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A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad…

A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning: A Series of… (original 1999; edition 2009)

by Lemony Snicket, Brett Helquist (Illustrator), Michael Kupperman (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
11,299298247 (3.67)185
Title:A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning: A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 1
Authors:Lemony Snicket
Other authors:Brett Helquist (Illustrator), Michael Kupperman (Illustrator)
Info:HarperCollins (2009), Kindle Edition, 176 pages
Collections:Read in 2013 (inactive), Your library
Tags:Kindle, 2013

Work details

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket (1999)

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» See also 185 mentions

English (287)  French (3)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  Finnish (1)  Aragonese Spanish (1)  German (1)  All languages (295)
Showing 1-5 of 287 (next | show all)
  mshampson | Oct 15, 2014 |
Great novel! about three orphans who have to live with an evil caretaker. The caretaker tries to marry the youngest child in order to inherit the family fortune. The children figure out his plan and tell the others that he is evil. When he is supposed to be arrested, the evil Count Olaf escapes. ( )
  Nicole129672 | Sep 21, 2014 |
SUMMARY: When their parents suddenly die, the Baudelaire siblings must find a way to keep their new guardian from stealing their family fortune.

REVIEW: This is an amazing book for older readers. Although it is portrayed as an extremely negative series, as the title "Unfortunate" would suggest, the books are actually humorous. Lemony Snicket does a wonderful job of using wordplay and descriptive language to turn what could potentially be a terribly depressing series into a series that one never wants to put down. Even from the back cover, a reader can see that the author takes great care in making even the darkest situations not sound so bad: "In this short book alone, [the siblings] encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their inheritance, and cold porridge for breakfast." Throughout this first book in the series, readers will enjoy learning about the Baudelaire siblings from the perspective of a darkly-humored narrator. Even though the content of the novel is dark, the message at the end is that true family love can conquer any obstacle. ( )
  amay3 | Sep 16, 2014 |
Relatively interesting and really fast paced. It's about three children who lost their parents in a fire and although they inherited an enormous amount of money, they were not allowed to use it until a certain age. To make things even worse, they need to live with a relative that seems to be VERY interested in their inheritance and that will try any sort of stratagems to obtain it.

What I lied in the book: even though it has been written to the younger readers, it isn't a silly or tedious book. The Baudelaire children are extremely intelligent, polite and pleasant. Yes, sometimes they are a bit whiny, but what child wouldn't be so if they had just lost their parents and were put in a situation to which they weren't used to? No matter how bad the situation was, they always found strenght to keep on trying to get rid of their bad situation.

What I thought it was slightly frustrating in this book is that absolutely NOTHING of what they planned worked out. I even got unhappy because their plans were failing. Although they had excellent moments of brilliant insight, their enemies always seemed to be one step ahead.

I recommend this book to those who want a light reading or for people who are starting to read English books, since the language is really easy to understand and the author does a lot of therms explanations. ( )
  aryadeschain | Aug 26, 2014 |
This is a great book. I picked this book up at my local Goodwill and I would like to continue the rest of the series to keep in my book collection. I really love Lemony Snickett's writing style. His books are completely cynical but so humorous. This book would be a great way to introduce children to chapter books. The story line is great and makes you want to continue reading. This was a quick, but enjoyable read for me.

For a complete review: please visit my blog at the link below on or after March 18, 2014

( )
  blog_gal | Jul 26, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 287 (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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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.
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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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