Book Review

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning – Lemony Snicket

“If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book. In this book, not only is there no happy ending, there is no happy beginning and very few happy things in middle.”
The Baudelaire youngsters were quite strange children, Voilet was always thinking of things to invent, Klaus often had his head stuck in a book and Sunny, well she was only small but the nly thing that really interested her was biting things. Theywere quite happy until one day a figure approached them on the beach, a figure known to them as their parents banker, Mr Poe. Mr Poe came to let them know that theyre parent had perished in a fire, a fire that had destroyed their entire home. The Baudelaire youngsters were not just youngsters anymore; they were orphans. They were orphans who were expected to go live with Count Olaf, a distant relative whom is only after them for one thing.
I have seen the movie A Series of Unfortunate Events but I always wanted to try and get hold of the books if at all possible, so when I managed to find three in one charity shop I picked them up and they’ve been sat on my bookshelf unread ever since. However I was after a quick, easy read and thought that The Bad Beginning might just be one… It worked a treat.
I loved the storyline, three young children, orphaned and sent to live with a relative they don’t know and who doesn’t care for them. I loved how mean and nasty Count Olaf was and I loved who the children were. There was a lot in this book to love, even though it’s not a nice sweet story.
I think what makes this story stand out from everything is the voice in which it is told. There is a third person narrator and it’s like this person is speaking straight to the reader, there are explanations for words and even points where the narrator addresses the reader directly. I think it works brilliantly and I would have loved for this book to have been out when I was a kid of ten or eleven, but unfortunately it only came out when I was 13 and I didn’t come across it until the movie came out in 2004.
Unfortunately as with many books that have movies based on them I did keep seeing the movie character in my head.. It has been a while since I saw the movie but Sunny Baudelaire was definitely the child up on screen… The only one who wasn’t was Count Olaf, I saw him as the horrible man on the front cover.
Count Olaf was a character in the same league as Trunchball from Matilda and Professor Umbridge from Harry Potter. He was horrible and slimy and made the reasoning behind his actions abundantly clear to the children, because he knew they could do nothing about it. Some parts of the story shocked me and I would have probably been terrified at this story when I was a kid, thinking someone could just take me away from my parents and treat me that way… The other characters were brilliant and I loved that the adult character did the whole thing that many adults do of just ignoring the kids when they tried to tell them something serious! The Kids were awesome and I loved how much their personality came through, there was however only one real side to their personality and it wasn’t hugely developed but I hope it will become more so as the series continues.
As I said the story was brilliant and I can’t wait to carry on into the series just to see if the Baudelaire kids do ever get a happy ending. I believe there are 13 books in the series so it is a long series but they are all around 200 pages and really don’t take much reading. I think this series would make a great series for a young reader to read along with their parents and I’ll definitely be keeping my copy of the series for when I have children of my own!
The Bad Beginning is the first book in “A Series of Unfortunate events” by Lemony Snicket, it was published in 2001. My copy was purchased from a charity shop. 

One Comment

  • Vicki Dickinson

    I love awesome charity shop finds! i know what you mean about wishing it had been around when you were younger…I feel the same about harry Potter. It sounds like one to go on the list to share with Lu in a couple of years though. Great review!

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