Lemony Snicket’s Latest Explores Marriage as a ‘Con Game’

‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ author Lemony Snicket, AKA Daniel Handler, just published ‘Bottle Grove,’ a dark exploration of marriage.

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Contemporary YA sweetheart Lemony Snicket, also known by his birth name, Daniel Handler, just published adult-fiction novel Bottle Grove with Bloomsbury on August 27. Handler has been toying with his idea for the book since 2014, however, according to Datebook.

Handler is perhaps best known for A Series of Unfortunate Eventsa thirteen-book series centered around the gloomy adventures of three orphan siblings, which he wrote under the pseudonym Lemony Snicket—also a character in the series. Since “concluding” the literary series and aiding its transition into a wildly popular Netflix original series, Handler has been widening the scope of his genre-bending tales. Bottle Grove was inspired by Handler’s experiences in a San Francisco suburb where unsustainable urban development and habitat encroachment led to displaced foxes and coyotes roaming the streets, according to Datebook.


Bottle Grove

Image Via Datebook


The same predatory creatures stalk the eccentric figures of Bottle Grove, which Bloomsbury calls “a razor-sharp tale of two couples, two marriages, a bar, and a San Francisco start-up.”

While Handler has always dealt with relationships, romantic and familial, in his writing, Bottle Grove is still a departure for the author, whose protagonists are generally shy, relatable, pre-teens or teenagers. In Bottle Grove, characters are old enough to be unhappy in their marriages but young enough to end them for the sake of an affair.

The crooked and complicated schemes that wrought havoc in A Series of Unfortunate Events and others of Handler’s and Snicket’s repertoire return in the context of marriage; Handler says in writing Bottle Grove he was curious about “the idea of marriage as a con game.”

Bottle Grove is a breakdown and triumph of love and morals set against the surrealist backdrop of contemporary San Francisco. It is a rare glimpse from children’s-literature-advocate Lemony Snicket into the adult mind of Daniel Handler in a new tale that promises the wacky hijinks and emotional trauma found throughout the Snicket gamut.




Featured Image Via AV Club.