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The Bad Beginning PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: The Bad Beginning
Author: Lemony Snicket
Publisher: Published September 30th 1999 by Scholastic, Inc.
ISBN: 9780439206471
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

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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 o 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

30 review for The Bad Beginning

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    I am not a violent man. In my lifetime, I have never been in a fight. I've never seriously threatened anyone with violence, never made anyone feel afraid by my physical presence, never even really seriously considered doing violence to another person. Having said that, the feelings this book evoked in me were... violent. Not because Lemony Snicket has written a book where terribly unfortunate things happen to small children - I have no problems with that and in fact encourage it; it builds charact I am not a violent man. In my lifetime, I have never been in a fight. I've never seriously threatened anyone with violence, never made anyone feel afraid by my physical presence, never even really seriously considered doing violence to another person. Having said that, the feelings this book evoked in me were... violent. Not because Lemony Snicket has written a book where terribly unfortunate things happen to small children - I have no problems with that and in fact encourage it; it builds character. I want to do violence towards Lemony Snicket because he's a terrible writer who should never have been allowed to have his words put to paper. His pens should be broken, his notes burned, his hard drive wiped and, if possible, his writings should banned by an Act of Congress. The First Amendment can only go so far. You may be wondering what has roused this level of bibliorage in me. By all accounts, this series is extremely popular, loved by many. On various book review websites, this book routinely gets at least four stars and high praise. It was even made into a movie starring Jim Carry, and if that's not the Seal of Public Approval then I don't know what is. It would seem that one of two things is true: Either I'm seriously overreacting to a tiny aspect of Snicket's (AKA Daniel Handler's) writing style or the rest of the world is full of blind ignoramuses who wouldn't know decent writing if they woke up in bed with it after a bender in Vegas. As a reviewer, I, of course, choose to believe the latter. Snicket has taken what should be an entertaining story, filled with untimely death, physical violence, extortion, deception, and pedophilic overtones, and corrupted it by treating its audience like a bunch of drooling idiots. I am, of course, referring to his habit of defining "difficult" words within the text, with no regard for the flow of the story or the necessity of the definition. For example: Page 2: "...occasionally their parents gave them permission to take a rickety trolley - the word 'rickety,' you probably know, here means 'unsteady' or 'likely to collapse' - alone to the seashore...." Page 13: "...over a dull dinner of boiled chicken, boiled potatoes and blanched - the word 'blanched' here means 'boiled' - string beans." Page 18: "'Please get out of bed and get dressed,' he said briskly. The word 'briskly' here means 'quickly, so as to get the Baudelaire children to leave the house.'" Page 44: "...the kitchen grew cozy as the sauce simmered, a culinary term which means 'cooked over a low heat.'" And so on. There are a few occasions where a word is defined well, in context and occasionally in character, and I don't mind those. But the constant shoehorning in of definitions made me want to take a sharpened number two pencil and work it under Mr. Snicket's fingernails until he apologized sufficiently for being a hack. I've gotten feedback from people who like this style, especially parents, who say that it saves them from having to put down the book and explain to the child what "blanched" means. Full disclosure: I am not a parent, nor am I likely to ever be one, but I think that teaching a child to figure things out for him or herself - or, god forbid, learn to use a dictionary - is part of what will make her or him grow up to be an inquisitive, intelligent adult. In my real job, teaching English as a foreign language, I find that my students are more likely to remember a word if I make them work for it, rather than if I just tell them what it means. Let's face it - if this book is written for adults, then the author should treat his readers like adults. If the book is written for children, which this ostensibly is, then the author has to choose whether to talk up or down to them. In a book where the main characters' parents die before the first page and where the eldest daughter nearly becomes a child bride to her blood uncle, one would think the author has judged his audience mature enough to deal with these themes. If that's so, then overtly defining "difficult" words is an insult to his readers, and that is unacceptable to me. I am reminded of a passage in Terry Pratchett's book, Wee Free Men, where the main character, a nine year old girl named Tiffany, asks an itinerant teacher about zoology: "Zoology, eh? That's a big word, isn't it." "No, actually it isn't," said Tiffany. "Patronizing is a big word. Zoology is really quite short." I think Mr. Pratchett may have read Mr. Snicket's book as well.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jesse (JesseTheReader)

    *I'm not going to rate this, because I've already read this book & stand by my first rating of it. I adore this story so much & I'm so happy that I took the time to re-read it. It made me feel SO nostalgic reading it. I can't wait for the netflix series!!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Catriona (LittleBookOwl)

    For some reason I had the sudden urge to re-read these books... so I decided to start listening to them on audiobook! I have the 11th book in a physical copy, but I will eventually be picking the rest of them up as well.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lola

    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 A 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 st 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 A 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. Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’

  5. 5 out of 5

    emma

    YES!!! The least fascinatingly detailed book in my favorite series! It just keeps getting better and better, folks. So, for the three misguided people who haven’t read this series - first off, get ON THAT. What are you doing? There is nothing so important in your life that you can’t put it off in order to read this series. https://emmareadstoomuch.wordpress.co... Second, we follow the Baudelaires - Violet, Klaus, and Sunny - through what can only be Very Foreseeably Described as a series of unfortu YES!!! The least fascinatingly detailed book in my favorite series! It just keeps getting better and better, folks. So, for the three misguided people who haven’t read this series - first off, get ON THAT. What are you doing? There is nothing so important in your life that you can’t put it off in order to read this series. https://emmareadstoomuch.wordpress.co... Second, we follow the Baudelaires - Violet, Klaus, and Sunny - through what can only be Very Foreseeably Described as a series of unfortunate events. I can’t put it better than Lemony Snicket himself, so I’ll just shoehorn in his words: Within these pages, “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.” So the things about these books...the setting is amazing. Lemony Snicket creates this almost-reality wherein even the smallest, most mundane occurrence is Veritably Fixed & Deliberate. This phenomenon becomes more and more clear as the series progresses, which is why the first book is the worst one. (Or maybe the last one is, depending on how many questions it answers.) None of these sneaky, behind the scenes things are a Visibly Forceful Development in the first book, so it’s not as fun. But I loved this series so much in my childhood. Lemony Snicket taught me the power of books, and of words. Most stuff, when you’re a kid, makes you feel like anything you could do would be nothing more than a Viciously Futile Diversion. But I have vivid memories of being a fairly small child and intensely poring over the pages of these books, looking for clues and ways to help the Baudelaires and, as this book says, “the people who liked them.” And I felt like I was doing something, even if it was fictional. I have Lemony Snicket to thank for a lot of things. Anyway. I’m getting almost...dare I say…emotional, so I’m going to wrap this up. These books are funny, exciting, dark, and teeming with clues and Easter eggs for those who care to look. On top of it all, the TV series is a pitch-perfect adaptation, and if you ask me about the movie I’ll look you right in the eye (but not actually) and ask what movie you’re talking about. Man, I love these books. I could reread them every year and never get bored. (I know this because of a very scientific process wherein I reread them pretty much every year.) Bottom line: READ IT READ IT READ IT READ IT READ IT READ IT READ IT READ IT READ IT!!!! The world is quiet here.

