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The Grim Grotto :  A Series of Unfortunate Events : Book 11 - Lemony Snicket

The Grim Grotto

A Series of Unfortunate Events : Book 11

By: Lemony Snicket, Brett Helquist (Illustrator)

Hardcover

Published: September 2004
For Ages: 8 - 12 years old
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Published: 13th October 2009
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Please note the pages on this book have been produced with bevelled or rough edge to create an old style look. The publisher has deliberately chosen to produce the book this way.

Warning: Your day will become very dark - and possibly damp - if you read this book.

Plan to spend this spring in hiding. Lemony Snicket is back with the eleventh book in his New York Times bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Lemony Snicket's saga about the charming, intelligent and grossly unlucky Baudelaire orphans continues to provoke suspicion and despair in readers the world over. In the eleventh and most alarming volume yet in the bestselling phenomenon A Series of Unfortunate Events, the intrepid siblings delve further into the dark mystery surrounding the death of their parents and the baffling VFD organisation.

About The Author

To the uninitiated, his name may sound more like dessert than good reading; but Lemony Snicket (known to communicate through emissary Daniel Handler, shown here) is a star author to readers who are hooked on his gloomy A Series of Unfortunate Events books. You never know what will happen to those poor Baudelaire orphans next -- only that whatever it is, it's going to be a head-shaking shame.

Chapter One
After a great deal of time examining oceans, investigating rainstorms, and staring very hard at several drinking fountains, the scientists of the world developed a theory regarding how water is distributed around our planet, which they have named "the water cycle." The water cycle consists of three key phenomena -- evaporation, precipitation, and collection -- and all of them are equally boring.

Of course, it is boring to read about boring things, but it is better to read something that makes you yawn with boredom than something that will make you weep uncontrollably, pound your fists against the floor, and leave tearstains all over your pillowcase, sheets, and boomerang collection. Like the water cycle, the tale of the Baudelaire children consists of three key phenomena, but rather than read their sorry tale it would be best if you read something about the water cycle instead.

Violet, the eldest phenomenon, was nearly fifteen years old and very nearly the best inventor the world had ever seen. As far as I can tell she was certainly the best inventor who had ever found herself trapped in the gray waters of the Stricken Stream, clinging desperately to a toboggan as she was carried away from the Valley of Four Drafts, and if I were you I would prefer to focus on the boring phenomenon of evaporation, which refers to the process of water turning into vapor and eventually forming clouds, rather than think about the turmoil that awaited her at the bottom of the Mortmain Mountains.

Klaus was the second eldest of the Baudelaire siblings, but it would be better for your health if you concentrated on the boring phenomenon of precipitation, which refers to vapor turning back into water and falling as rain, rather than spending even one moment thinking about the phenomenon of Klaus's excellent skills as a researcher, and the amount of trouble and woe these skills would bring him once he and his siblings met up with Count Olaf, the notorious villain who had been after the children ever since their parents had perished in a terrible fire. And even Sunny Baudelaire, who had recently passed out of babyhood, is a phenomenon all to herself, not only for her very sharp teeth, which had helped the Baudelaires in a number of unpleasant circumstances, but also for her newfound skills as a cook, which had fed the Baudelaires in a number of unpleasant circumstances. Although the phenomenon of collection, which describes the gathering of fallen rain into one place so it can evaporate once more and begin the entire tedious process all over again, is probably the most boring phenomenon in the water cycle, it would be far better for you to get up and go right to your nearest library and spend several boring days reading every single boring fact you can find about collection, because the phenomenon of what happens to Sunny Baudelaire over the course of these pages is the most dreadful phenomenon I can think of, and I can think of a great many. The water cycle may be a series of boring phenomena, but the story of the Baudelaires is something else entirely, and this is an excellent opportunity to read something boring instead of learning what became of the Baudelaires as the rushing waters of the Stricken Stream carried them away from the mountains.

"What will become of us?" Violet asked, raising her voice to be heard over the rushing water. "I don't think I can invent anything that can stop this toboggan."

"I don't think you should try," Klaus called back to his sister. "The arrival of False Spring has thawed out the stream, but the waters are still very cold. If one of us fell into the stream, I'm not sure how long we could survive."

"Quigley," Sunny whimpered. The youngest Baudelaire often talked in a way that could be difficult to understand, but lately her speech had been developing almost as quickly as her cooking skills, and her siblings knew that Sunny was referring to Quigley Quagmire, with whom the Baudelaires had recently become friends. Quigley had helped Violet and Klaus reach the top of Mount Fraught in order to find the V.F.D. headquarters and rescue Sunny from Count Olaf's clutches, but another tributary of the Stricken Stream had carried him off in the opposite direction, and the cartographer -- a word which here means "someone who is very good with maps, and of whom Violet Baudelaire was particularly fond" -- didn't even have a toboggan to keep him out of the chilly water.

"I'm sure Quigley has gotten out of the water," Violet said quickly, although of course she was sure of no such thing. "I only wish we knew where he was going. He told us to meet him somewhere, but the waterfall interrupted him."

The toboggan bobbed in the water as Klaus reached into his pocket and drew out a dark blue notebook. The notebook had been a gift from Quigley, and Klaus was using it as a commonplace book, a phrase which here means "notebook in which he wrote any interesting or useful information." "We decoded that message telling us about an important V.F.D. gathering on Thursday," he said, "and thanks to Sunny, we know that the meeting is at the Hotel Denoue ment. Maybe that's where Quigley wants to meet us -- at the last safe place."

"But we don't know where it is," Violet pointed out. "How can we meet someone in an unknown location?"

The three Baudelaires sighed, and for a few moments the siblings sat quietly on the toboggan and listened to the gurgling of the stream. There are some people who like to watch a stream for hours, staring at the glittering water and thinking about the mysteries of the world. But the waters of the Stricken Stream were too dirty to glitter, and every mystery the children tried to solve seemed to reveal even more mysteries, and even those mysteries contained mysteries, so when they pondered these mysteries they felt more overwhelmed than thoughtful. They knew that V.F.D. was a secret organization, but they couldn't seem to find out much about what the organization did, or why it should concern the Baudelaires. They knew that Count Olaf was very eager to get his filthy hands on a certain sugar bowl, but they had no idea why the sugar bowl was so important, or where in the world it was. They knew that there were people in the world who could help them, but so many of these people -- guardians, friends, bankers -- had proven to be of no help at all, or had vanished from their lives just when the Baudelaires needed them most. And they knew there were people in the world who would not help them -- villainous people, and their number seemed to be growing as their treachery and wickedness trickled all over the earth, like a dreadful water cycle of woe and despair. But right now the biggest mystery seemed to be what to do next, and as the Baudelaires huddled together on the floating toboggan they could not think of a thing.

ISBN: 9780064410144
ISBN-10: 0064410145
Series: Series of Unfortunate Events
Audience: Children
For Ages: 8 - 12 years old
For Grades: 3 - 7
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 352
Published: September 2004
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Dimensions (cm): 18.4 x 12.7  x 3.0
Weight (kg): 0.41