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The Vile Village: Book the Seventh (A Series of Unfortunate Events)

The Vile Village: Book the Seventh (A Series of Unfortunate Events)

4.6 291
by Lemony Snicket, Brett Helquist (Illustrator), Michael Kupperman (Illustrator)

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Dear Reader,

You have undoubtedly picked up this book by mistake, so please put it down. Nobody in their right mind would read this particular book about the lives of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire on purpose, because each dismal moment of their stay in the village of V.F.D. has been faithfully and dreadfully recorded



Dear Reader,

You have undoubtedly picked up this book by mistake, so please put it down. Nobody in their right mind would read this particular book about the lives of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire on purpose, because each dismal moment of their stay in the village of V.F.D. has been faithfully and dreadfully recorded in these pages. I can think of no single reason why anyone would want to open a book containing such unpleasant matters as migrating crows, an angry mob, a newspaper headline, the arrest of innocent people, the Deluxe Cell, and some very strange hats. It is my solemn and sacred occupation to research each detail of the Baudelaire children's lives and write them all down, but you may prefer to do some other solemn and sacred thing, such as reading another book instead.

With all due respect,

Lemony Snicket

Editorial Reviews

bn.com Review
The Barnes & Noble Review
Misery loves company. If you doubt the truth behind this aphorism, just delve into Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, which follows the hair-raising adventures of the unlucky Baudelaire orphans. In the seventh book in this series, The Vile Village, the beleaguered Baudelaires are branded as murderers, as they strive to survive and rescue their kidnapped friends, the two surviving Quagmire triplets.

After crossing miles of flat, desolate land, the Baudelaires end up in a village that is led by a tribal council of elders and governed by thousands of crows, who fly back and forth from one end of the town to the other. Forced to perform all the village chores, the children soon come across evidence that their friends, the Quagmires, are being hidden somewhere in town. Violet's inventing skills and Klaus's recall of all he has read will be put to their greatest tests yet, as they solve the puzzles hidden in a series of mysterious communications from the Quagmires. And little Sunny, whose vocabulary is growing along with the sharpness of her teeth, plays a more pivotal role than ever before.

The village becomes even more ominous when the children learn of its bazillion rules -- the breaking of any of which is punished by being burned at the stake. When a man believed to be Olaf is found murdered, the Baudelaire children are fingered for the crime and imprisoned. When Count Olaf appears in yet another of his adult-fooling disguises and informs the children that he has come to realize he only needs one of them alive to carry out his plans for stealing their family fortune, the future looks grim indeed. The children must use their wits and God-given talents to escape, and given what we know about their abominable luck, it's a given that getting out of one scrape merely means getting into another. Lucky for us that the Baudelaires are so unlucky. (Beth Amos)