  6. 5 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    This series was my ENTIRE LIFE when I was a small human child. I saved any and all money I received to buy the books (my first collection of matching hardcovers) and listened to them on cassette tape (OKAY GUESS WHO JUST SOUNDS OLD RIGHT NOW) when I wasn't re-reading the physical copies. Hello I even intended to become a famous author myself and write under the pseudonym "Orange Peel" because obviously. So yes. I am a mild fan right here. And I decided I had to reread before the Netflix series c This series was my ENTIRE LIFE when I was a small human child. I saved any and all money I received to buy the books (my first collection of matching hardcovers) and listened to them on cassette tape (OKAY GUESS WHO JUST SOUNDS OLD RIGHT NOW) when I wasn't re-reading the physical copies. Hello I even intended to become a famous author myself and write under the pseudonym "Orange Peel" because obviously. So yes. I am a mild fan right here. And I decided I had to reread before the Netflix series comes out! Of which I will be watching. And hopefully flailing ecstatically -- which is a big big word here which means "FREAKING OUT BECAUSE LEMONY SNICKET IS THE BEST THING OF LIFE". Ahem. (I also loved the movie, just so you know. SODA. SODA. BANANA. #IUnderstoodThatReference) Obviously the series is timeless. I completely adored it even though I'm 23 and not, erm, 10. But whatever. The true sign of a good book is that any age can adore it. Although I found the story 1000% more creepy than I did as a kid....because Olaf's ploy to marry Violet because just that bit more creepy when you think about it. And of course it made my little soul totally muchly pained to see the torment the Baudelaire's go through. But I love the clever quips and the witty jokes and I adore how it doesn't dumb down the children. Any time a character tries to dumb down a character, the Baudelaire's glare and fight back. GO SMART CHILDREN WHO DESERVE TO BE TREATED AS HUMANS AND NOT OBJECTS. I love this series omg. Wait while I frolic down memory lane. THIS IS AN UNFORTUNATE SERIES AND I LOVE IT.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mark Lawrence

    I'm reading through this series with my daughter Celyn (10 years old, very disabled, hence Dad does the reading). Edit: Finished & reviewed all 13! So, this is a clever, entertaining book set in a world like ours but populated with bizarre characters and with distinctly dark undercurrents. Recurring themes throughout the series are: i) Adults are mindbogglingly stupid. ii) The narrator, Lemony Snicket, is a character we glimpse in tantalising snatches. iii) Words that stretch a child's vocabulary I'm reading through this series with my daughter Celyn (10 years old, very disabled, hence Dad does the reading). Edit: Finished & reviewed all 13! So, this is a clever, entertaining book set in a world like ours but populated with bizarre characters and with distinctly dark undercurrents. Recurring themes throughout the series are: i) Adults are mindbogglingly stupid. ii) The narrator, Lemony Snicket, is a character we glimpse in tantalising snatches. iii) Words that stretch a child's vocabulary are used regularly but defined in context (by the narrator) in an amusing way. iv) The three siblings, Violet (14), Klaus (12), and Sunny (1) will use their singular talents (respectively inventor/bookworm/biter) to solve the problem. v) That problem will be Count Olaaf The book (like Roald Dahl's work) succeeds with a combination of wit, slapstick, and malice. Short, very readable, will leave you wanting the next. This one sets the scene, rapidly orphaning the children, establishing the goal (to survive long enough to take control of their huge inheritance), and their adversary (Count Olaaf and his theatre troop of sinister villains). We have ten of the books because my elder children loved them when they were young. On book 5 I'm thinking we'll probably read them all. EDIT: I have now posted reviews of all 13 books in the series - check them out! You should join my 3-emails-a-year mailing list for updates about my books. #prizes http://eepurl.com/cimnK1 ..

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mohammed Arabey

    We have in Egypt this saying; "Who sees the Unfortunate Events of others feel solace about his own Unfortunates" "اللي يشوف ميسفورشنت ايفينتس الناس تهون عليه ميسفورشنته" So, 2016 wasn't my year -EST, 2011- and now I'm hitting "rock bottom",having "A Series of Unfortunate Events" So I said, why not give this title a try "accompanied by this mysterious black cat that sat with me the whole 2 hours read" It's really dark-fun Misfortune kids Orphans' story.. And a Gothic villain. And the author himself, Mr We have in Egypt this saying; "Who sees the Unfortunate Events of others feel solace about his own Unfortunates" "اللي يشوف ميسفورشنت ايفينتس الناس تهون عليه ميسفورشنته" So, 2016 wasn't my year -EST, 2011- and now I'm hitting "rock bottom",having "A Series of Unfortunate Events" So I said, why not give this title a try "accompanied by this mysterious black cat that sat with me the whole 2 hours read" It's really dark-fun Misfortune kids Orphans' story.. And a Gothic villain. And the author himself, Mr. Lemony Snicket; who advises you repeatedly that this book is sad and misfortune and not with a happy endings..and please close it or return it if you can't handle all this misfortune.. Even the TV show latest adaptation tells u to just LOOK AWAY, well... that's true... you should stop reading this review now as well..look for something happier. BUT as our beloved mother Country saying...which I said earlier, I didn't Look Away. And that was.....sickly fun. The Story ------- The Baudelaire 3 children lost their parents, their huge house and everything they own in a fire... But not their huge bank account. Mr.Poe, the banker is the one responsible to see them to the 'proper' guardian. Proper here refer to something that never happened.. oh he delivered them to a guardian, but proper is not a suitable word to describe Count Olaf. Who's has nothing to do with them but plotting to get his hand of their fortune. Which they even can't get their hand on it till the eldest -Violet,14- come of age. To try to get their fortune. He puts them in a Series of Unfortunate Events. And by the second half of the Book One.. his first grand plan is to wed Violet by deceive .. How , how can they know the deceive, how can they escape his plan without endanger their lives??? that's the book one for you. Oh and no matter what do you think.. the author stick to his word. No Happy Endings here.. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Writing Style ------------- It's really like children book, the style, the easy sentences and even when the author use a big or fancy word he always give the meaning of it even if it's easy in a very funny way. Also he does that in expressions and literature techniques as well. It's sarcastic and if it's really a children's book..it's the Darkest one ever written. If you read of Mr. Lemony Snicket's real life you'll feel he's been 'forced' somehow to write a children books. It's 1999, the phenomenon of Harry Potter was on the catching fire stage.., that's why the result comes like it's a Satire of children books.. Satire here means a dark fun sarcastic imitation of normal life children books. The creating of the Lemony Snicket constant commentaries through the book as a detective who investigate the Baudelaire orphans' Series and tell this as a story for ether very young readers, or slow ones, that worked as a very funny 'comic relief' amidst all the Misfortune Unfortunate Events Series. 'Comic Relief' here means small funny moments that gets between more tensed or serious ones. Well.. That's it for a small book reviews. I over talked it I guess.. but I really loved this absurd dark fun of... Unfortunate Events. Mohammed Arabey 16 January 2017 To 17 January 2017

