The Slippery Slope: Book the Tenth (A Series of Unfortunate Events)

The Slippery Slope: Book the Tenth (A Series of Unfortunate Events)

4.7 533
by Lemony Snicket, Brett Helquist, Michael Kupperman

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Like bad smells, uninvited weekend guests or very old eggs, there are some things that ought to be avoided.

Snicket's saga about the charming, intelligent, and grossly unlucky Baudelaire orphans continues to alarm its distressed and suspicious fans the world over. The 10th book in this outrageous publishing effort features more than the usual dose of distressing


Like bad smells, uninvited weekend guests or very old eggs, there are some things that ought to be avoided.

Snicket's saga about the charming, intelligent, and grossly unlucky Baudelaire orphans continues to alarm its distressed and suspicious fans the world over. The 10th book in this outrageous publishing effort features more than the usual dose of distressing details, such as snow gnats, an organised troupe of youngsters, an evil villain with a dastardly plan, a secret headquarters and some dangerous antics you should not try at home. With the weather turning colder, this is one chilling book you would be better off without.

Ages 10+

Editorial Reviews
Lemony Snicket lovers, it's unfortunate, but it's true: Book the Tenth is here, and it's as chillingly cheerless as ever! Picking up where Book the Ninth left off, Violet and Klaus are stuck in the rolling caravan and are desperate to rescue their sister, Sunny. Thankfully, they roll to safety by the skin of their sad teeth, but little do they realize that their trek into the Mortmain Mountains will bring them face to face with a horde of stinging snow gnats, a group of bizarre snow scouts, and eventually Count Olaf himself. But Snicket's installment isn't as hopeless as it may sound -- there are many juicy hints inside as to the mystery of V.F.D., the fate of the Baudelaire parents, and even how Snicket himself fits into the whole series. The slippery author's tenth entry includes surprises at every turn -- particularly when a long-forgotten character turns up -- and fans will be aching to find out what happens next in this alpine-themed cliff-hanger that's an important piece of Snicket's puzzle.
Publishers Weekly
Stand back, Snicket fans, the latest Unfortunate Events are about to unfold in The Slippery Slope by Lemony Snicket, illus. by Brett Helquist. Violet and Klaus Baudelaire must climb the titular terrain as they search for their sister Sunny in the Mortmain Mountains, after she is kidnapped by-who else-the diabolical Count Olaf. Will they reunite? Will they find their way out? Read on and find out.... Also being released this month, a slip-covered edition of the launch title, The Bad Beginning: Rare Edition, along with a stand-up portrait of the calamitous cast. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
The tenth of the popular "A Series of Unfortunate Events" books, this novel follows the three Baudelaire orphans as they clash with Count Olaf and seek news of a missing parent. The melodramatic editorializing on the part of the narrator that has characterized the Lemony Snicket books is by no means absent here: fans will relish the adept word-play that accompanies accounts of Sunny's kidnapping, Violet and Klaus' rescue attempts, and Count Olaf's gang of eccentric villains. This novel also shows some additional development of the characters of Sunny and Violet Baudelaire. Sunny, once separated from her siblings, must think and act for herself, giving the reader a new sense of the personality behind this youngest Baudelaire child. Violet, on the other hand, meets Quigley Quagmire, the presumed-dead brother of their friends, Isadora and Duncan Quagmire, and readers observe the start of a special, more adult friendship between the two of them. And through it all, the author has woven the well-chosen words and whimsical pronouncements that make these books intellectually satisfying as well as just plain funny. For more advanced young readers, this book, like the previous Lemony Snicket books, should prove an entertaining and challenging read. In addition, the comic descriptions and clever dialogue may be the incentive required to get less advanced readers to forge ahead. 2003, HarperCollins, Ages 8 to 11.
—Julie Govan
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-The Baudelaire children are back for another harrowing adventure in the quest to find their parents and foil Count Olaf's evil plans. When the villain kidnaps Sunny and takes her to the Mortmain Mountains, Violet and Klaus race against time to save her and find the "last safe place." This fast-paced continuation of the series finds the well-developed characters working with another friend to help solve the mysteries of the slippery slope. The dark humor and cliff-hanger ending will keep fans eagerly awaiting the next installment. Black-and-white sketches throughout the text enhance the story.-Krista Tokarz, Cuyahoga County Public Library, OH Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
A Series of Unfortunate Events, #10
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.00(h) x 1.22(d)
1150L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

A Series of Unfortunate Events #10: The Slippery Slope

Chapter One

A man of my acquaintance once wrote a poem called "The Road Less Traveled," describing a journey he took through the woods along a path most travelers never used.The poet found that the road less traveled was peaceful but quite lonely,and he was probably a bit nervous as he went along, because if anything happened on the road less traveled, the other travelers would be on the road more frequently traveled and so couldn't hear him as he cried for help. Sure enough, that poet is now dead.

Like a dead poet, this book can be said to be on the road less traveled, because it begins with the three Baudelaire children on a path leading through the Mortmain Mountains, which is not a popular destination for travelers, and it ends in the churning waters of the Stricken Stream, which few travelers even go near. But this book is also on the road less traveled, because unlike books most people prefer, which provide comforting and entertaining tales about charming people and talking animals, the tale you are reading now is nothing but distressing and unnerving, and the people unfortunate enough to be in the story are far more desperate and frantic than charming, and I would prefer to not speak about the animals at all. For that reason, I can no more suggest the reading of this woeful book than I can recommend wandering around the woods by yourself, because like the road less traveled, this book is likely to make you feel lonely, miserable, and in need of help.

