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The Hostile Hospital: Book the Eighth (A Series of Unfortunate Events)

The Hostile Hospital: Book the Eighth (A Series of Unfortunate Events)

4.5 345
by Lemony Snicket, Brett Helquist (Illustrator), Michael Kupperman (Illustrator)

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The Baudelaires need a safe place to stay—somewhere far away from terrible villains and local police. A quiet refuge where misfortune never visits. Might Heimlich Hospital be just the place? In Lemony Snicket's eighth ghastly installment in A Series of Unfortunate Events, I'm sorry to say that the Baudelaire orphans will



The Baudelaires need a safe place to stay—somewhere far away from terrible villains and local police. A quiet refuge where misfortune never visits. Might Heimlich Hospital be just the place? In Lemony Snicket's eighth ghastly installment in A Series of Unfortunate Events, I'm sorry to say that the Baudelaire orphans will spend time in a hospital where they risk encountering a misleading newspaper headline, unnecessary surgery, an intercom system, anesthesia, heart-shaped balloons, and some very startling news about a fire.

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
The unluckiest children in the world face their toughest challenges yet in The Hostile Hospital, the eighth book in Lemony Snicket's delightfully disastrous tales, A Series of Unfortunate Events. The three Baudelaire children, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny, began their string of bad luck when they were orphaned in a house fire. Ever since, they have been forced to move from one disastrous guardian situation to another, trailed the whole way by their greedy relative, Count Olaf, who always has yet another diabolical scheme to get his hands on their fortune.

At the end of the preceding book, The Vile Village, the children found themselves branded as murderers and on the run. Now, desperate to escape, they use the only opportunity they can find, hiding themselves amidst a group of bizarrely happy hospital volunteers whose initials -- V.F.D.: Volunteers for Fighting Disease -- will be familiar to readers of previous adventures. As a result, the children land smack in the middle of a strange hospital that is hardly made for healing. It comes as no surprise that Olaf manages to finagle his way into the facility, wearing a costume that hides his trademark eye-shaped tattoo and singular eyebrow -- a disguise that fools everyone except the children. And now that he's realized he only needs one of the Baudelaire children alive, Olaf's scheme is more heinous than ever. He intends to perform a cranioectomy (a term which here means getting her head sawed off) on Violet. Somehow Sunny and Klaus must save her, but with luck like theirs, it won't be easy.

The level of violence (though generally only implied) seems to mount with each installment of this unique series, but so does the absurdity and humor, making these woeful tales seem safely farcical. Not since the Brothers Grimm has misery been this much fun. (Beth Amos)

Children's Literature
The eighth book in "A Series of Unfortunate Events" relates the story of the Baudelaire orphans, Violet, Klaus and Sunny, who are on the run. The police, the local townspeople and hospital staff as well as Count Olaf, the man they are accused of murdering, are in pursuit. The treacherous Count, who engineered their parent's demise, desperately wants the Beaudelaire family fortune; his only means of attaining it is to eliminate the children. Hiding in the Heimlich Hospital, the children discover a clue that suggests one of their parents may still be alive. While trying to unravel this mystery, Violet is recaptured by one of Count Olaf's evil assistants who plans to "do her in" during an experimental operation in the hospital's surgical theater. Klaus and Sunny bravely rescue their sister, and the children save themselves by cleverly using materials on hand. Reminiscent of a melo-drama, this tongue-in-check thriller matches the children's wits against dastardly and devious villains. However, the story line is at times hard to follow and meets as many obstacles as the main characters with the author's frequent intrusions, stream of consciousness wanderings, ponderous explications of previous plots and endless warnings, all coupled with a disposition toward dubious double entendre. 2001, HarperCollins, $14.89 and $9.95. Ages 9 to 12. Reviewer: Pamela Jewett
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-Another roller coaster of perils for the three Baudelaire children. This time, they search for clues concerning their parents' deaths and attempt to clear themselves of a false murder charge while being pursued by the evil Count Olaf, who is after the family fortune. While attempting to escape arrest, the siblings join a volunteer group that sings and brings good cheer to patients and enter Heimlich Hospital, where they soon find themselves working in the Library of Records. A picture with an important clue surfaces just as Olaf's girlfriend discovers them and captures Violet, who is then readied for a cranioectomy, a surgery in which the head must be removed. The trio's talents are put to good use in a daring escape from the burning hospital. They jump into Olaf's car trunk in search of more clues and position themselves for the next exciting sequel. Readers will enjoy cheering for the clever youngsters, booing the diabolical villains, and noting the many new clues. The narrator's active voice is forever teasing readers by taking them to the edge of their seats and then purposely switching the subject or suggesting they stop reading all together. This volume can stand alone but few will be able to resist reading the next installment after the cliff-hanger ending.-Jean Gaffney, Dayton and Montgomery County Public Library, Miamisburg, OH Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
A Series of Unfortunate Events
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.10(h) x 1.00(d)
1110L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from

