Customer Reviews: A Series of Unfortunate Events #7: The Vile Village
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Because none of their distant relatives will take them in out of fear of Count Olaf, the three Baudelaire orphans become part of a new program based on the saying "It takes a village to raise a child." Under this program, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny's newest guardians will be all the residents of an entire village. In the hopes of solving the mystery of "V.F.D.," the children choose a village by that name as their new home. But they are terribly disappointed. They are sent to live with a kind but timid man named Hector who loves to cook Mexican food and has a library of forbidden books. V.F.D. is run by the strict Council of Elders, who have made tens of thousands of ridiculous rules that the citizens of the village must follow or risk being burned at the stake. When the Baudelaires are falsely accused of murder and imprisoned, they must escape from the jail and find their friends the Quagmires, who are hidden somewhere in the village. This was another miserable, hilarious book in A Series of Unfortunate Events that is a must-read for all fans of the series.
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on May 6, 2001
I am an avid reader of almost 12 years. I stumbled across The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket (I hate that pen name though) and I loved it. I read up to the 7th book and cannot wait for the 8th. These books were refreshingly short and entertaining. A Series of Unfortunate Events tells the long and sad epic, throughout many books, of Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire whose parents have perished in a house fire and who are left alone with the evil Count Olaf. Each are well developed and unique characters whose abilities come in useful at every turn only to be squashed by the evil doings of Olaf and his troupe. The books get better and better as you go along and meet characters like:
~Isadora and Duncan Quagmire, two triplets who are also journalists and poets
~Esme Squalor, the fancy pinstriped financial advisor
~Vice Principal Nero, the self-proclaimed genius violinist
~Sir, whose head is invisible due to a constant cloud of smoke
~and many more!
Please, try this series out and you will love it. I thouroughly recommend any book in the series to readers of Harry Potter and other magical stories who want a short and simple laugh-out-loud adventure.
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on September 3, 2001
THE VILE VILLAGE is the seventh book in Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events. These books chronicle the ongoing saga of the three Baudelaire orphans as they try to escape their uncle, Count Olaf, who is only interested in the children because of the large fortune bequeathed to them by their parents.
This exciting episode begins with the Baudelaires unable to find a relative to act as their guardian. The relatives either have met with an unexpected demise or are firghtened away because of Olaf's history of evil pranks. They are "adopted" by the entire village of V.F.D. The village natives are consumed with adhering to their exhaustive list of village rules, and thus are more interested in utilizing the orphans to perform all of the village chores than in nurturing them.
The children's only ally in the village of V.F.D. is unable to be of much helpt to the orphans because of his fear of being found non-compliant with the village's many regulations (not entirely unreasonable, as the punishment is being burned at the stake!). The children are then forced to rely on each other to escape, and at the same time, rescue their friends, the Quagmire triplets.
In this book we see the main characters gain maturity. Along with celebrating some personal milestones, Violet, Klaus and Sunny demonstrate a heightened concern for the predicament of the Quagmires and a firmer resolve to face adversity without requesting assistance from the adults who have failed them so often in the past.
While the plot of the book is cartoonish at times, Lemony Snicket continues to write amusing text. Particularly pleasing to young readers is the use of long words, with the definition following within the context of the story.
It is best to read these books in series order, as there are references to events from previous books and supporting characters return without much introduction. It is refreshing to read a series in which the characters, like Harry Potter, age and develop throughout the books.
We eagerly await the next installment in this series!
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on May 19, 2001
In "The Vile Village," Snicket is probably at his best since the beginning of the series. In this novel, Sunny, Klaus, and Violet are put off to the village called V.F.D. The orphans go under the program, "It takes a village to raise a child." Hector, the handyman, is their main caretaker. When they get to the village, they have hopes that the mystery of V.F.D. will be solved. Unfortunately, the village and the mystery are not the same. Fortunately, though, the Quagmire triplets are somewhere in the village. The treacherous villain Olaf returns too, but this time doesn't play as big a role as in other books. So, "The Vile Village" is definitely one of the best of the series, and I can't wait to read the six remaing volumes to come. Get this novel if you're a true fan of the series or a minimal series. Somebody that has never even read the prior books can even enjoy this. Buy and enjoy.
Happy Reading!
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on October 5, 2001
No one wants to be Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire. Their chain of unfortunate events keeps continuing, and perhaps has reached its most treacherous event in the lives of the three orphans. Count Olaf and his dastardly new accomplice, Esme Squalor, are on the run. The Quagmire triplets are still missing - and their time just may be running out. Now, the orphans are in the care of the village of V.F.D. - a town with the motto "It takes a village to raise a child." This village
is very, very vile -- there are thousands of ridiculous rules to comply to, and anyone who disobeyes a rule is burned at the stake alive! Then there's the tremendous mob of crows that flock to different places during day and night, blackening the town's sky. The Baudelaires have probably never faced more absurd circumstances. As mysteries and mayhem fill their lives even more, their stay at becoming worse than they could have ever dreamed. The Vile Village is the seventh book in A Series Of Unfortunate Events, and one of my favorite books in the series so far.
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Lemony Snicket, The Vile Village (Scholastic, 2001)

