Avoid at All Costs

"Mr. Snicket rarely appears in public, but when he does, it is best to avoid him," reads Lemony Snicket's own website. This is all a vain attempt to deter you from going to see Snicket’s somewhat less reclusive alter ego, author Daniel Handler, at the fifth and final installment of the Denver Post's Pen & Podium lecture series tonight at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts, 2344 East Iliff Avenue.

Handler – rather, Snicket -- is the author of the thirteen "wretched" and "bothersome" books in A Series of Unfortunate Events, a collection that appeals to young readers by encouraging them to avoid the miserable books at all costs, with lines like "If you enjoy books with happy endings, then you are better off reading some other book." It's a miracle of reverse psychology if ever there was one, particularly when paired with the delicious irony that the best-selling books, from The Bad Beginning to The End, frequently appear on the American Library Association's list of banned and challenged books in American public schools and libraries.

Tickets for the worst seats -- which any serious Snicket fan will prefer, of course – are $34. For more information, go to www.penandpodium.com.
Mon., March 21, 7:30 p.m., 2011