Cover Image: Poison for Breakfast

Poison for Breakfast

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Member Reviews

Thank you to Penguin Teen Canada for an ARC via netgalley for an honest review.
2.5/5
I don’t know what I was expecting from this book, but it wasn’t what I got. It’s a relatively short read, and I spent most of it bewildered by the events and the prose. The writing itself is very well done, but it felt to me almost like I was reading something for school. It was very wordy and it made me think way too much about philosophy for a book I was reading for fun.
Lemony Snicket tells readers in the beginning that the book is about bewilderment, and that it’s a mystery. It was definitely bewildering, but I wouldn’t call this a mystery in a way that would make people think of other mysteries and expect something similar. I struggled a bit with the plot, and the point of all the ramblings. Some of the ramblings were fun and charming, and others just made my brain hurt.
Overall, I don’t think this one was really for me.
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Poison for Breakfast by Lemony Snicket is a quirky, unique read that brings back one fantabulous writer to the reading circuit.

I grew up reading A Series of Unfortunate Events, so naturally I would want to pick up more by Lemony Snicket. Lemony's writing style is so unique and out there, it was only natural to want to dive into another work. And it's safe to say, the book was rather quirky. It has sass and attitude, which is why I enjoy reading these books. It's wild, out there and just something different.

I wasn't totally encapsulated by this book. It was okay, but it didn't hold my full attention. That being said, I really liked the style this book had. It's very funky and odd, in all the best ways. The repeated comments over and over (like the little breakfast poem) drove me insane though. 

Overall, this is a nice, quick read that has a lot of spunk in it. It's like peeking into someone's mind instead of reading a story. There's lots of twists, turns and oddities to read through.

Two out of five stars.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.
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Lemony Snicket charms in this book which could be considered an intro to philosophy. I enjoy how the writing style is reminiscent of A Series of Unfortunate Events. This book is not normally my cup of tea but it was fun to read and experience the spiral someone could go through after considering that they ate poison for breakfast.
Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for providing me with an arc for an honest review.
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It's the nostalgia for me, personally. This was a quick and fun read that reminded me how much I love Lemony Snicket's incredible voice and writing style. It was nonsensical, whimsical, and appropriately bewildering. I know that he style isn't for everyone, and I probably would not have enjoyed it half as much had I not loved ASOUE as a kid.

TWs: mentions of kidnapping, slavery, colonialism, and prison camps.
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I cannot believe that in the year of our lord two thousand and twenty-one, I read a new Lemony Snicket book. We truly are blessed.

While not as great as A Series of Unfortunate Events (nothing really could be), this was just as delightfully full of nonsense. It's a bit speculative, a bit more philosophical, and wholly charming, just as you'd expect it to be. I thoroughly enjoyed it all, although probably would have preferred to be a teensy bit longer. It feels like we just scrape the surface of the story. The ending is also a bit meh, and reminds me of the "it was all a dream" trope (I guess I just really wanted someone to be out to murder the author). Either way, if you've ever debated what comes first, the chicken or the egg, then this book is for you.
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Stream of consciousness type storytelling is often difficult to pull off and I just don’t think that Snicket did.

I found it hard to stay engaged with what I was reading.
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This was not my cup of tea.  I usually love Lemony Snicket, but I couldn’t get into this one.  I honestly, truly, deeply, loathe the stream of consciousness narrative style, and normally Snicket’s comforting quirkiness would outshine and prevail, but unfortunately, not this time.  

I also found it to be quite repetitive, which took away from any of the amusing anecdotes here - it may have been funny the first time, but it quickly turned into eye-roll territory with each revisit. 

While this book was small at only 168 pages, it was still a struggle to get through, and if I’m honest, I skim read so much it, I’m not entirely convinced I could declare this one as truly “read”. 

That being said, Snicket is just as quirky and loveable as ever, even if the writing style of this one turned me off. 

Sincere thanks to Net Galley and Penguin Random House for this digital advanced readers copy. 

~👩🏻‍🦰
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At no point while reading this relatively short story did I know where it was going, and somehow that worked perfectly. I read this in one sitting, it’s just not the type of story you take your time with; once you start you need to consume everything to find the answer at the end. 
Lemony Snicket does what we know him to do best: paint an incredibly vivid story that feels just slightly like a step away from reality, and a fully believable look into his mind. 
A definitely weird, interesting read.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of Poison for Breakfast in exchange for honest review! 

This was the first Lemony Snicket book I’ve read and I feel like I would have appreciated the writing style more had I read the Series of Unfortunate Events books when I was younger. I found it at times a bit hard to follow along, due to the fact that I haven’t experienced a writing style quite like Snicket’s before. 

