The Hostile Hospital

The Hostile Hospital is the eighth novel in the children's book series A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, the pseudonym of Daniel Handler. It takes place shortly after The Vile Village and is followed by a sequel, The Carnivorous Carnival.

The Hostile Hospital
AuthorLemony Snicket (pen name of Daniel Handler)
IllustratorBrett Helquist
Cover artistBrett Helquist
CountryUnited States
SeriesA Series of Unfortunate Events
GenreGothic fiction
Absurdist fiction
Publication date
September 2001
Media typePrint (hardback & paperback)
Preceded byThe Vile Village 
Followed byThe Carnivorous Carnival 


After escaping the Village of Fowl Devotees, Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire arrive at a store to send a telegram to Mr. Poe, explaining their situation and pleading for help. The store's generous owner explains that a van of 'Volunteers Fighting Diseases' arrives once everyday for a gas refill. The van arrives, and the Baudelaires, thinking it to be the acronym 'V.F.D.', escape into it after the owner recognizes them as the accused murderers in the Daily Punctilio, an unreliable newspaper series.

The Baudelaires discover that Volunteers Fighting Diseases is a group of enthusiasts that visit Heimlich Hospital to increase the morale of patients, who believe that 'No News Is Good News', and therefore have never read The Daily Punctilio (and don't recognize the Baudelaires). One of the members suggests the Baudelaires seek a Library of Records to find their V.F.D.

The three then volunteer to aid Hal, a visually disabled elder who works in Heimlich Hospital's Library of Records. As he doesn't let them read any of the files, the Baudelaires regretfully trick him into giving them his keys to enter the library at night. While reading a file on the Baudelaires, in which only the thirteenth page remained since investigators have taken the rest, they discover that one of their parents may have survived or escaped the mansion's fire – however, Esme Squalor enters the library, intent on destroying them and the files to clear Count Olaf's name in the crimes he has committed.

While escaping her clutches, Klaus and Sunny go through a small shaft, but Violet is taken when Count Olaf captures her and hides her from her siblings. The two, using the volunteers' list of patients, find out that Count Olaf has disguised Violet's name with another name with the use of anagrams, and track her down to the surgery room. Dr. Mattathias Madycle-Sküll (who is Count Olaf), the Head of Human Resources, announces via intercom that a craniectomy will be performed on Violet in an operation theatre. Klaus and Sunny disguise themselves as Dr. Tocuna and Nurse Flo to perform the surgery with the Hook-handed man and the Bald Man, both of which are recurring associates of Count Olaf.

While the two stall during the performance for Violet to wake up, Hal angrily accuses the Baudelaires of committing arson, and the hospital begins to burn to the ground. Violet eventually awakens, and they try to escape by hiding in a storage room while Olaf's henchperson of indeterminate gender tries to break in. They safely jump out of the window with the help of Violet's makeshift bungee rope while Olaf's henchperson gets stuck and dies in the fire. They then hide in the trunk of Count Olaf's car after overhearing him discuss hunting down the Snicket files, which apparently contains crucial information on V.F.D, Jacques Snicket and the Beaudelaires.


  • Brazilian Portuguese: "O Hospital Hostil", Cia. das Letras, 2003, ISBN 85-359-0451-4
  • Finnish: "Vihainen sairaala" (Translation for, "Hostile hospital") (An Angry Hospital), WSOY, 2004, ISBN 951-0-29451-9
  • Italian: "L'ostile ospedale", Salani, 2004, ISBN 978-88-8451-325-0
  • French: "Panique à la clinique" (Panic at the Clinic)
  • Greek: "Το Νοσηρό Νοσοκομείο"
  • Japanese: "敵意ある病院", Soshisha, 2004, ISBN 978-47-942-1363-1
  • Korean: "죽음의 병원" (The Hospital of Death), Munhakdongnae Publishing Co, Ltd., 2009, ISBN 978-89-546-0871-8
  • Norwegian: Det horrible hospitalet, Tor Edvin Dahl, Cappelen Damm, 2003, ISBN 9788202225124
  • Russian: Кошмарная клиника (Nightmarish Clinic), Azbuka, 2005, ISBN 5-352-01227-1
  • Turkish  : "Dehşet Hastanesi"
  • Polish : "Szkodliwy szpital" (The Harmful Hospital)


The book was adapted into the seventh and eighth episodes of the second season of the television series adaptation produced by Netflix.[1]

See also


  1. Snetiker, Marc (January 11, 2017). "Lemony Snicket speaks out about Netflix's Series of Unfortunate Events". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
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