The Penultimate Peril is Popular!

The Quill Awards “… pair a populist sensibility with Hollywood-style glitz and have become the first literary prizes to reflect the tastes of the group that matters most in publishing-readers.” Last night the 2006 winners were announced, among them one of my favorites of last year, Lemony Snicket’s The Penultimate Peril.

Given the popularity contest nature of this particular award (determined by anyone who wants to vote at the website), I was delighted and gratified that this particular title was one of the winners. I had been surprised to see it on the nominations shortlist (decided by a board of “…. approximately 6,000 invited booksellers and librarians”) because most of the adults I know don’t care for A Series of Unfortunate Events. Kids, on the other hand, in my experience, adore it. This impression was reinforced by this announcement as I’m guessing (hoping — perhaps I’m naive) that young Snicket-fans were the bulk of the voters for this title (keeping in mind that they were by no means a large sampling of all the “readers” out there, just those who heard of the award and went to the website to vote).

Myself, I’m an adult who completely and utterly adores the series, every single book. They are clever, witty, adventurous, and tremendous fun to read. I love that kids can read them on so many different levels. Some read them for plot, some for the puzzles and clues, some for the humour, and some for an infinite number of other reasons. Additionally, I love that they are so Carrollian in spirit, full of wry wit and wisdom that I’m sure Mr. Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) would have appreciated.

I eagerly await The End!


Filed under Reading

7 responses to “The Penultimate Peril is Popular!

  1. Dear Monica,

    Any thoughts or reactions to the YA finalists for the National Book Awards?



  2. Of the ones I know so far, wow! And of the others, can’t wait to read them. Kudos to the committee!

    Certainly a completely different kettle of fish from the Quill Awards.


  3. I LOVED the Nancy Werlin title. Loved it. Subtle, beautiful writing.

    That being said, I haven’t read the M.T. Anderson and it is top on my list.


  4. I see you attended the Snicket party. Do you have any stories to share? (yes, say yes, and tell us some tales.)



  5. I haven’t much to add to Fuse’s excellent account. I suspect the seriously interesting stuff happened in the wee hours (when I was long home abed) —- say Mr. Handler/Snicket dancing with a lampshade on his head to Mr. Helquist’s accordion playing or, more likely, vice versa. Perhaps the result of a few too many drunken tomatoes (I think that is what they were called) at the bar — you were suppose to spear a cherry tomato, douse it with tequila and then dust it with various powers (pepper and stuff like that). I passed.

    The space was incredibly cool and the food fantastic. There was a gorgeous Rabelaisian groaning board (looked like a 16th century still life painting) that never seemed to diminish. I did not receive a tissue, perhaps because I was smiling too much and seemed not to need one or, more likely, because I kept returning to that wheel of Parmesan and so the tissue lady missed me.

    I did wonder who all the people were and now understand from Fuse that a lot of film people were there; I assumed they were folks involved in the grown-up world of books and music given Daniel Handler’s broader interests. The one person I spoke with outside my comfort zone (of people I knew already) was a guy from Mad Magazine.

    All and all, a total thrill!


  6. Thank you! That was fun to read! I love thinking about NY and all the cool stuff you are invited to do.

    From far over on the left coast (actually Daniel Handler’s neighborhood),



  7. I love this series, too, and I’m glad to see another adult fan. The party sounds great!


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