Read The Lump of Coal by Lemony Snicket Brett Helquist Neil Patrick Harris Online


This is a story about a lump of coal who can think, talk, and move itself around.Is there a more charming holiday tale to behold? Probably, but Lemony Snicket has not written one....

Title : The Lump of Coal
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780061668982
Format Type : Audiobook
Number of Pages : 0 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Lump of Coal Reviews

  • karen
    2019-03-08 00:24

    AND NOW IS THE TIME OF YEAR I FLOAT OLD CHRISTMAS REVIEWS TO COUNTDOWN TO BING BONG BING BONG!!this was a nice little holiday book about a piece of coal in a tuxedo.

  • Amanda
    2019-03-21 07:27

    The Lump of Coal is not your typical holiday story. This ingenious tale is about a lump of coal, one with a flare for art and the desire to prepare authentic Korean barbecue, who dreams of a holiday miracle. The illustrations of the lump of coal are especially charming.

  • Melki
    2019-02-23 03:13

    Ordinarily the cheery message of "Miracles can happen if you keep on believing" would be enough to set my teeth on edge...HOWEVER...when that message is woven into the tale of a sullen lump of coal who wants to be an artist AND is told by none other than Lemony Snicket - my teeth remain quite happy.This is a cute, not cutesy, book about a walking, talking lump of coal who really rocks a tux. He dreams artistic little dreams of canvas, galleries and exhibitions, but would settle for life as a briquette. What happens to him is indeed a Christmas miracle, but this is Snicket, remember, so it is a miracle that may bring a smile, but should NOT cause groaning and indigestion.I can't say enough about Brett Helquist's illustrations, particularly his attention to detail, and his rendering of the Lump's endearing facial expressions.They really MAKE the book.Thanks for bringing this one to my attention, Kaethe.

  • Imogen
    2019-03-19 03:09

    Lemony Snicket rules and all but mostly I like the crotchety little lump stomping around in his little tuxedo, glaring at everybody. Glare glare glare.

  • David Schaafsma
    2019-02-28 07:02

    Like his mentor Edward Gorey, Lemony Snicket knows how to make fun of nice cultural occasions like Christmas. He takes the idea of the "lump of coal" gift for bad children and just goes goofy on it. He takes a sappy moral like "miracles are everywhere" and makes it both silly and meaningful in his own way: A little lump of coal wants to be an artist, a little-engine-that-could. Brett Helquist's illustrations are terrific. Cute short book with more words than illustrations.

  • SheriC (PM)
    2019-02-27 23:07

    An adorable anthropomorphic lump of coal goes on a journey to find his destiny. Loved it.Audiobook, borrowed from my public library via Overdrive, with an excellent reading by Neil Patrick Harris, as if he could do anything but provide an outstanding performance of a Lemony Snicket story.

  • Mariah
    2019-03-13 01:13

    This was a cute, short, happy holiday story :)

  • Ritika Gupta
    2019-03-09 07:13

    Miracles are like pimples, because once you start looking for them you find more than you ever dreamed you'd see!Lemony Snicket! <3

  • Lisa Vegan
    2019-02-22 05:21

    Oh, I was hoping that this would be my last 2010 holiday book; it would have been fitting seeing as how I don’t consider myself to be somebody who is a fan of holiday books. But, I see that there are two more holiday books that I’m expecting from the library. Ah well.Perhaps this isn’t worth 5 stars but I laughed, a lot, and I thought the whole thing was clever. Much is made fun of here, not just the holidays. Art and the art world are among the subjects skewered here.The story is very amusing and there are many hilarious lines.The illustrations are a hoot too, very funny.The whole book is very whimsical and very clever.I did take it off my children’s shelf though because in my opinion this is primarily a book for adults.

  • Gregory Baird
    2019-02-25 06:03

    Lump of Coalis essentially a picture book, re-teaming the wit and whimsy of Lemony Snicket with the admirable illustrations of Brett Helquist, his collaborator in theSeries of Unfortunate Eventsbooks. The illustrations, to me, are the main appeal here, but the story isn't without its charm as the titular character goes in search of a purpose in life. It's fluff, not as impactful or lasting as great picture books likeCorduroyorHarold and the Purple Crayon,but it is a well executed and amusing story that tells a unique holiday story from an unexpected source.

