The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket
Published by: HarperCollinsPublishers
Genres: Gothic Fiction
Date Read: 15/02/2016
If you have not read anything about the Baudelaire orphans, then before you read even one more sentence, you should know this: Violet, Klaus, and Sunny are kindhearted and quick-witted; but their lives, I am sorry to say, are filled with bad luck and misery. All of the stories about these three children are unhappy and wretched, and this one may be the worst of them all. If you haven’t got the stomach for a story that includes a hurricane, a signalling device, hungry leeches, cold cucumber soup, a horrible villain, and a doll named Pretty Penny, then this book will probably fill you with despair. I will continue to record these tragic tales, for that is what I do. You, however, should decide for yourself whether you can possibly endure this miserable story.
With all due respect,
This is the third book in The Series of Unfortunate Events series. This story continues on shortly after from where the previous book left off. The children are being taken to yet another relative after the repercussions of the events in The Reptile Room. This time they are on their way to Aunt Josephine, who isn’t actually their aunt, but instead a very distant cousin. If you compare her character to that of Uncle Monty, you couldn’t get a more different kind of person.
She lives in a house on top of a cliff that overlooks a lake. In that lake you can find leeches who will eat anyone who dares to go into the lake shortly after a meal. Josephine’s husband died in the lake due to the leeches and so it is understandable.
When the children first arrive to the house, they discover just what a complete idiot this woman is, as the list of stuff they either can’t touch, or can’t do, or must do in order to be safe is just ridiculous. They mustn’t use the phone, as they may get electrocuted, and as a result she only uses the phone in an emergency. You can’t step on the doormat, or you may slip over. Don’t even think about touching the radiator, it must never be turned on due to fear of it exploding, and so you must instead freeze to death. She never cooks the children food because, she was too scared to use the oven incase that too would explode. Perhaps the most ridiculous thing of all happens when the children get shown to their room. In the bedroom, which they must share between them, are a load of tin cans, which they are to put against the door each night so that if a burglar comes in, the noise will wake them up. I can’t fathom how she was ever deemed suitable enough a guardian for the children. Although I did like Aunt Josephine.
There are two kinds of fears: rational and irrational–or, in simpler terms, fears that make sense and fears that don’t. For instance, the Baudelaire orphans have a fear of Count Olaf, which makes perfect sense, because he is an evil man who wants to destroy them. But if they were afraid of lemon meringue pie, this would be an irrational fear, because lemon meringue pie is delicious and has never hurt a soul.
Overall, The Wide Window is one of my favourite books in the series simply because of how funny and over the top Aunt Josephine is.
Stealing, of course, is a crime, and a very impolite thing to do. But like most impolite things, it is excusable under certain circumstances. Stealing is not excusable if for instance, you are in a museum and you decide that a certain painting would look better in your house , and you simply grab the painting and take it there. But if you were very, very hungry, and you had no way of obtaining money, it might be excusable to grab the painting, take it to your house, and eat it.