Review: The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1) by Lemony Snicket

78411The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Publication Date: September 30th, 1999
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Siblings

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Dear Reader,

I’m sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page of this book when the children are at the beach and receive terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune.

In this short book alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, and cold porridge for breakfast.

It is my sad duty to write down these unpleasant tales, but there is nothing stopping you from putting this book down at once and reading something happy, if you prefer that sort of thing.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket


Poor Baudelaire siblings, life really hasn’t been easy on them these last few days. The misfortune that incessantly befell them was heartbreaking.

But the children are strong, so strong, and intelligent, and brave. They don’t have anyone else in the world but each other.

I fell for them as deeply as I fell for The Little Princess’ Sarah. How could we as readers not, after beholding such tragedy?

Because the orphans are so likeable, which led me to care for them and their future, I never wanted to stop reading. Being assured that Violet, Klaus and Sunny would find their happily ever after was my first preoccupation.

Many events conducted the lives of the Baudelaires and, although they were unmistakably unhappy and antagonistic ones, I found charming how much we learned about the characters from them.

However, the story and its protagonists are not the only elements that will enthral readers. I personally thought the writing style to be delightful… simple but elegant and effective. Without being overly descriptive, it produces vivid (grotesque) images in the reader’s mind.

While I understand why some disliked the liberty the author took in interrupting the flow of events for a second or two to swiftly provide a definition for certain words (or expressions) more literal, I was never bothered by that and in fact welcomed the process.

I couldn’t do anything else but read this in one sitting. They called to me, those dear Baudelaires.

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16 thoughts on “Review: The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1) by Lemony Snicket

  1. I started these years ago and never finished. Maybe I should check the entire shelf out of the library and go on a binge. I used to do that as a kid…blow through an entire series in a few days! Haven’t done it in forever though…stupid adulting necessities. Haha!


  2. I recently reread these books last year and fell in love with the Beaudelaires all over again! They are such a wonderful family! Have you heard about the Netflix series coming soon? I’m hoping it will be better than the movie 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. These books were like my entire childhood! The movie was terrible but that didnt change how amazing the series was!


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