A Series of Unfortunate Events (Book 1) – The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

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“…you know that a good, long session of weeping can often make you feel better, even if your circumstances have not changed one bit.”

— Lemony Snicket, The Bad Beginning (Book 1)

    Remember that series you used to read as a kid and just couldn’t let go of? Well the story of the Baudelaire’s was one of them. This series came knocking at my door in the form of a dark and suffocating gust of disaster. It contained sinister events and desperate characters. It built a unique and gloomy atmosphere that can only bring tears to an optimistic and joyful child. A Series of Unfortunate Events arrived onto my elementary school shelves like an unwanted transfer student. One that smelled of evil and looked like the devil himself. But something about it made everyone want to know the story, even if Lemony Snicket emphasizes that readers should drop this book down if they’re looking for a happy ending. Boy, was he right to give out that warning cause the Baudelaire have nothing to smile about in this series.

     The Bad Beginning invites readers to acquaint themselves with three young children; Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire. As the books opens up with them at the beach and the arrival of terrible news, the Beaudelaires are soon to encounter more disastrous news as they meet up with a never-heard-of relative, Count Olaf. If thing’s weren’t already bad enough, Count Olaf isn’t one to make things any brighter as his greed and villainy steals the show and gives the Beaudelaires the worse possible life a kid would dream of. The Bad Beginning, the first book in a series of 13, is only the starting point to a series of unfortunate events.

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“I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed this, but first impressions are often entirely wrong.”

— Lemony Snicket, The Bad Beginning (Book 1)

     You might be wondering what makes this series such a classic among middle-grade children. The experience talks for itself. The story is filled with misery and woe, and if you’re looking for a happy ending, Lemony Snicket makes sure to let you know that you won’t find it in the lives of the Baudelaires. In even the saddest and darkest moments of this book, every ray of light that shows up ends up being darkness in disguise. Reading this book ends up being an empathy-building exercise and the only way to enjoy this is to have hope. The world in which Violet, Klaus and Sunny live in is thick, depressing and grim. It’s as if any sign of goodness would inevitably come with the same—and sometimes larger—dose of evil. But the greatness of this book lies in the various lessons that the author inserts as the story unfolds. It’s actually the lessons your learn through the dark times of the Baudelaires that make this series a must for readers. There’s nothing short of the truth in the words spoken by the wisdom-filled narrator that holds the readers hand as he unveils the unfortunate events.

     The characters are unique and always entertaining. We can’t forget that we’re dealing with three youngsters that are trying hard to let the world know that their under horrible hands. Lemony Snicket makes sure to let us know of the difficulties of these children in having a voice of an adult in order to win their fight against evil. Every character also has a unique personality—nothing too complex for a middle-grade children to get lost in—and bring out a typical persona of modern society. From the successful woman with a childhood dream that they never had the chance to do to a busy business man who doesn’t have time for anything. The Bad Beginning introduces us to a bunch of fascinating characters, while keeping the villain, Count Olaf, the most mysterious and intriguing of them all. Our three protagonists also have unique traits and adds to a compelling and creative storyline. What I also adored is the foreshadowing done right from the beginning, giving readers hints to the answers that could help the Baudelaires later on.

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“Sometimes, just saying that you hate something, and having someone agree with you, can make you feel better about a terrible situation.”

— Lemony Snicket, The Bad Beginning (Book 1)

    The Bad Beginning is a sad story, the kind that no one would want to go through. Although the kids are brilliant, their intelligence isn’t enough to overshadow the darkness that follows them. The book is also sprinkled with—a little too many—definitions of “complicated” words/expressions just to facilitate the reading experience and avoid interruptions. If you ask me, those moments could’ve been spared just to make this a more fluid storytelling. The plot twists in this first book are quite clever, if you remind yourself that it’s essentially a book for middle-grade children, and especially if you aren’t yet filled with a bunch of knowledge (like things related to the law). I’m definitely excited to pursue the rest of the series and see how much more unfortunate the Baudelaires are to be.

    If you haven’t heard already, A Series of Unfortunate Events is getting a TV show on Netflix, with Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf as the most interesting news! There was a FAN-MADE teaser trailer that came out a couple months ago and had a lot of people believing it was real. Here’s a look at it, just to show you guys how beautiful, and almost legit-looking, it is.

