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If you have read this far in the chronicle of the Baudelaire orphans - and I certainly hope you have not - then you know we have reached the thirteenth chapter of the thirteenth volume in this sad history, and so you know the end is near, even though this chapter is so lengthy that you might never reach the end of it. But perhaps you do not yet know what the end really means. "The end" is a phrase which refers to the completion of a story, or the final moment of some accomplishment, such as a secret errand, or a great deal of research, and indeed this thirteenth volume marks the completion of my investigation into the Baudelaire case, which required much research, a great many secret errands, and the accomplishments of a number of my comrades, from a trolley driver to a botanical hybridization expert, with many, many typewriter repairpeople in between. But it cannot be said that The End contains the end of the Baudelaires' story, any more than The Bad Beginning contained its beginning. The children's story began long before that terrible day on Briny Beach, but there would have to be another volume to chronicle when the Baudelaires were born, and when their parents married, and who was playing the violin in the candlelit restaurant when the Baudelaire parents first laid eyes on one another, and what was hidden inside that violin, and the childhood of the man who orphaned the girl who put it there, and even then it could not be said that the Baudelaires' story had not begun, because you would still need to know about a certain tea party held in a penthouse suite, and the baker who made the scones served at the tea party, and the baker's assistant who smuggled the secret ingredient into the scone batter through a very narrow drainpipe, and how a crafty volunteer created the illusion of a fire in the kitchen simply by wearing a certain dress and jumping around, and even then the beginning of the story would be as far away as the shipwreck that leftthe Baudelaire parents as castaways on the coastal shelf is far away from the outrigger on which the islanders would depart. One could say, in fact, that no story really has a beginning, and that no story really has an end, as all of the world's stories are as jumbled as the items in the arboretum, with their details and secrets all heaped together so that the whole story, from beginning to end, depends on how you look at it. We might even say that the world is always in medias res - a Latin phrase which means "in the midst of things" or "in the middle of a narrative" - and that it is impossible to solve any mystery, or find the root of any trouble, and so The End is really the middle of the story, as many people in this history will live long past the close of Chapter Thirteen, or even the beginning of the story, as a new child arrives in the world at the chapter's close. But one cannot sit in the midst of things forever. Eventually one must face that the end is near, and the end of The End is quite near indeed, so if I were you I would not read the end of The End, as it contains the end of a notorious villain but also the end of a brave and noble sibling, and the end of the colonists' stay on the island, as they sail off the end of the coastal shelf. The end of The End contains all these ends, and that does not depend on how you look at it, so it might be best for you to stop looking at The End before the end of The End arrives, and to stop reading The End before you read the end, as the stories that end in The End that began in The Bad Beginning are beginning to end now.


Lemony Snicket

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It is not very polite to interrupt a person, of course, but sometimes if the person is very unpleasa...
LEMONY SNICKET
If you don’t care about something, one way to demonstrate your feelings is to say the word and the...
LEMONY SNICKET
The last time I saw you, I was trying to throw thumbtacks into your cradle!
LEMONY SNICKET
I am heartbroken, but I have been heartbroken before, and this might be the best for which I can hop...
LEMONY SNICKET
He looked like the sort of person who would tell you that he did not have an umbrella to lend you wh...
LEMONY SNICKET
The expression 'Those who can't do, teach' is a curious one, because if you look at the world , you'...
LEMONY SNICKET
Wishing, like sipping a glass of punch, or pulling aside a bearskin rug in order to access a hidden ...
LEMONY SNICKET
One of the most difficult things to think about in life is one’s regrets. Something will happen to...
LEMONY SNICKET
There are those who say that life is like a book, with chapters for each event in your life and a li...
LEMONY SNICKET
Shyness is a curious thing, because, like quicksand, it can strike people at any time, and also, lik...
LEMONY SNICKET
Most schools have a loud system of loud bells, which startle the students and teachers at regular in...
LEMONY SNICKET
If writers wrote as carelessly as some people talk, then adhasdh asdglaseuyt[bn[ pasdlgkhasdfasdf.
LEMONY SNICKET
It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited,...
LEMONY SNICKET
Miracles are like meatballs, because nobody can exactly agree on what they are made of, where they c...
LEMONY SNICKET
The world is quiet here.
LEMONY SNICKET
Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.
LEMONY SNICKET
Today was a very cold and bitter day, as cold and bitter as a cup of hot chocolate, if the cup of ho...
LEMONY SNICKET
With a library it is easier to hope for serendipity than to look for a precise answer.
LEMONY SNICKET
The key to good eavesdropping is not getting caught.
LEMONY SNICKET
You don't spend your life hanging around books without learning a thing or two.