Poison for Breakfast is a quick read and had me laughing multiple times throughout. His list of the five different types of eggs and how to properly cook them was enjoyable. 

While it wasn’t necessarily my cup of tea, I believe fans of Snicket will enjoy this standalone book.
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Lemony Snicket, writer of the books of the A Series of Unfortunate Events series, eats breakfast at his home one morning before finding a note at his door which says simply: ”You had poison for breakfast.” Alarmed by this news, and entirely against the idea of imminent death, he sets out to visit the purveyor of each item of his breakfast in an attempt to find out how the poison got in his food, and perhaps who is responsible. 

This book seems mostly an excuse to write about the small things that bring Snicket joy, with a bit of philosophy and writing (and life) advice thrown in. The mystery - and by extension the investigation - is not structured in any way, it is mainly a thread that holds the various scenes together and guides Snicket from place to place. The narrative voice is pure Snicket, I suspect it is a voice that you either love or hate. I learned to love it mainly through the Snicket character in the Netflix series adaptation of his books, and I loved it again here. I found the book thoroughly pleasant; it is soothing, warm, and funny, just the things that I needed in the midsts of everything bad going on in the world. However, if you’re looking for a structured narrative, you may find it too precious or annoying. For me, it perfectly hit the spot.

(I rate it 4.5 stars but the rating system here does not allow partial stars.)
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This book is exactly what you would expect from Lemony Snicket. What a great read for adults and children alike.
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Im not really sure if this was more of a philosophy book or an autobiography but I still liked it. I've loved lemony snicker / Daniel handlers writing fo forever and even while telling a different type of story he was able to keep the same writing style which I really enjoyed. book was a little slow at times but overall pretty good and a quick read
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I've loved Daniel Handler's writing as Lemony Snicket since I was a child, and I'm happy to say that I still love his writing now. Poison For Breakfast is bewildering — a term which here means "somewhat difficult to describe" — but it was a joy to read from beginning to end. I would recommend this book to people of all ages. The writing is accessible and entertaining for children, while adults will enjoy the depth of some of the ideas explored.
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I loved lemony snickett as a kid but this book was not what I came to expect from him. His writing style is still the same weirdly quirky tone. But the story here (or lack there of in my opinion) was just not enjoyable. I felt more like I was listening to the ramblings of a crazy person as opposed to an actual story.
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Everyone knows that Lemony Snicket is the author behind the series of children’s books called A Series of Unfortunate Events. And just about everyone knows that Lemony Snicket is really a pen name for adult author Daniel Handler. Still, it may be surprising to know that Snicket’s/Handler’s latest turn is being marketed as a book for children that adults would be able to enjoy. That’s probably half true. Poison for Breakfast is a very adult book, though not inappropriate for children. However, many children might find this semi-autobiographical tale of philosophy and bewilderment to be rather slow, unless the children in question are a group of gifted 12-year-olds, perhaps. I will put my hand up and say that this is the first Snicket or Handler book that I have read, so I cannot compare it against Snicket’s (Handler’s) other works. However, as a fortysomething adult, I immensely enjoyed this read — even if Snicket sometimes lost me with some of his doodlings.

Poison for Breakfast is a hard book to review because it is short (one sitting, please, Mr. Snicket) and because it meanders without too much in the way of a plot. But it goes like this: one morning, Mr. Snicket sits down to eat his breakfast consisting of …

Tea,
with honey,
a piece of toast
with cheese,
one sliced pear,
and an egg perfectly prepared

… and discovers a note on his person that indicates that what he has just eaten is poison. Shocked and dismayed, Snicket, thinking that he is near death, sets out to discover just how he has been poisoned (and if there’s anything he can do about it). So he goes on a walk to his favourite tea shop, to the beekeeper who sells him honey, to the supermarket, to the ocean, and on and on and on. All the while, Snicket muses on things that have happened to him in his not-quite-so-real life, which turns out to hold quite a bit of mystery. Ultimately, the book is about what it means to live and die — and create art! That’s it, that’s all.

So this is a book about the journey, though the destination does bring a twist that is, well, as delicious as Snicket’s breakfast (without the poison). And, again, this is a highly philosophical book. Poison for Breakfast is a read that muses and muses and keeps on musing until the final page. Despite being marketed as a book for older children or teens, this is really a book for Snicket’s following of people who are parents and want to share in the whimsey of what their offspring are reading, and wouldn’t mind the snail’s pace.