  • Kaethe
    2019-03-05 05:24

    2008 December 29This is going to be a perennial holiday read, I think. And every time I read it, I love it more.***2009 December 19***2012 December 17It does get better, every year. Favorite line: "The story begins with a lump of coal, who for the sake of argument, could think, talk, and move itself around. Like many people who dress in black, the lump of coal was interested in becoming an artist."Really, I wish Snicket were devoting his time to writing short stories.***2014 December 11Natasha read this to me last night. I died.

  • Anna
    2019-03-11 07:28

    “The holiday season is a time for storytelling, and whether you are hearing the story of a candelabra staying lit for more than a week, or a baby born in a barn without proper medical supervision, these stories often feature miracles. Miracles are like pimples, because once you start looking for them you find more than you ever dreamed you'd see, and this holiday story features any number of miracles, depending on your point of view.”― Lemony Snicket, The Lump of Coal Absolute must!

  • Jeremy
    2019-03-08 03:05

    Possibly one of the best short stories I have ever read, The Lump of Coal is a funny, charming story about purpose, friendship and perspective and how each can enrich your life. Often times in shorter works you see authors get lazy but in this new holiday classic,Snicket retains his fine literary form, keeping the story flowing with punchy and hilarious ease and spinning a tale of new I will be sure to revisit year after year. For an author for which I read over 20 independent works, I find that I never tire of his distinctive darkly dry humor and his use of emphasis and clarification, finding any repetitive traits more as a warm hug than as dog who refuses to learn new tricks. Do yourself a favor and give this a read. Then do yourself another favor and get the audiobook and have Neil Patrick Harris expertly read it to you. A festive 4 (more like 4.5) out of 5 stars from me!

  • Marylou
    2019-02-23 07:20

    A wonderful Christmas story narrated by the talented Neil Patrick Harris!

  • Anthe
    2019-03-04 01:14

    I feel weird entering this as a read book because it's so short but I laughed so much I figured I would anyway

  • Nesa Sivagnanam
    2019-02-23 00:18

    You always hear people say that pets are for life and not just for Christmas. Well, stories are for life too and just for a season even if they are set in particular season. And sometimes the smallest books carry the biggest messages.From the quill of Lemony Snicket comes a tiny tale that has no orphans or insane uncles. It does not even run into 2 volumes, let alone a doomed 13. It’s a tiny book which tells a huge tale and it’s called The Lump of Coal. The book is illustrated by Brett Helquist and is all about …. You guessed it … a lump of coal.The lump of coal thinks, talks and moves around by itself. He wears a suit and has dreams and wishes just like each and every one of us.He dreams of drawing rough, black lines on a canvas or on a breast of chicken or salmon fillet at a barbecue.He tumbles out of a bag of coal and into the world to make his fortune and find his dreams. He comes to an art gallery and decides to try his luck but is told rather bluntly to go away and not dirty the floor. He receives a similar reception at the Korean barbecue restaurant and finds out that the Santa on the corner is not the real McCoy at all.The false Santa however, takes him home to his nephew as a gift since the nephew has been naughty rather than the nice the whole year round.Ah, but this is when the dreams and wishes start coming through for the lump of coal is just what Jasper wants and needs for Christmas.As the blurb says … Miracles can happen, even to those who are small, flammable, and dressed all in black. Which gives some hope to all the rest of us who are not even flammable.

  • MacK
    2019-03-19 22:59

    Great authors often have trouble outdistancing their greatest works. The habits of characterization and rhythm of dialogue becomes less a hallmark of an author's style, and more a fall back position. Instead of developing new skills, an author will remain bound to what had been successful in the past, at the cost of becoming more successful in the future (see: Grafton, Sue). Lemony Snicket is not that kind of an author. He has completed his Series of Unfortunate Events, and moved on. Though his detailed, occasionally pedantic, style remains firmly intact, he has branched out from what had succeeded in the past to try and reach towards a new audience. He has placed religion, morality and self-examination at the thematic center of his work. However, the bulk of the book (though it's a scant few pages) seems largely quotidian, and though Snicket is one of the most imaginative writers working today, The Lump of Coal is more simplistic than befits a writer of Snicket's stature. Still it remains thematically in line with his best work and features a final page that is utterly remarkable, a beautiful paragraph that stands on a par with Seuss and Dickens for great Holiday morality.Lemony Snicket still hasn't outdone his best selling works, and though this book is not a major step forward, in one paragraph he has shown a flash of irrefutable brilliance proving that he certainly can become an immensely successful author in the future.

