Author: Lemony Snicket
Publication Date: October 13, 2006
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Children’s
The last volume of the fabulously popular A Series of Unfortunate Events series, in which the history of the Baudelaire orphans is brought to its end.
You are presumably looking at the back of this book, or the end of the end. The end of the end is the best place to begin the end, because if you read the end from the beginning of the beginning of the end to the end of the end of the end, you will arrive at the end of the end of your rope.
This book is the last in A Series of Unfortunate Events, and even if you braved the previous twelve volumes, you probably can’t stand such unpleasantries as a fearsome storm, a suspicious beverage, a herd of wild sheep, an enormous bird cage, and a truly haunting secret about the Baudelaire parents.
It has been my solemn occupation to complete the history of the Baudelaire orphans, and at last I am finished. You likely have some other occupation, so if I were you I would drop this book at once, so the end does not finish you.
With all due respect,
There will be spoilers for The End (the THIRTEENTH book of A Series of Unfortunate Events), there is no way I can write this rant review without spoiling the plot so I’m just going to do it, so if spoilers aren’t you’re thing stop reading now. Or don’t. #yolo
I have honestly NEVER been so angry with a book before. The only thing I enjoyed about this experience was that it ended up bringing a lot of emotions out of me, and those are usually the best kind of books. But not in this case, oh no. Definitely not this one. I am so angry typing this my hands are actually shaking. I finished the audiobook while getting ready for work and I was so upset over it I drove my 25-minute drive to work in stone cold angry silence. No music. No audiobook. Not a whisper of sound from me. It gave me time to process what I had just read, and after giving it more thought I am even MORE angry now. So, I’m going to write this review while I am still simmering, before I start losing steam and/or start explaining things away to make myself feel better about this bitter end to the Series of Unfortunate Events.
This entire book felt like a cop out for the end of a THIRTEEN book series. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny wind up stranded on this weird island with Count Olaf and are taken in by the local islanders. They are fed some uninteresting seaweed soup and some kind of coconut drink that I can’t even bring myself to lookup the name of but that is laced with an opioid to keep the villagers sedated and in line (??? This was the strangest plot point to me). The Baudelaire’s begin to feel safe from the worlds treachery and feel they have finally found a home with adults that will ACTUALLY care for them BUT OF COURSE that can’t be true. Even the end of this long god damn unfortunate series can’t even have a glimmer of happiness in it.
Okay. I have never read a book that felt like more of a cop out than this one. Have I already said that? Don’t worry, I will probably say it again. I have been so invested in these books. I have spent HOURS of my life reading these, and overall, I have enjoyed them. I liked all of the other books, but this one made me so angry it is actually my lowest rating and the one I am the most disappointed in. How is it fair that I have read a baker’s dozen of these unfortunate books to not be given a single god damn answer. To have LITERALLY nothing resolved. You know why I’m angry? Because I became SO invested in this story, in these characters, and Lemony Snicket did us, the readers, a disservice by leaving EVERYHTING open ended. I HATE books that don’t answer any questions. “But it’s supposed to make you think about what could or could not be”. No, that’s a load of shit and no one better fight me on it because I will argue this until I am blue in the face. It is not fair for me to spend so much of my time reading these books to not be given a single detail that would answer literally anything.
WHAT IS IN THE GOD DAMN SUGAR BOWL.
Why have almost half of the books revolved around finding this mysterious sugar bowl that is SO important to VFD and then not be told where it is or even let alone what the hell is inside. And before anyone starts spouting to me that it’s explained in the show, I don’t care. It being explained in the show is just a way for Daniel Handler (who helped produce the show) to try and rectify a bad situation he put himself into by leaving these details out of The End. And honestly, the explanation in the show? Is utter crap.
WHAT HAPPENED TO MR. POE? Am I just supposed to *assume* he died in the fire?
WHO SET FIRE TO THE BAUDELAIRE MANSION IF IT WASN’T COUNT OLAF?
WHAT CAUSED THE SCHISM IN VFD?
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE QUAGMIRE TRIPLETS??? DID THE BAUDELAIRE’S EVER FIND THEM? ARE THEY EVEN ALIVE?
WTF IS THE GREAT UNKNOWN? WHY GIVE US MORE THINGS TO QUESTION AT THE VERY END OF THE END.
WHY WAS LEMONY SNICKET EVEN RESEARCHING THE BAUDELAIRE’S LIVES?
WHY WAS NOTHING ANSWERED.
How is it fair that we got through thirteen of these books watching Count Olaf torture the Baudelaire children only to have him (SPOILER) be killed at the end of The End!!! I JUST CANNOT. WHAT AN ABSOLUTE COP OUT. Now, I wasn’t going into this book expecting Olaf to have some big epiphany and suddenly go through a redemption arc, but I needed something other than him just kicking the bucket. There are so many things he could have told us, so many things he could have answered about VFD and his life. He was an orphan too, WHO KILLED HIS PARENTS?? WHO WAS HIS ONE TRUE LOVE? WAS IT KIT? AM I JUST SUPPOSED TO *ASSUME* THAT BECAUSE HE KISSED HER? UGH.
Why did Kit have to die? That seemed to me like a plot device that LITERALLY did nothing to move the plot forward. Other than create ANOTHER orphan in the world that the Baudelaire’s ended up taking care of, so then they were “parents” at the ages of 15, 14, and like.. 3??
Another thing, because we don’t know what happened to Mr. Poe were the Baudelaire’s ever able to access their fortune? Did the Baudelaire’s ever get any answers about their lives and their parents and VFD or did they just live out their days in an existential crisis like I will now??
At the end of The End I am utterly and angrily upset, hurt, and I feel slightly betrayed a reader. This is my lowest rated book in quite a while, and I have also not written such a ranty review in a LONG time. It’s been slightly therapeutic. I know that there are “companion” books and what not that come after this series that supposedly answer some questions but at this point in my reading life I doubt I will give them a chance. I am still too hurt by being so invested in these books just to be so incredibly let down that I don’t even care anymore.