The Carnivorous Carnival
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|The Carnivorous Carnival|
|Author||Lemony Snicket (pen name of Daniel Handler)|
|Cover artist||Brett Helquist|
|Series||A Series of Unfortunate Events|
|Publication date||October 28, 2002|
|Media type||Print (hardback & paperback)|
|ISBN||ISBN 0-06-441012-9 (first edition, hardback)|
|Dewey Decimal||Fic 21|
|LC Classification||PZ7.S6795 Car 2002|
|Preceded by||The Hostile Hospital|
|Followed by||The Slippery Slope|
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: The Carnivorous Carnival|
The story begins where The Hostile Hospital left off, with the three Baudelaires still hiding in the trunk of Count Olaf's car, listening to Count Olaf and his troupe discuss their plans. They talk about a woman named Madame Lulu. Madame Lulu has told Count Olaf where the Baudelaires are hidden each time they move. Count Olaf and his troupe depart the car and the Baudelaires then make it out of the trunk of Count Olaf's car through some clever lockpicking on the part of Violet Baudelaire. The orphans spy on Madame Lulu's caravan in Caligari Carnival and hear her explaining to Olaf that her carnival needs more customers otherwise they may close. They also recognize Lulu's accent as that used by Olaf when he was disguised as Gunther.
They disguise themselves for the carnival's House of Freaks, using Count Olaf's disguises stored in the trunk of his car. Sunny Baudelaire wraps herself in a beard to disguise herself as Chabo the Wolf Baby. Violet and Klaus Baudelaire squeeze into one large shirt as a two headed person with highly differing voices, 'Beverly' and 'Elliot'. Madame Lulu hires the children after they do an act for her. She leads them to a caravan with three people inside. The Baudelaires befriend the freaks: Hugo who is a hunchback, Colette, who is a contortionist, and Kevin, who is ambidextrous (and very pessimistic). Sunny also discovers her talent in cooking.
The next morning they discover that when Olaf asked Madame Lulu Is one Baudelaire parent still alive?, she consulted the crystal ball and answered Yes, one is up in the Mortmain Mountains. The children then perform in a humiliating freak show. They then encouraged the other freaks to not just settle into being sideshow freaks and instead embrace their potentials and lead a better life. Afterwards, Olaf arrives with a pack of lions and announces that a lion pit shall be made in which one of the freaks shall be thrown tomorrow. This is intended to draw a large audience.
The orphans go back to Lulu's tent to search for clues. They first discover the V.F.D. symbol on the outside, and inside find a secret archival library under the table hidden by a tablecloth. The mysterious effects behind her fortune telling turn out to be no more than ropes and pulleys. They break Lulu's crystal ball, and they are discovered when Lulu comes in. Lulu breaks down and throws off her disguise, revealing herself as a woman named Olivia who just wants to give people what they want. She is a member of V.F.D. and tells them about the V.F.D. disguise kit and a schism which happened in the organization. Beverly notes that the crystal ball special effects involve a fan belt that could be used to power the cars from the nearby roller coaster, which the orphans and Olivia could use to escape to the Mortmain Mountains.
That night Esmé Squalor ( who is jealous of Olaf's attention to Madame Lulu) comes to the caravan of the freaks in an I Love Freaks outfit. She tries to convince them that whoever is picked to be thrown into the pit of ravenous lions the next day, should throw Madame Lulu in instead. If they do that, they will be made part of Count Olaf's theater troupe and have an exciting career as a criminal. The next morning the orphans go and get the coaster carts ready.
A large and rude audience shows up to see the lions devour someone. Among the audience is the female reporter who broke the story that the Baudelaires murdered 'Count Omar' (Olaf). Olaf dramatically unfolds a paper that will show who is to be devoured by lions, and Beverly and Elliot are picked. They manage to stall and eventually create a chaotic scene in which Madame Lulu and one of Olaf's henchmen (the bald-headed man) fall into the pit and get devoured, the Daily Punctilio isn't sure who got thrown in first. They will never know because the Daily Punctilio always gets their facts wrong.
