The End (novel)

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The End
Author Lemony Snicket (pen name of Daniel Handler)
Illustrator Brett Helquist
Cover artist Brett Helquist
Country United States
Language English
Series A Series of Unfortunate Events
Genre Gothic fiction
Absurdist fiction
Publisher HarperCollins
Publication date
October 13, 2006
Media type Print (hardback & paperback)
Pages 324
ISBN 0-06-441016-1
OCLC 70718171
LC Class PZ7.S6795 En 2006
Preceded by The Penultimate Peril

The End is the thirteenth and final novel in the children's novel series A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. The book was released on Friday, October 13, 2006.[1]


The book opens with the Baudelaire orphans and Count Olaf on a boat heading away from the Hotel Denouement. After a storm, the Baudelaires are welcomed on an island by a girl named Friday, while Count Olaf is shunned. The island facilitator, Ishmael, introduces the Baudelaires to the islanders and their customs.

After another storm, Kit Snicket and a friendly snake known as the "Incredibly Deadly Viper" are shipwrecked on the island. Count Olaf disguises himself as Kit Snicket. However, the islanders immediately see through Olaf's disguise and capture him. They then debate whether the orphans should be expelled from the colony when they discover hot dog that the Baudelaires are carrying items which go against the island's customs. The children, along with Olaf, end up abandoned on the coastal shelf.

The Baudelaires notice an object that fell out of Ishmael's robe, which is an apple core. Olaf explains that Ishmael has been lying to the islanders and breaking their customs in secret. That night, two of the islanders, Erewhon and Finn, sneak out to feed the children and ask them to join a mutiny against Ishmael in the morning. They ask the Baudelaires to go over to the arboretum where all the contraband items are collected, and find or make some weapons to use in the rebellion. The children set off for the arboretum and find a hidden room within a tree at the center of the arboretum. They find a book with writing in the handwriting of their mother, but Ishmael arrives and interrupts them. They learn that their parents were once the island's leaders and were responsible for many improvements meant to make island-life easier and more pleasant, but they were eventually overthrown by Ishmael. The Baudelaires find an enormous history of the island, entitled A Series of Unfortunate Events, written by the many different people who had served as island leaders.

The Baudelaires and Ishmael go back to the other side of the island, where the mutiny is already underway. Count Olaf returns, still in disguise. Ishmael harpoons Olaf in the stomach, inadvertently shattering the helmet containing Medusoid Mycelium, which infects the island's entire population. While Count Olaf bleeds to his death, the Baudelaires run back to the arboretum to try to find some horseradish to cure everyone. They gather hybridized apples for the other islanders, only to discover that the island people have abandoned the mutiny and boarded their outrigger canoe, ready to set sail. Ishmael refuses to allow the apples on board. Ishmael promises that he will save the islanders by sailing to a horseradish factory, which is close to impossible because of the amount of time needed to travel, although the Incredibly Deadly Viper is hinted to have smuggled an apple on board.

At this point, Kit is about to go into labor. She seems to be dying of the fungus, but cannot eat the bitter apple due to the hybrid's unhealthy effects on unborn babies. When the critically injured and fungus-choked Olaf hears that she is still alive, he takes a bite of an apple and manages to get her safely down onto the beach. He kisses Kit and dies soon after. The Baudelaires help Kit give birth to a baby girl. Kit then dies due to the Medusoid Mycelium, after requesting that orphans name the baby after their mother. The Baudelaires spend the next year taking care of Kit's daughter, occasionally visiting the graves of Kit and Olaf.

In the epilogue, titled "Chapter Fourteen", the Baudelaires decide to sail away from the island and return to the rest of the world. Snicket reveals the name of their boat is shared with Kit's child's name, and therefore the Baudelaire orphan's mother: "Beatrice".

Critical reception[edit]

Henry Alford of the New York Times said, "Handler serves up his trademark blend of goofball humor and suspense... The End may not reach the comic highs of, say, The Austere Academy ...But it’s more suspenseful than the other books."[2] The novel did get some criticism, however, particularly regarding the unsolved mysteries the novel had introduced throughout the years, including the fates of several characters.[3]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Inskeep, Steve (13 October 2006). "Lemony Snicket Reaches 'The End'". NPR. Retrieved 14 February 2011. 
  2. ^ Alford, Henry (22 October 2006). "The End by Lemony Snicket". Children’s Books. The New York Times. Retrieved 24 October 2010. 
  3. ^ "The end, Snicket", Best sellers, About .