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The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate…
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The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 1) (original 1999; edition 1999)

by Lemony Snicket, Brett Helquist (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
11,713318225 (3.67)192
Member:girlunderglass
Title:The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 1)
Authors:Lemony Snicket
Other authors:Brett Helquist (Illustrator)
Info:HarperCollins (1999), Hardcover, 162 pages
Collections:Your library, Children's lit
Rating:***
Tags:1990s, children's lit, American lit, whizkids

Work details

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket (1999)

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» See also 192 mentions

English (310)  French (3)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  Finnish (1)  Aragonese Spanish (1)  German (1)  All languages (318)
Showing 1-5 of 310 (next | show all)
A Series of Unfortunate Events is a series I’ve wanted to read for a long time. I always thought it looked so good and I really have a thing for great middle grade novels. I’d always see copies of the books in the bookstore where I volunteer – and would buy them from time to time. It wasn’t until I bought a like-new hardcover of the first volume, The Bad Beginning, that I finally got a chance to sit down and start this series I’ve been so curious about.

It’s definitely a unique middle grade book in that it’s not altogether very cheerful (as the name definitely states). The three Baudelaire children are orphaned early on in the novel and thus begins the series of unfortunate events. Violet (the oldest), Klaus, and Sunny (the baby who bites!) are all very smart for children and they each have a distinct personality.

It’s a really short and quick, fun read. I recommend it if you like middle grade books, are a fan of gothic lit/[a:Gaiman, Neil|7706066|Gaiman, Neil|https://www.goodreads.com/assets/nophoto/user/u_50x66-d9f6a4a5badfda0f69e70cc94d962125.png]. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series of unfortunate events.
( )
  Diamond.Dee. | Jul 3, 2015 |
Definitely a fun but sad tale. Darkly humorous in some ways but still a great read for children. Also the amount of wit used in the language was very enjoyable. A story of a horrible event ensuing in three children's lives followed by one atrocity after the next. These clever children learn to survive though and must constantly be on the look out of their evil uncle count Olaf who is after their fortune. A gripping tale for all children and classic at that. ( )
  alejandro.santana | Jul 2, 2015 |
For some reason I never got the chance to read the A Series of Unfortunate Events collection as a kid, but I recently bought the entire series. Better late than never.
Just from reading the first book I feel like I would’ve LOVED this series as a kid. Even as an adult I enjoyed the quick read and look forward to reading the rest of the books. I did find it slightly annoying how the author would deviate from the story to stop and explain words, but I get how that’d be helpful for younger readers so I tried not to let it bother me too much ( )
  Serenity_Tigerlily | May 20, 2015 |
I liked reading this series when I was younger and still enjoy reading the books now. The series focuses on three young children who lose their parents and are whisked away to different guardians where unfortunate things happen to them. The author takes the reader to another world with extravagant actions and events. One of my favorite qualities of Snicket's is his descriptive language and how he incorporates vocabulary into his text.
  mtrail3 | Apr 25, 2015 |
This is a realistic fiction and fantasy book tells the story of 3 siblings who lose their parents in a fire. They are then sent to their live with their distant relative Count Olaf, who lives in a scary mansion and only wants their parents money. He cannot access their money though, because it is only available to the kids once they become of age. He is evil and makes the children do chores and even hits them. Olaf creates a plan to have a play in his backyard and force the eldest Bouldelaire girl to marry him. The children do not figure this out till the day of the play, and nobody else believes them. Olaf traps their baby sister in a crate hanging from his tower, and threatens them saying that she will die if the eldest girl does not marry him. So they go through the play, and he reveals that he is now really married to her, and everyone who is watching the play is horrified. But she then says that she wrote her signature on the marriage papers with her left hand, which is not her dominant hand. So it was not legal. Olaf and his friends then disappear when the lights are mysteriously turned off.
  jresner | Apr 21, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Snicket, Lemonyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Helquist, BrettIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Curry, TimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
To Beatrice—darling, dearest, dead.
First words
If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book.
Quotations
The children looked from the well-scrubbed house of Justice Strauss to the dilapidated one next door. The bricks were stained with soot and grime. There were only two small windows, which were closed with the shades drawn even though it was a nice day. Rising about the windows was a tall and dirty tower that tilted slightly to the left. The front door needed to be repainted, and carved in the middle of it was an image of an eye. The entire building sagged to the side, like a crooked tooth.
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Book description
After the sudden death of their parents, the three Baudelaire children must depend on each other and their wits when it turns out that the distant relative who is appointed their guardian is determined to use any means necessary to get their fortune.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0064407667, Hardcover)

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 in 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, these delightful, funny, linguistically playful books are reminiscent of Roald Dahl (remember James and the Giant Peach and his horrid spinster aunts), Charles Dickens (the orphaned Pip in Great Expectations without the mysterious benefactor), and Edward Gorey (The Gashlycrumb Tinies). There is no question that young readers will want to read the continuing unlucky adventures of the Baudelaire children in The Reptile Room and The Wide Window. (Ages 9 and older) --Karin Snelson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:44 -0400)

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