A Series of Unfortunate Events #13: The End

by Lemony Snicket

Other authorsMichael Kupperman (Illustrator), Brett Helquist (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 2006



Local notes

Fic Sni (c.1)





HarperCollins (2006), Edition: 1ST, 368 pages


Lost at sea, the Baudelaire orphans, along with the evil Count Olaf, wash up on the shore of an island populated by an oddly placid group of inhabitants, and they try to decide whether or not they are truly safe.


Audie Award (Finalist — 2007)


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

368 p.; 5 inches

Media reviews

A happy ending for the Bauldelaire orphans in my opinion. Though, i'd like to hear more about their exploits.I just finished today, i'm going to give my thanks to Daniel Handler(Lemony Snicket) for giving me something to be hooked on for the past few weeks, and the thing i was hooked on was the
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series of unfortunate events books. I look forward to the next four books he will be making on something else and maybe some more series of unfortunate events. All the series of unfortunate events fans, keep your eyes peeled for the new books in 2012!
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User reviews

LibraryThing member Othemts
A Series of Unfortunate Events comes to an end not with a bang, but with a whimper. And that whimper is from me because this is a sad book, not in a manipulative way, or even due to suffering of the characters, but just all that is lost along the way in childhood and innocence. Daniel Handler
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manages to create a real emotional resonance in place of the expected and possibly easier revelation of the mysteries built up in the other books (which prove just to be a Macguffin). This series really changed a lot along the way and I think became something bigger and more beautiful and more sad than even the author expected.
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LibraryThing member SamuelW
In the fifth book of A Series of Unfortunate Events – (The Austere Academy) – Lemony Snicket began a mystery which, so far, has remained almost completely unexplained. In every single subsequent book, readers have been wildly hoping for some answers, only to be met with still more unanswered
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questions. By the time Snicket reached the thirteenth and final book in his series, so many loose ends remained that people with no interest in The End’s plot whatsoever were likely to buy the book just to get some answers. A note to those people: the answers are not here. Perhaps they are in The Beatrice Letters, (the parallel book that was released to accompany The End.)

Snicket has answered one or two questions about the Baudelaire parents, and their relation to V.F.D., but for the majority of the mysteries, at the conclusion of the saga, readers are left wondering. There will undoubtedly be thousands of disappointed and furious fans around the world . . . and yet, others will find the end of The End strangely satisfying. It seems to say that there are some mysteries in life that are best left alone, and some questions that will never be answered, but as long as the Baudelaires have each other, and are free from misfortune, then nothing else matters too much.

It is incredible that Lemony Snicket’s books are so readable and high-selling – he is a terrible narrator! Infuriatingly slow, he wanders off topic, begs readers to stop reading, and spoils nearly all the surprises. The distinctiveness of this approach to writing makes A Series of Unfortunate Events a unique opportunity to step outside the box that imprisons a lot of novels – and Snicket’s humour is well worth any inconvenience!

In addition to the usual morals about taking simple principles to stupid extremes, (such as fashion in The Ersatz Elevator,) readers can draw parallels between The End and the story of Adam and Eve. In the same way that Ishmael shields the simple inhabitants of his island from knowledge of the outside world, and is the sole person to eat from a very special apple tree in the middle of a vast arboretum, Adam and Eve were shielded from the knowledge of good and evil. These parallels are interesting to explore, especially as Snicket has brought back the Incredibly Deadly Viper to play the role of the serpent.

