Of Ties and Extension Cords (The Ersatz Elevator – A Book Review)

The Ersatz Elevator (A Series of Unfortunate Events #6)
Author: Lemony Snicket
Published: 2001

On Goodreads

My Rating:

Rated L for the possibility of getting lost in a large penthouse and S for selfish ignorance of the richest kind.

The book you are holding in your two hands right now—assuming that you are, in fact, holding this book, and that you have only two hands—is one of two books in the world that will show you the difference between the word “nervous” and the word “anxious.” The other book, of course, is the dictionary, and if I were you I would read that book instead.

Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire find themselves back in the city, not far from their home that had burned to the ground with their parents inside, but this time they’re staying in the in-est part of the city with Jerome and Esme Squalor up in a penthouse with endless amounts of rooms. If you honestly, truly believe that this book in the series of the children’s unfortunate events is going to be a happy one then you can go ahead and close this book. In fact, “nervous” and “anxious” are the best words to use for this installment of their sad and depressing adventure.

They still search for their friends, Duncan and Isadora, the Quagmire triplets. They’re closer than they realize, but it proves tricky with Esme in their way with her precocious pestering about how in they have to be. When her friend, an auctioneer, turns out to be Count Olaf, the children are at it again to keep him not only away from their fortune but the Quagmire’s as well.

A Series of Unfortunate Events is 1 of 3 books series I am rereading this year as a part of my New Year’s Resolution. This is book 6 of 13.

ASOUE Reviews

The Bad Beginning

The Reptile Room

The Wide Window

The Miserable Mill

The Austere Academy

Compared to earlier books, like The Reptile Room and even The Austere Academy, Ersatz was slowly paced and slightly on the exhausting side. I take no pride in saying that. It can happen in a series sometimes and it happened here for me. Still invigorating me with such impeccable and smart writing while also breaking that fourth wall.


Getting to the quagmires does add some intrigue. The mystery of V. F. D. has only just begun and it’s one of my favorite parts of the series and discovering how deeply involved the Baudelaires are in it. The sugar bowl makes its entrance in this book thanks to Esme Squalor who’s so desperate for it she’d kill someone. I’m still unsure to this day whether it’s an actual sugar bowl or it that’s just a code name. I honestly can’t be sure. Everything is shrouded in so much theory and I love a good theory!

New villain alert! You can tell Esme is bound to be evil right from the start, Vain, narcissistic, and selfish and cruel, and UGH. Not a particularly great woman to represent women. However, you couldn’t pick a better woman for Count Olaf. She’s as dastardly as he is.


Not the most exciting installment to the series, but there was quite a bit of development. So, a mixture of dry and drawn out parts with the important bits that move an entire series. The element of surprise does rear its head from time to time as did irony. Snicket’s language and style are unlike anything I’ve read. Even though there are the occasional bumps, that doesn’t derail how phenomenal he is. From theories to secrets to villains to crazy plans you’d never guess would work to family and friendship, this is a good series to read for sure.


“The element of surprise is not a gas, like oxygen, ir a solid, like aluminum. The element of surprise is an unfair advantage, and it can be found in situations in which one person—or, in this sad case, the surprised persons—are too stunned to defend themselves, and the sneaky person has the advantage of the element of surprise.” (p. 60)

“Morning is one of the best times for thinking.” (p. 91)

More to come soon…                                                                                                


P.S. Song today? Start a Riot by Jetta.

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