LEMONY SNICKET
All the secrets of the world are contained in books. Read at your own risk.
LEMONY SNICKET
I suppose I'll have to add the force of gravity to my list of enemies.
LEMONY SNICKET
Reader: Dear Mr. Snicket, What is the best way to keep a secret? Lemony Snicket : Tell it to everyon...
LEMONY SNICKET
Like a church bell, a coffin, and a vat of melted chocolate, a supply closet is rarely a comfortable...
LEMONY SNICKET
A new experience can be extremely pleasurable, or extremely irritating, or somewhere in between, and...
LEMONY SNICKET
Morning is an important time of day, because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind...
LEMONY SNICKET
It is a curious thing, but as one travels the world getting older and older, it appears that happine...
LEMONY SNICKET
You may want to keep a commonplace book which is a notebook where you can copy parts of books you th...
LEMONY SNICKET
The hallway was lined with numbered doors, odd numbers on one side and even numbers on the other, an...
LEMONY SNICKET
There are few sights sadder than a ruined book.
LEMONY SNICKET
Sometimes, even in the most unfortunate of lives, there will occur a moment or two of good fortune.
LEMONY SNICKET
Anyone who thinks the pen is mightier than the sword has not been stabbed with both.
LEMONY SNICKET
What do your parents know, about surviving?
LEMONY SNICKET
There is a kind of crying I hope you have not experienced, and it is not just crying about something...
LEMONY SNICKET
Being noble enough is all we can ask for in this world.
LEMONY SNICKET
As I am sure you know, when people say 'It's my pleasure,' they usually mean something along the lin...
LEMONY SNICKET
I'm not a stranger," I said, and pointed to his book. "I'm someone who reads the same authors you do...
LEMONY SNICKET
It felt like the wrong thing to do, standing at the wrong door in the wrong place. We did it anyway....
LEMONY SNICKET
I do what I do," I said, "in order to do something else.
LEMONY SNICKET
There was something I was always very good at, however, and that was teaching myself not to be frigh...
LEMONY SNICKET
There are people in the world who care about automobiles, and there are people who couldn't care les...
LEMONY SNICKET
I thought the war was a simple matter, with one side good and the other evil. But the more I read, t...
LEMONY SNICKET
Nobody wants to hear that you will try your best. It is the wrong thing to say. It is like saying 'I...
LEMONY SNICKET
It is a miracle if you can find true friends, and it is a miracle if you have enough food to eat, an...
LEMONY SNICKET
Every new promise was like something heavy I had to carry, with no place to put anything down.
LEMONY SNICKET
...in life it is often the tiny details that end up being the most important.
LEMONY SNICKET
But I must admit I miss you terribly. The world is too quiet without you nearby.
LEMONY SNICKET
All these things are miracles. It is a miracle if you can find true friends, and it is a miracle if ...
LEMONY SNICKET
Deciding on a safe answer to a question is like deciding on a safe ingredient in a sandwich, because...
LEMONY SNICKET
Off with you" is a phrase used by people who lack the curtesy to say something more polite, such as,...
LEMONY SNICKET
The burning of a book is a sad, sad sight, for even though a book is nothing but ink and paper, it f...
LEMONY SNICKET
If you are trying to fool a farsighted or dimwitted person, a veiled facial disguise might be enough...
LEMONY SNICKET
Sunny held Kit, and Violet held Klaus, and for a minute the four castaways did nothing but weep, let...
LEMONY SNICKET
I have a long list of things I’d rather not do.
LEMONY SNICKET
The sad truth is the truth is sad.
LEMONY SNICKET
I will love you as a thief loves a gallery and as a crow loves a murder, as a cloud loves bats and a...
LEMONY SNICKET
It is unwise to make something permanent when the whole world is shifting.
LEMONY SNICKET
It is good to see people happy with one another. It is a glimpse of a world in which everyone is tha...
LEMONY SNICKET
If you're not scared, she told me, it's not bravery.
LEMONY SNICKET
Hungry licked her spoon and then pointed it at me. 'Aren't you forgetting the dishes?' she asked. LEMONY SNICKET The world is swirling with so many mysteries and secrets that nobody will ever track down all of the...
LEMONY SNICKET
if you don't choose the wicked thing what in the world will you do?
LEMONY SNICKET
It was confusing pretending to be completely different people, particularly because it had been so l...
LEMONY SNICKET
Behind these two booths was an enormous roller coaster, a phrase which here mean 'a series of small ...
LEMONY SNICKET
And sometimes we discuss frightening and troublesome animals that might be nearby, and this topic al...
LEMONY SNICKET