  9. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    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. This is because not very many happy things happened in the lives of the three Baudelaire youngsters. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire were intelligent children, and they were charming, and resourceful, and had pleasant facial features, but they were extremely unlucky, and most 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. This is because not very many happy things happened in the lives of the three Baudelaire youngsters. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire were intelligent children, and they were charming, and resourceful, and had pleasant facial features, but they were extremely unlucky, and most everything that happened to them was rife with misfortune, misery, and despair. I'm sorry to tell you this but that is how the story goes. I am ashamed to say that I have had this 13 book hardback boxset since 2013 and I am just now getting around to it. I put it on one of my challenges for this year but now I'm thinking I might should wait for the tv show on Netflix. I wonder when that is coming out. ***SOME SPOILERS*** These poor kids! They are just having a day of play when they find out their parents die in a fire at their house and they have nothing. And Mr. Poe who is oblivious and lives in his own little world sends them to life with a distant relative - the evil Count Olaf! All he count wants is the children's money that Violet is to get when she comes of age. Olaf makes the children do horrible chores, cook, sleep in one bed and the house is atrocious! But the kids do find some peace with the neighbor, Justice Strauss. She lets them cover over and read books from her library. Oh the joy of that =) But the evil Olaf has a plan to get the money all for himself and he almost succeeds but Violet is a little too smart for old Olaf and I loved it! I saw the movie for this years ago and I think someone told me it is compiled of the first three books. I thought it was good though. I am really looking forward to the Netflix tv series and the rest of the books! MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mischenko

    Up until now, the three Baudelaire children have lived a fairly lavish life. Until a raging fire burns through their home with their parents inside. Their deaths are suspicious and nobody really knows how the fire started in the first place. Now they have nothing left and Mr. Poe must find a relative that’s willing to take on the responsibility of caring for them. “Mr. Poe opened his mouth to say something, but erupted into a brief fit of coughing. “I have made arrangements,” he said finally, “f Up until now, the three Baudelaire children have lived a fairly lavish life. Until a raging fire burns through their home with their parents inside. Their deaths are suspicious and nobody really knows how the fire started in the first place. Now they have nothing left and Mr. Poe must find a relative that’s willing to take on the responsibility of caring for them. “Mr. Poe opened his mouth to say something, but erupted into a brief fit of coughing. “I have made arrangements,” he said finally, “for you to be raised by a distant relative of yours who lives on the other side of town. His name is Count Olaf.” When the children are delivered to their new caretaker (Count Olaf), their hope is that their life will take a turn for the better. However, it seems that Count Olaf’s only interest is gaining their family fortune and the Baudelaire children must find a way to protect themselves from his nasty schemes. There were comical parts in the book and surely the whole story isn’t just bad events happening to the children. I felt that there were positive aspects too. I personally admired how the children stood together and had each other’s back. They’re intelligent kids–effective problem solvers–and make the best out of the predicament they’re in. Also, there are many important messages about family, trust, embracing what you have and making the best of it. For me, the biggest takeaway was that justice and life in general don’t always work in our favor as the adults who are supposed to be the protectors make one mistake after another in this book. It’s enough to drive one mad and reminded me of how crazy things can get when deranged people have power and control over others, especially children. I enjoyed the writing and thought it was really easy to follow. We loved the illustrations, but found ourselves wanting more because there aren’t that many and mainly just at the beginning of each chapter. There are frequent new vocabulary words introduced for children to learn and I appreciated the addition of them with thorough explanations. “It is very useful, when one is young, to learn the difference between “literally” and “figuratively.” If something happens literally, it actually happens; if something happens figuratively, it feels like it is happening. If you are literally jumping for joy, for instance, it means you are leaping in the air because you are very happy. If you are figuratively jumping for joy, it means you are so happy that you could jump for joy, but are saving your energy for other matters.” The ending is left wide-open for the second book, The Reptile Room. I’m really looking forward to starting the next book and reading this whole series. My plan is to read them all with my kids before we start the Netflix series. 4**** You can see all my [email protected] www.readrantrockandroll.com

