A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book The Sixth: The Ersatz Elevator
fp June 2001
It turns out that Count Olaf is actually hiding in an extremely ersatz elevator shaft (ersatz means something serving as a substitute) inside 667 Dark Avenue. Dark Avenue is actually the Baudelaire orphans new 76 room penthouse that they share with their new guardians, Jerome and Esme Squalor.
Initially Jerome does not believe the orphans when they tell him that Gunther is really Count Olaf, even with his phony bad accent. Olaf's latest disguise is as an auctioneer, named Gunther, for the In auction which is a real big event and all the money made goes to Esme.
When the orphans do find the elevator and climb down with their makeshift rope made of neckties, extension cords and some curtain pulleys, guess who they find at the bottom of the shaft? The two Quagmire triplets! The Quagmires also have a lot in common with the Baudelaires. Both families were almost filthy rich; both had their parents die in a fire. But when they get down there, the Quagmires are locked in a cage with a lock even Violet Baudelaire can’t pick.
But Violet has an idea. The orphans go back up the shaft and get some fire tongs and bake them at 500 degrees Celsius, until they glowed white, to use as welders. They then went back down, only to find the Quagmire’s had gone…
The tale continues with many twists with the Baudelaire orphans trying to fight the evil plans of Olaf, braving cold porridge and trying to solve the mystery of V.F.D.
I enjoyed this story immensely, and will give it seven out of ten. I think that the story can be read by most ages from eight upwards.
Connor, Year 6, Canberra
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