The Baudelaire orphans, however, had no choice but to be on the road less traveled. Violet and Klaus, the two elder Baudelaires, were in a caravan, traveling very quickly along the high mountain path. Neither Violet, who was fourteen, nor Klaus, who had recently turned thirteen, had ever thought they would find themselves on this road, except perhaps with their parents on a family vacation. But the Baudelaire parents were nowhere to be found after a terrible fire destroyed their home -- although the children had reason to believe that one parent may not have died in the blaze after all -- and the caravan was not heading up the Mortmain Mountains, toward a secret headquarters the siblings had heard about and were hoping to find. The caravan was heading down the Mortmain Mountains, very quickly, with no way to control or stop its journey, so Violet and Klaus felt more like fish in a stormy sea than travelers on a vacation.

But Sunny Baudelaire was in a situation that could be said to be even more desperate. Sunny was the youngest Baudelaire, still learning to speak in a way that everyone could understand, so she scarcely had words for how frightened she was. Sunny was traveling uphill, toward the headquarters in the Mortmain Mountains, in an automobile that was working perfectly, but the driver of the automobile was a man who was reason enough for being terrified. Some people called this man wicked. Some called him facinorous, which is a fancy word for "wicked." But everyone called him Count Olaf, unless he was wearing one of his ridiculous disguises and making people call him a false name. Count Olaf was an actor, but he had largely abandoned his theatrical career to try to steal the enormous fortune the Baudelaire parents had left behind. Olaf's schemes to get the fortune had been mean-spirited and particularly complicated, but nevertheless he had managed to attract a girlfriend, a villainous and stylish woman named Esmé Squalor, who was sitting next to Count Olaf in the car, cackling nastily and clutching Sunny on her lap. Also in the car were several employees of Olaf's, including a man with hooks instead of hands, two women who liked to wear white powder all over their faces, and three new comrades Olaf had recently recruited at Caligari Carnival. The Baudelaire children had been at the carnival, too, wearing disguises of their own, and had pretended to join Count Olaf in his treachery, but the villain had seen through their ruse, a phrase which here means "realized who they really were, and cut the knot attaching the caravan to the car, leaving Sunny in Olaf's clutches and her siblings tumbling toward their doom." Sunny sat in the car and felt Esmé's long fingernails scratch her shoulders, and worried about what would happen to her and what was happening to her older siblings, as she heard their screams getting fainter and fainter as the car drove farther and farther away.

"We have to stop this caravan!" Klaus screamed. Hurriedly, he put on his glasses, as if by improving his vision he might improve the situation. But even in perfect focus, he could see their predicament was dire. The caravan had served as a home for several performers at the carnival's House of Freaks before they defected -- a word which here means "joined Count Olaf's band of revolting comrades " -- and now the contents of this tiny home were rattling and crashing with each bump in the road. Klaus ducked to avoid a roasting pan, which Hugo the hunchback had used to prepare meals and which had toppled off a shelf in the commotion. He lifted his feet from the floor as a set of dominoes skittered by -- a set that Colette the contortionist had liked to play with. And he squinted above him as a hammock swung violently overhead. An ambidextrous person named Kevin used to sleep in that hammock until he had joined Olaf's troupe, along with Hugo and Colette, and now it seemed like it might fall at any moment and trap the Baudelaires beneath it.

The only comforting thing that Klaus could see was his sister, who was looking around the caravan with a fierce and thoughtful expression and unbuttoning the shirt the two siblings were sharing as part of their disguise ...

A Series of Unfortunate Events #10: The Slippery Slope. Copyright © by Lemony Snicket. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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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Slippery Slope 4.7 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 533 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its the most amazing book ever You just have to read it . Youll love it from the minute you start readin
Fredlinabeth More than 1 year ago
Very interesting and the books get better and better......
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Snicket is a wonderful author! He has written lots of novels, including this one, you rock snicket!!!!!!!!!!!! :D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is when u find out a lot of secrets!!!!! Thrilling read
Maria Pipolo-Morace More than 1 year ago
this book is very very un-expecting. and truly sad and heart pumping
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book so far and people who spoil the story or are going to spoil it 1. Think about other people going to buy it. 2. KNOCK IT OFF!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Favorite book!!!dont know what to read aftr im done with the series???do any of you wont to be my friend i can talk to you every day???? And im only a kid not lieing swear to god
Martha Pogue More than 1 year ago
Despite the fact these books are closely related, each bookis wonderful! I truly love the romantic set up of Violet and Quigley.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Poor violet kluas and sunny at least they findvthe survivor of the fire they thought it might be their parents but it was quigley quagmire
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pour qhigli got washed away i wonder if he survived.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Nothing can beat Harry Potter! I feel that this series is to elementary in its style and not as entertaining to the older 20 something crowd. Im not sure how I feel about it. You kinda have to get used to the way he wrights. The most anoying thing he does in the books is explain what words mean, in exactly the same way, on every other page. It gets really old quite quickly. I am on book 4 now, but for those die hard Potter fans, you'll be sorely disapointed with this series.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i really thought the Snicket books were great.. the first couple of them were original but now they've gotten boring and predictable... yes the Baudelaires escape once more to be caught once more.. bad guy always pops up and essentially each book is the same just different places different names but absolutely the same plot.. im ready for this series to start bringing back some new elements or possibly ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the book and they do not kiss
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
V.F.D does have several acronyms but they dont all stand for an evil group.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The cakesniffer before me was wrong. There are many different achronyms for it. But they all represent on volunteer system and one villianus group. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
NOT! Volenteer fire department Ps Carmelta Spats is in this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
in the booksrore, they were no slippery slope books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It left me on the edge of my seat AMAZING!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really recommend this series.I am not a fan of scary books so I a little reluctant but this books cleverness took away all of that fear.anyone from 10 and up can read this book only because it has difficult language to understand .I even recommend this series for adults I think you will find this series quite delightfull.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
Looks like something big is being foreshadowed or hinted at. Series getting good.