Poison for Breakfast

Lemony Snicket. Liveright, $17.95 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-1-324-09062-5
Snicket (the A Series of Unfortunate Events series) returns with a delightfully quirky philosophical novel. After just finishing a meal of “Tea/ with honey/ a piece of toast/ with cheese,/ one sliced pear,/ and an egg perfectly prepared,” protagonist Snicket finds a note that informs him: “You had poison for breakfast.” Alarmed, he decides to trace the origins of each ingredient to discover what could have been poisoned. He visits a tea shop that keeps “daringly eccentric hours”; a honey farm; the disconcerting supermarket where he bought the bread; and the park where goats graze and where their cheese is sold. Between these inconclusive investigations, he reminisces about, among other things, a friendship with an older shoemaker neighbor, and considers the craft of writing. His final effort, to visit a library (“to breathe in a room where so much literature has been gathered... often brings a tear to my eye, although that could also be my mild allergy to dust”) sets the stage for a surprising conclusion. Snicket laces the narrative with his trademark word definitions (“dicey, a word which here means as risky as rolling dice, if getting a certain number means you will drown”) and ominous hints at past tragedies. This will delight fans of Snicket’s singular storytelling. Agent: Charlotte Sheedy, the Charlotte Sheedy Agency. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 06/07/2021
Release date: 08/31/2021
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 112 pages - 978-0-7352-6503-5
Book - 978-0-316-41987-1
Hardcover - 978-0-316-56360-4
Hardcover - 176 pages - 978-0-7352-7146-3
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