If Daniel Handler’s quirky writing style seems familiar, you’re probably thinking of his alter-ego Lemony Snicket. Adverbs is not, I repeat NOT, a book for children. I’m quite pleased that I didn’t know they were the same author until I was nearly finished with this book. I giggled audibly.  I ran to my husband to read passages, I don’t know how many times. Also, I’m really glad I read the dust jacket to witness the author’s feelings regarding dust jackets.

“Hello. I am Daniel Handler, the author of this book.  Did you know that authors often write the summaries that appear on their book’s dust jacket?  You might want to think about that the next time you read something like, ‘A dazzling page-turner, this novel shows an internationally acclaimed storyteller at the height of his astonishing powers.'”

Adverbs is supposed to be a book about love, but it could just as easily be about money or birds. Each chapter could stand on its own as a short story, but Handler purposefully reuses names and details to force the reader to try to connect them in some way. Perhaps it’s my mid-west American upbringing, but San Francisco doesn’t strike me as a city that knows much about love.

Toward the middle of the book, the stories start to get more and more ridiculous. Is there magic? Is the narrator on drugs? It’s hard to tell. Due to some explicit content alone, I wouldn’t recommend this book to others, but if you’ve never read Lemony Snicket, go do so immediately.

Rating = 2

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