The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket

The basics

Title: The Reptile Room


Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events #2

- A Bad Beginning (1999)
- The Reptile Room (1999)
- The Wide Window (2000)
- The Miserable Mill (2000)
- The Austere Academy (2000)
- The Ersatz Elevator (2001)
- The Vile Village (2001)
- The Hostile Hospital (2001)
- The Carnivorous Carnival (2002)
- The Slippery Slope (2003)
- The Grim Grotto (2004)
- The Penultimate Peril (2005)
- The End (2006)

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Goodreads Summary:

Dear Reader,

If you have picked up this book with the hope of finding a simple and cheery tale, I'm afraid you have picked up the wrong book altogether. The story may seem cheery at first, when the Baudelaire children spend time in the company of some interesting reptiles and a giddy uncle, but don't be fooled. If you know anything at all about the unlucky Baudelaire children, you already know that even pleasant events lead down the same road to misery.

In fact, within the pages you now hold in your hands, the three siblings endure a car accident, a terrible odor, a deadly serpent, a long knife, a large brass reading lamp, and the appearance of a person they'd hoped never to see again.

I am bound to record these tragic events, but you are free to put this book back on the shelf and seek something lighter.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

Read a full summary of The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket below. If you can’t remember what happened in The Reptile Room and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.

What happened in The Reptile Room?

  • The Baudelaire children are now required to live with De Montgomery Montgomery, who will be their new guardian after everything with Count Olaf fell apart. 
  • Mr Poe drops them off as Dr Montgomery’s house o Lousy Lane, and tells them that the doctor is a distant cousin by marriage.
  • Dr Montgomery asks the children to call him Uncle Monty. He gives the children some coconut cream cake, which immediately wins the children over.
  • Uncle Monty tells the children he’s waiting for his assistant, Stephano, to arrive and then they’ll all be going on an expedition to Peru. Stephano is a new assistant as Monty’s previous one, Gustav, resigned.
  • Uncle Monty has a room filled with snakes, which is called the Reptile Room. The children explore and come across the Incredibly Deadly Viper, which is a new snake discovered by Uncle Monty. He insists the snake is actually harmless.
  • Monty gives the children chores to do in the Reptile Room. Violet needs to invent traps for the new snakes they’re going to find in Peru, Klaus needs to research snakes, and Sunny will need to bite up ropes and befriend the snakes.
  • Stephano arrives and the children immediately realise he’s Count Olaf in disguise. They try to tell Uncle Monty but he ignores them and Stephano is a really good liar.
  • It takes a while, but Monty eventually realises that Stephano is a liar and Monty believes him to be a spy who is trying to take the Incredibly Deadly Viper. Monty tells the children what he has discovered, and decides Stephano will not be accompanying them to Peru.
  • Stephano threatens the children, of course, and they tell him that he’s not allowed to go to Peru with them.
  • They go to the cinema to watch Zombies in the Snow, which has a code warning Monty about Stephano in it. Monty doesn’t understand the message, but Stephano does understand. 
  • The children get ready to go to Peru and they find Monty dead in the Reptile Room. There are two puncture wounds under his eye, and Stephano tells the children Monty was bitten and poisoned by a snake.
  • Stephano plans to whisk the children off to Peru, and he puts them in the car. As he’s driving off, Stephano crashes into Mr Poe’s car and everyone has to go back into the house.
  • Poe and Stephano discuss how to handle the children.
  • The children try to convince Poe that Stephano killed Monty. Stephano calls a doctor called Lucafont to perform an autopsy on Monty’s body, and Lucafont says the cause of death was the Incredibly Deadly Viper.
  • The children obviously know this was a lie because the Viper is not deadly. The children get the Viper to pretend to attack Sunny while Violet goes through Stephano’s suitcase.
  • Violet finds a vial labelled to contain the venom of the deadly Mamba du Mal, which is actually venomous.
  • The children tell Poe what they found. Poe rubs off the make up from Stephano’s ankle to reveal Olaf’s eye tattoo. Sunny takes off Lucafont’s fake hands, which shows he’s the Hook-Handed Man from the first book. 
  • Olaf and his accomplice run away.
  • Monty’s reptiles are taken away by Bruce, and the children are about to be taken to a third guardian.

This is a full plot summary of what happened in The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket. Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

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