A Series of Unfortunate Events #3: The Wide Window

by Lemony Snicket

Other authorsMichael Kupperman (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 2000

Status

Available

Local notes

Fic Sni

Barcode

544

Collection

Publication

HarperCollins (2000), Hardcover, 224 pages

Description

Catastrophes and misfortune continue to plague the Baudelaire orphans after they're sent to live with fearful Aunt Josephine who offers little protection against Count Olaf's treachery.

Awards

Children's Favorites Awards (Selection — 2001)

Language

Original publication date

2000-02-25

Physical description

224 p.; 7.1 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member herebedragons
#76, 2004

Read this on recommendation from alpheratz, and in preparation for the release of the film. I'm sure I'll want to see it, and I'd rather have read the books first. I'd read Bad Beginning a while ago, and thought it was so-so. That's pretty much the way I feel about these next two, as well.
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They are predictable, but entertaining, and there are moments of truly brilliant humour. I do wish someone would just shoot Mr. Poe, though. They couldn't be any worse off without him. ::grin:: My favourite quote (could be considered SPOILERISH):

"These are very serious accusations," Mr. Poe said firmly. "I understand that the three of you have had some terrible experiences, and I hope you're not letting your imagination get the best of you. Remember when you lived with Uncle Monty? You were convinced that his assistant, Stephano, was really Count Olaf in disguise."

"But Stephano *was* Count Olaf in disguise," Klaus exclaimed.

"That's not the point," Mr. Poe said.

::snort::

So, I'm not in love with them, but they're not a bad way to spend a couple of hours. These definitely read as "children's books" to me, while the Harry Potter books do not, but that's not a criticism. Just something I noticed. I'll read the others eventually, which here means, "sometime later when I don't have a gigantic pile of other books already waiting to be read, or maybe when my son is old enough to enjoy them with me."

LJ Discussion
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LibraryThing member sara_k
My opinions on A Series of Unfortunate Events books by Lemony Snicket are divided. I like the Goreyesque quality of the illustrations by Brett Helquist, the dark puns, sarcasm, the clues, and the wonderful way language is used. On the other hand, I think the plots are weak and that several books
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could have been easily rolled into one meatier book which would have been good considering the price of the hardback books and the CDs. For comparison sake, the CD set for "The Carniverous Carnival" cost more than $25 which is what I spent for the CDs of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"; Harry Potter took weeks to read and a trip to Toronto and another to Vermont to listen to while The Carniverous Carnival took less than 1 hour to read and one trip to SC to finish listening to. In general most characters outside of the Baudelaires and Count Olaf are paper thin. In several of the books there are one or two better-fleshed characters and they sometimes reappear in later books.

After their Bad Beginning (one of the best books in my opinion) Mr. Poe takes the rescued Baudelaire orphans to live with Uncle Monty who is a specialist on reptiles in The Reptile Room. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny are relieved to find that Uncle Monty is a wonderful man who values their unique talents and seems to be able to be counted on to keep them safe and stable. Count Olaf shows up and murders poor Uncle Monty. Adults let down children and while Count Olaf is thwarted he manages to escape. In The Wide Window (Book the Third), the Baudelaire orphans meet their Aunt Josephine widow of their father's second cousin. Aunt Josephine is a stickler for correct grammar and spelling and is afraid of almost everything. Strangely, she is not afraid of Count Olaf (in disguise) and falls for his silly ploy to get hold of the children. In a wonderful victory of human spirit, Aunt Josephine runs away and leave a particularly wonderful clue for the orphans. They find her and are travelling to the authorities to report Count Olaf when the Count and the infamous leeches of Lake Lachrymose do away with the poor Aunt (which in this case does not mean that she had no money but that she was to be pitied). From Lake Lachrymose, Mr. Poe takes the children to "The Miserable Mill" where the orphans are put to work in a lumber mill and Count Olaf is disguised as a woman and has a female hypnotist a coworker. Mr. Poe threatens that if the children cannot stay at the Mill they will be sent to boarding school (this is a nice set-up for the next book in the series "The Austere Academy".
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LibraryThing member lisa211
I found myself feeling sorry for these 3 Baudelaire orphans and pretty much caught up with their adventures.