  • Kate
    2019-03-06 23:18

    If you know me, you know that I am a HUMUNGOUS fan of Lemony Snicket. I won’t say Daniel Handler because his adult books just never grabbed me, but when he’s Lemony Snicket, I go bananas.I’ve seen that some people aren’t as impressed with The Lump of Coal as they were with The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story, but I don’t know if I entirely agree. I liked this book, though I will admit it seems a little watered-down for a Snicket creation. There is the usual dark humor and use of lofty vocabulary that we all know and love, but as weird as it sounds, I really don’t feel Snicket’s normal passion in this book. It’s funny and clever and has dashes of typical Snicket themes, but (it pains me so much to write this) it falls a little flat. Just a little! But it is cute and the end is probably as warm and fuzzy as Snicket could ever get, so overall it’s a great book. As good as Latke or the amazing Series of Unfortunate Events? Hmm.. maybe not.Taken from my blog:

  • Kat
    2019-03-06 04:19

    A silly little holiday story about the trials and tribulations of a lump of coal who aspires to make avante-garde art, told in standard Lemony Snicket style; intellectually dry, absurdist, with a dash of morality. This is a short little picture book, so even more so than his other works, the intended audience is ambiguous. Is it really for the kindergarten set? Well, I'm sure many kids would love Helquist's beautiful and narrative illustrations (as usual), but Snicket's verbose, rambling humor easily zings over the young head. However, the underlying story is simple and short. A cute, quirky, unusual holiday story that would make a good stocking stuffer for the highbrow humorist in your family, ages 5+.

  • Jennifer
    2019-03-21 23:08

    I thought this was classic Lemony Snicket, just a little bit ridiculous and yet deep at the same time. The ending caught me slightly off guard, but it's probably one of my favorite endings to childrens books.

  • Radawn
    2019-02-22 03:25

    This is my new favorite Christmas book! It has everything- great illustrations, cleverly written humor, and on top of all that a heartwarming simple message that is insightful and helps put the holidays in perspective. Love it, Love it, Love it! Go and get a copy TODAY!!!

  • Nick
    2019-03-21 23:00

    A Christmas story. The girls enjoyed it- even if it was out of season.

  • Jessica
    2019-03-15 06:12

    I really don't know what to think of this book.... I listened to the audio book narrated by Neil Patrick Harris. It's about a lump of coal with thoughts and appendages trying to find its purpose and see who it can be helpful to. It's supposed to be a holiday story.

  • Janet Whitehead
    2019-03-10 01:59

    Greatest Christmas book in the history of ever - especially if you are an artist. Or if you love a quirky, a little snarky, and a non-typical Christmas storyline. And in the end, after a great adventure, miracles happen in the most unlikely and most delightful way.

  • Drew Graham
    2019-03-18 04:01

    Once there was a lump of coal who dreamed of blessing the world with his artistic talents. But his journey of self-discovery was more than a little bumpy along the way.I had heard about this Lemony Snicket Christmas tale before, but never had a chance to pick it up until now, as I've been going through some ancillary Snicket writings. It's a departure for him (up until this point) in that it has nothing to do with Snicket's travels documenting the woeful tale of the Baudelaire orphans, but it's still very much in his style, complete with Brett Helquist's (usually) charming illustrations. Although it's (sort of) a Christmas story, his tone and slight sarcasm are present, as expected, but there are a couple of nice surprises along the way too, and it does manage to have just the right amount of heart. It didn't blow me away, but it was fun. It would be fun to read aloud. It was interesting, and fitting, that Lemony Snicket would focus on one of very few actually somewhat negative symbols of Christmastime and write a story around it. And I like how the lump of coal can think, talk, and move himself around just because he can, and how he wears a li'l tuxedo.Just because someone is a lump of coal doesn't mean they don't have anything valuable to contribute to the artistic community! This picture book tells an amusing Christmas story told in Lemony Snicket's inimitable style, along with some fun illustrations by his previous collaborator, Brett Helquist.

