The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Bk 1)
The Bad Beginning - A Series of Unfortunate Events, Bk 1 Author:Lemony Snicket Make no mistake. The Bad Beginning begins badly for the three Baudelaire children, and then gets worse. Their misfortunes begin one gray day on Briny Beach when Mr. Poe tells them that their parents perished in a fire that destroyed their whole house. "It is useless for me to describe to you how terrible Violet, Klaus, and even Sunny felt i... more »n the time that followed," laments the personable (occasionally pedantic) narrator, who tells the story as if his readers are gathered around an armchair on pillows. But of course what follows is dreadful. The children thought it was bad when the well-meaning Poes bought them grotesque-colored clothing that itched. But when they are ushered to the dilapidated doorstep of the miserable, thin, unshaven, shiny-eyed, money-grubbing Count Olaf, they know that they--and their family fortune--are in real trouble. Still, they could never have anticipated how much trouble. While it's true that the events that unfold in Lemony Snicket's novels are bleak, and things never turn out as you'd hope.« less
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.
As an adult, I didn't find this book or this series nearly as interesting as some of the others in this genre. That aside, I have little doubt that this is perhaps the best of the genre for children. The writing and characters are interesting, and the author takes an ingenious approach toward finding the illusive balance between accessible and challenging vocabulary. Also, each book is only an hour or two long when read at an adult pace, which I consider to be a good length for younger readers. Recommended for getting any child interested in reading novel-length texts.
For the longest time, I hesitated to try this. It looked so dire and black, I just didn't think it was something we should spend time/money/energy on.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the stories are life-affirming. And intelligent. They revolve around themes of good vs. evil, and even show how apathy can allow evil to take the upper hand. And the bonus of it was that my reluctant reader FINALLY got hooked on reading!!
The author has an incredible sense of humor that even I found entertaining. I highly recommend this series.
Lynn T. (lynn3kids) reviewed The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 3
this is one of my favorite books ever.
lemony snicket is very humorous, and gives you the meaning of very many big words without making you feel stupid or like you're being given a lesson.
snicket knows how to draw out a story without making you upset, but just stretching the suspense. i absolutely love the unfortunate events series.