This is the 3rd installment of the Unfortunate Event Series, following the unfortunate lives of the 3 Baudelaire orphans, namely Violet (an Inventor), Klaus (the Bookworm) & Sunny (the baby
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who would bite anything, and I mean anything!) after living with their departed Uncle Monty, killed by Count Olaf, but he escaped in the process of about to put him behind bars.

Mr Poe (in my opinion, a useless main caretaker), a family friend who took care for the orphans fortune until Violet came to an age, brought them to live with another family member, name Mrs. Josephine Anwhistle, who lived in a house, in the edge of a hill (literally) above Lake Lachrymose, that is infested with Lachrymose Leeches, who would eat a human if they smellt food on them.

Living with Aunt Josephine, who was a total grammar freak and scared of every single thing, that they have to live in a cold house, eating cold food (she's afraid of fire incidents) and the irony of being afraid of Lake Lachrymose, she actually lived on top of it. Yet counting their blessings the Baudelaire orphans, they felt lucky to be in a home with somebody that scared they actually feel secure. Until they came to a market one day and meet the Captain Sham, with a patch on one eye and a peg as one leg. but we all knew who exactly Captain Sham was, of course Aunt Josephine wasn't very keen to believe the children.

One day, Aunt Josephine died, death cause, jumping through the window, leaving the three of them to Captain Sham (Count Olaf in disguised), and they knew Mr Poe wasn't very keen to actually believe Captain Sham was Count Olaf in disguise (He simply believed they kids are hallucinating and seeing him everywhere).

The orphans tries to figure out a way to escape from the clutches of Count Olaf again when they discovered their aunt was still alive and was in hiding, somewhere. So they tried to get to her and tried to convince her to come back out to the world.

If you are looking for a happily ever after kind of ending for your kids, I suggest you look away from this series. But if you want to give a little modern era children facing somewhat real, you should let them read this one and of course, it's not just for children. As before, we have free vocabulary lessons in this book as well. Enjoy.
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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 emhromp2
The first three parts have been made into a very nice film btw.
LibraryThing member bibliophile26
More tragedy occurs with the Baudelaire orphans as they are shipped off to live with yet another relative and inevitably encounter Count Olaf. Getting a little bit too formulaic.
LibraryThing member catz
This took me with them but it didn't really catch my attention as other books can. But I still really liked the series.
LibraryThing member janelee7
Cool~ but im kinda getting tired of adoption and Olaf comming and getting out of it again...
LibraryThing member delaney.h4
Summary: The Baudelaire's head to their aunts, who's basically afraid of everything, not only in the outside wold, but inside the house as well. When their house on the edge of Leeky Lake shows some mysterious events, they turn to a secret cove, strange notes, their even stranger aunt, and a wide
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window.
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LibraryThing member hjjugovic
There's something very appealing about these books, once you get into the tone. In this episode, the hapless Baudelaires are taken in by a fearful, grammar-obsessed window who lives over a grim leech-filled lake. Snickett's clever definitions and outragous characters make for some laughs in this
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dismal tale.
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LibraryThing member sayang
I found myself feeling sorry for these 3 Baudelaire orphans and pretty much caught up with their adventures.

This is the 3rd installment of the Unfortunate Event Series, following the unfortunate lives of the 3 Baudelaire orphans, namely Violet (an Inventor), Klaus (the Bookworm) & Sunny (the baby
Show More
who would bite anything, and I mean anything!) after living with their departed Uncle Monty, killed by Count Olaf, but he escaped in the process of about to put him behind bars.

Mr Poe (in my opinion, a useless main caretaker), a family friend who took care for the orphans fortune until Violet came to an age, brought them to live with another family member, name Mrs. Josephine Anwhistle, who lived in a house, in the edge of a hill (literally) above Lake Lachrymose, that is infested with Lachrymose Leeches, who would eat a human if they smellt food on them.