  • Susan Rose
    2019-03-20 03:06

    "The Holiday Season is a time for storytelling and whether you are hearing the story of a candelabra staying lit for more than a week, or a baby born in a barn without proper medical supervision, these stories often feature miracles. Miracles are like pimples, because once you start looking for them you find more than you ever dreamed you’d see, and this holiday story features any number of miracles, depending on your point of view."This is the story of a piece of coal who wants to become an artist, (anymore than that would spoil it). From the blurb: "Miracles can happen, even to those whoare small, flammable, and dressed all in black."The opening of this picture book (see above) will give you an idea of the tone this wonderful Holiday story. This book has beautiful illustrations by Brett Helquist and is written in the incredibly witty voice of Lemony Snicket and it is a truly hilarious Christmas Tale which I will be re-reading every holiday season from now on. For more book reviews and recommendations:

  • Smoore
    2019-03-09 04:13

    Lemony Snicket's picture book, The Lump of Coal (HarperCollins, 2008), has been released for Christmas. Christmas is a time of miracles, and as Lemony Snicket says, “Miracles are like pimples, because once you start looking for them you find more than you ever dreamed you’d see.” (The book is worth buying for that sentence alone.) Although not quite as dire as Lemony Snicket’s best-selling Series of Unfortunate Events (it is Christmas after all), The Lump of Coal bears Lemony’s trademark style. Illustrations are by Brett Helquist who also illustrated A Series of Unfortunate Events. If you’ve never seen a lump of coal sporting a suit and bowtie, you’ll be amazed at how spiffy one can look. And this lump of coal “who for the sake of argument could think, talk, and move itself around” ventures out in search of his dream—life as an artist. I think picture books make great gifts for grownups. The Lump of Coal is a fun choice. It’s witty and ironic and full of everyday and not so everyday miracles.

  • Leah
    2019-02-27 06:25

    I am a complete Lemony Snicket worshiper, without exception. The way he deals with any subject with irreverence hidden by neat turns-of-phrase and humorous observations is unequalled, in my opinion. The holiday season is a time for storytelling, and whether you are hearing the story of a candelabra staying lit for more than a week, or a baby born in a barn without proper medical supervision, these stories often feature miracles.The lump of coal's narrator is as despondent, observant and hilarious as ever, with winks and nudges to the reader, asides that in other hands would probably be naff and "break the fourth wall" are here wickedly enjoyable and add to the tone of the story.My only quarrel is with the ending - it's happy! And a teensy tiny bit moralising, which, I know, it's Christmas and all, but I do tire of the American holiday-season smarminess sometimes.The kind of book I will undoubtedly read to my kids one day.

  • La Coccinelle
    2019-03-19 02:19

    I'm not a huge Lemony Snicket fan. I tried reading A Series of Unfortunate Events but couldn't get into it (I never even finished the first book). The movie based on those books bored me. So I didn't have super-high expectations when a family member brought this little book home from the library.It's a cute message wrapped in a well-written little story... but the fun part of this book is really the illustrations. There's just something amusing about a grumpy little piece of coal who sets off to find fulfillment as an artist (leaving little black footprints everywhere as he goes).It's short, and you can probably get through it in a couple of minutes. However, I can see this as a holiday favourite that kids might enjoy hearing read aloud.

  • Carey
    2019-02-22 23:10

    Now that the holidays are officially here, the craziness has begun and we are all rush, rush, rushing everywhere. This little book is a fun break from the fray.With his characteristic humor, Mr. Snicket has created a little leftover lump of barbeque charcoal who has been forgotten in someones backyard. Summer is over and the lump is bored, so he goes rolling out into the world. His journey is a reminder to see and appreciate the small miracles that take place every day. An appropriate message at this time of year that is delivered with the author's classic mixture of sharp wit and sweet story.The story is accompanied by Brett Helquist's charming illustrations. He has created the cutest little grumpy-looking coal lump you have ever seen.