A Series of Unfortunate Events #6: The Ersatz Elevator

by Lemony Snicket

Other authorsMichael Kupperman (Illustrator), Brett Helquist (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 2001



Local notes

Fic Sni





HarperCollins (2001), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 272 pages


The woeful saga of the Baudelaire orphans continues as evil Count Olaf discovers their whereabouts at Esmé Squalor's seventy-one bedroom penthouse and concocts a new plan for stealing their family fortun


Yoto Carnegie Medal (Nominee — 2002)


Original publication date


Physical description

272 p.; 5 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member aethercowboy
Due to one reason or another, I found in my hands (only two of them) a copy of The Ersatz Elevator. As you must already know, ersatz is a word used to describe both artificial and inferior things.

For example, I would not use ersatz to describe the quality of this book. Additionally, I would use
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ersatz to describe products in which a vital ingredient, say, whole grains, is replaced with another ingredient, say lead, and sold as a product claiming to be Whole Grain Muffins. These, in fact, would be ersatz muffins.

This book is not any such muffin, nor a muffin at all. It is a book, and book about a miserable trio of orphans who have misery follow them everywhere they go. That is, if misery had a single eyebrow, a tattoo of an eye on his ankle, and answered to the name Count Olaf (when he wasn't busy pretending to be somebody else).

After multiple previous guardians, ranging from grammarians to herpetologists, from lumbermill owners to vice principals, the orphans finally come to the penthouse apartment of Jerome and Esme Squalor, friends of their late parents. Esme is into all the latest fashions, and since orphans have of late become vogue, a word here meaning "in", Esme is more than delighted to get her very own set. Jerome, while wishing to make the orphans' lives bearable, after everything that has happened to him, does not argue when his wife makes her eccentric, a word here which means "wish to wear a cat as a stole if it were in vogue", and fashionable wishes known.

Misery follows them up the stairs to the massive penthouse apartment several floors above street level and sunny (nee dark) 667 Dark Avenue. He is dressed as an auctioneer who does not speak very fluent English, please.

And what's more, the orphans discover that the Quagmire triplets, Duncan and Isadora, are trapped within the very same building, and it's up to them to try to rescue them, which, I must say, they fail to. It is, after all, a series of unfortunate events.

An excellent continuation on an otherwise dismal subject, the Ersatz Elevator, ersatz in no way, takes up nor more space than it needs to on your bookshelf or in your head.
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LibraryThing member sara_k
I moan and sigh and then I read another Lemony Snicket book. The Ersatz Elevator is book six of the Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony snighet. More terrible and depressing things happen to the Baudelaire Orphans in this book. They are schlepped to yet another relative who is weak and cares
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more for keeping the peace than he does for the welfare of children in his care. His snobby wife is pushed back and forth by strict compliance to fads and this weakness later is seen to be a clue to her overall nature.

Evil Count Olaf figures heavily in the plot. In The Ersatz Elevator the inventions and devices seem weaker than in the other books.

There is some merit in releasing a series of books at a rate of one a year. Reading all 12 in one year has lead me to face each book with a knowing sigh instead of anticipation.
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LibraryThing member EmScape
A decent 6th novel in the Series of Unfortunate Events. The plots become more outlandish as the series continues, but I suppose they would have to as few obvious ideas remain for putting the Beaudelaires in such dire straits. I enjoy the fact that a mystery is being revealed along the way that will
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hopefully be concluded at the end of the series. If the books were just the unfortunate events themselves, I may have quit reading some time ago.
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LibraryThing member BrynDahlquis
The mystery of V.F.D. is finally beginning! But will it ever end...?

I like the whimsical part of town this story takes place in, with the constant changes of in and out. The restaurant Salmonella. The parsley soda. The stairs. Jerome is a really great guy, and yet really disappointing. But that's
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how all good adult characters are in the Series of Unfortunate Events.

Violet, Klaus, and Sunny really are in their element in this book, inventing and researching and biting the heck out of things. They're getting really really resourceful and their courage and boldness is growing too.

One of the best things about the series is a whole is Lemony Snicket. As the Baudelaire story progresses, his does too and he gives you brief snippets of his life throughout the narrative. Also, he can go on at quite some length about things that aren't really relevant at all, and not only is it educational, it's entertaining. Love this guy.
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LibraryThing member riverwillow
In this book the Baudelaires almost suceed in rescuing their friends, the Quagmires, but, once again, Count Olaf defeats them. This is probably the sadest book yet as the Baudelaires almost, but not quite, find a home with a loving guardian, but sadly Jerome Squalor isn't quite up to the job.
LibraryThing member lisa211
Just when things get a bit “normal” for the orphans (well, close to normal) when they were taken in by the wealthy Esme Squalor and her husband Jerome in their 71 bedroom penthouse at 667 Dark Avenue, the city where they were born. Here, the community takes the “in” things way too much and
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exaggerated to the extreme. They were close to find their new kidnapped friends, and they have an experienced of “sleeping with the enemy” as well.

