I can’t discuss the final, thirteenth book of the series without also describing the book release and signing event at Barnes & Nobles. I knew to arrive early for the passes to the October 13th, Friday the thirteenth, event. It was designed for school kids (this is a children’s series after all), or rather it was designed for the parent of a kid to come by after dropping off the child at school, pick up the pass and return after school for the actually festivities. All told, I waited outside of B&N for two hours for the half hour Snicket event and then proceeded to wait another two hours to get my book signed. Daniel Handler, as that is who he is, is good to his fans; he stuck to his act of Snicket not being available, sang hilarious songs with the other member of “The Gothic Archies,” delighted the crowd with dark humor, interacted with children from the audience and warned us all to avoid the horror of reading his books. There were children activities in another part of the store, so those waiting for the chance to have the book signed could keep busy and his until closing time frame for signing guaranteed that no one would leave disappointed (although I was perturbed that, after so long a wait, he didn’t write the inscription I requested). I wish I could be as enthusiastically about the series finale. Future generations shall condemn contemporary fiction for its clichéd use of the non-ending ending, wherein an author simply stops the narrative rather than have a true conclusion of events. Not only is that the case here, but also Snicket didn’t really tell a story at all. After the constant buildup of mysteries, The End gives only a minor story about the Baudelaire orphans and their nemesis Count Olaf trapped on an island together and spends the rest of the time repeating phrases to fill up space and attempting to justify the complete lack of completion. It is a shocking disappointment in shocking poor taste and shockingly poorly done.