Is something nefarious happening at the Swinster Pharmacy? Snicket doesn't tell, but the clues offered by our narrators are just the right kind of weird to keep things interesting in this ambiguously sinister, quietly wacky tribute to the intrigue of ordinary things. Recommended By Gigi L., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
We are very curious about the Swinster Pharmacy. We stay up late every night wondering what sort of eerie secrets it contains. Why are there three Styrofoam heads in the windows? Who is the owner? Is it really closed on weekends? Renowned investigator Lemony Snicket has compiled 29 myths about this bewildering establishment, in the vain hope that he could help us shine some light on this enduring mystery.
"Every town has one: that tchotchke shop/storefront psychic/drugstore that raises questions like 'How does that place stay in business?' Snicket and Brown (The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming) examine one such emporium of enigma, the Swinster Pharmacy, its very name almost 'sinister.' Two children are fascinated by the store and what it might sell, and their 29 notes and comments comprise the narrative. This isn't a book about solving a mystery entering the pharmacy would, after all, basically put the matter to rest. Instead, Snicket and Brown let readers dwell in the gray, desolate weirdness of the downtown (a foldout map of the neighborhood is included). While the book successfully evokes a sense of unease about the store, as well as the way children create mysteries out of the quotidian, the observations are often opaque ('Nothing's perfect. The Swinster Pharmacy is not perfect. The glow of the moon on the car, there, is not perfect') or banal ('I was going to write a poem about the Swinster Pharmacy'), making the mystery one that belongs to these two children, not one readers can share in. Ages 7 up." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Lemony Snicket frequently stays up late, worrying about some of his books, including When Did You See Her Last?
and The Latke Who Couldnt Stop Screaming
, which was also illustrated by Lisa Brown.
Lisa Brown has been known to stay up even later than Lemony Snicket, which is why she is associated with such books as Vampire Boys Good Night, Picture The Dead, and other books that leave dark circles around her eyes.