A Series of Unfortunate Events #11: The Grim Grotto

by Lemony Snicket

Other authorsMichael Kupperman (Illustrator), Brett Helquist (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 2004



Local notes

Fic Sni





HarperCollins (2004), Hardcover, 352 pages


Still pursued by the evil Count Olaf, the Baudelaire orphans attempt to reach a very important VFD meeting, but first they must travel in a rattletrap submarine to the Gorgonian Grotto, a dangerous underwater cave, in search of the sugar bowl.


Original publication date


Physical description

352 p.; 5 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member drebbles
Book the Eleventh in Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events, begins with Violet, Klaus and Sunny rushing down the Stricken Stream in a toboggan. Soon they are picked up by the submarine Queequeg, piloted by Captain Widdershins, with his stepdaughter Fiona, and Phil, an old friend from an
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earlier book, on board. The children are in search of a sugar bowl, which has vanished into a treacherous underwater cave, so small that only the children can enter it. Unfortunately, the cave is filled with poisonous mushrooms and soon the life of one of the Baudelaires is in danger. Just as they are rushing to find an antidote Count Olaf comes aboard the submarine and tries to throw the children in the brig. Will they escape from Count Olaf? Will they get an antidote in time? Where is the sugar bowl? And where did Captain Widdershins and Phil disappear to?

Lemony Snickets answers some, but not all of those questions in this delightful entry in the series. As usual the book is filled with quirky characters, including Captain Widdershins and his constant use of the word "Aye" and his motto "He who hesitates is lost", Phil, who sees the bright side of everything, and Fiona, who knows an awful lot about mushrooms. Viola, Klaus and Sunny are all growing up, with Viola and Klaus showing interest in the opposite sex and learning that maybe their parents weren't perfect after all. Sunny is speaking more and more clearly and while it's still fun to try and decipher what she is saying, it's a lot easier than it was in the earlier books.

