More Questions than Answers, and Giggles Aplenty

Who Could That Be at This Hour? reviewed by Paige L

Who Could That Be at This Hour? by Lemony Snicket

First Line: “There was a town, and there was a girl, and there was a theft.”

First, let’s talk about print. You know you’re in for a treat when you pick up this book. The dust jacket is magnetic, a word which here means that the art looks pretty damn cool. Plus, it’s got Lemony Snicket’s name on it. We’ve learned that leads to something delightfully twisted. Turn the pages, and there’s a stunning white, black and blue scene depicted at each chapter heading. And octopus wallpaper for the inside covers! That’s the charm of print.

Now for plot. Snicket still maintains the quick, dry wit we love from his Series of Unfortunate Events. This time, however, the story is about himself. Snicket recalls his days as an almost-thirteen-year-old, fresh from an “unusual education.” He’s part of some mysterious society and has just become the apprentice of a woman with crazy hair. Together they travel to the town of Stain’d-by-the-Sea to investigate a theft.

With each chapter, the reader’s questions pile on—Snicket’s background, the stolen item, and the town itself are all foggy. It can be difficult to figure out the truth when the narrator keeps commenting on his own “wrong questions” I’m still kind of at a loss for what constitues as a “right question.”

Semantics aside, Who Could That Be at This Hour? is an exciting beginning for Snicket’s newest series. Ages 8 and beyond will get a kick out of the snappy dialogue and character quirks.

Bottom Line: Don’t worry yourself with questions about this book, keep reading, and enjoy the whimsy.