Children's Literature
If you have not become acquainted with the Baudelaire children, now is the time to change that. Violet, Klause and Sunny are orphans who lost their parents in a horrible fire and have since been shuffled from one eccentric relative to another, each time having to leave when the evil Count Olaf finds them and tries to kill them. In the seventh book in the "A Series of Unfortunate Events" series, the children have finally run out of relatives and are sent to the village of V.F.D. to be raised by the entire village ("it takes a village to raise a child"). However, the townspeople believe that a child should be seen and not heard and should be at work and not at play so the children are put to work immediately. It turns out that V.F.D. means Village of Fowl Devotees and crows are EVERYWHERE. To make things worse, they are still not safe from Count Olaf, who has hatched another evil plan to get the money left to them by their parents. Don't let the tragic summary fool you. This book is actually a humorous and highly entertaining novel. The orphans are extremely intelligent and escape from the various traps in ingenious ways. The author tells the story slowly and with many ventures off the topic but this only heightens the humor (and often gives a good vocabulary lesson.) This book, like the other books in the series, is highly recommended. 2001, Harper Collins,
— Heather Robertson
A Series of Unfortunate Events chronicles the perilous adventures of the Baudelaire children, thirteen-year-old Violet, twelve-year-old Klaus, and toddler Sunny. They were orphaned when their wealthy parents died in a tragic accident. Their parents' bank places them with a series of totally unsuitable guardians, from whom they must always make their escape. The evil Count Olaf lusts after their inheritance and continually tries to capture them. In every book in the series, he appears in a disguise that no adult can penetrate, yet the children always know it is he. In The Vile Village, Mr. Poe sends the Baudelaires to a village called V. F. D. The children know those initials have a dire significance for their friends, and they go willingly enough, only to find themselves in more trouble. The village council assigns them to work with the handyman, Hector, to do all the chores in the village. He is a kind man, but the village rules are impossible to follow. Then the Baudelaires discover mysterious messages from Isadora, and the village captures someone the new female police chief announces is Count Olaf—but who actually is an unfortunate fellow named Jacques. When Jacques is found dead the next morning, Detective Dupin arrives, but he is really Olaf. Naturally none of the adults except perhaps Hector believe the children, and they end up being murder suspects. Books in this series are reminiscent of Victorian melodrama. They are full of anachronisms, and the people and events are completely outlandish—readers must suspend disbelief and go along for the ride. Younger teens with a lively sense of the ridiculous will appreciate the preposterous plots and predicaments, and older teensmight enjoy the wordplay as evidenced in some of the characters' names. For others, a small dose of Snicket will go a long way. Reading the books in order—beginning with The Bad Beginning (HarperTrophy, 1999), The Reptile Room (1999), The Wide Window (2000), The Miserable Mill (2000), and The Austere Academy (2000)—is preferred, but one will not feel lost by starting with any. Libraries already owning the series in their children's departments will not need an additional set, except perhaps for larger facilities. Middle schools with generous budgets also might want to acquire the books. VOYA CODES:3Q 2P M J (Readable without serious defects;For the YA with a special interest in the subject;Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8;Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2001, HarperCollins, 272p. PLB $9.95. Ages 11 to 15. Reviewer:Kat Kan—VOYA, December 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 5)
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-The resourceful, likable, but extremely unlucky orphans Violet, Klaus, and baby Sunny continue to flee from the clutches of the fortune-hunting, disguise-wearing Count Olaf. Also, they need to discover the whereabouts of their kidnapped friends, Duncan and Isadora Quagmire, based on the puzzling clue "V.F.D." In Elevator, the three Baudelaires go to live in the penthouse of the trend-following Jerome and Esm Squalor, who adopt the children because orphans are "in." Despite the Baudelaires' resourcefulness, both Olaf and the Quagmires elude the grasp of the authorities due to the obtuseness of adults who, until it is too late, deny that terrible things can happen. In Village, the Baudelaires travel to V.F.D., a village that adopts the orphans based on the aphorism, "it takes a village to raise a child." They uncover the whereabouts of the Quagmires, but, as in the earlier books, they find neither respite nor peace from Count Olaf's machinations. Despite Snicket's artful turning of clich s on their well-worn heads, Elevator sometimes belabors the fallacy of fads at the expense of plot. Nonetheless, the satiric treatment of adults' insistence upon decorum at the expense of truth is simultaneously satisfying and unsettling, as are the deft slams at slant journalism in Village. Arch literary allusions enhance the stories for readers on different levels. Despite Snicket's perpetual caveats to "put this book down and pick up another one," the Baudelaires are dynamic characters who inspire loyalty to the inevitable end of the series.-Farida S. Dowler, formerly at Bellevue Regional Library, WA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
A Series of Unfortunate Events
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.96(w) x 10.92(h) x 0.97(d)
1080L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

No matter who you are, no matter where you live, and no matter how many people are chasing you, what you don't read is often as important as what you do read. For instance, if you are walking in the mountains, and you don't read the sign that says "Beware of Cliff" because you are busy reading a joke book instead, you may suddenly find yourself walking on air rather than on a sturdy bed of rocks. If you are baking a pie for your friends, and you read an article entitled "How to Build a Chair" instead of a cookbook, your pie will probably end up tasting like wood and nails instead of like crust and fruity filling. And if you insist on reading this book instead of something more cheerful, you will most certainly find yourself moaning in despair instead of wriggling in delight, so if you have any sense at all you will put this book down and pick up another one. I know of a book, for instance, called The Littlest Elf, which tells the story of a teensy-weensy little man who scurries around Fairyland having all sorts of adorable adventures, and you can see at once that you should probably read The Littlest Elf and wriggle over the lovely things that happened to this imaginary creature in a made-up place, instead of reading this book and moaning over the terrible things that happened to the three Baudelaire orphans in the village where I am now typing these very words. The misery, woe, and treachery contained in the pages of this book are so dreadful that it is important that you don't read any more of it than you already have.