The Baudelaire orphans return in their seventh adventure, The Vile Village. Snicket keeps the soap-opera (as opposed to sitcom) method going here, continuing on the events of The Erstaz Elevator. The orphans are being sent by Mr. Poe to be raised by an entire village (because it takes a village to raise a child, of course), and the orphans discover that one of the towns they can choose from is called V.F.D. Believing they've solved the mystery at last, they head off for V.F.D., only to find that not only have the solved the mystery, but, as usual, not all is right with the world. In fact, most things are very wrong with the world. This, of course, is nothing new to the Baudelaires.

It almost seems as if Lemony Snicket is writing a surreptitious primer on how to write a novel in these books. In this one, he introduces the concept of foreshadowing by clue (and does so with a nice, unexpected subtlety). Otherwise, it's your basic Baudelaire orphans novel. Funny, somewhat silly, and poking fun at just about everything, and trying (one wonders with what success) to expand the vocabulary of his readers, Snicket continues writing a bang-up series. *** 1/2
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on July 30, 2001
I must be one of the lucky few in the UK to have read these wonderful stories as they aren't yet published over here. What has impressed me has not only been the quality of storytelling, but the whole "package" - the bindings, covers, front pages all show what care has been put into the series. I'm not sure that the British versions (out in the autumn) are so good. Anyway, as for "The Vile Village", this has to be the strongest episode yet, even better than "The Ersatz Elevator"! The story stands well on its own with enough clues to want you to shout out to help the siblings (where are the Quagmires? who is Officer Luciana?) and hints of the continuing plotlines are teasingly dangled in front of you - just how is Lemony Snicket involved in the whole saga? I cannot wait to visit "The Hostile Hospital"!
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on May 21, 2001
My nine year old and I have had such fun reading this series of unfortunate events! He could well read them himself, but these books have proved to be a real delight for both of us. (I use the term "delight" advisedly, as these books always end badly for the Baudelaire children.) "The Vile Village" was an entertaining next installment in the tales of Count Olaf's treachery. And we actually learned something interesting! I am a 46 year old attorney and had no idea that the correct term for a grouping of crows is a "murder," as in a flock of geese, a pod of whales, a bevy of swans, and a murder of crows! The plot of this book is well summarized elsewhere. I can only add that Lemony did not let us down and we are anticipating the next adventure!
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on December 3, 2014
My kid loves these books. As a parent I have tried to instill the love of reading into my son and it has gotten easier overtime and we are reaping the benefits of the improved reading. Sometimes it was difficult to match the content level with his advanced reading level in addition to his interest in the content itself, however these books have seemed to be a perfect storm of sorts. He is 9 but reading at a 12th grade level and it wasn't until this series that we really saw a passion for reading show, he always liked it and did it daily but never sought it out as feverishly as he did with this series, he is sharing the story with us in addition to laughing and enjoying himself. I highly recommend them and we now own them all.
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on December 30, 2012
My 8 year old and I are enjoying this series. They are dark but in an amusing way. It's hard to say why they are appealing but they are. The three children are resourceful and with ingenuity figure out how to escape the evil Count Olaf on their own. A few of the grown ups are well meaning and kind but they are mostly ineffectual, inefficient and useless. I guess what we like is the fact that the kids are clever and solve their problems with little help from grown ups. They may try some tactic that doesn't work so they try something else. Each child has their own speciality and different situations call for different tactics. They work well as a team, sharing the hardships and responsibilities.

The author does some interesting things like using big words and stopping to give the definition. Sometimes the definition is slightly skewed toward fitting the story and even that makes it amusing.
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