Book Review: Lemony Snicket: the Unauthorized Autobiography by Lemony Snicket

Yesterday morning’s gym book was Lemony Snicket: the Unauthorized Autobiography (Young Adult 218 pages) by Lemony Snicket.

“The book you are holding in your hands is extremely dangerous. If the wrong people see you with this objectionable autobiography, the results could be disastrous. Please make use of this book’s reversible jacket immediately. Disguising this book, and yourself if necessary, may be your only hope.”

There were a lot of things that I found highly amusing about this book, but I think it wasn’t a very good gym book, as it was designed more to be used like a research and reference book and not really to be read from cover to cover. There are a lot of parts of this book that jump around and that I would have been happy to pull the referenced material to see what it said, but I was limited in the sense that I was on the stationary bike and didn’t have access to either my own library or the internet to look things up. There are times when specific passages in specific texts are mentioned, which made me curious to pull the referenced sources and actually see if the marks were correct and what kind of context was available or enhanced from the original books because of this book.

The opening page with the copyright information was absolutely hilarious. I wonder sometimes how many people read every part of a book and I don’t know that I would have read the copyright citation if I hadn’t been on the stationary bike and actually finished this book before achieving my twelve-mile goal. But because I finished the book before my mileage, I found myself reading everything that had words on it to help keep my mind off of exactly how much my cyborg parts hate me, especially when working out.

I’m sure that everyone at some point in their lives have been exposed to the standard copyright block about not reproducing or copying work without proper authorization, but the copyright paragraph in this book is just hilarious: “No part of this book may be used, reproduced, destroyed, tampered with, or eaten without written permission except in the case of brief, possibly coded quotations embodied in critical articles, reviews, and subpoenas. Allegedly printed in the United States of America. For information address HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers, 1350 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019, although the people at this publishing house have no idea where the documents enclosed in this book came from. If you recognize yourself in any of the photographs or illustrations in this book you may find yourself in Very Frightening Danger and/or slightly embarrassed but there is nothing you can do about it. Please note that the author has been called a fraud, a criminal, a bestseller, a corpse, a fictional character, an unreliable narrator, an objective flaneur, an embattled gentleman, a magnetic field, an arsonist, and late for dinner by an odd number of dubious authorities. Send help at once. All right’s reserved. Wouldn’t you rather read about ponies?”

Overall, I’d say this isn’t really a book to read all the way through, but rather a book to use in conjunction with the other books from a Series of Unfortunate Events. I would also recommend not reading this until after the Carnivorous Carnival or the Slippery Slope and then using it as an additional source of information. I’d say it’s probably a middle to low grade two on my rating scale. I’m glad I borrowed it from the library, but it will be a good resource to have on hand when I reread the series again.

Works cited: Snicket, Lemony. Lemony Snicket: the Unauthorized Autobiography. New York: HarperCollinsPublishers, 2002.

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About C.A. Jacobs

Just another crazy person, masquerading as a writer.
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