The Real Paul Jones

Accept no substitutes

Speaking of T. S. Eliot (avoid this post!)

One of the many and various joys of being the father of a young reader is that you are introduced to some killer books that you would never had read otherwise. Tucker had me read Louis Sacher’s Holes long before it was a movie; that was great. But then I did have to suffer through the Animorphs. Even that series has it’s upsides, particularly Number 16 The Warning in which our heroes discover a Yerk-devised web site and are lead to the home of an AOL-like founder who may or may not be a powerful alien.
But one series of books, he has told me to avoid while he devours them. Of course, I too ignored the warnings and dug into the Series of Unfortunate Events. The latest book, which dear reader unless you wish to fall head first into a pool of your own tears made deep by this tragic story of the Baudelaire orphans you should definitely not read, called “The Grim Grotto” contains puzzles that cannot be solved unless you are well-read. The poetry of Eliot and of Lewis Carroll must be known to know the answers to one of the codes for example. And I do not mean “Cats” but the “Waste land”.
Each of the books, there will be 13 in all, has 13 chapters in which terrible things happen to orphans and others which I cannot write about without feeling faint. And I am feeling beyond faint now as I steel myself to warn you dear reader to prepare yourself for the coming in December of a movie with no happy ending, no happy beginning and not much happiness inbetween. Stay home and go to no movies for a while lest you are forced to see the trailer or worse that you wander into the wrong side of the cineplex and see the sad film itself.
The author, Lemony Snicket aka Daniel Handler, also did the interview/liner notes for one of my favorite CD collections, 69 Love Songs by Magnetic Fields put out by Chapel Hill’s Merge Records.


  1. And – if you act now, you can get a free Lemony Snicket flashlight if you buy any one of the books at The Regulator on 9th St.

  2. Isn’t Lemony Snicket a candybar? I am depressed.

  3. We did get the flashlight and a snazzy bookmark too. still it was a sad and discouraging purchase. Don’t act now. No flashlight is worth the tears you will shed when you read any of the Series of Unfortunate Events books. Most especially the Grim Grotto.

  4. I had been holding myself back from purchasing these books, but with a recommendation like this…well, how can I resist? I had been waiting (apparently in vain) for them to be released in paperback.

    If you’re looking for other good children’s books (ha!) I highly recommend the “His Dark Materials” trilogy by Phillip Pullman. I just recently discovered these, and was very entertained. Also currently optioned for a film.

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