Intriguing and meaningful, The End is a well-balanced ending to a bestselling series, (once you get past the complete lack of answers!) An obvious must-read for Snicket fans.
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LibraryThing member themulhern
An excellent conclusion to this series. I would be reading more Daniel Handler novels if I could find them in my local library. Count Olaf taught me a depressing poem about the human condition to add to my store. Tim Curry's performance is outstanding. Moral judgements are yet harder to make
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correctly. The frustration of the Baudelaire orphans who would have succeeded in rescuing the islanders if only they'd been permitted by the islanders themselves is distressing, yet a common experience in real life. The further fact that they are prevented from rescuing Friday, the girl who has particularly befriended them, by Friday's mother is startlingly poignant.
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LibraryThing member readafew
OK, this was the end of the Series of Unfortunate Events, obviously since the title is also "The End'. Truly, this book I felt, was vastly different than the preceding 12. Most of the books hid important social commentary behind a fun and cute miserable and tortuous story. Things like "the world is
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not Black & White" or "Take responsibility for your actions" or "Nobody is perfect" etc. In this book the symbolism was MUCH larger, with even darker questions that weren't actually asked in the book. As an example, there was an ancient 'Apple Tree' that was growing in a field of 'knowledge' on an island in the middle of 'paradise'. Not to mention that Violet was given an apple from this tree by a serpent. I suspect a large number of the target audience will miss these things but they are there just the same (including the reference to 'The Great Unknown") . There was quite a bit of stuff going on in the symbolism of this book and I don't want to post spoilers or write a dissertation (here meaning going on and on adnausium about what I think the author meant but didn't actually say). Many questions were answered about the series and many more were raised.

Overall I found this to be a satisfactory conclusion to the series but certainly not a great one.
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LibraryThing member bookworm12
** There are no spoilers of Book 13, but this review assumes you’ve read the first 12 books in the series.

We have come to the end… finally. For me, this was a long time coming. I loved this series at the beginning, but after 6 or 7 books it felt repetitive to me. I stayed with it though,
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reading only two or three of the books each year, because I wanted closure.

As I mentioned in my review of the 12th book, I had high expectations for this final installment. I’ve had a mixed reaction to some of the books in this series, but to me, this was one of the better ones. I loved all of the literary references to Moby Dick and The Tempest. I thought the “Call me Ish” bit was particularly funny.

I do think that there were still quite a few unanswered questions and that was a bit of a disappointment. There was such a big build up to the finale, I guess I thought there would be a lot more about the past and what led everyone to this final point. There was some of that, but not quite enough.

Here are a few things I wish were different about the entire series:
1) I understand that 13 is an unlucky number, but there didn’t need to be 13 books. The first 4 are great, books 5-10 have some good moments, but they are also incredibly repetitive. I think the series would have worked better if it had been condensed to about 10 books.

2) There are a few moments in the final book where the orphans think back on sweet memories they shared with their parents. I really wish there had been more of those throughout the whole series. There are very few times when we learn what their parents were like and I think I would have been more invested in the kids if I’d known more about their life before they became orphans.

3) I wish the book provided more closure for different characters. We never got to see the Quagmire triplets again. The books alluded to one of the Baudelaire parents possibly being alive, but unless I missed it, we never find out if that’s true or not. I just wish there had been a bit more information across the board.

Overall, I’m glad I read the series and there are so many things I loved about the way it was written. It was clever and funny. I think it would be a perfect read for preteens and a great vocabulary lesson for young readers. There are things I disliked and things I wish were different and because of that I can’t say I loved the series. But I’m glad I stuck with it and I would definitely read it with my niece and nephews one day if they were up for it.

“It's almost as if happiness is an acquired taste, like coconut cordial or ceviche, to which you can eventually become accustom, but despair is something surprising each time you encounter it.”

“It is a well-known, but curious fact that the first bite of an apple always tastes the best.”
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LibraryThing member aethercowboy
When Ulysses washed up on the shores of the Lotophagi, he probably felt very similar to how the Baudelaires felt when they washed up onto the shores of Olaf-Land.

It's not really called Olaf-Land, it's just that the island never had any better name, as far as I have been able to ascertain.

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Lotus-Eater or Cordial-Drinker, the Baudelaires had finally found the end.

