The Carnivorous Carnival by Daniel Handler - Book Review

The Carnivorous Carnival

The Carnivorous Carnival by Daniel Handler - Book Review

This is the book where you’ll see Olaf not wearing a disguise for the first time, but you’ll also see the plot picking up the pace.

In the Netflix series adaptation, they make a great effort in developing the main VFD plot further than the book ever did.

However, the book still scores, with the new theme that Daniel Handler so aptly adds, which is the underlying terror of the children as they find themselves breaking rules and finding themselves making decisions that go against their very nature, which emphasizes the point of “there’s no utter good or utter evil in this world” in the minds of the readers.

The Baudelaires drive away in Olaf’s car—unbeknownst to him—as they were trying to leave the catastrophic scene of the Heimlich hospital burning to the ground.

They soon use again Count Olaf’s method of disguising themselves to hide their true identity from the scheming man, which still reflects the fact that they are starting to act more like Count Olaf, foreshadowing the truth about Olaf’s past.

The end of this book was spectacularly gory. Although this wasn’t described, it was heavily implied, since one of the characters gets eaten by carnival lions. The book ends with a more intense cliffhanger than the previous installment.

The environment of the Caligari Carnival is wilder and less governed by officials. Olaf, Esme, and Olaf’s henchmen are all left unbidden to do whatever they want, which radically changes how the characters act, as now the orphans have to wear costumes to hide their true identity.

The tables have turned in this book, and maybe if you look at the series as a whole, you’d say that the events in Caligari Carnival are the rising action. The events become darker with the orphans discovering a darker side to them and even Olaf becomes shocked at some point, but the one remaining thing that is left unchanged is their pursuit of the truth about the VFD.

The cliffhanger was an excellent one, leaving readers grappling for the next one to know the fate of the siblings, which is, unfortunately, still fraught with danger.

Book Details

Title: The Carnivorous Carnival
Format: Paperback
Author: Daniel Handler
Language : English
Publisher : Egmont UK Ltd
ISBN: 978-1405266147

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Updated 3 years ago