It’s getting better folks!
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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 catz
I like how Violet, Klaus, and Sunny are with Olaf and his girlfriend and they don't even know it. This book also took me in like I was an orphan myself.
LibraryThing member delaney.h4
Summary: The Baudelair's are off with Esme and Jerome. They find an "ersatz" elevator shaft.
Review: It was okay.
LibraryThing member sayang
Just when things get a bit “normal” for the orphans (well, close to normal) when they were taken in by the wealthy Esme Squalor and her husband Jerome in their 71 bedroom penthouse at 667 Dark Avenue, the city where they were born. Here, the community takes the “in” things way too much and
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exaggerated to the extreme. They were close to find their new kidnapped friends, and they have an experienced of “sleeping with the enemy” as well.

It’s getting better folks!
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LibraryThing member Othemts
Two more volumes in A Series of Unfortunate Events, the first finds the Baudelaire orphans in an awful boarding school and the second adopted by horrible rich people. The formula of the books is starting to wear, and can't help but cringe in pain every time an adult character is obstinately stupid.
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The Austere Academy is particularly miserable in its morbid detail of the children's troubles. Yet it also has some of the funniest laugh aloud bits yet in the series. The Ersatz Elevator is good at capturing the Baudelaires in their hard-to-believe creative best. Both books feature a new pair of characters Isabel and Duncan Quagmire, who seem to exist to be orphans with even more miserable lives, kidnapped by Count Olad. I shall read more
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LibraryThing member readafew
The Ersatz Elevator is the 6th book in the Series of Unfortunate Events, the story of the Baudelaire children. We are now almost half way through the tortuous journey. Once again Poe has found a harbor to stow the Baudelaire's and this time with a kind, but spineless cousin to their mother and his
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This book was one of the better books in the series to this point and I enjoyed it quite a bit. The vocabulary is continuing to expand and the Baudelaire's are learning from their mistakes in the past and are getting better at being proactive in dealing with the problems coming their way.
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LibraryThing member GBev2008
So far my favorite of the series...I had made up my mind to give up after Book The Third, but have since jumped back in and haven't regretted it.

The formula is somewhat the same, but new twists have made the series pick up steam and become more interesting. (It is now becoming apparent that the
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Baudelaires and Count Olaf are somehow tied to the misfortunes of the author as the mysterious Beatrice has now been mentioned by a character in the story rather than just in passing by the narrator.)

The plot has thickened...Where will this increasingly mysterious and entertaining series lead? (This Unfortunate Events series is not for grumps and literary snobs.)
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LibraryThing member heidialice
In this next installment, the orphans are placed with the Squalors, a rich couple. Esme cares only about what’s in fashion, and Jerome is completely cowed by Esme. They of course are put in danger again by Count Olaf, who again narrowly escapes with the Quagmire triplets.

Another well-executed
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installment. I continue to enjoy this series.
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LibraryThing member miyurose
Another winner from Mr. Snicket. I even learned a new word " ersatz! How I escaped 6th grade vocabulary without that gem, I'll never know.

P.S. I'm extremely glad that Tim Curry is back reading these books. He adds so much to it.
LibraryThing member charlie68
Okay, the plot has lots of holes.
LibraryThing member thc_luver6
This is one of my absolute favorites in the series!! So worth reading.
LibraryThing member Angelicaquezada
go live with Esme Squalor and her 71 bedroom penthouse
LibraryThing member absurd_bird
The Ersatz Elevator is the sixth instalment in A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. The Baudelaire orphans are taken to 667 Dark Avenue, which is to be their new home. They now must stay with Jerome and Esme, in a ridiculously big apartment. There is a mysterious elevator that has been
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closed down, and the Baudelaire orphans soon discover a shocking secret in the dark depths of the shaft....
Probably one of my favourite books in the series so far.
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LibraryThing member FrogPrincessuk
Far-fetched as ever, but highly entertaining because of it. Found this one really picked up the pace/enjoyment of the series. No mean feat 6 books along especially when these books follow such a particular style.

Certainly has me craving the next instalment!
LibraryThing member ababe92
In this book of the series of unfortunate events, the three children stay in a hotel sort of apartments, and they are always on the look out for count olaf. This is a good book that I recommend to children who have read the books already and who do not get scared easily.
LibraryThing member KeRo0306
I love all the characters in Snicket's books so far but Esme' just irritates me with her love of everything that's "in". Besides her I have nothing else that's negative to say. As always I find this a marvelous book.
LibraryThing member Partaygirl13
This is a good book. Shows how strong bonds are between friends.
LibraryThing member themulhern
Resumed reading the series, having taken a break after finishing the Austere Academy. The series restarts well with an expanded theme. Their friends, the Quagmire triplets, having been kidnapped by Count Olaf in the previous book, the Baudelaire orphans now have the additional responsibility of
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rescue as well as self-preservation.

Their is some broad, but very amusing satire, on fashion. The youngest Baudelaire's character is further developed; she has become both very brave and utterly adorable.
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LibraryThing member hjjugovic
Yet more bad things happen to the Baudelaires. I'm glad the children are becoming more suspiscious and learning from their past misfortunes. It's interesting how Snicket explores virtue by giving his adults such pathetic character flaws. There are also subtle layers of humor for those who are
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paying attention. Series is recommended.
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