The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 3) Review
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Unabridged recording
4 CDs (3 hours, 15 minutes)

At the end of my last road trip (which happened to coincide with the end of The Reptile Room, Book 2 of Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events) the clever Baudelaire orphans (Violet, 14, Klaus, 12, and baby Sunny) once again escaped the clutches of the evil Count Olaf, who’s after their family’s fortune. But as I once again got behind the wheel and popped in the first disc of Book 3, The Wide Window, the children found themselves—once again—without a home.

Their new guardian is Aunt Josephine (who’s really their second cousin’s sister-in-law), a dowager who lives by herself (with nothing but her grammar books) in a small home that’s precariously perched on the edge of Lake Lachrymose, the same lake that claimed the life of her beloved husband, Ike. Aunt Josephine is terrified of just about everything (including telephones, door knobs, and realtors, just to name a few), but she’s immediately swept off her feet by Captain Sham, a peg-legged sailor who’s really the dastardly Count Olaf in disguise.

  
 
When Aunt Josephine throws herself from her library window and wills the children to Captain Sham, the Baudelaires set out in a hurricane to save themselves from Count Olaf’s evil plans.

For this third audio book in the Series of Unfortunate Events, Lemony Snicket himself narrates. This is a mixed blessing—a phrase which here means half good and half bad. While Snicket knows the story better than anyone else (and, fortunately, knows enough to refrain from imitating Mr. Poe’s irritating cough), he’s a bit quiet and dry, making it a challenge to listen while driving. The story itself is more of the same—misfortune and adventure and vocabulary lessons—though that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Snicket’s wonderful wit shines through in this book—which is his wittiest yet—and you may often find yourself snickering into your steering wheel. It’s well worth your time behind the wheel.

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