"In this book that you now hold in your hands, the three siblings endure a car accident, a terrible odor, a deadly serpent, a long knife, a large brass reading lamp, and the reappearance of a person they'd hoped never to see again."

This is the second volume of A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS by Lemony Snicket, and it chronicles the lives of the Baudelaire orphans as they are placed in their second home: The house of their Uncle Monty. Uncle Monty is a reptile enthusiast and intends to take the children to Peru with him, and this is very exciting to the Baudelaires. Except that suddenly Count Olaf, their pursuer from the last book, enters the scene claiming to be Uncle Monty's assistant. The children must try to convince Uncle Monty that his new assistant is not Stephano but Count Olaf, and they try to save him and themselves from his meddling. They are ultimately unsuccessful; Olaf uses Monty's room full of reptiles in his shady plot and gets him out of his way. Even in children's books not everyone escapes with their lives, but in this case the Baudelaires do, even though Olaf gets away once again. We meet everyone again in A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS book three: The Wide Window.

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