  11. 4 out of 5

    J.G. Keely

    So the premise of this book (as the narrator keeps helpfully reminding us) is that this group of three children will continue to have difficult problems to overcome, and every time they succeed in dealing with one problem, another will crop up. In the writing business, this is what's known as 'a plot'. But then he takes it one step further: in addition to all the difficulties along the way, he assures us that the characters will never break this pattern, and there will be no 'happy ending'. I thi So the premise of this book (as the narrator keeps helpfully reminding us) is that this group of three children will continue to have difficult problems to overcome, and every time they succeed in dealing with one problem, another will crop up. In the writing business, this is what's known as 'a plot'. But then he takes it one step further: in addition to all the difficulties along the way, he assures us that the characters will never break this pattern, and there will be no 'happy ending'. I think this is a good idea, especially in a children's book, because we, as a culture, don't have enough role models for failure. We have lots of role models for how to behave when we win, but this isn't really very useful--it's not when we win that we most need guidance and aid. We need more examples of how to maintain, how to persevere, in the face of failure. At this point, our only role models for what to do when we fail are villains, who tend to get angry, yell, whine, take it out on subordinates, and then develop vengeful plans to make everyone feel as bad as they do. The unfortunate result is that people often begin to act like villains when things don't go well, an effect which can be observed most easily by holding a job where you have a boss. So I'm all for 'no easy wrap ups' at the end of the story, but unfortunately, Snicket is unable to develop a conclusion without this easy route. It takes a very skilled writer to eschew convention and still write something interesting, and his reasons for avoiding standard practices should not be merely to differentiate himself, but to achieve some alternative goal for his story. There are authors who have achieved this, even in children's fiction--Lewis Carroll and Roald Dahl being the preeminent examples. When Snicket laid out the premise of his books, I began to look for something along the lines of those two authors, who, despite creating stories of children suffering constantly and unfairly, managed to write entertaining, enjoyable stories. But then those stories were wild and vivid, even when they were dark. Dahl's ability to create grotesque, powerful characters made for dynamic, engrossing stories, while Carroll's quick, fertile mind kept us always guessing, and often laughing, despite Alice's constant frustrations. Though Snicket is trying for a witty style, he rarely gets there. After the second chapter, all his jokes have already been established, the rest are only minor variations on the same themes. There are no surprising insights to back up his humor, nothing unexpected, just a continuance of the same tone: dry, but not acerbic. The characters, likewise, show little variance. The vocabulary and speech patterns are all very similar, whether adults, children, villains, or heroes. We are often told of differences in character by the narrator, but these never actually make it into the characters' mouths. Since the characters are fairly cliche and undifferentiated, Snicket cannot hang the plot on them, like Dahl would. They cannot provide the vibrant impetus for the plot, so Snicket's plot instead becomes a series of convenient (or conveniently inconvenient) events. The writing itself is not bad, it's mostly just a case of Snicket not being clever or dark enough to buoy his premise. In the end, not much stands out, not the characters, nor the humor. I applaud his attempt to address difficult and painful issues in his books, and without resorting to basic melodrama, but tragedy is measured by the subject's capacity for pain, so characters must be vivid and deep in order for events to feel truly unfortunate; otherwise, it just becomes the same array of problems common to every plot.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lizziegolightly

    When I was a child, I learned a thing or two from reading the works of Roald Dahl. The most important of these lessons is that adults are, more often than not, either evil or oblivious and, to co-opt Lemony Snicket's writing style, by oblivious I mean "lacking conscious awareness; unmindful." As an adult, I have only received mountains of proof substantiating the notion that adults are either evil or oblivious. All you need to do is watch the news or enter the workforce and you too will realize t When I was a child, I learned a thing or two from reading the works of Roald Dahl. The most important of these lessons is that adults are, more often than not, either evil or oblivious and, to co-opt Lemony Snicket's writing style, by oblivious I mean "lacking conscious awareness; unmindful." As an adult, I have only received mountains of proof substantiating the notion that adults are either evil or oblivious. All you need to do is watch the news or enter the workforce and you too will realize the same. So it is through this lens of animosity towards grown ups (hey, just become I am one doesn't mean I have to think like one) that I read the first installment of Lemony Snicket's 13-part serial A Series of Unfortunate Events. Snicket, or his alter ego, seems mighty influenced by Dahl and Edward Gorey. Like the former, most of the adults in the book are worthless. Those who aren't are either dead or somehow taken away from the Baudelaire children. Like the later, bad things keep on happening to our protagonists. The three Baudelaire children-- Violet, Klaus and Sunny-- live a rather charmed life with parents who love and respect them. Upon an unsupervised excursion to the beach, a fire consumes the Baudelaire home and kills the parents. The three children are taken into the temporary care of Mr. Poe (who has a son named Edgar, by the way) until a relative can be located. After some time, the children are pawned off on Count Olaf, a horrid actor with a title and no money. From the beginning, it is obvious that he has only taken in the children because of the vast fortune they are set to acquire. When he learns that the inheritance will be withheld until Violet is of age, he punishes the children repeatedly. We will stop there, lest I give away the end of this first book. Aside from a page-turner plot, what works in the book's favor is the language. Snicket uses large grown-up words with the context of child-sized sentences. He defines the words without being condescending and goes on to explain many of the legal concepts that are used throughout the story. The characters are also intriguing. The adults in the story often appear as grotesque figures that make just enough sense to keep the storyline plausible. And, in the grand tradition of children's literature, the Baudelaire orphans are quick-witted and strong-willed. I found this book as part of a three series boxed set at a thrift store by my house. Each book is small and hard covered, designed to look like a Victorian tome and filled with beautiful illustrations. Now, I can't wait to get started on volume two.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tea Jovanović

    Must read! Must read! Dve godine sam jurila informaciju ko drži prava, šetali me od jednog do drugog da bih na kraju sjurila samog Lemoni Sniketa na jednom javnom čitanju/druženju s čitaocima u knjižari Barnes & Noble u Njujorku davne 2002. godine i doživela nesvakidašnje iskustvo... Oko dvestotinjak dece (i njihovih roditelja) sedelo je na podu/stajalo i naizmenično se smejalo ili vrištalo i plakalo na Sniketove imitacije/interpretacije... Kako su deca nekada reagovala na Branka Kockicu sam Must read! Must read! Dve godine sam jurila informaciju ko drži prava, šetali me od jednog do drugog da bih na kraju sjurila samog Lemoni Sniketa na jednom javnom čitanju/druženju s čitaocima u knjižari Barnes & Noble u Njujorku davne 2002. godine i doživela nesvakidašnje iskustvo... Oko dvestotinjak dece (i njihovih roditelja) sedelo je na podu/stajalo i naizmenično se smejalo ili vrištalo i plakalo na Sniketove imitacije/interpretacije... Kako su deca nekada reagovala na Branka Kockicu samo još tri puta jače i glasnije... I na kraju sam sjurila prava za Narodnu knjigu... Nažalost, NK nije učinila dovoljno za ovaj serijal i ovog autora... I nadam se da ću jednoga dana uspeti ponovo da nagovorim nekog izdavača da objavi ovaj divan serijal...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Reynita Maharani ★ The Night Reader ★

