Friday, 19 June 2015

Book Review: A series of Unfortunate Events, The Hostile Hospital

Hey guys,

There was no Media Monday. So sorry. Last week it was cold then this week it was hot , we are in this awkward in between called swinter and my sinuses were just not  or should I say are not having it. Being under the weather, with bad weather sprinkle some laziness on top and you have got one huge mess of no blog posts. Again, I say sorry.

If you read my last post here  you know I have had an unfortunate event of my own. No need to sugar coat it now, yes, the humiliation wound is not as fresh but the pain still lingers. On the long, long ride home from my ordeal in a bid to forget even for a second the incident, I did what every book lover does when they are having one of those sigh-days, bury their nose in a book.

The book, A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Hostile Hospital. It's actually quite interesting how I found this latest addition to my library. One of those chilly Nairobi mid-mornings which had me scurrying home. Mission would have been accomplished, but I thought why not swing by my book-guy and see if there's anything that tickles my fancy? Well, I never made it to my usual book guy, better, I found a new book-guy, much like a hidden treasure. Location! Location! Location! clearly took a back seat when it came to this guy setting up shop.

Either way, I was meant to be walking past and it turned into buying two books each at a whopping 50/- Kenya Shillings, scanning his stock for other good reads and a notable dent in my financial life since then. Did I mention that the price in  his books are seriously right? What can I say, you have got to love Nairobi.

On to the book itself. A little history. My obsession with book series began with these Lemony Snicket installments. I read the first three books in my late years of primary school and lost touch. Seven years later, the Baudelaire trio still have me at the edge of my seat.

The Hostile Hospital meets Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire running, no surprise there, from the authorities this time, as they are being framed for Count Olaf's murder who happens to be alive and kicking by the way. You know that Count Olaf, not even the Grim Reaper can get his hands on him.

They meet a couple of hippies, Olaf who is back in another outrageous disguise with his girlfriend the self christened  fashionista Esme Squalor and a couple of Olaf's other minions. A craniotomy may be performed on one of the Baudelaires by the Baudelaires, a theft case here and there topped with some good-old arson not forgetting some pretty transparent "disguises" . Are you at the edge of your sit already?

Let me just get it out of the way. This book has pictures! Come on, share in the excitement with me, I know you still get as excited over pictures as I do. There is one striking illustration for each chapter and I could not appreciate the work of the hands of the illustrator more.

Why this book is up there in the world of children books, it truly entertains and educated. Of course my 10-12 year old self was thrilled by the slip ups, hold up and upside down world of the Baudelaire clan but Lemony Snicket made it his business to up my vocab' level and my English grades were a sure reflection. Yes he used 'big words' except with a big difference, he proceeded to tell you their contextual definition. Quite frankly, seven years down the line I am still glad he defines them.

Here comes the worst part. Thankfully it has nothing to do Lemony's writing. He still manages to be good old, depressingly, pessimistic, telling you a couple of unnecessary stories before cutting to the good stuff.

Growing up is the worst part. Being ten I was empathetic towards my fictitious Baudelaire friends, now, I am just laughing at some humor that in the past would have flown right past me with the occasional spurt of empathy. And they painted out growing up to be fun, Ha! Guess the joke was on us, then.

Take a walk down memory lane with your literary blast from the past.

Have a good one!

P.S. Did I mention that four of the books bought all happen to be best sellers and 3 out of 4 were hard cover? YAAAS! 

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