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Time Canada


MAY 28, 2001 / VOL. 157 NO. 21

TREND -- Book tours are getting funkier, with authors providing performance sizzle

HOW IT STARTED -- MTV Generation writers, bored, decided to spice things up

JUDGMENT CALL -- If Oprah can make books fun, why not? It's not your father's bookstore anymore

. . .

But no one has turned the traditional author tour on its head more than Daniel Handler, the wildly popular children's author known as Lemony Snicket. When Handler arrives at a reading, he announces to the children that the mysterious Snicket couldn't make it, and that he has been sent in Snicket's place. He also tells the young attendees that the books are terrible and that they shouldn't be reading them. Naturally, this subversive behavior sets off gales of laughter in the junior set. "Slowly, the children usually figure out that I'm somebody pretending to be somebody pretending to be somebody," says Handler, who also plays a mean accordion for them. "It's a lot of fun." --By Andrea Sachs