    MINI REVIEW IS POSTED If you have ever lost some- one very important to you, then you already know how it feels, and if you haven't, you cannot possibly imagine it. I was pretty excited when I read this book because that was the first time I read this book and I also had no idea what the book was about and I quite enjoyed reading it. The book never bored me but the book wasn't really amazing either. it was just fine for me. Neither good nor bad. The characters in the book were pretty interesting MINI REVIEW IS POSTED If you have ever lost some- one very important to you, then you already know how it feels, and if you haven't, you cannot possibly imagine it. I was pretty excited when I read this book because that was the first time I read this book and I also had no idea what the book was about and I quite enjoyed reading it. The book never bored me but the book wasn't really amazing either. it was just fine for me. Neither good nor bad. The characters in the book were pretty interesting ( except the villain, he creeped me out. ) and my favorite character was Sunny. She was so cute! and I also felt this urge to hug Violet, Klaus and Sunny while I was reading the book. I don't think I will continue reading this series. I don't know why, but I just don't feel like I want to continue reading the series. This book was pretty good, nonetheless and I love the illustrations in this book! they're all so good! If you're interested in reading this book, I suggest you to try reading it. Maybe you'll enjoy it more than I did. :) ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• REVIEW TO COME TODAY. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• This is my first time reading this book! I have been pretty curious about this series since ... I don't know when, quite long time, I guess and I am FINALLY reading it now! 😊👏🏻 Have you guys read it? If you have, what do you think of it? ( no spoiler, please! )

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ariel

    This was fantastic! I read the series when I was a kid and then just now had to reread it for my Children's Lit class! And I'm glad I did! Because eff yeah! This! IS! GREAT! Daniel Handler/Lemony Snicket has such a distinctive tone and writing style, and it's one that I love. He's sarcastic and realistic and cynical and hilarious. Best of all, even though this is absolutely a children's book it treats the reader (who is technically supposed to be a child) as an intelligent human who is capable of This was fantastic! I read the series when I was a kid and then just now had to reread it for my Children's Lit class! And I'm glad I did! Because eff yeah! This! IS! GREAT! Daniel Handler/Lemony Snicket has such a distinctive tone and writing style, and it's one that I love. He's sarcastic and realistic and cynical and hilarious. Best of all, even though this is absolutely a children's book it treats the reader (who is technically supposed to be a child) as an intelligent human who is capable of figuring things out and having a good vocabulary and understanding subtext and foreshadowing. Also, I just added this to my favourites shelf because geez this is a favourite!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brian Yahn

    Easily one of the best children's stories I've read, The Bad Beginning is a high stakes, whimsical twist of a fairytale. Count Olaf, the antagonist, ruins everything, but in a way that's super fun to read. As the stakes pile on, and bad luck for the main characters becomes the worst luck, and the tension reaches an all time high, the writing still maintains this playful even keel to keep everything fun and enjoyable. It had me tearing through pages to see just how bad the beginnings got. And I lov Easily one of the best children's stories I've read, The Bad Beginning is a high stakes, whimsical twist of a fairytale. Count Olaf, the antagonist, ruins everything, but in a way that's super fun to read. As the stakes pile on, and bad luck for the main characters becomes the worst luck, and the tension reaches an all time high, the writing still maintains this playful even keel to keep everything fun and enjoyable. It had me tearing through pages to see just how bad the beginnings got. And I loved every sentence.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Burt

    I never really did get into Harry Potter. I imagine that this is viewed as a crime by most everyone on this service. For some it is heresy. But, I refuse to stand shamefaced - Hogwarts just didn't do it for me. I didn't think this would either. However, I was more than pleasantly surprised. I am of a somewhat morbid streak, and the Series of Unfortunate Events books, I must say, tickles that grotesque bone in a way most pleasing. The story of the Baudelaire Children is one filled with tragedy and d I never really did get into Harry Potter. I imagine that this is viewed as a crime by most everyone on this service. For some it is heresy. But, I refuse to stand shamefaced - Hogwarts just didn't do it for me. I didn't think this would either. However, I was more than pleasantly surprised. I am of a somewhat morbid streak, and the Series of Unfortunate Events books, I must say, tickles that grotesque bone in a way most pleasing. The story of the Baudelaire Children is one filled with tragedy and dire peril. Orphaned after a massive house fire in which their parents burned to death, they are put in the care of their parents' will's executor until a distant relative, Count Olaf, comes to claim them... and their family fortune. The children however do manage to give him a run of it. In the end, they still have their money, but they simply are foisted off someplace else where there parents are still dead and their lot becomes more miserable. This is not a story for happy endings as the author will remind you, time and time again. The real thing about the book that I love is the writing style and tone of the narrative. The author is quite the wordsmith, and he no doubt had it in mind that kids should be learning big, expansive words. He then mixes it up with subtle and unsubtle word play (in the fourth book, the narrator goes into the sensation of deja vu, and when you turn the page beginning that chapter it's the same page over again) that left me quite amused. I only read about four of the books. The downfall of the series is that the villain never changes and the stories are all essentially the same at their core: the children go to live someplace horrible, and Uncle Olaf comes back to try and take their money. It's a one trick pony in that regard, but I really was quite taken by the wording of it. It's worth the investment for the first book and it's a quick read. Give it a shot.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey Rey

    Even better the second time around!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Josu Grilli