These books are not just for children, as an adult, I really enjoy this series. I really liked this book, but it left a lot of questions that need to be answered in the two books remaining in the series. This book does end on a happier note than any of the previous books, which I found intriguing. I can't wait for the next one!
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LibraryThing member bfet
Well, the end of A Series of Unfortunate Events was supposed to be at The End, book thirteen of the series, and for most people it was. However, the run ended short for me at book eleven, The Grim Grotto. I have to admit that the intriguing, comical tone of this book, as well as the crazy idea of
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the terrible fortune that the three Baudelaire orphans suffered, at first got me on the hook. Days and days were spent of the edge of my seat as I read to find out the fortune of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny, and day after day they suffered from the worst bad luck and most unfortunate consequences. After being disappointed continuously at the cliffhangers of doom that ended each book, I decided to shut it out instead of waiting for the probable death of all the children at the end of the series, for it seemed like that was the way it was heading. The book draws in the reader with the orphans trying to battle and escape their enemy, Count Olaf, on countless exciting adventures. However, bringing the frustrating misfortune past book eleven almost made my brain explode. But it is very hard to put down this series once Lemony Snicket, the author, has lured you in.
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LibraryThing member hjjugovic
I'm going to review all four of the last books in this series in one review, since I read them all at one go due to the quick plot pacing, and now they've mushed together in my brain. These are wonderful! When I first started, this series, I was underwhelmed, but Snickett grows up his books like he
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grows up the Baudelaires. Unlike many coming-of-age stories, this one manages to avoid the trite and the untrue. Despite Snickett's fantastical style and plot twists, there is deep reality at the core of these books, which manage to show the world in all its nastiness and how difficult it is to be a "volunteer instead of a villain," and yet it conveys the desperate need for each of us to try. It also teaches voculary, is subtley hilarious if you already have a big one, and imparts a love of science, literature, poetry, and even good cooking. Highly recommended for all the young, and old, people in your life!
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LibraryThing member thc_luver6
Kinda sad (heh...duh...it's called A Series of Unfortunate Events) but don't stop reading it because of the beginning. I remember this was the first book in this series I tried reading and I was bored to tears...I should have read the first book first. The point is...if you read this book, keep on
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reading and don't stop. It is sooooooooo good!
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LibraryThing member Othemts
This series just keeps getting better, with a little underwater adventure and a pattern-breaking ending. Now I have to wait until OCTOBER 1st for the next book!!!!
LibraryThing member fingerpost
The Baudelaires travel undersea on a submarine, and Sunny is poisoned by the deadly muciloid mycelium mushroom.
LibraryThing member bibliophile26
Only two more of these to read. I've been tired and frustrated with the writing style of these books since the third or fourth one, but feel compelled to see what finally happens to the Baudelaire orphans. The submarine captain annoyed the piss out of me though and I wanted to chuck the book
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against a wall several times.
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LibraryThing member catz
I was so worried about Sunny when something might happen to her and in this book I really like the change of scenery.
LibraryThing member jcsoblonde
This is one of my personal favorites in the entire series. I loved it!
LibraryThing member delaney.h4
Summary: The Baudelairs are in for a wild dive into the sea in an old submarine. But can their new friends help them, or destroy them?
Review: It was okay.
LibraryThing member Amzzz
Another unfortunate adventure for the Baudelaires, as they go underwater in their search for safety, a parent who may be alive, the sugar bowl, and a number of other things in between! Perhaps not as good as many of the other books, but still really enjoyable.
LibraryThing member EmScape
The Beaudelaires are on their own again and in search of the all-important Sugar Bowl. They encounter an irritating submarine captain and learn that sometimes to hesitate is good, and they also have a run-in with a very poisonous fungus. More information is revealed about V.F.D, the identity of one
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of Olaf’s henchmen, and the whereabouts of some friends.
We are rushing towards the climax of this series and this book seems more like a bridge between the last chapter and the next than a book of its own. I am loving Sunny’s affinity for food and cooking.
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LibraryThing member KeRo0306
At the beginning of this book I had so many questions. Some of them were and were not answered but that's o.k because even if this book made me more confused I wouldn't care because I truly love "Lemony Snicket's" work. This is an adventurous and mysterious book that will keep you reading till the
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LibraryThing member martensgirl
I'm coming to the end of this long series and I have really enjoyed how this story is becoming increasingly convoluted. This volume even manages to include some fungal geekery! I can't wait to finish!
LibraryThing member riverwillow
The eleventh in the series and you would expect the unfortunate events that befall the Baudelaires to stop but they don't. The Baudelaires find a new and interesting use for wasabi and Klaus kind of sort of gets a love interest. And Count Olaf appears. This book ends on a very optimistic note,but
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as there are still two more books to go in the series that won't last.
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LibraryThing member miyurose
These books just keep getting better. The Baudelaire children are getting love interests! There was even very near death in this one. The storyline is really starting to come together. I'm almost sad that there are only 2 books left.
LibraryThing member readafew
The Grim Grotto is the 11th book in the Tales of the Baudelaire children. We left the Baudelaire's racing down a swollen stream on a toboggan wondering who they were going to extradite themselves (here meaning how to get out off the freezing river without swimming in deadly cold water) when they
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are saved by a submarine looking for the sugar bowl. Much table turning ensues and the Baudelaire's continue to grow and begin to see the world is not all black and white.

The series keeps getting better and better (or do I mean worse and worse?) This was an excellent story and if you have made it this far in the series you might as well continue being miserable and finish.
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LibraryThing member aethercowboy
When you're hiding in a saltwater fish tank in the waiting room of a particularly diabolical dentist, you find that your mind has a chance to wander. Assuming that your disguise is adequate, be it a piece of reef, or a colossal shrimp, you will be free to do so, as it is very unlikely that somebody
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will recognize you.

I tremble, though, in this tank, when I think of the other bodies of water people less fortunate than I have had to dwell in.

My mind dwells to the Baudelaire orphans, and their time under the sea.

If you've ever read the French novel often referred to as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, you may wonder what exactly a "league" is. Contrary to any particular organizations, or "leagues", that the captain in this book, Nemo, may have belonged to, the term "league" is a word that here means "a very long distance downwards without sunlight or air."

