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The Ersatz Elevator (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 6) [Hardcover]

Lemony Snicket , Brett Helquist
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 8 2001

Dear Reader,

If you have just picked up this particular book, then it is not too late to put it back down. Like the previous books in A Series of Unfortunate Events, there is nothing to be found in these pages but misery, despair, and discomfort, and you still have time to choose something else to read.

Within the chapters of this story, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire encounter a darkened staircase, a red herring, some friends in a dire situation, three mysterious initials, a liar with an evil scheme, a secret passageway, and parsley soda.

I have sworn to write down these tales of the Baudelaire orphans so the general public will know each terrible thing that has happened to them, but if you decide to read something else instead, you will save yourself from a heapful of horror and woe.

With all due respect,

Lemony Snicket

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The Ersatz Elevator (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 6) + Series Of Unfortunate Events #5: The Austere Academy + A Series Of Unfortunate Events #7: The Vile Village
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From Amazon

Fans of Lemony Snicket's wonderful Series of Unfortunate Events won't be surprised to find that in the sixth installment the three Baudelaire orphans' new home proves to be something of a mixed bag. As our ever sad but helpful narrator states, "Although 'a mixed bag' sometimes refers to a plastic bag that has been stirred in a bowl, more often it is used to describe a situation that has both good parts and bad parts. An afternoon at the movie theater, for instance, would be a mixed bag if your favorite movie were showing, but if you had to eat gravel instead of popcorn. A trip to the zoo would be a very mixed bag if the weather were beautiful, but all of the man-and woman-eating lions were running around loose." And so it is for the bad-luck Baudelaires. Their fancy new 71-bedroom home on 667 Dark Avenue is inhabited by Esmé Gigi Geniveve Squalor (the city's sixth most important financial advisor), and her kindly husband, Jerome, who doesn't like to argue. Esmé is obsessed by the trends du jour (orphans are "in"), and because elevators are "out," Sunny, Violet, and Klaus have to trudge up 66 flights of stairs to reach the Squalors' penthouse apartment. (Other unfortunate trends include pinstripe suits, aqueous martinis--water with a faint olive-y taste--parsley soda, and ocean decorations.)

As the book begins, the Baudelaires are not only frightened in anticipation of their next (inevitable) encounter with the evil, moneygrubbing Count Olaf but they are also mourning the disappearance of their dear new friends from The Austere Academy, the Quagmires. It doesn't take long for Olaf to show up in another of his horrific disguises... but if he is on Dark Avenue, what has he done with the Quagmires? Once again, the resourceful orphans use their unique talents (Violet's inventions, Klaus's research skills, and the infant Sunny's strong teeth) in a fruitless attempt to escape from terrible tragedy. Is there a gleam of hope for the orphans and their new friends? Most certainly not. The only thing we can really count on are more gloriously gloomy adventures in the seventh book, The Vile Village. (Ages 9 and older) --Karin Snelson

From School Library Journal

Gr 4-6-The resourceful, likable, but extremely unlucky orphans Violet, Klaus, and baby Sunny continue to flee from the clutches of the fortune-hunting, disguise-wearing Count Olaf. Also, they need to discover the whereabouts of their kidnapped friends, Duncan and Isadora Quagmire, based on the puzzling clue "V.F.D." In Elevator, the three Baudelaires go to live in the penthouse of the trend-following Jerome and Esme Squalor, who adopt the children because orphans are "in." Despite the Baudelaires' resourcefulness, both Olaf and the Quagmires elude the grasp of the authorities due to the obtuseness of adults who, until it is too late, deny that terrible things can happen. In Village, the Baudelaires travel to V.F.D., a village that adopts the orphans based on the aphorism, "it takes a village to raise a child." They uncover the whereabouts of the Quagmires, but, as in the earlier books, they find neither respite nor peace from Count Olaf's machinations. Despite Snicket's artful turning of cliches on their well-worn heads, Elevator sometimes belabors the fallacy of fads at the expense of plot. Nonetheless, the satiric treatment of adults' insistence upon decorum at the expense of truth is simultaneously satisfying and unsettling, as are the deft slams at slant journalism in Village. Arch literary allusions enhance the stories for readers on different levels. Despite Snicket's perpetual caveats to "put this book down and pick up another one," the Baudelaires are dynamic characters who inspire loyalty to the inevitable end of the series.