It's just when you start asking "the end of what?" does it get a little complicated. In mathematics, there is a type of numerical representation known as a line. By definition, a line has no starting point and no end point, and is essentially defined by any two points that happen to exist within it. There are things called rays, which may be the names of people you know, but in the context of mathematics pertains to "half" of a line. Since a line goes on to infinity, it's really quite pointless to call a ray half a line, but to put "half" into quotes, it starts to be allowable. A ray is a "line segment" that has only a starting point and no end point, or only an end point and no starting point. Nevertheless, it is defined by the point at which it terminates and any other point that lies along it. Then, there is a true line segment (notice the lack of quotes) that is defined as a part of a line that has a beginning and and end, and is defined by these two points.

When dealing with environments that have more than one dimension, we find that there are many different ways in which lines can interact. In a two-dimensions, we can have lines that are parallel (that is, the second line resembles the first line, only it's higher or lower or righter or lefter), and we can have lines that are perpendicular (that is, the lines make a right angle (which is the same angle of the corner of a square), and finally, we can have intersecting lines at non-right angles, either acute (thinner than a right angle) and oblique (wider than a right angle). When we move to three dimensions, we get lines that interact like they do in one and two dimensions, but we also have what are called "skew" lines, or skew lines. These lines are not parallel (and thus, cannot fall on the same plane), but never intersect. In special geometries, we can have things like parallel lines that intersect, but this is too advanced for some readers.

The point of the lines is that the Baudelaire's story can be represented as a line segment, and the events can be represented as a series of unfortunate points along that line. Line segments have beginnings, but they are parts of larger lines, which have no beginnings and no ends, and if they do begin, they probably begin before the beginning of the Baudelaires' line segments. But then there's a beginning that begins before that beginning.

And your life too is a line segment. Maybe it's running parallel to the Baudelaires', maybe it's running perpendicular, maybe it's going to intersect once, and then you'll be on your merry way while they're still suffering through the life they've been given. Maybe, even, your lines are skew, and they will never meet each other. Or your lines appear to be about to intersect, but then, you come upon your terminator, and are only able to see four tiny figures on the horizon before you drift off into that final slumber.

Or maybe there's some special geometry going on. But that topic's just a bit too advanced for some readers. These readers, instead, should try to find the end of The End before they find THE END.
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LibraryThing member Clurb
For a series that is so good to have such a disappointing ending is just crushing. I was so let down I wanted to cry. If I could choose to wipe all trace of this pathetic conclusion from my memory I would. In a heartbeat. It has simply spoiled the entire series for me.

If I were you, I'd just ignore
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this one. Whatever conclusion you choose to draw for yourself about the fate of the Baudelaires will, I assure you, be better than this.
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LibraryThing member MeganAndJustin
A very satisfactory ending to the series. I feel Mr. Snicket did a fine job addressing all of the questions he was raising with the series without actually answering most of them.
LibraryThing member KarenAJeff
The end at last. It wasn't worth slogging through 13 books.
LibraryThing member jcsoblonde
Over all I was very satisfied with the book. It does leave certain things un-explained, but I wasn't expecting much else from Mr. Snicket. It is actually one of my favorites in the series!
LibraryThing member mashcan
This was the unfortunate end to the series which was very fun. The book was okay, but it wasn't the book you wanted it to be.
LibraryThing member fingerpost
This is certainly a difficult series to end. The ending is... satisfying. Read them all. The series really gets going around book 4.
LibraryThing member swelldame
I thoroughly enjoyed this final installment in the Series of Unfortunate Events, just as I expected. Snicket’s (or rather Handler’s) writing never disappoints, with its black humor, witty wordplay, and clever literary allusions. I was initially surprised to find that not all the mysteries of
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the series were explained. (What, oh what, was in the sugar bowl?!) In fact, I was left with even more questions than before I began, which of course was just as the author intended. I actually have more respect for the author and the series because of this. As Snicket points out in the end, the answers to many questions in life remain unanswered and loose ends are seldom ever tied up neatly. I like to imagine that the Baudelaires found their way home, inherited their parents’ money, and went on to lead fulfilling and uneventful lives. But somehow I doubt it.
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LibraryThing member omphalos02
Oddly unclimactic conclusion to the series, it felt like some closure issues were sidestepped. Still fun, but not his best work by some degree.
LibraryThing member atomichron
Fantastic ending to a swell series. Not many will agree, but...