Chapter 1

There are two reasons why a writer would end a sentence with the word "stop" written entirely in capital letters STOP. The first is if the writer were writing a telegram, which is a coded message sent through an electrical wire STOP. In a telegram, the word "stop" in all capital letters is the code for the end of a sentence STOP. But there is another reason why a writer would end a sentence with "stop" written entirely in capital letters, and that is to warn readers that the book they are reading is so utterly wretched that if they have begun reading it, the best thing to do would be to stop STOP. This particular book, for instance, describes an especially unhappy time in the dreadful lives of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire, and if you have any sense at all you will shut this book immediately, drag it up a tall mountain, and throw it off the very top STOP. There is no earthly reason why you should read even one more word about the misfortune, treachery, and woe that are in store for the three Baudelaire children, any more than you should run into the street and throw yourself under the wheels of a bus STOP. This "stop"-ended sentence is your very last chance to pretend the "STOP" warning is a stop sign, and to stop the flood of despair that awaits you in this book, the heart-stopping horror that be gins in the very next sentence, by obeying the "STOP" and stopping STOP.

The Baudelaire orphans stopped. It was early in the morning, and the three children had been walking for hours across the flat and unfamiliar landscape. They were thirsty, lost, and exhausted, which are three good reasons to end a long walk, but they were also frightened, desperate, and not far from people who wanted to hurt them, which are three good reasons to continue. The siblings had abandoned all conversation hours ago, saving every last bit of their energy to put one foot in front of the other, but now they knew they had to stop, if only for a moment, and talk about what to do next.

The children were standing in front of the Last Chance General Store-the only building they had encountered since they began their long and frantic nighttime walk. The outside of the store was covered with faded posters advertising what was sold, and by the eerie light of the half-moon, the Baudelaires could see that fresh limes, plastic knives, canned meat, white envelopes, mango-flavored candy, red wine, leather wallets, fashion magazines, goldfish bowls, sleeping bags, roasted figs, cardboard boxes, controversial vitamins, and many other things were available inside the store. Nowhere on the building, however, was there a poster advertising help, which is really what the Baudelaires needed.

"I think we should go inside," said Violet, taking a ribbon out of her pocket to tie up her hair. Violet, the eldest Baudelaire, was probably the finest fourteen-year-old inventor in the world, and she always tied her hair up in a ribbon when she had to solve a problem, and right now she was trying to invent a solution for the biggest problem she and her siblings had ever faced. "Perhaps there's somebody in there who can help us in some way."

"But perhaps there's somebody in there who has seen our pictures in the newspaper," said Klaus, the middle Baudelaire, who had recently spent his thirteenth birthday in a filthy jail cell. Klaus had a real knack for remembering nearly every word of nearly all of the thousands of books he had read, and he frowned as he remembered something untrue he had recently read about himself in the newspaper. "If they read The Daily Punctilio," he continued, "perhaps they believe all those terrible things about us. Then they won't help us at all."

"Agery!" Sunny said. Sunny was a baby, and as with most babies, different parts of her were growing at different rates. She had only four teeth, for example, but each of them was as sharp as that of an adult lion, and although she had recently learned to walk, Sunny was still getting the hang of speaking in a way that all adults could understand. Her siblings, however, knew at once that she meant "Well, we can't keep on walking forever," and the two older Baudelaires nodded in agreement.

"Sunny's right," Violet said. "It's called the Last Chance General Store. That sounds like it's the only building for miles and miles. It might be our only opportunity to get some help."

"And look," Klaus said, pointing to a poster taped in a high corner of the building. "We can send a telegram inside. Maybe we can get some help that way."

"Who would we send a telegram to?" Violet asked, and once again the Baudelaires had to stop and think. If you are like most people, you have an assortment of friends and family you can call upon in times of trouble. For instance, if you woke up in the middle of the night and saw a masked woman trying to crawl through your bedroom window, you might call your mother or father to help you push her back out. If you found yourself hopelessly lost in the middle of a strange city, you might ask the police to give you a ride home. And if you were an author locked in an Italian restaurant that was slowly filling up with water, you might call upon your acquaintances in the locksmith, pasta, and sponge businesses to come and rescue you. But the Baudelaire children's trouble had begun with the news that their parents had been killed in a terrible fire, so they could not call upon their mother or father. The siblings could not call upon the police for assistance, because the police were among the people who had been chasing them all night long. And they could not call upon their acquaintances, because so many of the children's acquaintances were unable to help them. After the death of the Baudelaire parents, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny had found themselves under the care of a variety of guardians. Some of them had been cruel. Some of them had been murdered. And one of them had been Count Olaf, a greedy and treacherous villain who was the real reason they were all by themselves in the middle of the night, standing in front of the Last Chance General Store, wondering who in the world they could call upon for help.

