Wednesday, 4 September 2013

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

In this first book, readers are introduced to the unfortunate Baudelaire children -- 14-year-old Violet, 12-year-old Klaus, and their infant sister, Sunny -- when they learn they've just been orphaned by a terrible house fire.

The executor of the Baudelaire estate -- a phlegm-plagued banker named Mr. Poe - sends the children to live with a distant relative: a conniving and dastardly villain named Count Olaf, who has designs on the Baudelaire fortune. Count Olaf uses the children as slave labor, provides horrid accommodations for them, and makes them cook huge meals for him and his acting troupe, a bunch of odd-looking, renegade good-for-nothings. When the children are commandeered to appear in Count Olaf's new play, they grow suspicious and soon learn that the play is not the innocent performance it seems but rather a scheme cooked up by Olaf to help him gain control of the children's millions. 

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Eeeeeeaaaa…yeah. I really don’t know where to go with this one. I was giving it a try to see if A Series of Unfortunate Events could take the place of The How to Train Your Dragons books once my self-control snaps and I read the last available book.

Yip. That won’t be happening.

Thumbs Up!
There was only one thing that I really liked about this book and it was the bond between the Baudelaire siblings. These were children who would do anything for each other.

Thumbs Down!
It was the adults in this book that irritated me beyond belief and seriously got up my nose. Mr Poe – the banker who was a FRIEND of the children’s parents and the executor of their will – failed epically at protecting the children and then when they did go to him with their problems he does one of the ‘How to Be a Stupid Adult 101’ things and goes and tells the baddie that they had talked to him. IDIOT man.

And then there is the judge who lives next door to Count Olaf. Let’s just say that she could be WAY more perceptive.

Oh, and one more strike against Mr Poe. Dude, Count Olaf is so unsubtle about wanting the Baudelaire fortune and he makes one ‘Violet can’t access it until she comes of age’ comment and then just lets it go over his head…Yip…

All in All!
Not my cup of tea at all – although I do have a friend who read all of them and loved them. I slogged through it but I think I will be finding another series to replace How to Train Your Dragon. I can see how children would enjoy this series and it is brilliant for introducing the meaning of new words but it just didn't click with me.

Any suggestions for another series would be greatly appreciated. I am thinking of giving The Spiderwick Chronicles a try. 

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  1. I made it through all thirteen books in the series (and learned LOTS of new words along the way) and it won't replace How To Train Your Dragon. It just gets more and more random as it goes along and there are too many loose ends left in the last book. But it's been literal years since I read The Bad Beginning, so I don't remember that much about it...probably one of the first books to deal with that kind of material that I read (outside of Harry Potter). The adults are pretty clueless all in all, but the Baudelaires are awesome. :)

    1. I honestly don't think I can slog through all 13 of these books. My head hurts just thinking about it. The Baudelaires were definitely the best part of the book :)

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