The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1)

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The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1)
Age Range
10+
Release Date
September 30, 1999
ISBN
0064407667
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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

Editor reviews

1 reviews

So begins the tale of 3 orphans...
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
0.0
Yes, yes, I know. You've already discovered the Lemony Snicket series "A Series of Unfortunate Events."

Oh, I see. Some of you haven't yet. Well, then, let's rectify, which here means fix or correct, the situation.

The melodramatic saga of the Baudelaire orphans begins in this book. They aren't actually orphans to begin with. That's the first bad thing that happens to them. The next is a direct result of the untimely death of their parents: they are sent to live with Count Olaf, a distant relative.

The Count does not, to say the very least, have their best interests at heart. In fact, he has quite a dastardly plan in store.

The children are saved -- barely -- through their own inventiveness and intelligence. Violet is a resourceful inventor, while Klaus is an intelligent and precocious child. The youngest, Sunny, likes to bite.

All the books in the series continue in this same vein -- bad things happen to the 3 orphans and they barely manage to save themselves.

That's one of the reasons so many kids say they like these books. They aren't full of magical solutions or happy-go-lucky stories. Instead, they are dark and kind of dreadful, but have 3 resourceful and brave characters at their heart.

Long live Lemony Snicket!
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74 reviews

 
(32)
 
(19)
 
(13)
 
(1)
 
(9)
Overall rating 
 
4.1
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.9  (74)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.3  (3)
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The Bad Beginning
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
3.0
After a long day I wanted to read but I wanted something light, and entertaining. I opted for a kid’s book, The Bad Beginning, thinking that if I enjoyed it I would have several more books in this series to read after days like today. I don’t know how I felt about the book. I didn’t hate it. I didn’t like it.

I didn’t have a difficult time with it because of the awful events happening to children or because Count Olaf was a horrid man. I think it was mostly because I knew that even as a child I would have been insulted by the defining every “difficult” word. I mean I was reading books like The Giver and Princess Diaries as a kindergartener because I found reading fun. I can see the appeal for certain types of kids but as a kid I wouldn’t have liked it. The story behind that is one that I think could have been great but was effectively ruined by the annoying and constant definitions.

And yet, despite giving such a low rating and finding the style of writing quite irritating, I still do want to read the second book in the series. I guess that speaks on how much I could have loved the story without its glaring flaw.
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The Bad Beginning audiobook review
This is pretty much the best audiobook ever. Granted, I haven't listened to a lot of audiobooks, but this one has Tim Curry, multiple voices, and even sound effects. Only the first one is like this, but it doesn't much matter because they're wonderful anyway.
I read this series ages ago and am glad to know I can still enjoy them now when I'm older. Granted, this wasn't the masterpiece I thought it was when I was younger, but it's still a good story.
If, by some crazy work of chance, you've never given these books a go, then you certainly should. The first one isn't the best, but the series does get better as it goes on.
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Great Book!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
I love this series and I will never be to old for it!
Good Points
This series is amazing! I love everything about it and anybody who loves books really should get there hands of this series! My ultimate favorite book in the series would have to be The Austere Academy , This is a must read book!
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Great adventure!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
I remember reading this for book points in middle school. I had never read anything like it before, and it is kind of dark for such a young person to read. But, I liked it nonetheless. Little Sunny is my favorite, and I feel sorry for these kids. They go through some crazy things in this book, and that's what keeps me turning pages.
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Creepy Cool
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
This is a creepy, atmospheric tale with a delightfully unusual narrative style. So unusual and compelling. It's definitely a dark book from start to finish, so younger readers or those easily influenced by darker themes might be a bit uncomfortable. The characters are vividly portrayed (and so different from the characters one usually sees), and this is just the beginning of a wild, strange adventure for the three orphans and their reluctant narrator.
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A very good book
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by ninja penguin

Three kids,Violet, Klaus ,and Sunny, find out that they're parents died in a fire.They are now taken to Count Olaf,who makes them cook,do chores,and is evil.

This was a very good book and the charicters are really good and is an excellent start to the series.

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The tragic lost
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Jamie

This  is about three kids who has lost their parents in a terrible fire. It was a tragedy but this book is suspenceful . Violet (eldest  child),klaus and sunny lost their parents and had to live with a foster parent who isn't like any other foster parent  who named Count Olaf has a tattoo of an eye on his ankle . Their foster parent is an actor with suspicious associates who treats them badly , maybe Olaf wanted someting from them. Overall this was a great mystery novel!

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Intrusive Author
Overall rating 
 
1.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
1.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by Joyce

Although the first book in the "Series of Unfortunate Events" was interesting and held my interest throughout, I found the narrator to be highly annoying with his constant interrupting of the story to define words or tell what he would do. I like the narrator of the story to be invisible.

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A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Sage

The Bad Beginning is the first of thirteen books in the Series of Unfortunate Events. The story is about three children Violet, Sunny, and Clause, who are recentally orphaned and forced to live with their distant uncle Count Olaf. Count Olaf is a leader of an acting troupe who is contsantally trying to steal the three children's fortune. This book is how the children outwit Olaf and stay close together as a family.

I loved this book and to this day it is one of my favorites. It has cool inventions and interesting words and facts. Overall it was a very enjoyable book.
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An Okay Begining
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Kaylee

I only really liked this book because it was the first in the series. I tried to read the whole series after but sadly, I couldnt finish it because it was all way to alike. Its like Lemony Snickett couldn't think of anymore ideas, so all the books sound like one another. The first book was the only book that I found interesting, and yet it was only 3 star worthy.  An interesting idea for a book, yes, but each story would be better if it had a different plot then the last.

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