The Baudelaire orphans, at the time this story begins, were certainly wishing that they weren't reading the newspaper that was in front of their eyes. A newspaper, as I'm sure you know, is a collection of supposedly true stories written down by writers who either saw them happen or talked to people who did. These writers are called journalists, and like telephone operators, butchers, ballerinas, and people who clean up after horses, journalists can sometimes make mistakes. This was certainly the case with the front page of the morning edition of The Daily Punctilio, which the Baudelaire children were reading in the office of Mr. Poe. "twins captured by count omar," the headline read, and the three siblings looked at one another in amazement over the mistakes that The Daily Punctilio's journalists had made.

"'Duncan and Isadora Quagmire,'" Violet read out loud, "'twin children who are the only known surviving members of the Quagmire family, have been kidnapped by the notorious Count Omar. Omar is wanted by the police for a variety of dreadful crimes, and is easily recognized by his one long eyebrow, and the tattoo of an eye on his left ankle. Omar has also kidnapped Esme Squalor, the city's sixth most important financial advisor, for reasons unknown.' Ugh!" The word "Ugh!" was not in the newspaper, of course, but was something Violet uttered herself as a way of saying she was too disgusted to read any further. "If I invented something as sloppily as this newspaper writes its stories," she said, "it would fall apart immediately." Violet, who at fourteen was the eldest Baudelaire child, was an excellent inventor, and spent a great deal of time with her hair tied up in a ribbon to keep it out of her eyes as she thought of new mechanical devices.

"And if I read books as sloppily," Klaus said, "I wouldn't remember one single fact." Klaus, the middle Baudelaire, had read more books than just about anyone his own age, which was almost thirteen. At many crucial moments, his sisters had relied on him to remember a helpful fact from a book he had read years before.

"Krechin!" Sunny said. Sunny, the youngest Baudelaire, was a baby scarcely larger than a watermelon. Like many infants, Sunny often said words that were difficult to understand, like "Krechin!" which meant something along the lines of "And if I used my four big teeth to bite something as sloppily, I wouldn't even leave one toothmark!"

Violet moved the paper closer to one of the reading lamps Mr. Poe had in his office, and began to count the errors that had appeared in the few sentences she had read. "For one thing," she said, "the Quagmires aren't twins. They're triplets. The fact that their brother perished in the fire that killed their parents doesn't change their birth identity."

"Of course it doesn't," Klaus agreed. "And they were kidnapped by Count Olaf, not Omar. It's difficult enough that Olaf is always in disguise, but now the newspaper has disguised his name, too."

"Em!" Sunny added, and her siblings nodded. The youngest Baudelaire was talking about the part of the article that mentioned Esme Squalor. Esme and her husband, Jerome, had recently been the Baudelaires' guardians, and the children had seen with their own eyes that Esme had not been kidnapped by Count Olaf. Esme had secretly helped Olaf with his evil scheme, and had escaped with him at the last minute.

"And 'for reasons unknown' is the biggest mistake of all," Violet said glumly. "The reasons aren't unknown. We know them. We know the reasons Esme, Count Olaf, and all of Olaf's associates have done so many terrible things. It's because they're terrible people." Violet put down The Daily Punctilio, looked around Mr. Poe's office, and joined her siblings in a sad, deep sigh. The Baudelaire orphans were sighing not only for the things they had read, but for the things they hadn't read. The article had not mentioned that both the Quagmires and the Baudelaires had lost their parents in terrible fires, and that both sets of parents had left enormous fortunes behind, and that Count Olaf had cooked up all of his evil plans just to get ahold of these fortunes for himself...

