|First appearance||The Bad Beginning|
|Occupation||Biographer, researcher, V.F.D. member, theater critic, accordionist, rhetor, convict|
|Family||(See Snicket family)|
Lemony Snicket is the pen name of American novelist Daniel Handler (born February 28, 1970). Snicket is the author of several children's biographies, serving as the narrator of A Series of Unfortunate Events (his best-known work) and appearing as a character within the series. Because of this, the name Lemony Snicket may refer to both a fictional character and a real person. This article deals primarily with the character.
As a character, Snicket is a harried, troubled writer and researcher falsely accused of felonies and is continuously hunted by the police and his enemies: the fire-starting side of the secret organization Volunteer Fire Department (V.F.D.). As a child, he was kidnapped and inducted as a "neophyte" into V.F.D., where he was trained in rhetoric and sent on seemingly pointless missions while all connections to his former life, apart from his siblings Jacques and Kit (who were also kidnapped and inducted), were severed. In the organization, he met and fell in love with a peer named Beatrice, to whom he eventually became engaged. After a series of unfortunate events (after which the real-world series is in some ways named), he was falsely accused of murder and arson. Eventually the fallacies grew so much that The Daily Punctilio reported his death. Beatrice eventually moved on and married Bertrand Baudelaire, becoming the mother of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire, the protagonists of A Series of Unfortunate Events. Fourteen years thereafter Beatrice and Bertrand were murdered in a house fire, leaving the Baudelaires orphans. Feeling indebted to his former fiancée, Snicket embarks on a quest to chronicle the lives of the Baudelaire children until they become old enough to face the troubles of the world on their own.
Snicket is the subject of a fictional autobiography, Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography (which contains an introduction from a fictionalized version of Daniel Handler). A pamphlet, 13 Shocking Secrets You'll Wish You Never Knew About Lemony Snicket, was released in promotion of The End. Other works by Snicket include The Baby in the Manger, The Composer Is Dead, Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid, The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming, The Lump of Coal, and 13 Words. Snicket is currently writing All the Wrong Questions, a new children's series whose first book Who Could That Be at This Hour was released in October 2012.
The name Lemony Snicket originally came from research for Handler's first book, The Basic Eight. Handler wanted to receive material from organizations that he found "offensive or funny", but did not want to use his real name, and invented "Lemony Snicket" as a pseudonym. The name's similarity to Jiminy Cricket, whom Handler described as "exactly the kind of overly moralistic, cheerful narrator who [sic] I despise", was "likely a Freudian slip". When writing A Series of Unfortunate Events, he and his editor thought that the books should be published under the narrator's name, rather than his. He traces their movements and collects evidence relating to their adventures, but it is possible that he never met Violet, Klaus or Sunny in person. Many fans often identify him, though, as a taxi driver who appeared briefly in The Penultimate Peril, The Reptile Room and The Wide Window. This man is heavily implied to be in the possession of the sugar bowl, a key plot element of the series, after recovering it from the pond within which it had been hidden.
As the series progresses, it becomes increasingly clear that Snicket knew the late Mr. and Mrs. Baudelaire well for many years through their connections to V.F.D.. However, as mentioned in The Hostile Hospital and The End, despite all of Lemony's research and hard work, he still does not know the current location, position or status of the Baudelaire children.
Lemony was recruited by V.F.D. as a child, according to the Little Snicket Lad song. In The Beatrice Letters, his niece, the daughter of Kit Snicket, who is also named Beatrice Baudelaire, mentions that she believes he is a detective of some sort, a reference to his investigations into the case of the Baudelaire children.
Snicket is frequently disparaging of himself; he has described himself as a coward, and at various points in his novels comments that he would not have been as brave as the Baudelaire children had he been in their situation. He also confesses that he has done things that were not noble, most notably the original theft of the sugar bowl from Esmé Squalor. He has also implied that he had a part in the murder of Count Olaf's parents, Olaf being the main antagonist of the series, and that Beatrice was involved as well.
In the narration of the books, Snicket describes doing many unusual things in his free time, including hiding all traces of his actions, locating new hiding places, considering suspicious dishes and researching the perilous lives of the Baudelaire children. He claims to often write himself citations for bravery in an attempt to cheer himself up, but these attempts are always in vain.
Daniel Handler, still under the name of Lemony Snicket, has written a new series of four books entitled All the Wrong Questions. The first book, Who Could That Be at This Hour?, was released on October 23, 2012 and was a #1 New York Times bestseller. Book two in the series, "When Did You See Her Last?", published on October 15, 2013.
Handler has also written or contributed to other works under the Lemony Snicket persona that are not related to A Series of Unfortunate Events. He has stated "there's a chance some other matters may take up Mr. Snicket's attention, that he may research and publish, but I'm always wary of making such promises".
The first of these was a secular Nativity story entitled The Baby in the Manger. Another Christmas story, entitled The Lump of Coal, was published in USA Weekend in 2004. As Snicket, Handler wrote an introduction and endnotes for The Bears' Famous Invasion of Sicily, his favorite children's book, that referenced A Series of Unfortunate Events. A book of humorous quotes partly drawn from A Series of Unfortunate Events was published as Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid. Another "Christmas" story, The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming, was published in October, 2007.
