Warning: Lemony Snicket to Release 12th Book in A Series of Unfortunate Events on October 18, 2005

Book Reportedly So Startling Author Refuses to Reveal Title

Please stop what you are doing, especially if what you are doing is reading this press release. It has just been discovered that Lemony Snicket has completed Book the Twelfth in A Series of Unfortunate Events, the depressing and mysterious chronicles of three unlucky orphans who are plagued by villainy, conspiracy, and itchy clothing.

The book is currently scheduled to go on sale Tuesday, October 18, 2005, with an initial 2.5 million print run, and reports suggest that this will be Mr. Snicket's most dreadful volume yet. It's so terrible that the author himself refuses to reveal the book's title, fearing that it will cause panic, chaos, or both. In fact, executives at HarperCollins Children's Books, which is publishing the book, have been instructed to refer to it only by its ISBN number, 0-06-441015-3. Fans who insist on knowing more can visit www.thenamelessnovel.com, where they can participate in an uneasy investigation that may eventually reveal the missing title.

In response to prying questions from a public relations firm, HarperCollins issued the following statement.

"Please remain calm. We believe that Mr. Snicket's books cannot possibly get worse, although we have been wrong in the past. However, in the interests of safety, we ask that terrible villains, small pets, and extremely nervous young persons refrain from looking forward to 0-06-441015-3." Little else is known about Book the Twelfth except that Count Olaf is still evil and the Baudelaire orphans do not win a contest.

Like unrefrigerated butter or fungus, Lemony Snicket's popularity continues to spread. His books, which feature illustrations by Brett Helquist, have inexplicably already spent more than a combined 762 weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers List and sold more than 35 million copies worldwide.

In December 2004, Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Pictures, and Nickelodeon Movies released a major motion picture based on the first three books in A Series of Unfortunate Events, starring Jim Carrey and Meryl Streep. It was a dismal success, grossing more than $100 million in a matter of weeks. A DVD of the film was released in April 2005.

A Series of Unfortunate Events has shocked and engrossed millions of readers worldwide since the release of the first book in 1999. Each of the books in the series -- including The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room, The Wide Window, The Miserable Mill, The Austere Academy, The Ersatz Elevator, The Vile Village, The Hostile Hospital, The Carnivorous Carnival, The Slippery Slope, The Grim Grotto and Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography -- has been a national best-seller.

Literary and irreverent, hilarious and deftly crafted, A Series of Unfortunate Events offers an exquisitely dark comedy in the tradition of Edward Gorey and Roald Dahl. Lemony Snicket's uproariously unhappy books continue to win readers everywhere, despite the author's continued warnings.

Lemony Snicket published his first book in 1999 and has not had a good night's sleep since. Once the recipient of several distinguished awards, he is now an escapee of several indistinguishable prisons. You can visit him online at www.lemonysnicket.com.

Brett Helquist was born in Gonado, AZ, grew up in Orem, UT, and now lives in Brooklyn. He earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts from Brigham Young University and has been illustrating ever since. He studied hard to become an illustrator, but can't help wondering if he might have chosen to be something safer, like a pirate or a skydiver.

HarperCollins Children's Books is one of the leading publishers of children's books. Respected worldwide for its tradition of publishing quality, award-winning books for young readers, HarperCollins is home to many children's classics -- Charlotte's Web, The Chronicles of Narnia, Goodnight Moon, Where the Sidewalk Ends and Where the Wild Things Are; and popular series -- A Series of Unfortunate Events and The Princess Diaries. HarperCollins Children's Books is a division of HarperCollins Publishers, one of the leading English language publishers in the world and a subsidiary of News Corporation (NYSE:NWS) (NYSE:NWS.A) . Headquartered in New York, HarperCollins has publishing groups in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Australia. You can visit HarperCollins Children's Books on the Internet at http://www.harperchildrens.com/.

Source: HarperCollins Children's Books
LOS ANGELES, June 1, 2005 /PRNewswire/ --

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