Living with Aunt Josephine, who was a total grammar freak and scared of every single thing, that they have to live in a cold house, eating cold food (she's afraid of fire incidents) and the irony of being afraid of Lake Lachrymose, she actually lived on top of it. Yet counting their blessings the Baudelaire orphans, they felt lucky to be in a home with somebody that scared they actually feel secure. Until they came to a market one day and meet the Captain Sham, with a patch on one eye and a peg as one leg. but we all knew who exactly Captain Sham was, of course Aunt Josephine wasn't very keen to believe the children.

One day, Aunt Josephine died, death cause, jumping through the window, leaving the three of them to Captain Sham (Count Olaf in disguised), and they knew Mr Poe wasn't very keen to actually believe Captain Sham was Count Olaf in disguise (He simply believed they kids are hallucinating and seeing him everywhere).

The orphans tries to figure out a way to escape from the clutches of Count Olaf again when they discovered their aunt was still alive and was in hiding, somewhere. So they tried to get to her and tried to convince her to come back out to the world.

If you are looking for a happily ever after kind of ending for your kids, I suggest you look away from this series. But if you want to give a little modern era children facing somewhat real, you should let them read this one and of course, it's not just for children. As before, we have free vocabulary lessons in this book as well. Enjoy.
Show Less
LibraryThing member thc_luver6
Probably my second favorite book in the series...this one is sooooooo good!
LibraryThing member athenamilis
The Wide Window by Limony Snicket is about three orphans trying to find a safe place to live while being pursued by the money-hungry Count Olaf. This is the third book in the Series of Unfortunate Events Series. The orphans have inherited a large fortune and count Olaf, apparently, will stop at
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nothing, including murder, kidnapping, and torture to get his hands on it. The book is easy to read and simple in plot. The characters each have particular traits and are not truly developed in this book and I assume in the series of books. I would recommend this book for students in middle and elementary school. The language and plot might be too simple for high school readers. I would also recommend this book for younger students who learn to read by reading books in a series. The text is simple enough to allow the student to focus on the story instead of on decoding. Whats more, words that may seem difficult for readers are explained by the narrator as the story is told.
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LibraryThing member hartn
I have read the first three in A Series of Unfortunate Events and am in love with the series. Like other creations that perform something similar, the magic of coming so close to explaining that the story is a written piece of fiction while simultaneously building that world of the novel so
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concretely in the reader's imagination is a wonder to behold.
The work that comes to mind is Italo Calvino's If on A Winter's Night a Traveler, and Spike Jones movie Adaptation, starring Nicholas Cage. In all these works the superimposition of the narrator, of the fact that we are reading a narrative, allows the writer to own that space and make the reader follow their lead. In A Series of Unfortunate Events, the foil of the dreaded boring book with its happy endings and serendipitous turns gives the Baudelaire children authenticity and the narrator the space to interpret the many ambiguities of the real world that is so often candy coated for young readers.
Lemony Snickett's interpretation of the ambiguities and sophisticated words, or the baby talk of Sunny, is what hooked me and I found myself completely lost in the telling to the point of having no idea how the Baudelaire children would survive. While very different from the author's Adverbs, his recent novel for adults, the same enjoyment and exploration of language pervades the series and infects the reader. But the children are more typically helpless in their orphaned and wretched state, and the villain is more villainous than any writer should be able to get away with, but it works so well!

The illustrations by Helquist are reminiscent of silent movie tableaus, and the ominous moments captured in the pictures invite the reader's fearful sensibilities to keep reading while delighting their more skeptical abilities.
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LibraryThing member heidialice
The three Baudelaires are sent next to Aunt Josephine, who is afraid of everything, and whose house is perched precariously over Lake Lachrymose. Count Olaf, disguised as a boat captain, hunts them down in the end as always.