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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Vile Village 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 291 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Vile Village is my favorite book in the Lemony Snicket Series so far. The emotions in the book are depressing but awesome. I also love the illustrations. The Seventh Book is definitely my favorite, just make sure you read the first six so you understand the situations.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this series! This book made me cry so you have been warned
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is totaly being recommended to all nook readers!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so good! I'd sugggest buying and reading the books befor this one first!!Plus theres tons of action!! Final recap good book, read# 1,2,3,4,5,&6, plus tons of action!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lemony Snicket's work is amazing. The suspense when Olaf finds them and (as usual) in a disguise, the shocking reveal of his theater troupe, the intelligence of children (Violet, Klaus, and Sunny) and sooo much more I can't list with only over 3000 words. I recommend this series for everyone to read especially for children. ^_^ -Serena
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I recently purchased this book and in 3 days I finished it!! It was so good. I highly recommend you check it out and read it. This book is appropriate for children. I would highly recommend this for children.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so awsome you should tottle read the hole seied!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:):):):):););):)
Guest More than 1 year ago
This particular book in the SoUE series has mellowed down for me. It took me a while to finished it since it didn't caught on to me as much like the previous books had. I guess it's due to the slow action. The Baudelaires Orphans (Violet, the inventor for the 3 and the oldest Klaus, the genius and the middle brother and Sunny, the biter and the youngest of the 3 siblings) has lost their parents in a terrible fire which started their unfortunate bad luck of moving from one guardian to another all due to the greedy Count Olaf, who would do anything to get their heritance and i mean ANYTHING! Nobody in relations to the orphans were willing to adopt them, so Mr Poe (their ineffective legal guardian who was taking care of their parents fortune until Violet is old enough to inherit all of their parents business assets) decided to place them in a programme called 'It takes a village to raise a child', which was big fat mistake - as always. At this point I was beginning to ask myself, what else is new. In the same time, the orphans were looking for their friends, Duncan and Isadora Quagmire, who Count Olaf managed to kidnapped in their past 2 encounters. So, they managed to ended up adopted by the village called V.F.D, where there's no children but only elders living there, with an exception of Hector (who was mostly responsible for the children and who went skittish each time he had to talk to the elders). The village people was all worked up with enforcing lots of ridiculous rules and making the orphans do all the chores all over the VFD. Their rules are so ridiculous leaving libraries with books so dull cause most books broke their rules, no mechanical stuff laying around and poor Sunny can't even bite in public anymore! The rules is so bad that if any should break them should end up getting burn on the stake. The citizens of VFD insisted that the orphans should clean the whole village cause they said so, which is kind of ridiculous since they are supposed to take care of them not the other way round. While doing those chores they found a lead in finding their two friends and on the side, the village police chef just announced she just caught Count Olaf! But of course, much to their dismay, it's not even Count Olaf and they are set to burn him on the stake! Count Olaf of course, appeared soon after as a detective and pys-ops everybody in town so badly into accusing the orphans as murderers and they were also set to burn on the stake. The orphans has lost a bit of hope in this part of the series which is much different from the earlier books and of course, it'd leave you with the feelings of much dismay
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
The Vile Village is the seventh 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 sent by their banker, the ever-tussive Mr Poe, to the village of V.F.D under a government scheme based on the aphorism that it takes a whole village to raise a child. 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 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.  Snicket’s word and phrase definitions are often hilarious. This instalment sees the Baudelaires  lodged with Hector the Handyman and forced to do chores for the village. But their time with Hector is actually quite good, as Violet works on improving Hector’s self-sustaining hot air mobile home, while Klaus scours the library for loopholes in V.F.D. rules and Sunny bites fallen branches whilst waiting on clues of their friends, the Quagmire Triplets. But they soon fall foul of the many village rules : Detective Dupin throws them into jail and threatens them with burning at the stake. And just who is Jaques Snicket and what was the message about the Baudelaire parents he was prevented from giving them before his murder? Of course Count Olaf and his girlfriend, Esme Squalor are up to their usual tricks. As always, the alliterative titles are delightful and Brett Helquist provides some wonderfully evocative illustrations. What is in store for the orphans now? Doubtless  the eighth installment, The Hostile Hospital will reveal all. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In my opinion, this book was a little lacking. I missed the excitement, but i'll have to admit theres not to much to do with the baudalaires doing someone elses chores, eating mexican food, and finding poems from their kiddnapped friends. Please dont miss out on the series, though! Mr.snickets style and humor are compleatley irresistable, and readers should be most grateful that he played up the charm and made a somewhat uneventful book entertaining.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ya'll this book is off the hook.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have already read this book but its ao good why not read it agian
