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The Bad Beginning: Or, Orphans! (A Series of…

The Bad Beginning: Or, Orphans! (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 1) (original 1999; edition 2007)

by Lemony Snicket, Brett Helquist (Illustrator)

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10,945None256 (3.67)175
Title:The Bad Beginning: Or, Orphans! (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 1)
Authors:Lemony Snicket
Other authors:Brett Helquist (Illustrator)
Info:HarperCollins (2007), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 176 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned, Favorites
Tags:orphans, plays, children, evil, money, Olaf, Sunny, Klaus, Violet

Work details

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket (1999)

A Series of Unfortunate Events (371) adventure (184) chapter book (49) children (234) children's (475) children's books (48) children's fiction (137) children's literature (195) dark humor (63) family (65) fantasy (390) fiction (1,046) gothic (62) hardcover (65) humor (257) juvenile (104) juvenile fiction (69) kids (71) Lemony Snicket (224) movie (40) mystery (181) novel (95) orphans (279) own (64) read (204) series (367) siblings (82) to-read (66) YA (137) young adult (216)
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» See also 175 mentions

English (277)  French (2)  Spanish (1)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  Aragonese Spanish (1)  German (1)  All languages (284)
Showing 1-5 of 277 (next | show all)
Violet, Clause, and Sunny lose their parents and become orphans who are shipped off to be under the care of the horrible Count Olaf, and that's just the first day! The introductory book to this peculiar and wonderful series of unfortunate... well, you know.

I actually saw the movie before I read this book and I enjoyed it enough to dig deeper. The book is excellent and really paints a deeper picture than the movie can provide in such a short time. Written in shorter volumes that create a cereal story, these books are excellent to pick up and devour, one right after the other. Having children as the protagonists, especial exceeding talented and intelligent ones, makes for an excellent adventure that younger readers can dig into. ( )
  abrial2433 | Mar 17, 2014 |
First in a series of books for ages 10 and up. The Baudelaire children are orphaned when their parents' mansion burns down while they are down on the beach playing. Mr. Poe, the parents' lawyer and family friend, takes the children in for a short while until their nearest relative can be located. Things go from bad to worse when the children are placed with the bizarre and evil part time actor, Count Olaf. All three Baudelaire children are smart and resourceful, which is lucky, since all the well meaning adults in the story are totally clueless. The evil adults in the story are so unbelievable that most children won't be scared by them, and they will be buoyed by the clever children who can outsmart them. The book is well written, vocabulary is defined by the author in a way to explain to younger readers while entertaining the elders. ( )
  mnlohman | Feb 17, 2014 |
I much preferred Harry Potter. ( )
  thatotter | Feb 6, 2014 |
Brilliant! A quick and easy read perfectly targeted at junior readers, filled with wit, action, and genuine charm. ( )
  aiturnizzle | Feb 4, 2014 |
The Bad Beginning starts of the Series of Unfortunate Events. It is an interesting book because the characters and settings are very strange. The Baudelaire children are orphans who must live with their evil uncle, Count Olaf. All he wants is their fortune and he puts them through a lot of misery. He puts the baby in a birdcage and hangs her out a window. He plots to marry the oldest girl, Violet, and then kill her. The writer often stops to explain the meaning of words. I need to learn more vocabulary, but I found this annoying. Also, the writing seemed more like a formula than a story the author really wanted to tell. ( )
  aleader | Feb 2, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 277 (next | show all)
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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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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.
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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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:18:59 -0400)

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10 yrs+

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