The Hostile Hospital by Lemony Snicket

I love this whole series beyond measure. These were my faaavourite books as a teenager, on par with even the behemoth that is Harry Potter. I’m super excited for the Netflix series and wanted to do a re-read in advance. Trouble is, at thirteen books long, I never make it all the way through ASOUE re-reads. My usual stopping points are between The Austere Academy and The Vile Village, so I figured this time I’d start at The Hostile Hospital and hopefully make it through to the end.

It was so much fun being back in the perilous world of the Baudelaires again. There was all the joy and playfulness of Handler/Snicket’s writing, full of silly little moments such as trying to pronounce “Pietrisycamollaviadelrechiotemexity”, and repeating “systematically assisting Sisyphus’s stealthy, cyst-susceptible sister” (I can confirm that this phrase is 100% easier done than said). There were a few things that I didn’t remember and delighted in – Sunny beginning to speak in real words and phrases, and, more significantly, the Baudelaire’s beginning to descend into moral complexity – an enjoyable greyness after books of black and white.

Shamefully, remembrances that were once old hat have begun to elude me. Trying to remember the next books in the series, I floundered from The Miserable Mountain to The Suspicious Submarine before recalling that the books are actually titled The Slippery Slope and The Grim Grotto. This tells me it’s more than past time I re-read until the end, and I fully intend to move onto The Carnivorous Carnival ASAP.

[Read from 29 December 2016-5 January 2017]

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