Snicket, you weirdo, thank you for this gem.
In Poison for Breakfast, Lemony Snicket sits down to breakfast, and afterwards finds a note that says “you had poison for breakfast.” Bewildered, he sets out to find which of the foods he ate is going to kill him, and so we are taken on a quirky journey full of whimsy, wordplay, and mystery.
I grew up with the Series of Unfortunate Events, but I haven’t read anything else by this author since then. However, I couldn’t resist this little story, which I listened to as an audiobook. And I have to say, the audio was fantastic! It’s narrated by Patrick Warburton, who portrayed Snicket in the Netflix series, so that was great.
This is as weird and entertaining as I’d hoped it would be. Snicket has such an odd, distinctive writing style that I just love. As his quest to solve his own murder unfolds, we travel to various places and meet various people, who are all so strange and funny. I love the dialogue, both internal and external, and the interactions between characters are delightful.
This book is both a mystery and a bit of a philosophical examination of life. We see the things Snicket enjoys, from the honey in his tea to the way swimming in open water makes him feel free. It’s a story about finding clues and solving a crime, and also a story about appreciating the little things in life. Of course, Snicket includes plenty of his signature definitions (always starting with “a word which here means…”) that made me very nostalgic.
Also, though the premise of this is a little solemn, this story is actually so funny! I didn’t think I could ever be so entertained by things like how to prepare eggs, but that—and so many other moments—made me laugh out loud.
In the end, Poison for Breakfast is a weird yet wonderful tale. The characters are good, the writing is fantastic, the humor spot-on. It’s a love letter to stories, to the small things in life, and to bewilderment. What’s the fun, after all, if you’re never bewildered?
Overall rating: 9/10
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