The Lump of Coal

Snicket, Lemony


HarperCollins Children’s Books, New York. 2008. 40 p.


If you know me, you know that I am a HUMUNGOUS fan of Lemony Snicket. I won’t say Daniel Handler because his adult books just never grabbed me, but when he’s Lemony Snicket, I go bananas.


I’ve seen that some people aren’t as impressed with The Lump of Coal as they were with The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story, but I don’t know if I entirely agree. I liked this book, though I will admit it seems a little watered-down for a Snicket creation. There is the usual dark humor and use of lofty vocabulary that we all know and love, but as weird as it sounds, I really don’t feel Snicket’s normal passion in this book. It’s funny and clever and has dashes of typical Snicket themes, but (it pains me so much to write this) it falls a little flat. Just a little! But it is cute and the end is probably as warm and fuzzy as Snicket could ever get, so overall it’s a great book. As good as Latke or the amazing Series of Unfortunate Events? Hmm.. maybe not.