Thursday, 19 September 2013

Review: Who Could That Be At This Hour by Lemony Snicket

I read this book in one sitting. This book had the undertones of being Kafka-esque in the oddities of pointless, direct and snippy conversations the character Lemony has with the other characters. The whole plot feels like a nightmare with its sense of urgency to complete his mission and battle greater unconquerable forces to do so. Paranoia, urgency, distrust of law enforcement and society, a lack of justice--it's all very Kafka, but it's kid-friendly Kafka and I liked it. It reminded me greatly of The Trial, but a less scary, less metaphorical version of it.

The book follows a teenager named Lemony Snicket in a detective mystery/suspenseful tale of theft, betrayal, and heroism. As with Snicket's other books, the plot contains a certain amount of hopelessness and darkness in the setting, characters, and events. Snicket is an apprentice to a spy-heroic-P.I. type character who is less than helpful and even worse at providing her apprentice with knowledge and skills.

The book is fast-paced with many dislikable characters that the reader will love to hate. Snicket has the ability to keep the young reader guessing at the truths of plot and changing his/her mind about certain characters. Reading this book is a very similar experience to the sudden twists and turns, sense of urgency and the purposelessness within a purpose of a nightmare. That's not to say reading the book is like having a nightmare, of course.

I really enjoyed it. Who Could That Be At This Hour is quirky, it's odd, it's a little confusing--it's a typical Lemony Snicket book. It's a fairly fast read for more impatient readers and is full of action, mystery and some hilarity. A wonderful choice of book for pre-teen boys, early fans of mystery books, as well as fans of the Lemony Snicket books.

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