    Ayyyy, me ha gustado mucho. El primer libro de la saga Una serie de catastróficas desdichas (en inglés A Series of Unfortunate Events) me ha conquistado lo suficiente como para hacer la loca inversión de seguir leyendo la saga -y digo loca porque son 13 libros cortos con precios variables entre unos y otros. Lemony Snicket me ha enamorado con su estilo... ¿o debería decir Daniel Handler? En cualquier caso, ha sido una novela con la que he estado entusiasmado mientras la leía. Cuando la dejaba, que Ayyyy, me ha gustado mucho. El primer libro de la saga Una serie de catastróficas desdichas (en inglés A Series of Unfortunate Events) me ha conquistado lo suficiente como para hacer la loca inversión de seguir leyendo la saga -y digo loca porque son 13 libros cortos con precios variables entre unos y otros. Lemony Snicket me ha enamorado con su estilo... ¿o debería decir Daniel Handler? En cualquier caso, ha sido una novela con la que he estado entusiasmado mientras la leía. Cuando la dejaba, quería volver a meterme en sus páginas para saber más de Klaus, Violet y Sunny, unos personajes que me han encantado en todos los aspectos. Y os preguntaréis por qué le pongo tres estrellas a una novela que me ha encantado tanto. Y es por el simple hecho de que me ha parecido una novela vaga en cierto sentido. Poca historia, una trama que avanzaba quizá demasiado rápido, unos personajes que llegas a conocer pero de los que quieres saber más, una ambientación que se queda demasiado corta... No sé, sé que es una novela infantil o middle-grade (aunque la puede disfrutar cualquier persona de cualquier edad), pero sinceramente he notado que le faltaban muchos detalles para hacer de esta una obra completa. Claro está que esa no era la intención del autor, pues se nota que la obra completa son los trece libros. O sea, es un libro que voy a recordar con ilusión y del que hablaré mucho y bien. Sin embargo, no está la altura de otros libros del género. Destaca de estos por el estilo y la temática, pero no por la profundidad del mundo. Me entendéis, ¿no? The Bad Beginning ha sido una novela que he disfrutado muchísimo y necesito leer la segunda parte cuanto antes. Estoy muy fascinado por todo (la edición es maravillosa, ¡y vaya ilustraciones!), pero he echado en falta más profundidad. Ya os contaré pronto qué me parece The Reptile Room.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)

    I think a 3.5 about sums up my feelings. This was a joy (or as Lemony Snicket would prefer, a misery) to reread. I haven't read this book in more than 10 years, so there were a lot of details I had forgotten, but I still love the Baudelaire siblings and how terrifying and sinister Count Olaf still is to me. It is written for younger audiences than the books I usually read, of course, so I might be basing a tiny bit of my rating on nostalgia, but I still loved the experience of getting back into I think a 3.5 about sums up my feelings. This was a joy (or as Lemony Snicket would prefer, a misery) to reread. I haven't read this book in more than 10 years, so there were a lot of details I had forgotten, but I still love the Baudelaire siblings and how terrifying and sinister Count Olaf still is to me. It is written for younger audiences than the books I usually read, of course, so I might be basing a tiny bit of my rating on nostalgia, but I still loved the experience of getting back into this world and these characters. And now onto The Reptile Room!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    The Baudelaire children - Violet, Klaus and Sunny - are suddenly orphaned when their parents tragically die in a fire. Their new legal guardian? A distant relative, the devilishly conniving Count Olaf, who will stop at nothing - not even murder most foul! - to get his hands on the Baudelaire family fortune. So begins the children’s Series of Unfortunate Events… I know this is a kid’s book but I surprisingly really enjoyed it - it not only held my attention but entertained me quite a bit too! Eve The Baudelaire children - Violet, Klaus and Sunny - are suddenly orphaned when their parents tragically die in a fire. Their new legal guardian? A distant relative, the devilishly conniving Count Olaf, who will stop at nothing - not even murder most foul! - to get his hands on the Baudelaire family fortune. So begins the children’s Series of Unfortunate Events… I know this is a kid’s book but I surprisingly really enjoyed it - it not only held my attention but entertained me quite a bit too! Everything about The Bad Beginning embraces/lovingly parodies macabre/Gothic fiction, one of my favourite literary subgenres, albeit in a child-friendly, cartoonishly over-the-top style, so I found the book very appealing on an aesthetic level. The atmosphere of the world is bizarrely, but not off-puttingly, anachronistic. It’s kinda faux-Victorian but also modern enough to have walkie-talkies, as well as being oddly skewed in general, full of absurdly one-dimensional supporting characters. The tone, along with the clever title and presentation, is determinedly, almost comically, downbeat in positioning itself as an anti-kid’s book, a playfully subversive touch I liked very much. Even the framing device plays into the Gothic impression. Daniel Handler is the real author but his name is nowhere on this book. Instead it’s attributed to yet another fictional character, “Lemony Snicket”, portrayed as a stereotypically gloomy writer a la Edgar Allan Poe (there’s even a character here called Poe) who dedicates the book to his dead love, Beatrice, while occasionally inserting himself into the text. A story within a story - an unexpectedly sophisticated device for a kid’s book and I loved it. It adds an element of mystery too - who is “Lemony Snicket” and will we discover more of his life as the series progresses? That said the writing is appropriately accessible for the intended younger audience and the world as a whole, and plot, is also simplistic to match. It’s an effectively engaging approach overall. Count Olaf is a deliciously evil villain and is by far the standout character. The Baudelaire kids were ok but not especially interesting and everyone else was basically just window-dressing. The story is entertaining enough but nothing too special or original - it didn’t blow me away and it’s a little too farcical in how it plays out, though it’s fine. The Bad Beginning is a really good start to this promising series - a charmingly strange and fun read!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Victor Almeida

    Eu não aguentava mais ouvir toda a população mundial falar desse livro e eu não ter lido ainda. Acho que o trailer da série do netflix foi o estopim pra eu pegar e começar de vez. E eu gostei bastante. Me surpreendi como, apesar de ser um livro infanto juvenil, ele é sombrio e sarcástico. Quase como se fosse uma crítica aos livros do gênero. Amei os personagens (Sunny dona da minha vida), e o ritmo da história é muito gostoso. Mesmo curto, é bem inteligente e com uma trama divertida. Gostei como Eu não aguentava mais ouvir toda a população mundial falar desse livro e eu não ter lido ainda. Acho que o trailer da série do netflix foi o estopim pra eu pegar e começar de vez. E eu gostei bastante. Me surpreendi como, apesar de ser um livro infanto juvenil, ele é sombrio e sarcástico. Quase como se fosse uma crítica aos livros do gênero. Amei os personagens (Sunny dona da minha vida), e o ritmo da história é muito gostoso. Mesmo curto, é bem inteligente e com uma trama divertida. Gostei como ele é moderadamente violento e obscuro, e traz um toque único para o livro. Não tenho costume de ler muitos livros do gênero, porque nem sempre consigo aproveitar tanto. Tenho dificuldades em colocar a minha "capinha de infanto juvenil" e apreciar como as outras pessoas, mas esse me deixou em casa. Estou ansioso para ler os próximos e assistir a série quando sair.

