Sunday, 11 November 2012

All the Wrong Questions: Who Could That be at This Hour?


All the Wrong Questions: Who Could That be at This Hour? by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Seth (hardie Grant EGMONT)
HB RRP $16.95
ISBN 978-1742972961

 This is the first book in the much-anticipated four part series from Lemony Snicket. His first autobiographical account of his childhood training, called All the wrong questions.

In this humorous fast-paced book we follow the young Lemony Snicket during the first moments of his apprenticeship and his first case. It starts with the unexpected act of his trainer taking him from the city (and his plans) to a seaside town that is no longer by the sea to find a valuable statue that wasn’t stolen.

It is an arresting case with many twists and turns. In classic detective style Snicket describes those around him, the situations, the people, and all of his questions (wrong and right). His language is precise and humourous which keeps a smile on the readers face and the mind racing.

Some of the most immediate examples of his fantastic descriptive language include:
  • The Bombinating Beast which “looked like a sea horse like a hawk looks like a chicken.” (pg 45).
  • “…with hair so black it made the night look pale.” (pg 131)
  • “I am not a hairy person, but each one of my hairs stood up and showed off at the sound of his name.” (pgs 207/8)


My 9 and 11-year-old children were laughing out loud and re-reading passages to me throughout the book.

The story is made up of a range of wonderful characters, including the setting, which serves as one of the stronger characters in the book.  The graphics by Seth are blue, black and white prints that add to the classic feel of the book. There are graphic at the beginning of each chapter as well as random full-page offerings.

I enjoyed reading this first book of the series. It is a fun read for the summer months to come and would make a great Christmas present.

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