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is awesome this book is probably the most confusing of them so far but i really like da series :D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The following evidence should make you want to buy this book, its really this good. What would happen if three orphans were left alone in the world? What would happen if their parents left them behind a huge fortune? What if there was a person that kept trying to steal their fortune? What could go wrong? Well nothing, besides that they (the orphans) will have to find their friends. As well as having to face an angry mob, and a bunch of weird rules! Another thing is having to find a way to get out of jail. Nothing can really go wrong besides those few things, out of a lot. Finding some friends, how hard could it be? Well for Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire it was going to be hard. You would expect to find your friends usually in a room tied up by the bad guy. For the Baudelaire's it was going to be harder to. The book says " Fowl Fountain! Klaus said, The Quagmires are right outside that window". The boy says as well " We'll answer those questions, Klaus replied, as soon as we get out of jail". Another thing that the book says "with a great creaking noise, the button depressed and the beak of Fowl Fountain opened as wide as it could, each part of the beak flipping slowly down and bringing Sunny down with it". How hard could it have been to do all of that? Having to escape an angry mob. Hard or easy? For the Baudelaire orphans it was going to be hard. The book says that " the V.F.D. Mob will only get worse". The book says as well " soon the whole district will be full of citizens hunting us down". Another thing the book says is " The youngsters turned around and saw the entire Village of Fowl Devotees, marching together in huge group". " They had rounded the last corner and were now heading straight toward the children" this is another quote. This is what the orphans were facing, but were they going to survive? Having to face a bunch of weird rules! How hard could it be? After rules are rules. What if you could not break this rule "Rule #961 clearly states that the Council of Elders' hot fudge sundaes cannot have more than fifteen pieces of nuts each", like the Baudelaire orphans had to face. What about this rule, " Rule #19,833 clearly states that no villains are allowed within the city limits"? " Rule #141 clearly states that all prisoners receive bread and water". This are some of the weird rules the Baudelaire orphans had to face. What if you had to find your way out of a jail cell? What if that cell was the Deluxe Cell? What if you (as was the Baudelaire case) had only a loaf of bread, and a pitcher of water? How would you use that to escape? Well the Baudelaire orphans did it this way " I think we can dissolve the mortar pouring water on it. Another thing the book says "We're going to pour the pitcher of water so it runs down the beach, and hits the wall". "Then it'll run down the wall to the bread, which will act like a sponge and soak up the water". One more thing that the book says is that the Baudelaire might escape. The book says " A battering ram is a large piece of wood or metal used to break down doors or walls". " If bricks are falling it means the wall is definitely weakening". Are the Baudelaire orphans going to escape? Well read the book and find out. The following evidence should have made you want to buy this book, it really was good. What would happen if three orphans were left alone in the world? What if their parents left them behind a huge fortune? What if there was a person that kept trying to st
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so awsome I am going to pee my pants#!!! I totaly want you to read this book it is pretty sad but they always catch olaf. I hope that you read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think this series is awsome!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im going to tell you that count olaf have a girl friend you know esme they are know togther mabey forever
Guest More than 1 year ago
Charactors- Klaus, sunny ,violet, count orlaf, the triplets. The setting takes place in the vile village. The baulalare orphans are sent to the orphan village by Mr. Poe. If you wanna know the rest i suggest that you read it.
Anonymous 4 months ago
I think that this book was amazing! It was a great book!!!!!
Anonymous 11 months ago
TAMARA: I didn't move. I wasn't going to move. I had a weird mixture of emotions. Yes I was pretty excited to see my twin for the first time but I was also angry. Here were the people that were making me miss my 2 week break. Away from my friends, away from Florida , away from... <P> KAYLYNN: I grabbed Dad's arm. "There she is! See her?" He looked where I was gaping. "Where?" he said, "How do you know- oh." He saw her. He held my shoulders and pushed me forward. Toward her. She didn't even move but we jogged to her. <p> We came closer and, "Tamara?" Dad asked. She gave a nod. He smiled and hugged her. Tamara held her hands in front of her so the hug looked a little awkward. "Umm, okay. Hi?" She said uncomfortably. Dad released her. I came closer. "Tamara, I can't believe you're here!" <p> She stuck her hand out to shake mine. I think was afraid of another hug. Dad picked up her bag and jerked his head toward the door. "Let's talk in the truck." I smiled. "Follow us Tam. Tamara." I corrected. <p> TAMARA: I followed them. Kaylynn kept looking at me with a smile. I forced a smile back.<p> We made it through the airport crowds and out the door. I follwed the hill billies toward their truck. To my surprise, it wasn't green and missing a door and William didn't have to hot wire it because he 'Lost the keys a long time ago." The truck looked fairly new. It was tall and silver. I climbed in when Kaylynn openned the door for me, with that same weird grin. How am going to survive?!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Honstly I'v read books 1-7 and i cant get enough
224perweek More than 1 year ago
Not the best of the series but still very good. Loved all the creative rules and the fun characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Olaf hasa girlfeiend