UPDATE 04/10/16: Netflix has released a teaser trailer for the upcoming adaptation of this series as a TV show! Check out the trailer now!! 😛

Did you read The Bad Beginning (Book 1) yet? What did you think about it?

You haven’t, you say?

How about you read this novel for yourself!

You can purchase a copy of the novel @Amazon / Indigo by clicking on these hyperlinks !

Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comment section below, as well as like and follow us so we can get you guys more reviews to enjoy!

MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★★☆/

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26 thoughts on “A Series of Unfortunate Events (Book 1) – The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

    • transhaan says:

      Thank you so much! I definitely hope to get through the series (I’m still missing a couple of books from the series, but I’m sure I’ll cross paths with them soon enough). 😀

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Fatima @ NoteablePad says:

    Wonderful review! This is one of my all time favourite books. I read it as a kid, so I don’t remember much, but I can recall a lot of what happens in their lives from the first book to the last.
    Count Olaf gave me nightmares haha. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      Thank you so much! I couldn’t recall much of the series, but the events in the 1st book slowly resurfaced from my memory as I finished it. I’m pretty sure the last books aren’t anywhere in my memory now though; can’t wait to finish up the series to find out what happens! 😛 However, Count Olaf will probably never be forgotten. His general looks, attitude and behavior is just purely evil and unforgettable! 😛

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      Wouu! 😀 This series definitely deserves to be known by everyone; which I believe is already the case. Absolutely worth anyone’s time and a great series for kids to learn a thing or two about life. 😛

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Emily | RoseRead says:

    I read books 1-4 (I think, it was a long time ago…) I would like to reread them and then continue the series because I loved the quirky writing style and jokes of Lemony Snicket. The reason I stopped reading them, though, is that they definitely get repetitive both in style and plot, so I think I just got tired of that. But I’m excited for the Netflix show because I looove NPH and I think he’s gonna be a great Count Olaf.

    Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      Ohhhw, the repetitive nature of the books is quite possible indeed. I never thought about it, but I can definitely see how that’s possible, especially if Lemony Snicket continues with unnecessary definition of words and warnings that the book doesn’t have a happy ending. Good thing I’ve forgotten a good chunk of the events. Now I’m just even more curious on the stories that are to come for Violet, Klaus and Sunny! 😀 Definitely pumped for the TV show too. Huge fan of NPH too, really good actor with great potential. I’m really eager to find out how he’s going to pull off a Count Olaf (a persona that he has yet to really embody).

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      Ohhww, if you ever get the chance to read it, you should try it (its fairly short and easily compels you to read through the book in one shot). It’s the dark nature of this series that has brought a lot of fame to it. After all, there’s not a lot of authors that dared create such a dark (in the inhumane way of things, not the horror type of thing) story! 😀

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  3. honya says:

    Ooh, I loved this series (still do). It’s hard to explain the appeal it has, and yet that appeal is undeniable. Um, I do have to confess, I actually enjoyed the definitions . . . not because I didn’t understand the words, but because of the attitude and atmosphere they add to the story. Kind of like the author’s side comments in The Princess Bride, you know?

    Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      Totally agree. I actually enjoyed the definitions at some junctures, but a lot of times I felt like it ruptured the rhythm unnecessarily. One thing’s for sure though, I love the narrator. I love how he shows up in the beginning of chapters and has this amazing Godlike voice. I’m actually curious if they’ll keep that narrator for the TV show! However, I’d like to agree for The Princess Bride, but i haven’t read that classic. 😀 😀 But having a sick author side commenting is pretty sweet, based on The Unfortunate Events.

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Anna @MyBookishDream says:

    I love this book and the whole series in general! 🙂 I haven’t read it as a child (as English wasn’t my primary language and there weren’t any translations to my language) but only recently and I still enjoyed it greatly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      Ohhhw that’s so cool though. So glad that you got to experience it, no matter what stage in life you’re at! 😛 I definitely plan on finishing the series and jump onto the fan bandwagon now. 😀

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      Ohhhhw yess! Totally forgot about the movie; the hype for the TV show made me erase the movie from my memory! :O Jim Carrey sure did an amazing job, not only in looks too. It’s the jump from Jim Carrey to Neil Patrick Harris that seems quite humongous, but I’m still quite intrigued about the outcome. Maybe the show will be the biggest thing in 2017! 😀

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

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