"Poe," Sunny said finally. She was talking about Mr. Poe, a banker with a nasty cough, who was in charge of taking care of the children following their parents' death. Mr. Poe had never been particularly helpful, but he was not cruel, murdered, or Count Olaf, and those seemed to be reasons enough to contact him.

"I guess we could try Mr. Poe," Klaus agreed. "The worst he could do would be to say no."

"Or cough," Violet said with a small smile. Her siblings smiled back, and the three children pushed open the rusty door and walked inside....

Meet 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.

Brett Helquist's celebrated art has graced books from the charming Bedtime for Bear, which he also wrote, to the New York Times–bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket to the glorious picture book adaptation of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. 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.

Brief Biography

Snicket is something of a nomad. Handler lives in San Francisco, California.
Date of Birth:
February 28, 1970
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.
Handler is a 1992 graduate of Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

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Hostile Hospital 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 345 reviews.
J_Murrey6 More than 1 year ago
This is another great and exciting book from Lemony Snicket. It's the eighth book in A Series of Unfortunate Events. This time, the Bauldelaire orphans are hiding out in the Heimlich Hospital. But then, as usual, Count Olaf discovers them again. Violet is about to undergo the worlds first(and unnecessary) cranioectomy. Can Klaus and Sunny save her in time? Join in the action and see for yourself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book but you should read 1-7 first =[] =[] =[] =[] =[]
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was terrific!! It's contents contain many pieces of a puzzle and keep you going. In every chapter and page something happens wheather good or bad to the three Baudelaires.It was so much fun to read this book. I highly reccomend it!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like how now the Baudilares are going to have to go through life without Mr. Poe (not that he was of help any way)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wierd book but awesome its about the baudlaire siblings sunny,klaus,and violet all 3of them are running away from an evil nasty man count olaf who is trying to take their money.when they stop at a general store they hear about vfd so they try to find out the secret of it.
colemanstudent-mnt More than 1 year ago
i first read this book in school by my english teacher told me to read the 1st book and i did as soon as i read it i was hooked and i keepet asking for more and more and so on.... but this book this particular book is awesome because its full of adventure and mystery and like realy fun to ready ive almost read the whole series and i love it i highly recomend this bbok to you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Hostile Hospital: By Lemony Snicket The Hostile Hospital by Lemony Snicket is the eighth book in the Series of Unfortunate Events book series. The story starts when Violet, Klaus and Sunny went into the Last Chance General Store to hide from the police. Can you already tell how exciting this book is? Don't stop reading there...it only gets more exciting! After being recognized, the children must flee for their lives. They find a van, and after a long argument, they decide to stowaway in the van. Because of the crimes they just committed, they need to create disguises and new identities. Their stowaway tactics work amazingly because the van took them to a hospital which allows them to search for a man connected to their uncle, the story's villain. When they go into the hospital, the children had to work in the Library Of Resources. The person that put them there, told them that children had to be seen, not heard. So the person that gave the children the job, didn't present himself and only told the children what to do, also he would tell the children to be quiet when they talked. If the book is getting this exciting... image how it will get as we keep going. After being told what to do, the children went to the library. While the children where in the library, they had to set up papers. They could only read a bit of a paper, and then they had to decide where the paper had to go. Towards the end, the villain assistant separates the children, and the older sister is left alone. When the younger sister and brother can't not find their older sister, it seems as if hope as abandoned them. This book turns out suspenseful, even when you least expect it to be. This book is better than all the one's I read, because the kids must find the sister before it's too late. After the children are with the volunteers, they get a list with patients!! Only one problem... which patient is their older sister with a disguised name, and is getting a cranioectomy surgery!! When the younger brother and sister can't find there older sister, the children have to find a strategy to find there sister. Towards the end, the children's strategy work's, but did they find there sister? BUY THE BOOK if you want to find out!! The darkness was almost all around the room. Almost as if it were claiming it's territory. The children were in the room with the patient that they were going to perform cranioectomy for the first time in the hospital. The villains assistance were there to watch the operation gain life. The children had to stole the people to find a way out of the room. The younger bother talked about the rust of the saw he had. After a few more things that he talked about, the crowed got sort of mad. The people were tied that the operation still had no life. Who is this mystery patient though? As the children set their sites on their mission(s), the reader has to infer and predict throughout the entire story. When you think that might have figured out something, the book turns the tables around sometimes, and says something different/complete different. BUY THE BOOK PEOPLE! It is really this EXCITING, and MYSTERIOUS.
