Some people have said that "A Series of Unfortunate Events" is stupid and boring. These people clearly missed the point of the series.
Admittedly the story line itself doesn't sound all that great: three kids who have a very sad life, and it keeps getting worse.
But the real thrill in the book is how the author weaves this complicated, and tangled mystery throughout, leaving just enough clues to keep you interested. The minute you solve one mystery, three more open up! It is absolutely brilliant! The ones who call this series 'boring' clearly missed the complex subtleties in the story.
The main reason I love this series is the author's way with words. Part of the clues he weaves throughout the books involve word usage. He also occasionally breaks the rules of how a book is written. (For example, in one chapter you have to hold the book up to a mirror to see what it says!) There is a surprise that is wholly unique in each and every book.
And though it may seem strange, I found the series encouraging. The reality is, all of our lives are a bit unfortunate (some more than others) and the books' real moral is how people can overcome all obstacles, even the permanent ones, by maintaining their own self-worth.
Wonderful series for preteen and young adult, as well as adult. Awesome for family reading time; fun to share and discuss in a group. The series got a little too dark for me, so I stopped reading it, but with all hopes of continuing in future. I still love the series!
In The Austere Academy, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny are at first optimistic--attending school is a welcome change for the book-loving trio, and the academy is allegedly safe from the dreaded Count Olaf, who is after their fortune. Hope dissipates quickly, however, when they meet Vice Principal Nero, a self-professed genius violinist who sneeringly imitates their every word. More dreadful still, he houses them in the tin Orphans Shack, crawling with toe-biting crabs and dripping with a mysterious tan fungus. A beam of light shines through the despair when the Baudelaires meet the Quagmires, two of three orphaned triplets who are no strangers to disaster and sympathize with their predicament. When Count Olaf appears on the scene disguised as Coach Genghis (covering his monobrow with a turban and his ankle tattoo with expensive running shoes), the Quagmires resolve to come to the aid of their new friends. Sadly, this proves to be a hideous mistake.
I love this book series! Lemony Snicket's writing style is like none other in children's literature. He is brilliant & witty & definitely unique. Book 5 has some obnoxious characters in it, but also introduces some characters that "thicken the plot." Excellent & worth reading.