By Daniel Handler. 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.

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The qualities that draw millions to Lemony Snicket—absurdity, wicked humor, a love of wordplay—get adulterated in this elegant exploration of love. Handler brings linguistic pyrotechnics to a set of encounters: gay, straight, platonic and all degrees of dysfunctional.

Amid the deadpan "Character description: Appropriately tall. Could dress better. In "Briefly," the narrator, now married, recounts being 14 and infatuated with his big sister's boyfriend, Keith.

Handler began his career with the coming-of-age novel The Basic Eight ; this lovely, lilting book is a kind of After School Special for adults that dramatizes love's cross-purposes with panache: "Surely somebody will arrive, in a taxi perhaps, attractively, artfully, aggressively, or any other way it is done.

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Adverbs by Daniel Handler

In a time when grown men are seen openly reading Harry Potter on the bus with their aging eyes aided by bifocals, it's becoming increasingly difficult to identify what makes a book "adult". Of course, the idea of extreme sex and violence seems like the type of topics that separates the Man Lit from the Boy Lit, but doesn't that stuff really hold the strongest appeal for teenagers? Often writing about sex or violence is labelled as "adult" when it is clearly anything but. Take a look in an adult bookstore and try and find something that you would describe as mature writing -- it might just be one of the most immature places a person can visit.


Adverbially Yours: an interview with Daniel Handler

Not quite a story collection, but too loose-knit to call a novel, Adverbs follows a group of young Americans as their romances boomerang them from New York to San Francisco. The characters' names shift as often as the locale, so it's almost impossible to keep track. The book's attitude is light as candy floss, but the aftertaste hints at something darker. Although he has written two other novels for adults, Handler is better known as the creator of Lemony Snicket, fictional author of the Series of Unfortunate Events books, which chronicle the lives of the Baudelaire children after their parents die. Adverbs is a neat flip-flop: it presents a children's author playing around in the world of adult fiction. The ghoulish instincts at play in the Lemony books give Handler's cheery disquisitions on love a tense, surreal quality. It's not clear if the author is mocking our faith in romance or serenading it.

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