The Ersatz Elevator
By Lemony Snicket
My thoughts on this book:
We took a break after book five again, and it felt great to get back into the series. This installment turned out to be one of our favorites yet.
We begin with the Baudelaires who are now being delivered by Mr. Poe to their new guardians (the Squalors) at 667 Dark Avenue. After meeting Jerome and Esmé Squalor, it seems that everything might finally work out and the children will actually have a safe place to stay in this massive, 71-room penthouse apartment. Jerome Squalor is kind and has sympathy for the children while Esmé, on the other hand, seems to be a bit strange. The children learn quickly that life on Dark Avenue is all about what’s “in” and “out” and luckily, orphans during this time are “in” along with aqueous martinis, pinstripe suits, and parsley soda.
The Baudelaires can’t help but wonder about the predicament the Quagmires are in. In the last book, the Quagmires risked everything to try to help the Baudelaire children before being whisked away by Count Olaf, the furtune-hunter. He’s discovered more treasure and plans to steal the Quagmire sapphires as well. The Baudelaires must find a way to save their friends, but they have to find out where Count Olaf is hiding them first. Where are they, and what does Olaf plan to do with them?
This book was really satisfying with a thicker plot, more comedy, new villains, and more action. The narrative is totally unpredictable and just when you think you have it figured out, you realize you don’t. The adults that you think might actually help always seem to fall short; the majority (if not all of them) make you shake your head in disbelief. We found it comical at times and perhaps the best aspect is that Count Olaf works in the background throughout much of the narrative while the Baudelaires devise plans to locate their friends and save them, and themselves. It’s difficult to figure out what Count Olaf has in store for all of them.
I’ve said in my previous reviews of the books in this series that I love the themes, especially the loving, family relationship the Baudelaires have with each other, which is portrayed even stronger in this installment. They stick together and remain brave throughout everything. It’s inspiring and I appreciate their perseverance with the way they stand up for what’s right–never giving up–no matter what. It’s truly the light in the darkness of these books.
Overall, this installment kept us interested from beginning to end. We’re looking forward to moving on with book seven.
- Age Range: 8 – 12 years
- Grade Level: 5 – 6
- Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events (Book 6)
- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st edition (February 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0064408647
- ISBN-13: 978-0064408646
If you have just picked up this book, then it is not too late to put it back down. Like the previous books in A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS, there is nothing to be found in these pages but misery, despair, and discomfort, and you still have time to choose something else to read.
Within the chapters of this story, Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire encounter a darkened staircase, a red herring, some friends in a dire situation, three mysterious initials, a liar with an evil scheme, a secret passageway, and parsley soda.
I have sworn to write down these tales of the Baudelaire orphans so the general public will know each terrible thing that has happened to them, but if you decide to read something else instead, you will save yourself from a heapful of horror and woe.
With all due respect,
Thanks for reading my review of The Ersatz Elevator. Have you read this series? Do you have any recommendations? You can leave comments in the comment section below.