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A Series of Unfortunate Events #03: The Wide Window

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A Series of Unfortunate Events #03: The Wide Window Cover

 

 

Excerpt

Chapter One
If you didn't know much about the Baudelaire orphans, and you saw them sitting on their suitcases at Damocles Dock, you might think that they were bound for an exciting adventure. After all, the three children had just disembarked from the Fickle Ferry, which had driven them across Lake Lachrymose to live with their Aunt Josephine, and in most cases such a situation would lead to thrillingly good times.

But of course you would be dead wrong. For although Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire were about to experience events that would be both exciting and memorable, they would not be exciting and memorable like having your fortune told or going to a rodeo. Their adventure would be exciting and memorable like being chased by a werewolf through a field of thorny bushes at midnight with nobody around to help you. If you are interested in reading a story filled with thrillingly good times, I am sorry to inform you that you are most certainly reading the wrong book, because the Baudelaires experience very few good times over the course of their gloomy and miserable lives. It is a terrible thing, their misfortune, so terrible that I can scarcely bring myself to write about it. So if you do not want to read a story of tragedy and sadness, this is your very last chance to put this book down, because the misery of the Baudelaire orphans begins in the very next paragraph.

"Look what I have for you," Mr. Poe said, grinning from ear to ear and holding out a small paper bag. "Peppermints!" Mr. Poe was a banker who had been placed in charge of handling the affairs of the Baudelaire orphans after their parents died. Mr. Poe was kindhearted, but it is not enough in this world to be kindhearted, particularly if you are responsible for keeping children out of danger. Mr. Poe had known the three children since they were born, and could never remember that they were allergic to peppermints.

"Thank you, Mr. Poe," Violet said, and took the paper bag and peered inside. Like most fourteen-year-olds, Violet was too well mannered to mention that if she ate a peppermint she would break out in hives, a phrase which here means "be covered in red, itchy rashes for a few hours." Besides, she was too occupied with inventing thoughts to pay much attention to Mr. Poe. Anyone who knew Violet would know that when her hair was tied up in a ribbon to keep it out of her eyes, the way it was now, her thoughts were filled with wheels, gears, levers, and other necessary things for inventions. At this particular moment she was thinking of how she could improve the engine of the Fickle Ferry so it wouldn't belch smoke into the gray sky.

"That's very kind of you," said Klaus, the middle Baudelaire child, smiling at Mr. Poe and thinking that if he had even one lick of a peppermint, his tongue would swell up and he would scarcely be able to speak. Klaus took his glasses off and wished that Mr. Poe had bought him a book or a newspaper instead. Klaus was a voracious reader, and when he had learned about his allergy at a birthday party when he was eight, he had immediately read all his parents' books about allergies. Even four years later he could recite the chemical formulas that caused his tongue to swell up.

"Toi!" Sunny shrieked. The youngest Baudelaire was only an infant, and like many infants, she spoke mostly in words that were tricky to understand. By "Toi!" she probably meant "I have never eaten a peppermint because I suspect that I, like my siblings, am allergic to them," but it was hard to tell. She may also have meant "I wish I could bite a peppermint, because I like to bite things with my four sharp teeth, but I don't want to risk an allergic reaction."

"You can eat them on your cab ride to Mrs. Anwhistle's house," Mr. Poe said, coughing into his white handkerchief. Mr. Poe always seemed to have a cold and the Baudelaire orphans were accustomed to receiving information from him between bouts of hacking and wheezing. "She apologizes for not meeting you at the dock, but she says she's frightened of it."

"Why would she be frightened of a dock?" Klaus asked, looking around at the wooden piers and sailboats.

"She's frightened of anything to do with Lake Lachrymose," Mr. Poe said, "but she didn't say why. Perhaps it has to do with her husband's death. Your Aunt Josephine--she's not really your aunt, of course; she's your second cousin's sister-in-law, but asked that you call her Aunt Josephine--your Aunt Josephine lost her husband recently, and it may be possible that he drowned or died in a boat accident. It didn't seem polite to ask how she became a dowager. Well, let's put you in a taxi."

"What does that word mean?" Violet asked.

Mr. Poe looked at Violet and raised his eyebrows. "I'm surprised at you, Violet," he said. "A girl of your age should know that a taxi is a car which will drive you someplace for a fee. Now, let's gather your luggage and walk to the curb."

"?Dowager,'" Klaus whispered to Violet, "is a fancy word for ?widow.'"

"Thank you," she whispered back, picking up her suitcase in one hand and Sunny in the other. Mr. Poe was waving his handkerchief in the air to signal a taxi to stop, and in no time at all the cabdriver piled all of the Baudelaire suitcases into the trunk and Mr. Poe piled the Baudelaire children into the back seat.

"I will say good-bye to you here," Mr. Poe said. "The banking day has already begun, and I'm afraid if I go with you out to Aunt Josephine's I will never get anything done."

Product Details

ISBN:
9780064407687
ill.:
Helquist, Brett,
Author:
Helquist, Brett
Author:
Snicket, Lemony
Author:
Noh, Mi Young
Author:
Sni
Author:
by Lemony Snicket and Brett Helquist
Author:
cket, Lemony
Author:
Kupperman, Michael
Publisher:
HarperCollins
Location:
New York :
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Action & Adventure
Subject:
Children's 9-12 - Fiction - General
Subject:
Humorous Stories
Subject:
Adventure and adventurers
Subject:
Family - Siblings
Subject:
Brothers and sisters
Subject:
Family - Orphans & Foster Homes
Subject:
Orphans
Subject:
Curiosities and wonders
Subject:
Action & Adventure - General
Subject:
Children s-Adventure Stories
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series:
A Series of Unfortunate Events
Series Volume:
03
Publication Date:
20000202
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 5
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
7.24x5.26x.85 in. .64 lbs.
Age Level:
09-14

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Related Subjects

Children's » Action and Adventure » Adventure Stories
Children's » General
Children's » Humor
Children's » Middle Readers » General
Children's » Reference » Family and Genealogy
Children's » Series » General

A Series of Unfortunate Events #03: The Wide Window Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 224 pages HarperCollins Publishers - English 9780064407687 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[H]umorously melodramatic tales."
"Review" by , "This is 'Book the Third' in a series about the wealthy and clever but unfortunate Baudelaire children who were orphaned in a tragic fire....The writing is tongue-in-cheek John Bellairs, E. Nesbit, or Edward Eager with a little Norton Juster thrown in. The style is similar to the many books with old houses and rocky shores in Maine or Great Britain including the Edward Goreyesque illustrations. Unfortunately, the book misses the mark. The narrator is humorous but intrusive, explaining words and providing many obvious clues that surface later. Aunt Josephine's constant correction of vocabulary and grammar, while at first humorous, becomes annoying. The book is really not bad; it just tries too hard and there are so many similar books that are much better."
"Review" by , "The third book in A Series of Unfortunate Events...has all the stuff of its predecessors — melodrama, bold narration, dark humor, exaggerated emotions and dialogue, humorously stereotypical characters, and an overriding conflict between good and evil....Children and fortunate adults will relish the good-natured wordplay and the attempts at the heights of Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll; the three likable, independent orphans wend their way through modern fairy-tale action in a darkly humorous, look-out-for-the-next-one novel."
"Synopsis" by , Catastrophes and misfortune continue to plague the Baudelaire orphans after they're sent to live with fearful Aunt Josephine who offers little protection against Count Olaf's treachery.
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