  23. 4 out of 5

    R.K. Gold

    Wow! I feel like I’m finally capturing something that was missing from my childhood. Like there was some gap in my imagination that I didn’t know was there until I started reading this series. I’ve seen the Netflix series, which only further reminded me that I had never read this series before and had been missing out. I’m in a very exciting part of the journey. The Baudelaires just escaped Count Olaf and his plot to steal their fortune and I find even though I know the basic premise of each stor Wow! I feel like I’m finally capturing something that was missing from my childhood. Like there was some gap in my imagination that I didn’t know was there until I started reading this series. I’ve seen the Netflix series, which only further reminded me that I had never read this series before and had been missing out. I’m in a very exciting part of the journey. The Baudelaires just escaped Count Olaf and his plot to steal their fortune and I find even though I know the basic premise of each story I’ve seen on the show, it hasn’t robbed the books of any of their magic. I can see how Olaf would give children nightmares growing up and I love how the book breaks every rule of writing like avoid adverbs (especially very) and don’t use too many adjectives at once. I’m really excited to start the Reptile Room today.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    The Bad Beginning, Lemony Snicket The Bad Beginning is the first novel of the children's novel series A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. The novel tells the story of three children, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire, who become orphans following a fire and are sent to live with Count Olaf, who attempts to steal their inheritance. عنوانها: آغاز بد؛ شروع ناگوار؛ شروع بد؛ آغاز شوم؛ نویسنده: لمونی اسنیکت؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: شانزدهم ماه آوریل سال 2011 میلادی عنوان: آغاز بد؛ نویسنده: لم The Bad Beginning, Lemony Snicket The Bad Beginning is the first novel of the children's novel series A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. The novel tells the story of three children, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire, who become orphans following a fire and are sent to live with Count Olaf, who attempts to steal their inheritance. عنوانها: آغاز بد؛ شروع ناگوار؛ شروع بد؛ آغاز شوم؛ نویسنده: لمونی اسنیکت؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: شانزدهم ماه آوریل سال 2011 میلادی عنوان: آغاز بد؛ نویسنده: لمونی اسنیکت؛ مترجم: امیرهوشنگ مهرپرور؛ تهران، فرزانه، 1381؛ در ص؛ عنوان: شروع ناگوار؛ نویسنده: لمونی اسنیکت؛ مترجم: نسترن پاشایی؛ تهران، ماهی، 1381، در 136 ص؛ شابک: 9649333304؛ چاپ دوم 1382؛ سوم 1383؛ چهارم 1384؛ چاپ ششم 1386؛ در 125 ص؛ هفتم 1387، در 128 ص؛ شابک: 9789649333311؛ چاپ دهم 1390؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی - سده 20 م عنوان: آغاز شوم؛ نویسنده: لمونی اسنیکت؛ مترجم: حسین قنبری؛ مشهد، شریعه توس، 1384؛ در 104 ص، مصور؛ شابک: 9649431608؛ عنوان: شروع بد؛ نویسنده: لمونی اسنیکت؛ مترجم: فرزانه کریمی؛ تهران، قدیانی، 1387؛ در 167 ص، مصور؛ شابک: 9789645361585؛ ویولت، و «کلاوس» و «سانی بودلر» سه بچه از یک پدر و مادر ماجراجو و ثروتمند بودند، که در ساحل «برینی بریچ» می‌فهمند، که پدر و مادرشان در آتش سوزی بزرگی از بین رفته اند، و آنها باید از این به بعد در خانه ی «کُنت اُلاف» که یکی از فامیل‌های دورشان است، زندگی کنند. کنت الاف با نقشه‌ ای با استفاده از قانون ازدواج، آنها را مجبور می‌کند، «ویولت» به عقد «کنت الاف» درآید، تا کنت وارث وی شود، و بتواند از ثروت آنها استفاده کند، که با ... ؛ ا. شربیانی

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    UPDATE 20/April/2018 Sooooo I kind of want to reread the entire series because I am loving s2 of the show. Also, I just feel that I would like it more when I reread it. UPDATE 19/Jan/2017 4 Stars!!!! I am updating my reviews for all the books in the series because I realized that they are much better than I initially thought. After a while, I realized I really did like this book and it's very unique. I know I still would have liked it more as a child but I still really like it now. It's so sad and t UPDATE 20/April/2018 Sooooo I kind of want to reread the entire series because I am loving s2 of the show. Also, I just feel that I would like it more when I reread it. UPDATE 19/Jan/2017 4 Stars!!!! I am updating my reviews for all the books in the series because I realized that they are much better than I initially thought. After a while, I realized I really did like this book and it's very unique. I know I still would have liked it more as a child but I still really like it now. It's so sad and that's what makes it different because it's not all happy. In life, not everything works out. UPDATE 10/Dec/2016 3.5 stars The more I think about it I've realised this book is actually much better than I originally thought!! ORIGINAL 2.5 stars I think this book is a great children’s book. But that’s just it, it's a great children’s book. I think this series would have been something I would have loved as a child. I didn’t think this book was amazing mainly because it is aimed at a lower age group so that’s why it’s not the best. This was a very short book and I read it in one day. I will be continuing with the rest of the series but I only wish I read this when I was younger because I’m sure I would have loved it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    April (Aprilius Maximus)

    so depressing omg

  27. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    Glad to say these lived up the the expectations of my 10-year old self. Off to check out the show!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Anuradha

