Lemony Snicket eludes Calgarians
Daniel Handler fills in due to ‘unfortunate’ accident
Calgary was anticipating a fantastic talk by Lemony Snicket on Nov. 7 and he probably would have delivered one – had he been able to show up.
In a most unfortunate accident, Snicket had received a poisonous bite from a mysterious creature just hours before the talk, and was paralyzed from the armpit down. Due to this, the packed John Dutton Theatre was not treated to one of the better children’s writers of today. The event was one of the more anticipated events of WordFest.
Instead, a tall and mysterious man, who was often described as handsome by himself and in notes left by Snicket, led the “secret meeting” that everyone had gathered for. The meeting consisted of, among other things, discussing the critical reports that Snicket had covertly issued over the years. To the untrained eye, these reports come across as 13 “books” published under the title A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket.
The mysterious man, who would only identify as D.H., was a delightful replacement for the absent author. After extensive research, The Reflector is confidently able to identify him as Daniel Handler, a man closely related to Snicket who frequently speaks on his behalf.
Handler played with the words he spoke almost exactly the way Snicket writes his novels, which was very impressive. To be able to find a dialect that warms the ear or the eye is impressive, but to have such a way with words to be able to do both should serve as a testament to how skilled the “duo” are.
Handler had a masterful control of the audience, reeling them in quick with his drawn-out, blasé tone. As he wandered purposefully throughout the aisles and across the rows, he targeted his talk to the many children in the audience, although his rambles were littered with adult humour for the parents and fans now all grown-up.
The secret meeting primarily focused on Snicket’s latest report, Who Could That Be at This Hour? which is the first entry in his newest series All the Wrong Questions.
Handler, unable to talk about the book as he clearly didn’t write it, instead chose to read the first chapter, with the help of the children in the audience.
As a closing treat, Handler performed a song and dance with an accordion that was very conveniently brought by an audience member, and did not seem like a planted prop at all.
Unfortunately, it seemed as though Handler thought he was the main attraction by the end of it all. During the book signing, he crossed out Lemony Snicket’s name on books and tickets and instead signed D.H., absentmindedly believing the audience had come to hear him talk, instead of the wonderful writer Lemony Snicket.
Snicket was, predictably, unavailable for any comments about his absence.