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
The Hostile Hospital is the eighth book in A Series of Unfortunate Events by American author, Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler). As we once again join the unlucky Baudelaire orphans, they are walking to escape the Vile Village where they were accused of murdering Count Olaf.   Having already suffered the loss of their parents, the threat of marriage, slave labour, hypnosis, a terrible boarding school, being thrown down a lift shaft , being thrown in jail and the murder of their Uncle Monty and Aunt Josephine at the hands of the evil Count Olaf and his nefarious assistants, the siblings are ever-vigilant of his reappearance. Luckily these well-mannered and uncomplaining children are also very resourceful: Violet invents, Klaus researches and Sunny bites.  Snicket’s tone throughout is apologetic, sincere and matter-of-fact as he relates the unfortunate events in the children’s lives; his imaginative and even surreptitiously educational style will hold much appeal for younger readers, as will the persistent silliness of adults.  Snicket’s word and phrase definitions are often hilarious. There are some literary references to delight older readers. This instalment sees the Baudelaires join a troupe of Volunteers Fighting Disease at the Heimlich Hospital. They are luckily assigned (by the Head of Human Resources, an adult who is heard and not seen) to filing paperwork in the Library of Records, enabling them to search for clues about Jacques Snicket and whatever intriguing information he had about the Baudelaire parents.  Of course Olaf, Esme and their nasty crew appear to make life difficult and dangerous for the orphans, causing them to resorts to disguise and untruth. Anagrams and alphabet soup play a big part in this instalment; Esme plays a deadly game of filing-cabinet dominoes; Violet almost loses her head, but manages to save the day using rubber bands and a make-shift megaphone. As always, the alliterative titles are delightful and Brett Helquist provides some wonderfully evocative illustrations. Trapped in the trunk of Count Olaf’s car, what will be the fate of our orphans in the ninth instalment, The Carnivorous Carnival? 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think that this series is an interesting series full of crazy twists and turns! This series holds all of the tales of the Baudelaire orphans, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny!
AnaMardoll More than 1 year ago
A Series of Unfortunate Events 8: The Hostile Hospital / 9780061757204 I've reviewed the content of this 5-star book elsewhere, and would like to focus my review here on the ebook formatting. This ebook is perfectly formatted and is the ideal example of how to correctly migrate a paperbook to ebook format. The pictures at the beginning of the book are inserted correctly, and the table of contents is linked correctly to each chapter. I also did not observe any errors in the text nor any formatting issues with special characters. I am very pleased with this ebook purchase and recommend this edition of the book highly. ~ Ana Mardoll
Anonymous 5 months ago
In the 6th book it meann Very Fancy Dollies. The 7th book it means somthing about the old people and there crows.
Anonymous 11 months ago
TAMARA: On of the first things that hit me was it was COLD! Like, really cold! All Kaylynn was wearing was a sweatshirt! I think they heard my teeth chattering. "Are you cold?" Kaylynn asked. No, I just like to click my teeth together. " Just a little," I answered. William turned up the heat. <p> "What's it like in Florida?" William asked, trying to fill the awkward silence. "Warm," I said. They both laughed. "Get use to beinng cold for two weeks," he laughed. Great... <p> We drove for what seemed like forever. We didn't say much. It was my fault; both of them tried for conversation but I shut them down every time. Eventually, we drove down a long driveway. We were here. <p> KAYLYNN: I was so excited! Finally, I get to meet the famous Tamara. I wish she talked more... <p> I watched her face as we pulled up the driveway. Nothing said she was disgusted. Dad parked the truck. "I'll help you get your stuff." I said cheerfully.
224perweek 11 months ago
Pretty good. Better then some of the others in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whoever asked what VFD means, you'll have to read the book 1st :3
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What does v.f.d. mean
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey Priscilla! IM SOOO GLAD TO SEE YOU!!! I TRIED TO MAKE A MOVE ON MACEY AND SHE UTTERLY REJECTED ME. I hate her. I was hoping i could help you make her miserable for a bit. Im almost just giving up on the nook because of macey. Oh well i guess ill quote a song "you need a bad girl to blow your mind". Please please please respond back im kinda dead on the inside.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi babe
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First off, the books are really sad. Secound highly reccommended for ages 9 and up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Use the internet. Thats where i found pseudonymous boschs teal name.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok........... i know someone wrote what Lemony Snickets real name was.. was i correct? Now... i know it started with like a "D" right???!!! Ok........... let me calm myself down for a bit.... So.... like i was saying... i have to do report on this book... and my teacher says i have to put Lemony Snickets real name because it is not his real name! So then i say," how would you know? You probly have not even read the series!!!" Turns out, he read all of them!!! Now, could someone please tell me his real name?! Thanks, Nicole :P
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can relate to the kids cause i love to readnand make inventions. I also have no parents ...,.:-[ :-[
Anonymous More than 1 year ago