Noisy Outlaws, Unfriendly Blobs, and Some Other Things That Aren't as Scary, Maybe, Depending on How You Feel About Lost Lands, Stray Cellphones, Creatures from the Sky, Parents Who Disappear in Peru, a Man Named Lars Farf, and One Other Story We Couldn't Quite Finish, So Maybe You Could Help Us Out, a 2005 McSweeney's short story compilation, has an introduction and unfinished short story attributed to Lemony Snicket. Readers are encouraged to finish the unfinished story, and to submit their work to the publisher: "Our favorite ending will receive a fabulous prize of some sort". In 2007, the winner was announced on the McSweeney's website, announcing Jordan Pascual as the winner and won various prizes.
Snicket also wrote The Composer Is Dead, a murder mystery designed to introduce young readers to the instruments of the orchestra; it was previously produced as an orchestral work by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, with Handler narrating as Snicket, and a recording of the performance is to be included with every copy of the expanded book.
In an interview with the 667 Dark Avenue fansite, Daniel Handler alluded to more Lemony Snicket books focused on the world of A Series of Unfortunate Events.
In 2013, Snicket wrote the introduction to the 1989-1990 edition of Famtagraphic Books's The Complete Peanuts series.
In all of his A Series of Unfortunate Events books, he does not have pictures of his face except in an illustration in The End, although his eyes are obscured by cucumber slices in this picture.
At the end of every book, there is a description of Snicket and also the illustrator, Brett Helquist. However, Snicket's are different in each novel and contains a photo of Snicket where his face is never shown.
|The Bad Beginning||Lemony Snicket was born in a small town where the inhabitants were suspicious and prone to riot. He now lives in the city. During his spare time he gathers evidence and is considered something of an expert by leading authorities.|
|The Reptile Room||Lemony Snicket was born in a small town where the inhabitants were suspicious and prone to riot. He now lives in the city. During his spare time he gathers evidence and is considered something of an expert by leading authorities.|
|The Wide Window||Lemony Snicket was born before you were and is likely to die before you as well. A studied expert in rhetorical analysis, Mr. Snicket has spent the last several eras researching the travails of the Baudelaire orphans.|
|The Miserable Mill||Lemony Snicket grew up near the sea and currently lives beneath it. To his horror and dismay he has no wife and children, only enemies, associates, and the occasional loyal manservant. His trial has been delayed, so he is free to continue researching and writing the tragic tales of the Baudelaire orphans.|
|The Austere Academy||Lemony Snicket first received his education from public schools and private tutors and vice versa. He has been hailed as a brilliant scholar, discredited as a brilliant fraud, and mistaken for a much taller man on several occasions.|
|The Ersatz Elevator||Lemony Snicket's extended family, if they were alive, would describe him as a distinguished scholar, an amateur connoisseur, and an outright gentleman. Unfortunately this description has been challenged of late.|
|The Vile Village||Lemony Snicket is the author of quite a few books, all of them dreadful, and has been accused of many crimes, all of them falsely.|
|The Hostile Hospital||Lemony Snicket is widely regarded as one of the most difficult children's authors to capture and imprison. Recently, he had to give up on his hobbies due to laws regarding musical performances in mountainous terrain. Most things written about him are not true, but this is.|
|The Carnivorous Carnival||Lemony Snicket published his first book in 1999 and has not had a good night's sleep since. Once the recipient of several distinguished awards, he is now an escapee of several indistinguishable prisons. Early in his life, Mr. Snicket learned to reupholster furniture, a skill that turned out to be far more important than anyone imagined.|
|The Slippery Slope||Until recently, Lemony Snicket was presumed to be "presumed dead." Instead, this "presumed" presumption wasn't disproved not to be incorrect. As he continues with his investigation, interest in the Baudelaire case has increased. So has his horror.|
|The Grim Grotto||Lemony Snicket has received several citations for bravery in the face of evil and several more for caution when bravery might have proven to be more trouble than it was worth. He was last seen by witnesses who proved to be unreliable and/or of a particularly suspicious nature. In his spare time, he hides all traces of his actions.|
|The Penultimate Peril||Lemony Snicket has been chronicling the lives of the Baudelaire children with only occasional breaks for food, rest, and court-appointed sword-fights. His hobbies include nervous apprehension, increasing dread, and wondering if his enemies were right after all.|
|The End||Lemony Snicket is the author of all 170 chapters of A Series of Unfortunate Events. He is almost finished.|
|Chapter Fourteen||Lemony Snicket is still at large.|
- The Bad Beginning
- The Reptile Room
- The Wide Window
- The Miserable Mill
- The Austere Academy
- The Ersatz Elevator
- The Vile Village
- The Hostile Hospital
- The Carnivorous Carnival
- The Slippery Slope
- The Grim Grotto
- The Penultimate Peril
- The End
- The Beatrice Interview: 2000
- Author Interview with Lemony Snicket from HarperCollins Publishers
- Snicket, Lemony (2002). Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography (1st ed.). HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-000719-2.
- "LEMONY SNICKET LIBRARY | All the Wrong Questions". Retrieved August 4, 2012.
- "Newsround interviews Lemony Snicket". BBC News. May 30, 2006. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
- USA Weekend Magazine
- Amazon.com: The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story: Lemony Snicket, Lisa Brown: Books
- HarperCollins Children's Books - Parents Book Buzz
- 667 Dark Avenue: Noble Enough - The Insidious Inquiries: 21 Questions, 21 Answers
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Lemony Snicket|
- Official Site for All the Wrong Questions
- Official Site for A Series of Unfortunate Events
- Interviews and chapter excerpts (Official publisher web page)
- Daniel Handler, a.k.a. Lemony Snicket, on creativity and the creative process, an interview with about-creativity.com June 14, 2007
- Exclusive 667 Dark Avenue Interview