The Reptile Room (Unabridged Audio Book)
Readers of The Bad Beginning, the first volume in A Series of Unfortunate Events will know that Violet, Klaus, and Sunny, the three Baudelaire orphans who endured such misery and mayhem at the hands of their villainous guardian Count Olaf have thankfully been removed from his evil clutches. And as The Reptile Room opens, the orphans are being taken to live with another distant relation, Montgomery Montgomery – or Uncle Monty, as he is soon fondly known to the orphans. Uncle Monty is an herpetologist (one who studies snakes), and the children are pleased to find they are finally living with someone who is kind, interesting, and encouraging of their particular talents: Violet’s for inventing things, Klaus’s for learning things from books, and Sunny’s for biting things. In fact, the orphans are so happy living with Uncle Monty, that they can scarcely believe their luck. But as readers of A Series of Unfortunate Events have rather painfully come to expect, the orphans’ luck will not hold. Sure enough, the heinous Count Olaf makes another dastardly – and deadly – appearance, still intent on getting his hands on the orphans’ considerable fortune. If taken literally, what happens to these children is quite disturbing – one disastrous, life-threatening situation after another (in grand melodramatic style). But there is an understated wry humor, an arch sense of irony that pervades and lightens the mood of this frightening story, which makes this series a kind of “literary Goosebumps.” And the orphans are so resourceful (and the narrator gives enough hints about them having grown up), that the reader never loses hope that they will get out of sticky situations intact. Following his bravura reading of the first installment in this series, Tim Curry once again captures the humor and ironic undertones in his performance of this tale. From the phlegmy Mr. Poe, to the supremely creepy Count Olaf, Curry’s characterizations are all spot on, and often hilariously funny. Curry’s affinity for campy roles (think Rocky Horror Picture Show) suits this over-the-top gothic melodrama to perfection.