Book Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5 / 5 stars)
Audio Book Performance: ★★★★★ (5 / 5 Stars)
Total Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.75 / 5 stars)
We all know some strange people, but none are as weird as Barnacle, Melancholy, and Garlic Weirdie. Born to an eccentric wealthy man and a snake enchantress, the Weirdies have never quite known a normal life. Granted, they aren’t normal children either: they’ve committed crimes, have unique characteristics, and don’t quite know how to interact in the so called “real world”. But after a cruise ship accident, the three children find themselves as orphans. Can a kind social worker give them a loving home? Or are they just too “weird”?
In a story reminiscent of A Series of Unfortunate Events, Roald Dahl’s work, and many others, The Weirdies parodies an array of stories about loving homes and orphans. These children are not endearing, they are not kind; no, they’re absolutely horrendous. And that’s what makes this story all the better. Barnacle likes to examine head lumps to determine if someone is a murderer. Melancholy likes to cut bodies up and perform experiments. And Garlic, well, she just likes to see things explode. So are they endearing? No. But are these triplets unique and interesting? Mostly definitely. Coupled with Kate Winslett’s narration, you’ll want to sit through the entire 2 hour ordeal, chuckling to yourself over the odd misfortunes and strangeness the Weirdies encounter.
Yet while this book was clearly inspired by A Series of Unfortunate Events, it does lack the sympathetic nature that really makes those books stand out. The children aren’t kind, and while you can understand how neglect led to such terrible circumstances, some of their antics can grow a little much throughout the short narrative. The only lesson they learned is love – and what it means to be loved. While this could be considered the greatest lesson of them all, the characters do not seem to grow much from there.
Knowing that more adventures with the Weirdies are coming though, I imagine we will continue to see growth in Barnacle, Melancholy, and Garlic. Love can do strange things.
And with a guardian who loves them, anything is possible.
What’s it about?
This is a very, very sad story. The characters suffer terrible tragedies. People die in unspeakable ways. Only a truly horrible person would be amused by their misfortune.
Nevertheless, it is kind of funny.
My advice is that you listen to this all by yourself. People can be judgy.
If you’re a fan of A Series of Unfortunate Events, Edward Scissorhands, or the darkest bits of Roald Dahl, the Weirdie triplets – Barnacle, Garlic, and Melancholy – will feel like old friends. After being left behind when the entire estate of Deadeye Manor is packed up for a doomed vacation cruise, the triplets have to learn how to fend for themselves. (When a staff of 200 servants has taken care of your every need, even brushing your own teeth is a mountainous task.) From their time at the Our Lady of the Perpetual Side-Eye Orphanage to their adoptive home on picture-perfect Sunshine Circle, the Weirdies have a lot to learn about the world…but, at least, they have each other.