The Penultimate Peril: Book the Twelfth (A Series of Unfortunate Events)

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Overview

After any harrowing struggle, it is nice to consider checking into a hotel for a rest. In fact, this might be just the break Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire could use after their wearying deep-sea adventure.

A hotel can be a good choice for any family vacation. With so many floors, such a variety of rooms, and a curious array of guests, spending time in the safety of the right hotel can be the perfect learning environment for children of any age. A keen researcher like ...

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A Series of Unfortunate Events #12: The Penultimate Peril

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Overview

After any harrowing struggle, it is nice to consider checking into a hotel for a rest. In fact, this might be just the break Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire could use after their wearying deep-sea adventure.

A hotel can be a good choice for any family vacation. With so many floors, such a variety of rooms, and a curious array of guests, spending time in the safety of the right hotel can be the perfect learning environment for children of any age. A keen researcher like Klaus, an adept inventor like Violet, and a sharp-toothed culinary master like Sunny are all sure to find engaging diversions during their stay.

Regardless of how they pass their time while at a hotel, the three siblings will be sure to take in all the interesting sights and sounds—and write them down—just in case this episode turns out to be the darkest yet in a series of unfortunate events.

Read all the Unfortunate Events in The Complete Incomplete Collection!

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Get ready for the next episode in A Series of Unfortunate Events! Continuing the chilling adventures of the Baudelaire orphans, Lemony Snicket's 12th installment -- The Penultimate Peril -- promises more surprises at every turn and takes fans ever closer to the solution of Snicket's mysterious puzzle.
Children's Literature
It is to the Hotel Denouement, a place of intrigue, danger, and momentary safety, that the Baudelaire orphans are sent in this, the popular and tremendously entertaining "A Series of Unfortunate Events." Taken there by the mysterious Kit Snicket, who is either a helpful volunteer or a nefarious villain, the orphans must pose as hotel concierges and try to uncover clues that will either free them from the misery inflicted on them by the dastardly figure of Count Olaf, or lead them into even more despair and peril. The twist is that they must do this in a hotel which is organized using the Dewey Decimal System. In typical Lemony Snicket style, nothing is ultimately resolved, but the reader is teased in the most tantalizing manner, which here means that the author tempts us with the most delectable pastries but then snatches them away at the last second. Readers who have read along with this series from the beginning will recognize almost all of the characters as they return to either haunt or protect the orphans. While the plot is like Swiss cheese, the action is fast and furious and Snicket's inimitable style is ultimately satisfying. I had not read any of the previous books in the series, nor have I watched the popular film, but I was duly impressed with this book and its uniqueness. Youngsters and even adults have every right to laud this book and this series. I cannot wait for the next title. 2005, HarperCollins, and Ages 10 up.
—Tom Jones
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060579494
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/18/2005
  • Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events , #12
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged, 7 Enhanced CDs, 6 hrs.
  • Sales rank: 1,010,607
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 5.68 (h) x 0.97 (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.

Tim Curry has created a rich array of memorable characters for both the screen and stage, most notably the role of the scientist in the Broadway and film versions of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. He's won Tony Award® nominations for his roles in My Favorite Year and The Pirates of Penzance.

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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:

Read an Excerpt

A Series of Unfortunate Events #12: The Penultimate Peril


By Lemony Snicket

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 Lemony Snicket
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060296437

Chapter One

Certain people have said that the world is like a calm pond, and that anytime a person does even the smallest thing, it is as if a stone has dropped into the pond, spreading circles of ripples further and further out, until the entire world has been changed by one tiny action. If this is true, then the book you are reading now is the perfect thing to drop into a pond. The ripples will spread across the surface of the pond and the world will change for the better, with one less dreadful story for people to read and one more secret hidden at the bottom of a pond, where most people never think of looking. The miserable tale of the Baudelaire orphans will be safe in the pond's murky depths, and you will be happier not to read the grim story I have written, but instead to gaze at the rippling scum that rises to the top of the world.

The Baudelaires themselves, as they rode in the back of a taxi driven by a woman they scarcely knew, might have been happy to jump into a pond themselves, had they known what sort of story lay ahead of them as the automobile made its way among the twisting streets of the city where the orphans had once lived. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire gazed out of the windows of the car, marveling at how little the city had changed since a fire destroyed their home, took the lives of their parents, and created ripples in the Baudelaires' lives that would probably never become calm. As the taxi turned a corner, Violet saw the market where she and her siblings had shopped for ingredients to make dinner for Count Olaf, the notorious villain who had become their guardian after the fire. Even after all this time, with Olaf trying scheme after scheme to get his hands on the enormous fortune the Baudelaire parents had left behind, the market looked the same as the day Justice Strauss, a kindly neighbor and a judge in the High Court, had first taken them there. Towering over the market was an enormous, shiny building that Klaus recognized as 667 Dark Avenue, where the Baudelaires had spent some time under the care of Jerome and Esme Squalor in an enormous penthouse apartment. It seemed to the middle Baudelaire that the building had not changed one bit since the siblings had first discovered Esme's treacherous and romantic attachment to Count Olaf. And Sunny Baudelaire, who was still small enough that her view out the window was somewhat restricted, heard the rattle of a manhole cover as the taxi drove over it, and remembered the underground passageway she and her siblings had discovered, which led from the basement of 667 Dark Avenue to the ashen remains of their own home. Like the market and the penthouse, the mystery of this passageway had not changed, even though the Baudelaires had discovered a secret organization known as V.F.D. that the children believed had constructed many such passageways. Each mystery the Baudelaires discovered only revealed another mystery, and another, and another, and several more, and another, as if the three siblings were diving deeper and deeper into a pond, and all the while the city lay calm on the surface, unaware of all the unfortunate events in the orphans' lives. Even now, returning to the city that was once their home, the Baudelaire orphans had solved few of the mysteries overshadowing them. They didn't know where they were headed, for instance, and they scarcely knew anything about the woman driving the automobile except her name.

