The Ersatz Elevator
Reviewed: October 1, 2002
By: Lemony Snicket
259 pages, $14.95
the sixth volume of A Series of Unfortunate Events, the Baudelaire orphans are
once again in a new place, under the care of a new set of guardians. Jerome and
Esme Squalor live in posh circumstances which belie their surname. Jerome is a
nice enough fellow and seems actually to care about Violet, Klaus and
Sunny Esme, on the other hand, is
"the city's sixth most important financial advisor", a rather shallow
person who is obsessed with being "in".
Squalors were acquainted with the orphans' parents. Jerome would have been
happy to take them in right after the fire which made them orphans, but he has
no spine and is never prepared to argue with his wife, who was only willing to
look after the kids once orphans became an "in" thing.
Baudelaires have been saddled with poor guardians ever since the death of their
parents. The legal guardian, Mr. Poe, keeps shuffling them around into
situations that just put them into more trouble. Trouble always come to them in
the shape of Count Olaf, an unscrupulous relative who wants to get control of
the family fortune.
the present situation, the orphans have to overcome the obstacles of a fake
elevator, a devious auction and the betrayal of a guardian. You wonder how they
manage to survive at all, but somehow they do.