Escaping to Madame Lulu's tent, the orphans find a map of the mountains with a coffee stain on it. Olaf appears, apparently still not recognizing the Baudelaires in their disguises, and states the stain indicates V.F.D.'s secret base in the Mortmain Mountains. The orphans are recruited into Olaf's troupe as are the other freaks. The carnival is burned to destroy the evidence, and the lions, trapped in the pit and unable to escape, are burned to death and are later found as blackened bones. Together Olaf, his employees, and the children depart for the mountains. Beverly and Elliot are in the travel trailer caravan behind Olaf's car, while Chabo is in the automobile car. Olaf then reveals that Lulu told him that they are the Baudelaires, and the newly recruited freaks (who took the Baudelaire's misinterpreted advice} cut the caravan off the car while on a steep slope leaving the book on a cliffhanger.
Which leads to the next book. "The Slippery Slope."
Violet, Klaus, Sunny and Count Olaf return in this book, as in all previous books. Esmé Squalor, the hook-handed man, the two powder-faced women and Geraldine Julienne also appear in this book. This book marks Hugo, Colette and Kevin's debuts, Madame Lulu and the pimple-faced man's only appearances and the bald man with the long nose's final appearance.
- On the last picture, there is a Snow Scout handbook falling from the Freaks caravan, foreshadowing The Slippery Slope
(The next book.)
There are some copies of this book that have a Vile Village version of Count Olaf and the Baudelaires on the inside of the back cover. There are only a handful of these special copies made.
When the Baudelaire's examined Lulu's tent and Violet found her ribbon, she thought that Olaf must have kept it in the previous book. This may confuse some readers because she used her ribbon to trick Hal into thinking they were his keys, and he never returned them to her or gave them to Count Olaf.
Cultural References & Literary Allusions
- "Elliot" and "Beverly", the aliases Violet and Klaus use when disguised as weird freaks are those of twin brothers, both played by Jeremy Irons, in the David Cronenberg film Dead Ringers.
- Klaus refers to Joseph Merrick (incorrectly naming him "John Merrick") when discussing the cruelty of freak shows.
- The Caligari Carnival is an allusion to the German expressionist film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.
- The Hunchback named Hugo is an allusion to The Hunchback of Notre Dame written by Victor Hugo.
- At one point, Sunny uses the word "Dragnet" to refer to the police. Dragnet is the name of an old police-based show.
- The image for Chapter Seven depicting Madame Lulu's broken crystal ball shows several darkened images, presumably of Lemony Snicket (one is on a cover page of The Daily Punctilio, with a headline beginning with "Snicket"), a topographic map of Mortmain Mountains, a menu from Café Salmonella, a boarding pass for The Prospero, and a document featuring the V.F.D. logo.
- "Plath Pass" in the map of the mountains may allude to poet Sylvia Plath.
- Brazilian Portuguese: "O Espetáculo Carnívoro" (The Carnivorous Show), Cia. das Letras, 2004, ISBN 85-359-0524-3
- Finnish: "Tihutöiden tivoli" (The Carnival of Mischiefs), WSOY, 2005, ISBN 951-0-30214-7
- Greek: "Το Σαρκοβόρο Τσίρκο"
- Japanese: "肉食カーニバル", Soshisha, 2005, ISBN 4-7942-1413-8
- Korean: "살벌한 유원지" (Bloody Amusement Park), Munhakdongnae Publishing Co, Ltd., 2009, ISBN 978-89-546-0968-5
- Russian: "Кровожадный Карнавал" (The Bloodthirsty Carnival), Azbuka, 2004, ISBN 978-5-352-02212-2
- French: La Fête Féroce (The Ferocious Festival)
- Turkish: "Karnaval Ucubeleri" (Carnival Freaks)
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: The Carnivorous Carnival|
- Violet Baudelaire
- Klaus Baudelaire
- Sunny Baudelaire
- Count Olaf
- Lemony Snicket
- Esmé Squalor
- Olivia Caliban
- Count Olaf's theater troupe