“Everything that happens in this book is true, by which I mean that it all really happened, the poison and the poems, the deadly cactus and the hypnotic musician, the chicken and the egg and the fatal finale, a phrase which here means there is death at the end of the story,” (Snicket 2).
After having his usual breakfast, acclaimed author Lemony Snicket has been anonymously informed by a note under his door which reads, “You had poison for breakfast.” So Snicket goes on a journey to figure out how he could be poisoned from a breakfast he prepared himself, having conversations about books, eggs, movies, swimming, and more.
I never finished the A Series of Unfortunate Events books, a phrase which here means that I’d begun them at a time when I was just starting to enjoy reading but never ventured farther than the first three because that was around the time the first adaption came out which covered the first three books. But since then I’ve watched the Netflix show, which I think did an excellent job of keeping Lemony Snicket’s voice and the overall atmosphere of his books. Even during my brief acquaintance with the A Series of Unfortunate Events books I loved how they were written so it was a joy to come back to Snicket’s unique voice all these years later.
Poison for Breakfast is incredibly different from the A Series of Unfortunate Events books, while there is a mystery it isn’t filled with foes or thieves or anything quite so dark. The book is, as the summary and as Snicket tells us early on, a book on philosophy. I’m not much of a philosophy reader, the few people I’ve known who pursued philosophy became annoying “deep thinkers” when they did so I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book so I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It’s very quotable, especially for book lovers, and a quick read, one you could easily finish in a day but I liked taking my time with it, letting Snicket’s words soak into my brain as he made me think about eggs and swimming and imaginary conversations.
Overall, Poison for Breakfast is a wonderful book that book lovers and any fan of Snicket’s should get their hands on and ponder over.
Publication: August 31st 2021
Pages: 154 pages (Hardcover)
Genre: Fiction, Novella, Children’s, Middle-Grade, Teen, Adult, Humour, Philosophy, Contemporary
My Rating: ⛤⛤⛤⛤
For more than twenty years, Lemony Snicket has led millions of young readers through a mysterious world of bewildering questions and unfortunate events. With this latest book—a love letter to readers young and old about the vagaries of real life—longtime fans and new readers alike will experience Snicket’s distinctive voice in a new way.
This true story—as true as Lemony Snicket himself—begins with a puzzling note under his door: You had poison for breakfast. Following a winding trail of clues to solve the mystery of his own demise, Snicket takes us on a thought-provoking tour of his predilections: the proper way to prepare an egg, a perplexing idea called “tzimtzum,” the sublime pleasure of swimming in open water, and much else.