I don’t think I can say very much more than that, because doing so might “give away” the book, so to speak. If I were to tell you a story about the short novel, it might be that Snicket does spend a lot of time explaining how to make eggs (there are five different ways). And, as alluded to earlier, sometimes it’s hard to figure out what Snicket/Handler is going on about — there’s a tale about going halfway to meet something but only finding oneself instead going halfway to the halfway mark and then only halfway to that point so that you never reach the destination. Not sure what the author, real or imagined, was going on about there, to be honest. So take it as you will. This is a book that does require careful reading, and — I hope I’m not repeating myself here — I’m not too sure there are a lot of kids out there in today’s social media/“everything at a push of a button landscape” who will have the patience to read this molasses paced 150-ish page book, let alone get out of the first chapter!

I thought I’d be clever and write this review in the style of Snicket/Handler’s book. However, when I sat down to do so, I found myself just complaining about my life and not having the morbid sense of humour that the author does. I can’t make the page sing like Snicket can, meaning that he is a consummate author. He knows what he’s doing. Me? I could only sit at my laptop computer and weep as the words marched across the screen. I thought, too, that maybe I could tell you a story about something that happened to me, but all of the things I can think of are completely embarrassing. Speaking of which, Snicket recalls being face down in the dirt in Poison for Breakfast at one point, and how embarrassing the situation was for him. If anything, Snicket (or Handler) is an honest egg. That’s a rarity in art — there’s no subterfuge or any sort of pretense (though some may be put off by the rather poetic writing style and stories about literature). It’s better than what I’m willing to share.

In any event, I did enjoy the book, even if it’s a novel about nothing and everything. No matter what age you are, and depending on your disposition to slightly challenging works of philosophy, add Poison for Breakfast to your menu of things to read if you like a little bit of a challenge. It’s a doozy of a book and will certainly make you think, and laugh, and sigh, and all of the things a good work of art will make you do. I can’t believe that I hadn’t encountered the work of this gifted fictitious author before, but, one thing’s for sure, I sure hope he writes more books like this because while Poison for Breakfast may be an, ahem!, acquired taste, it’ll leave you hungry for sloppy seconds. And I want everyone to know about that. Just as we might know that Lemony Snicket can write as well as Daniel Handler.
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This book was not what I expected. But it was an interesting short read. 
I’ve never read anything by this author before so his writing style did take some getting used to but overall I think this was an interesting direction for people who are fans of his previous work.
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Poison for Breakfast was completely unique and interesting to read through, like most of Snicket's work. 

This one felt different than others I had picked up from the author in that it had less of a narrative than I expected, but I still thoroughly enjoyed following the author's whimsical philosophical writing.

Thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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A quick but satisfying Lemony Snicket tale that won't fill the unfortunate sized hole but will definitely keep you enthralled.
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Lemony Snicket has been poisoned. How, he doesn't know,. The note slipped under his door was only one ominous statement "You had poison for breakfast." This note prompts Lemony to search for answers, examining his breakfast and following each item as a lead to uncover what transpired. This investigation also leads him into his own mind as he ponders some big questions and shares his love of poetry and philosophy. How exactly was Mr. Snicket poisoned and how might he survive to see another day?

I was excited to see Poison for Breakfast was being released, it felt like I've heard about it for some time which made me quite eager to read. As stated within the book, this is a different type of title for Lemony Snicket. It feels less a mystery to be uncovered and more a trip in his mind and into philosophy. The premise is intriguing and it is filled with many amusing and thought provoking anecdotes told in a way only he could. As always, his writing style is an absolute joy to jump into so wandering in his mind is a welcome escape. As much as I wanted to love this title, I'm not quite sure it was for me. It's the type of book you could read a chapter and leave for a few days in between. One thing I really loved was the references within, by not naming titles they really grasped my interest and curiosity (no one can describe things like Snicket!) so I was delighted to see the Notes section at the back of the book revealing their information. 

Poison For Breakfast is an interesting and thought provoking read. Fans who grew up reading A Series of Unfortunate Events should get a thrill of enjoying his writing style once again. Thanks to NetGalley for a digital copy to review.
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Thank you to penguin random house Canada/penguin teen and Netgalley for gifting me this eArc !

As an adult who read A Series of Unfortunate Events and frequently thinks back on that series with warmth and nostalgia, this book was like a delicate hand placed upon my shoulder. Lemony Snickets classic writing style brought me way back to my childhood and staying up very late at night by a lamp to devour his stories.  While this is a much different sort of story than I think most of us are used to from this author, I thought it was so very much like Lemony Snicket to write a book on philosophy in the style of a mystery. It felt so very right, if not a little...bewildering ;)
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