You Must Be…This Tall to be in Villainy (The Carnivorous Carnival – A Book Review)

The Carnivorous Carnival (ASOUE #9)

Author: Lemony Snicket

Published: 2002

On Goodreads


Rated H for hungry lions and horribly desperate orphans, one of which is quite hairy in this installment

The word “carnivorous” which appears in the title of the book, means “meat-eating,” and once you have read such a bloodthirsty word, there is no reason to read any further.

Having hitched a ride in Count Olaf’s trunk without his knowing, the Baudelaires discover they’ve stopped at a carnival. A dry, desolate, and desperate carnival with freaks and a psychic. Out in the middle of The Hinterlands, with nowhere to hide, they must disguise themselves to hide in plain sight as freaks themselves.

As they do, they hope to discover more information about the possibility of one of their parents being alive. The longer they stay, the more dangerous it gets. So dangerous that by the end of this story somebody will have been eaten by incredibly hungry lions.

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 9 of 13.

ASOUE Reviews

The Bad Beginning

The Reptile Room

The Wide Window

The Miserable Mill

The Austere Academy

The Ersatz Elevator

The Vile Village

The Hostile Hospital

First off, I can’t tell how happy, jubilant, relieved, joyful, grateful, that there are no clowns in this book. To say they bother me is a major understatement. I don’t do clowns. Not ever. Just. No. Feck no.

The Baudelaires went even deeper into committing acts of disguise and deception similar to that of Count Olaf. Even Madame Lulu, a demented and skittish member of VFD has warped her through and through to the point that she helpful to nobody, not even herself.

I became quite freaked the freak out as people in the book were rabble rousing for violence and murder and admitted that they enjoyed it. And the cruelty towards differently-abled people AKA the freaks was horrendous! Oh my gods, that got me feeling enraged like no other! It was disturbing and truly attested to how society can be bent and molded in some cases. They believe the Baudelaires are butchers so of course it’s just a hop-skip-and-leap to being encouraged to seek violence. That, or The Hinterlands is just a shady place you don’t want to be caught in at night.

This true inside look to villainy, a real front seat ride to it really gave this series a darker edge. And to see the Baudelaires’ wills tested had me unable to put this book down. They’re desperation to find their parent and to be free of Olaf, the pressures of it all, it’s a lot of stress for one child let alone three. However, this is also an opportunity to get the jump on Olaf and I can’t say that’s a bad thing.


Certainly one of the darkest installments of the series, it’s also deeply enthralling with Madame Lulu’s fortune telling, secrets being revealed, and deadly lions. Definitely one of the best in the series with its mega-plot twist that’ll leave spinning at the very end and unexpected reveals. At this point, the series is still fun and engaging and leaving you guessing.


“Let’s go find out how criminals take care of themselves.” (Klaus, p. 23)

“Besides getting several paper cuts in the same day or receiving the news that someone in your family has betrayed you to your enemies, one of the most unpleasant experiences I life is a job interview.” (p. 51)

“There are many difficult things in this world to hide, but a secret is not of them.” (p. 123)

“We’ve all done things we never thought we’d do, but we had good reason.” (Violet, p. 159)

“If you don’t choose the wicked thing what in the world will you do?” (Esme, p. 190)

More to come soon…                                                                                                


P.S. Song today? Cheap Thrills by Sia ft. Sean Paul.

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