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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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13,134357171 (3.68)220
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)

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(see all 22 recommendations)


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» See also 220 mentions

English (349)  French (2)  Spanish (1)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  Aragonese Spanish (1)  German (1)  All (356)
Showing 1-5 of 349 (next | show all)
This first installment of A Series of Unfortunate Events follows the Baudelaire orphans through their series of unfortunate events. These three lovable but unusual children are unique and endearing characters that at the end of book one, even I want to adopt them to save them from anymore heartache. The interjections from the narrator can sometimes seem overdone but the endless definitions and helpful nudges are great for child readers. I would recommend this for any child (especially for the gifted or curious sort who will easily relate to these children!). ( )
  ilonon | Jan 30, 2017 |
This book follows orphans Klaus, Sunny, and Violet Baudelaire. After their parents, and all their possessions, burn in a mysterious fire that started in their mansion, the three have to live with a man named Count Olaf. Count Olaf, however, is not fit to be their guardian. He makes the children do a number of ghastly chores, and is always away from home, which is a pigsty. The book is centered around Count Olaf trying to get the enormous Baudelaire fortune. He concocts a scheme in which he marries Violet , who is only 14. This will give him assured access to the Baudelaire fortune. The marriage is disguised as a play, but a real Judge is playing the part of a judge. making the marriage legal. However, the marriage laws in the community state that the bride and groom must sign a document in their own hand. Violet, being right handed, signs with her left, so the marriage isn't legal. This happens, of course, after the Count reveals his entire scheme. The authorities arrive, but someone shuts off the lights, and Count Olaf escapes, to cause misery another day.

As usual, there were a few reasons i liked this book. The relative timelessness of the book is a unique factor, and a rather uncommon one.There is another thing about the book that I'm not sure if I liked or didn't. This was the complete ignorance and utter stupidity of some characters. They would not listen, no matter how much they were prompted, to the Baudelaire orphans predicament. It was very short too, but the next 12 books get longer every entry. I also very much enjoyed the interjections by the author, and the artwork. ( )
  KaiY.B1 | Jan 30, 2017 |
I don't understand why this series is so popular. It's child abuse written in a tongue-in-cheek style that is mildly entertaining when the vocabulary pedagogy isn't hitting the reader over the head. ( )
  Bodagirl | Jan 19, 2017 |
This book has a very dark humor to it and I liked it a lot. Its about three orphans who's parents die in a fire. The oldest sister is named Violet and she's an inventor. Klaus, the middle child likes to read, and Sonny the baby like to bite things. The orphans are sent to live with their wicked distant cousin Count Olaf who is cruel to the kids. He tries to force/trick Violet into marrying him so that he can have control over their fortune. The kids end up thwarting his plan and are sent to other relatives. This book has a really fun (slightly dark) humor that older kids would find funny. The plot is interesting and the characters are extremely smart and fun to read about when they are trying to think themselves out of impossible situations. This is also one of thirteen books so if a student is interested in the first it would encourage them to keep reading further.
  siobhan.mcsweeney | Jan 18, 2017 |
  kemilyh1988 | Jan 16, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 349 (next | show all)
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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.
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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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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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