LibraryThing member dotarvi
A very satisfactory ending to the series. I feel Mr. Snicket did a fine job addressing all of the questions he was raising with the series without actually answering most of them.
LibraryThing member silentq
The thirteenth book in the Series of Unfortunate Events, wrapping up the published tales of the Baudelaire orphans. The series has been getting a bit darker as it progressed, the children being forced into moral grey areas. We also get to see Sunny growing up more and more, and finding her skills
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beyond just biting things. There's a revelation that I didn't see coming, but overall it felt like the series ended with a whimper rather than a bang, even with the theme of the series being that it's depressing and unfortunate.
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LibraryThing member cherokeelib
All good . . . and unfortunate . . . things must come to an end.
LibraryThing member catz
I was at the beach with them and I really liked the book but it just didn't end how I thought it would end or how I kind of wanted to end. I want to thank Lemony for writing these books.
LibraryThing member RoC
Oh dear, the end of a fine series of books. What am I going to read now. Overall an excellently funny sweries, and while I'm not sure I'd have liked it as a child (I liked happy books) and the ending would have really annoyed me by not tying up and expalining every last detail, in general, I much
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preferred it this way now I'm grown up. I liked the openess of it all, and enough was explained and sorted out to safisfy most people I would have thought
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LibraryThing member yarmando
This series was astonishingly clever. I didn't have the patience to read or listen to the whole thing, but I deeply enjoyed the first and last books in the series. The word play is dazzling, and the erudite (here meaning "over-educated to the point of psychological damage") layering of allusion
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makes me feel almost inadequate to the task of fully appreciating the achievement.
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LibraryThing member Amzzz
The last part of the unfortunate Baudelaire story. The End is an end whilst also being a beginning, satisfying in some aspects and frustratingly open-ended in others. Good enough for me not be be able to put down when I read it.
LibraryThing member drebbles
The last book in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events books finds the Baudelaire orphans washed up on a continental shelf with Count Olaf. For once they seem to have good luck - there is an island nearby and the people living there say the Baudelaire's can live with them, but quickly see
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what Count Olaf is really like and banish him from the island. But things never run smoothly for the Baudelaires and they soon discover it's difficult to live under the rule of Ishmael who is in charge of the island. Ishmael has some secrets that threaten the welfare of everyone on the island and the Baudelaires find themselves in more danger than they ever have before.

I thought "The End" was one of the best books in this thirteen book series. As always, Snicket has a lot of fun with words and names and I laughed at some of the names of the people on the island: Ishmael (call me "Ish"), Friday, Ariel, Robinson, and Bligh are just a few of the people living there. Sunny no longer uses much baby talk, but Snicket still has fun with her words, sometimes using them backward. As in all the books, the children are, for the most part, smarter and more responsible than the adults around them are.

Readers may be disappointed to find out that while Snicket ties up several loose ends from the previous books, he leaves some major plot lines dangling. Some of it may be sloppy writing, but I suspect much of it was deliberate and I would not be surprised if in the future there was a series of Lemony Snicket books focussing on the Quagmires. While "The End" was not as dark as "The Penultimate Peril" parents should be aware that there are two deaths in the book.

"The End" is a fitting ending to a fun, quirky series.
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LibraryThing member jvalka
This is not how I thought the series would wrap up. I thought there would be some kind of big revelation that would pull everything together. I thought the Baudelaires would be reunited with the Quagmires, but that didn't happen. I thought that Lemony Snicket would become an active player in the
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drama rather than the outside observer. I thought the whole business with Beatrice would be explained. I thought the V.F.D. would figure prominently.
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LibraryThing member delaney.h4
Summary: The Baudelair's long journey has brought them to and end. But what waits for them there?
Review: FINALLY the series is over.

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½ (1429 ratings; 3.9)
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