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The Bad Beginning (1999)

by Lemony Snicket

Other authors: Brett Helquist (Illustrator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
18,956466203 (3.7)255
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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(see all 27 recommendations)

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» See also 255 mentions

English (444)  French (3)  Spanish (3)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  Aragonese Spanish (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (454)
Showing 1-5 of 444 (next | show all)
"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 the middle ... i'm sorry to tell you this, but that is how the story goes."

i read most of these books as they were coming out, but i was unable to finish the series at that time. so, now that i've been reunited with my copies, i figured i would start from the beginning again, because they're great, and because they take, like, a minute to read.

these are the darkly-funny gothic "tragedies" i would have loved to have had when i was a kid, and there is enough adult-ish humor to keep so-called grown-ups entertained. not only that, but lemony snicket loves words, and wants you to love words, too. one complaint that i remember, though, is that as the series goes on, some of the repetition of circumstance gets a little ... repetitive. we'll see if that still seems the case. ( )
  J.Flux | Aug 13, 2022 |
I kept reading, waiting for this to be interesting. This wasn't the book for me. ( )
  iszevthere | Jul 26, 2022 |
I remember reading this book in fifth grade and not being able to put it down. That was saying a lot for a fifth grader. This story features the three siblings: Violet, Klaus, and Sunny. Their parents meet an unfortunate demise and they are quickly sent away to an uncle who turns out to be the biggest creep. He is eccentric, kooky, and planning a plan to gain the Baudelaire family fortune. It is a fun, wild rollercoaster that only gets more crazy as the stories go on. ( )
  sarahlynnb | Jul 23, 2022 |
I kinda just ate this one up. It's a very likeable book and I dig the gothic, "creepy" vibe very much. That definitely appeals to me. ( )
  mandarella | Jul 11, 2022 |
★★★½☆

This book didn't get me completely. It's such a shame, I really wanted to like it!! But I think I'll try to read the rest of this series, too :) ( )
  XSassyPants | Jun 11, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 444 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Snicket, LemonyAuthorprimary 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.
A good, long session of weeping can often make you feel better, even if your circumstances have not changed one bit.
If you have ever lost someone very important to you, then you already know how it feels, and if you haven't, you cannot possibly imagine it.
I don't know if you've ever noticed this, but first impressions are often entirely wrong. You can look at a painting for the first time, for example, and not like it at all, but after looking at it a little longer you may find it very pleasing. The first time you try Gorgonzola cheese you may find it too strong, but when you are older you may want to eat nothing but Gorgonzola cheese. Klaus, when Sunny was born, did not like her at all, but by the time she was six weeks old the two of them were thick as thieves. Your initial opinion on just about anything may change over time.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

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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Book description
When the three Baudelaire children find out about their parent's death they are forced to live with a distant relative, Count Olaf. The witty and intelligent children live miserably with Olaf but have a few tricks up their sleeves. Growing up, I absolutely loved this series. My love began once my elementary teacher started to read it during class time. It's a tradition that I might want to keep up when I'm in my own classroom.
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Average: (3.7)
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