    To Beatrice-darling, dearest, dead. 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 think it is important how a book starts, because that sets the tone for the rest of the book. I myself have been guilty of prematurely-"prematurely" here means "before the time is appropriate"- judging the quality of a book based on its be To Beatrice-darling, dearest, dead. 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 think it is important how a book starts, because that sets the tone for the rest of the book. I myself have been guilty of prematurely-"prematurely" here means "before the time is appropriate"- judging the quality of a book based on its beginning. In this case, however, while the book itself is called The Bad Beginning, there is nothing bad about the beginning of the book itself. Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events chronicles the tales of the three Baudelaire siblings. Siblings who are smart, inventive, and just a wee bit precocious. Violet Baudelaire, the eldest, liked to skip rocks. ... Anyone who knew Violet well could tell she was thinking hard, because her long hair was tied up in a ribbon to keep it out of her eyes. Violet had a real knack for inventing and building strange devices, so her brain was often filled with images of pulleys, levers, and gears, and she never wanted to be distracted by something as trivial as her hair. Klaus Baudelaire, the middle child, and the only boy, liked to examine creatures in tidepools. ... He knew how to tell an alligator from a crocodile. He knew who killed Julius Caesar. And he knew much about the tiny, slimy animals found at Briny Beach, which he was examining now. Sunny Baudelaire, the youngest, liked to bite things. What? She is only an infant, after all... Despite the warning at the beginning of the book, one might come to this story with some hope in their hearts. Such people are fools. There is no hope in this story. However, seeing as how this is a children's book, and banking on man's innate nature to seek closure, I would like to go out on a limb and say that eponymous series of unfortunate events, however, do end well for the Baudelaire orphans. Not this book, though, not at all. The Bad Beginning has an equally crappy conclusion. Forgive my alliteration game, it's not as strong as Mr. Snicket's. But then again, he couldn't really alliterate The End either, could he? They didn't understand it, but like so many unfortunate events in life, just because you don't understand it doesn't mean it isn't so. I also strongly believe that a villain makes or breaks a story, and Count Olaf makes this one. He steals the show. Maybe that's just me, because I imagined Neil Patrick Harris's version of it speaking all the lines... Actually, no. It isn't just me. Olaf is so much of an over-the-top villain, it is delightful to read about his schemes, hair-brained and far-fetched as they may be. I don't remember the last time I read a "children's book", and let me tell you, the experience is more fun as an adult. Alliterations like Doldrum Drive , Fickle Fountain , and Mulctuary Money Management got my panties in a twist. Or how about this super awesome way of learning new words?! (Side note, if I had a penny for every time the word mean was repeated in any of its forms, I'd be very rich.) Anyway, I digress. Handler uses his book as a teaching tool of sorts, where he uses uncommon words, and then explains their meaning. Such explanation may be circumstantial or literal. ...the sauce simmered, a culinary term which means "cooked over low heat." ...the word "incentive" here means "an offered reward to persuade you to do something you don't want to do"... "'Posthaste,'" he said, "means—" "—means you'll do nothing to help us"... Klaus sighed, and relinquished—a word which here means "gave to Count Olaf even though he didn't want to"—the book on nuptial law. The biggest grammar lesson, that Lemony Snicket focuses on, however, is a lesson that the world very much needs today. It is very useful, when one is young, to learn the difference between "literally" and "figuratively." If something happens literally, it actually happens; if something happens figuratively, it feels like it's happening. If you are literally jumping for joy, for instance, it means you are leaping in the air because you are very happy. If you are figuratively jumping for joy, it means you are so happy that you could jump for joy, but are saving your energy for other matters. So yeah, one cannot "literally have a ball of fire in their throat" or "literally jump through hoops to get a job done" (unless they're circus artistes trained to do such a thing, of course). And finally, Lemony Snicket teaches you the value of family and togetherness, and of the simple pleasures in life. It could be simple sentences like this The smell of cooking food is often a calming one... , or slightly more complex emotions like Sometimes, just saying that you hate something, and having someone agree with you, can make you feel better about a terrible situation. Unless you have been very, very lucky, you have undoubtedly experienced events in your life that have made you cry. So unless you have been very, very lucky, you know that a good, long session of weeping can often make you feel better, even if your circumstances have not changed one bit. Though I'm more often than not unable to take my own advice, I have always emphasised on the benefits of a good, solid cry. It gives you energy to trudge along and complete whatever horrible task it was, or confront whoever it was that made you cry. Oh, it is pertinent here to mention-"pertinent", here means important-that this book is a rather good "How-to" guide on baby-talk. "Yeeka!" Sunny shrieked, which appeared to mean "How interesting!" "Wipi!" Sunny shrieked, which meant "I'd much prefer gardening to sitting around watching my siblings struggle through law books." So yeah, adults can learn much from this book also. I recommend this one, I do.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Justin

    UPDATE 6/1/18 - So I read this with the kids, and they were completely against the idea of dad reading to them. They did all they could to prevent it from happening, but seeing as how I am a grownup and have the absolutely glorious authority to make rules in my house, we read this book together as a family. And boy oh boy oh boy did these kids love this book. Every night they begged and begged for another chapter. Please, Dad! Just one more! We have to find out what happens! By the end, I was re UPDATE 6/1/18 - So I read this with the kids, and they were completely against the idea of dad reading to them. They did all they could to prevent it from happening, but seeing as how I am a grownup and have the absolutely glorious authority to make rules in my house, we read this book together as a family. And boy oh boy oh boy did these kids love this book. Every night they begged and begged for another chapter. Please, Dad! Just one more! We have to find out what happens! By the end, I was reading to them from my phone while they had two books out following along. Our nights are now going to be filled with Dad reading them all of the best books from my childhood and beyond. Roald Dahl, Charlotte’s Web, all that stuff. This is going to be amazing. Tonight we are going to watch the first episode of the Netflix series. Reading and Netflix with the kids! What a joy! What an awesome time! Yesterday, they begged to go to the library! I’m winning as a parent right now! I now get to go to the library more often to get more books for myself because my kids want more books for themselves! Ohhhhh baby!! Reading is awesome, especially when you get your whole family on board! ——— I. think 20 years ago I would have loved this book. At age 30, I had a lot of fun reading it, but I think I enjoyed the writing style more than the actual story. It had all the stereotypes you'd find in similar books: orphaned children, cruel guardian, another adult who is nicer and helps out somehow, a plot by the cruel guardian that is foiled in the end, etc. I think I will continue the series just because Netflix is doing something with the series right now. I'm a fan of book to movie or TV adaptations when they are done well.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jason Koivu

    Made for kids, but adults like it too! The Bad Beginning is one of those kids' books that doesn't try to "talk down" to their level. Yes, it breaks the 4th wall and assists the reader with more advanced words, often for comedic purposes, but it never feels like the drudgery of a school lesson. This first book in the series concisely sets up the sympathetic main characters and their dilemna, pits them against their colorful arch enemy and sweeps you up in the saga straight away. A most excellent Made for kids, but adults like it too! The Bad Beginning is one of those kids' books that doesn't try to "talk down" to their level. Yes, it breaks the 4th wall and assists the reader with more advanced words, often for comedic purposes, but it never feels like the drudgery of a school lesson. This first book in the series concisely sets up the sympathetic main characters and their dilemna, pits them against their colorful arch enemy and sweeps you up in the saga straight away. A most excellent beginning indeed!

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