"You must have thousands of questions, Baudelaires," said Kit Snicket, spinning the steering wheel with her white-gloved hands. Violet, who had adroit technical faculties -- a phrase which here means "a knack for inventing mechanical devices" -- admired the automobile's purring machinery as the taxi made a sharp turn through a large metal gate and proceeded down a curvy, narrow street lined with shrubbery. "I wish we had more time to talk, but it's already Tuesday. As it is you scarcely have time to eat your important brunch before getting into your concierge disguises and beginning your observations as flaneurs."

"Concierge?" Violet asked.

"Flaneurs?" Klaus asked.

"Brunch?" Sunny asked.

Kit smiled, and maneuvered the taxi through another sharp turn. Two books of poetry skittered off the passenger seat to the floor of the automobile -- The Walrus and the Carpenter, and Other Poems by Lewis Carroll, and The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot. The Baudelaires had recently received a message in code, and had used the poetry of Mr. Carroll and Mr. Eliot in order to decode the message and meet Kit Snicket on Briny Beach, and now it seemed that perhaps Kit was still talking in riddles. "A great man once said that right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant. Do you understand what that means?"

Violet and Sunny turned to their brother, who was the literary expert in the family. Klaus Baudelaire had read so many books he was practically a walking library, and had recently taken to writing important and interesting facts in a dark blue commonplace book. "I think so," the middle Baudelaire said. "He thinks that good people are more powerful than evil people, even if evil people appear to be winning. Is he a member of V.F.D.?"

"You might say that," Kit said. "Certainly his message applies to our current situation. As you know, our organization split apart some time ago, with much bitterness on both sides."

"The schism," Violet said.

"Yes," Kit agreed with a sigh. "The schism. V.F.D. was once a united group of volunteers, trying to extinguish fires -- both literally and figuratively. But now there are two groups of bitter enemies. Some of us continue to extinguish fires, but others have turned to much less noble schemes...

Continues...


Excerpted from A Series of Unfortunate Events #12: The Penultimate Peril by Lemony Snicket Copyright © 2005 by Lemony Snicket. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 301 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(220)

4 Star

(38)

3 Star

(22)

2 Star

(11)

1 Star

(10)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 304 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 24, 2010

    This hotel is very mysterious

    The Baudelaire children are driven off a cliff in a taxi by a volunteer. They go into this hotel on a secret mission. They find out that once again Count Olaf is trying to steal their fortune. The Baudelaire children take jobs as concierges, and are sent to different parts of the hotel. Violet gets sent to the roof. Klaus gets sent to 6th floor. Sunny gets sent to 3rd floor. When they get to their floors, they find out that the people they see on their floor are people are people they didn't want to see again. I highly recommend this book because there is a lot of tension in there. The Baudelaire children are trying to keep their fortune away from Olaf. This book is the best book I have ever read.

    11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted December 25, 2011

    AMAZING

    Lemony Snicket is a writing genius! I loved it and would recomend this book to ANYONE who sounds interested!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 28, 2012

    Great series

    I finnished reading book 13 almost a year ago and i still stay up some nights trying to solve the mysteries of VFD in my mind. I am going to make sure my niece starts reading these in 4th grade like i did. Lemony Snicket is a awesome writer. These books basically raised me. I did a project on Lemony Snicket and found out his real name is Daniel Handler and i have an actual picture of him!!!!!!!†

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted October 14, 2011

    AWESOME SOO GREAT!

    This is one of the best books in the series! Lots of people said it was terrible, but I loved it. It was a great follow-up to the very last book. So please read it, it rocks! (PS it reveals some good secrets!)

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 21, 2012

    Awesome must read

    Thrilling adventure page turner

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 9, 2012

    Anonymous

    This is the best book in the series. A must read book. Once you start you can't finish!!!!!!!!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted December 25, 2011

    Book

    I love lemony snicket's books and the movie


    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted September 20, 2011

    Spectactular!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    By far the best book in the series! I couldnt take my eyes from it. MUST READ!!!!!!!!!!!!! I loved it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 8, 2011

    great!

    this series is the best of all time!! so captivating. better then the Harry Potter series. They should make a movie out of all of the books!!!!!!!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 26, 2013

    WHOO!

    love these books!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted March 6, 2012

    :)

    Really good! It revels some good secrets!!! ;) cant wait to read last book!!! One of th bes books yet!!! I am almost through it and i love it!!! I hope u love it!!!!:);) i also suggust reading the books before tha before u rea this because it has a lot about the past 11 books!! LOVE IT!!!!!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted April 2, 2011

    awesome

    i love this series!!! you have to read this!!!!! its really good! in fact, great!!!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 6, 2013

    Great book

    What does V F D mean?

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2013

    Awesome

    Awesome

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 27, 2013

    Click this!!!!!!!Hurry!!!!!!!

    havent read it yet :/ Pretty sure its good though

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2013

    Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I loved this book so much. I think you guys should read it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    Me

    I already wrote my review but i forgot to put something in. Please people, write legibly in your reviews. Dont use question marks for all your punctuation.
    Y

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2012

    Totally. Freaking. Awesome.

    Mr. Snicket's series and writing style just knows how to grab a reader's attention and keep it there until the end of time. A must-read series, absolutely.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2012

    Great books

    I love these books. I've read 11 and Im on 12 i wish the series would never enb

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2012

    Keep it up Mr. Snicket!!

    Whoa, these books are awesome!! Write anothier series, Mr. Snicket! We all luv ur style writing. Owo (=nomnom face) Keep it up! <3 Unfortunate Events series

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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