I'm not sure how many leagues the Baudelaires were under the sea, save the one voluntary organization they may have belonged to, but the certainly had much more misfortune than the crew of the Nautilus, who must have traveled to some spectacular places, as 20,000 leagues, or 552,374.135 furlongs, is roughly 15 times the radius of the Earth. I am sure the Baudelaires did not venture that far down, even if their misery hit the ocean floor and then began to dig.

The expression "out of the frying pan and into the fire" may apply to the orphans, were they previously drifting about on a cooking instrument, instead of a toboggan, and floating over a large river of fire, instead of water. Rather, "out of the toboggan and into the water," may better apply to them. And "out of the water and into the Queequeg" would then describe the next leg of their journey. Then you could say, they went "out of the submarine and into the Gorgonian Grotto," and "out of the grotto and into immediate danger." "Immediate danger" is a phrase which here means "into the clutches of Olaf, Esme, and Carmelita."

These phrases better describe their plight than "out of the frying pan and into the fire."

Or even the phrase "Out of the aquarium and into the dentists' chair," which is itself rife with peril, but of much less interest than the tale of the orphans, and their journey under the sea.
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LibraryThing member GBev2009
A little slow going at first and this book feels more like an interlude between book 10 and 12, but the second half has some nice (if a bit predictable) twists and turns. The series has come a long way from a few less than inspiring episodes early on. I hope the last two titles aren't big letdowns.
LibraryThing member bookworm12
** There are no spoilers of Book 11, but this review assumes you’ve read the first 10 books in the series.

I’ve been disappointed with the past few books in the Series of Unfortunate Events, but book 11 reminded me of why I liked it to begin with. After this one, there are only two more volumes
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left in the series, so I was happy to find that the Baudelaire orphans were making some headway in solving the mystery of VFD.

Sunny, Violet and Klaus meet Captain Widdershin and catch a ride on his submarine, the Queequeg. His step-daughter Fiona is both kind and knowledgeable and Klaus takes a particular liking to her. The novel is funny and clever, especially the first half. I found myself enjoying the book much more before Count Olaf made an appearence. His scenes tend to wear me out because they rarely vary.

Along the way we catch up with old characters and meet a few new ones. Fiona and her step-father are great additions to the series. We also get a few more answers and for the first time I felt like we were nearing a resolution.
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LibraryThing member KarenAJeff
I wish I hadn't started reading this series but now I have to find out how it ends.
LibraryThing member stewartfritz
OK, so this one (and the previous one)wasn't that bad. The series as a whole is still an exercise in irritation, but it seems like the closer one gets to the last book in the series, the more life Daniel Handler brings to the books. Maybe he's as sick of the whole thing as we are by now.
LibraryThing member amerynth
The 11th installment of Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events" -- this book titled "The Grim Grotto" continues the tragic story of the Baudelaire orphans and their continued attempts to escape the nefarious plans of the dastardly Count Olaf.

I've been disappointed with the books in the
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middle of the series -- which seemed really repetitive, with the same events happening over and over. This book, however, is a departure and far more interesting as it introduces new characters and continues with the snarky and fun tone of earlier books. The 11th book (and the 10th too) made me glad I continued to plug along with the series, since I had considered abandoning it partway through.

"The Grim Grotto" certainly feels like it is starting to propel the series to an ending. Overall, a quick and fun read... and one of the better books in the series.
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LibraryThing member deldevries
audio book is a great vacation "read" for the whole family
LibraryThing member BrynDahlquis
This is honestly one of my favorite Unfortunate Events books in a long time. This book is positively eerie, creepy, and terrifying. Something about undersea adventures just creeps me out, and it's a fear that I believe is somewhat universal. Plus, an extremely dangerous and unpredictable
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mushroom... it all combines to make a chilling adventure.

Plus, this book really explores humanity and how people are not necessarily black and white like the Baudelaires first believed it to be. The hook-handed man describes people like a salad, with all kinds of stuff in it -- not just good or evil. The orphans even experience it firsthand.

To add to it, the mysteries get even deeper. Lemony Snicket somehow is able to keep adding more and more questions without disregarding the old questions. He doesn't outright answer hardly any of the questions that have been asked in past novels, and yet somehow they get answered anyway.

And let's not forget Sunny. Lovely Sunny.
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