Alynda Wheat
October 03, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Slippery Slope

Current Status
In Season

We gave it an A-

The 10th tale about the dour Baudelaire orphans is as delightfully dark as ever. And like a certain best-selling boy wizard’s saga, the newest chapter in ”A Series of Unfortunate Events” grows ever more entangled in clandestine groups and plots. Will Violet and Klaus rescue baby sister Sunny from longtime nemesis Count Olaf? Will they get to the bottom of the underground society they know only as VFD? (Vertical Flame Diversion? Very Fresh Dill?) Will they ever find a trustworthy adult who stays alive? Who cares? Half the fun of Snicket’s books springs from his acerbic voice, spouting odd aphorisms: ”Fate is like a strange, unpopular restaurant, filled with odd waiters who bring you things you never asked for and don’t always like.” Boy-wizard books should have so much style.

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