Farida S. Dowler, formerly at Bellevue Regional Library, WA

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The Ersatz Elivator Sept. 8 2007
In Book The 6th, Violet, Klaus & Sunny Movie Into A Penthouse On Dark Avenue, They're New Guardians Jeromy & Esmé's Penthouse Is Either 48 Or 84 Stories High, The Doorman Does Not Know.
Esmé, Is Always Talking About Things That Are In & Really Does Not Care About The Orphans, Or The Quagmires, As Always Olaf Comes Up With A Crazy Duisguise.
They Find Out, Olaf Has Always Been Near Them Ever Since They Moved Into The Penthouse...
This Book Is: Exciting,Horryfying And Of Course, Funny.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I ever read July 18 2004
By A Customer
This book is unlike any other book i've ever read.It is hard for me to say if I like Violet or Klaus more.Beacause they both really help geting away from danger (or Count Olaf).I recomend this book entirely.
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5.0 out of 5 stars book the sixth rules! June 23 2004
By A Customer
this book is the best yet.it has a new badie. some traped triplets.and v.f.d.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps my favorite of the entire series! May 29 2004
The sixth book of Unfortunate Events is probably the most enthralling of the lot because of the unbelievable creative and brilliant portrayal of its characters by Lemony Snicket.
Sunny is a real cutie and she is the greatest baby in the whole world as it's clearly portrayed in this book. My heart beat so hard when I was reading one of the fantastic encounters between the a villain and the 3 children. It was like reading a very fine mystery novel by the fireside-- only better! Wow! If you want to find out what it is I'm referring to, you'll have to read this book. It's undoubtably a rollercoaster of events here as you will find out.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Hulk (Rollercoaster) May 28 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
This book is a real rollercoaster ride. The twists and turns are great. You always think that Olaf is going to be captured and SHAKAKA, but he gets away. You always really want to stop him from making the Baudelaires life miserabul, but the twists and turns always leave you dead in yuor tracks. The characters also make it a whole lot of fun. Violet, the oldest, is always inventing and making up plans. Klause, the middle aged, is consitently reading and learning knew things to help out with the plan. Then there's Sunny,
the baby/ the youngest. The only annoying part of the book, that was acyually pretty cool, was it is impossible to get to the bottom of things, and if you really want to you have to read 13 books. It always leaves you asking questions like, "Will they ever be safe," or another is, "why is that passage beneath their burned down house." Sometimes it gets you mad that you have to keep track of all of the mysterious problems. This book is always calling out, "READ ME NOW!" I would suggest this book to a child, or possibly an adult, of any age. Another nice things is that if there's a tough word it always gives you the definition in this case of the book. Now I am saying to you, "READ ME NOW!" So please do for a good read.
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The Ersatz Elevator. Lemony Snicket. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2001. 272 pages. US $10.99 006-440864-7
A review by Becki Engstrom, May 8, 2004
In his 6th book, The Ersatz Elevator, Lemony Snicket continues to chronicle the tragic events of the three close siblings, Violet, Klaus, and the baby, Sunny. Once again, the Baudelaires face evil and must rely on one another to survive.
This is a very sad, but humorous, tale of adventure. In the words of the author, "there is nothing to be found in these pages but misery, despair, and discomfort, and you still have time to choose something else to read". (Back cover)
However, I have endured the tragic adventures of the Baudelaire orphans since the first book; where the Baudelaires lost their parents and home in a fire. I have come to adore the three children, and, so I chose to further read about them.
The Baudelaires make a very creative team. Violet is the inventor, Klaus is the researcher, and Baby Sunny, well she just likes to bite things-anything! The orphans continuously run into trouble that involve the evil Count Olaf, whom has been after their fortune since the first book. With the orphans' creativity, they can sometimes escape this evil man.
Lemony Snicket writes with a narrator's "voice" when describing the lives of the Baudelaires. He's very concerned about what he must report to the public as you can "hear" the concern as you read. Plus, there is no need for a dictionary; the author will define a questionable term as he writes. For example, "Violet said, ... 'But they [fire tongs] still might come in handy for something. We don't know what we'll encounter in that hallway, and I don't want to come up shorthanded...
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3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing special May 6 2004
I have to admit that this book will keep you interested in the story and you will laugh two or three times, but it also have to many things that are pathetic, like Sunny going up in the elevator space.
At first you will be happy reading the book and all the things that happened to this three kids, but the end of the book is one of the worst ends I ever read, that doesn't mean that you can't have a good time reading this book, that means that LS must think other ways to finish their books, because when you read a regular book and the end is bad, the book is also bad.
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5.0 out of 5 stars They're in with the in crowd May 3 2004
To say that a Lemony Snicket book has taken a turn for the worse is the equivalent of repeating the word "moot" twenty-five times in a row. It's redundant. Yes, of course the poor Baudelaire siblings are in dire straights. But as it happens, this book is a little different from the others in the series. Suddenly the siblings are placed in the predicament of attempting to save someone other than themselves from the evil Count Olaf. Worse still, they have to actively try to find the Count when the heat is on. Such a strange reversal of fortunes is just what the series needed to liven it up a bit. Consider "The Ersatz Elevator" very lively indeed.
No more boarding schools for the Baudelaire orphans. Mr. Poe, their ineffectual guardian, has once more placed them with relatives, no matter how distant. In this particular case, the Squalors are the couple of choice. Horrendously rich and living in a ridiculously large penthouse, the children find themselves with a woman who is apparently solely concerned with what is "in" and what is "out". Acqueous martinis (water with an olive) are in. Elevators, especially the one that would let the children get to the penthouse with ease, are out. Orphans, as it happens, are also in. Unfortunately, before the kids can find out what happens to orphans when they become "out" they run once more into the nasty Count Olaf. Disguised now as a foreign auctioneer, the Count seems to have increased in both nastiness and cleverness. It takes everything the Baudelaires have to work against this man and try to locate their friends, the captive Quagmire triplets.
The book is, more than anything else, a delightful trumping of the rich.
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