Slightly grisly, always dryly funny, this series continues to keep my
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attention. The constant doom and gloom is a little wearing, but balanced by the sharpness of the telling and the extremeness of it all. I love the very un-stereotypical children, especially Violet, who is always inventing.
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LibraryThing member Othemts
The best and most adventurous of these stories yet. I also figured out in a dream that Klaus and Sunny are named after the infamous Von Bulows. Susan read this book too, and enjoyed it without reading any of its predecessors. I like the house built perilously on a cliff, a nice creepy touch.
LibraryThing member EmScape
One of the funniest things I've ever read: "If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, especially if the thing is cats. "

Another satisfying tale.
LibraryThing member beckyhill
The third in a series, this episode has the Baudelaire orphans on another adventure when their new guardian fakes her death and they have to find her before Count Olaf gets them. The children don't seem to have grown or changed much from the previous book, though they are learning that Mr. Poe
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doesn't listen to them when they tell him someone is Count Olaf in disguise. The setting is made up to the point that a hurricane occurs on a lake, making the story not very believable. The theme is more clearly stated at this end of this book, when the author says that the children appreciate being able to have each other to turn to in all the hard times they face. The situations they get into continue to get more ridiculous as the series progresses, but I'm sure children would find it entertaining, so I would include this in my collection.
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LibraryThing member readafew
This is the 3rd book in the Series of Unfortunate Events. Once again the Baudelaire children are on the move. They are moving in with a new relative, 'Aunt Josephine'. The children learn pretty quick that Aunt Josephine has a few quirks and problems. Namely, she is afraid of almost everything. And
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as such puts out many rules of things to do and not do that make their stay less than ideal. Things were going along bearably well until Aunt Josephine met Captain Sham, and things went from bad to worse. Can the children get themselves out of the smörgåsbord of trouble that comes at them? Smörgåsbord here meaning a long and varied list of bad things happening.

This continues the tales of the Baudelaire children as they continue to be pushed around by grownups who never quite seem to know what is the best thing for kids but always believe they do.
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LibraryThing member riverwillow
Who is Count Olaf? This time he is Captain Sham, who, strangely doesn't frighten the Baudelaires new guardian, Aunt Josephine, who is frightened of everything else. The darkness deepens, fantastic.
LibraryThing member miyurose
I've already expressed my dissatisfaction with Lemony Snicket as audio book narrator, but the book itself was fine. They're getting a little formulaic, but you have to learn to lower your expectations when you're reading books meant for children. And even I learned something from the little
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grammar, vocabulary, and history tidbits woven into the story.
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LibraryThing member matinicuselementary
'The Wide Window' is the continuing story of the Baudelaire orphans who go to live with their Aunt Josephine, who is not in fact their aunt. Aunt Josephine is afraid of everything, from doorknobs to stoves. She won't sell her rickety old house, which is perched on the edge of a cliff over
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man-eating leach-filled Lake Lachrymose, because she is scared to death of realtors. Count Olaf appears disguised as the weathered sailor Captain Sham. This book is very interesting and leaves the reader desperate to know what happens next.
'The Wide Window' is book three in a series of 13 books. Ages 9 and up. Reviewed by Lydia Twombly-Hussey.
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LibraryThing member supersam
Overall it was a good story, and it had a good plot.
LibraryThing member wrmjr66
The third book in "A Series of Unfortunate Events" is the best so far. The plotting is better than the previous two books (particularly the first), and there is some genuinely exciting scenes. It is probably the most cinematic of the books, or at least the one that would make the best movie. It
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still has all the charm and absurdity of the first novels, including this gem from near the end of the book (not a spoiler): "But even if they could go home it would be difficult for me to tell you what the moral of the story is. In some stories, it's easy. The moral of 'The Three Bears,' for instance, is 'Never break into someone else's house.' The moral of 'Snow White' is 'Never eat apples.' The moral of World War One is 'Never assassinate Archduke Ferdinand.'" With prose like that, how could I stop reading? I look forward to tackling book 4 soon!
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LibraryThing member ankhet
This is the third book in A Series of Unfortunate Events, wherein the Baudelaire orphans have been sent to live with their fearful (meaning afraid of everything) Aunt Josephine in her house precariously perched atop a cliff overlooking Lake Lachrymosa (home to the Lachrymosa leeches, a nasy species
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which devours anything that has eaten in the past hour).

I'm still liking the series, much to my surprise! Have just started on book four....
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Pages

224

Rating

½ (2101 ratings; 3.7)
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