen next.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 18, 2011

    Get it!

    That book was awsome! Buy it now! Get every book. I have read every book. If you havent read it buy it now!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 377 Customer Reviews

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