The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 1)

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9780060283124: The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 1)

It's a good thing that Violet Baudelaire has a real knack for inventing things. When misery comes to call, the right invention at the right time can mean everything.

It's also fortunate that her brother, Klaus, has read lots of books and knows many important things, like how to tell an alligator from a crocodile and who killed Julius Caesar. When everything that can possibly go wrong does, a small fact can be vital.

It's lucky, too, that Sunny Baudelaire, the youngest sibling, likes to bite things. Even though she is an infant, and scarcely larger than a boot, she has four very big and sharp teeth. When trouble comes along, sharp teeth can save the day.

But most of all, it is good fortune that Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are as sturdy and resilient as they are, for ahead of these three children lies a seemingly infinite series of unfortunate events.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

Make no mistake. The Bad Beginning begins badly for the three Baudelaire children, and then gets worse. Their misfortunes begin one gray day on Briny Beach when Mr. Poe tells them that their parents perished in a fire that destroyed their whole house. "It is useless for me to describe to you how terrible Violet, Klaus, and even Sunny felt in the time that followed," laments the personable (occasionally pedantic) narrator, who tells the story as if his readers are gathered around an armchair on pillows. But of course what follows is dreadful. The children thought it was bad when the well-meaning Poes bought them grotesque-colored clothing that itched. But when they are ushered to the dilapidated doorstep of the miserable, thin, unshaven, shiny-eyed, money-grubbing Count Olaf, they know that they--and their family fortune--are in real trouble. Still, they could never have anticipated how much trouble. While it's true that the events that unfold in Lemony Snicket's novels are bleak, and things never turn out as you'd hope, these delightful, funny, linguistically playful books are reminiscent of Roald Dahl (remember James and the Giant Peach and his horrid spinster aunts), Charles Dickens (the orphaned Pip in Great Expectations without the mysterious benefactor), and Edward Gorey (The Gashlycrumb Tinies). There is no question that young readers will want to read the continuing unlucky adventures of the Baudelaire children in The Reptile Room and The Wide Window. (Ages 9 and older) --Karin Snelson

From the Back Cover:

Dear Reader,

The book you are holding in your hands is a short-lived edition of a book that will likely make your life shorter as well. The tale of three Baudelaire children, who find themselves thrown into an unhappy situation containing a treacherous villain with an evil scheme and bad manners, becomes more and more dreadful on each page, and everyone so foolhardy as to read it will find themselves weeping and moaning by the end of the book.

This book is offered at an introductory price, but it introduces the reader to such unpleasantries as a disastrous fire, itchy clothing, a baby trapped in a cage, a plot to steal an enormous fortune, and dusty curtains.

I made a solemn promise to write down these wretched tales, but you have no such promise, and if I were you I would put down a book this terrible, no matter how reasonably priced.

With all due respect,

Lemony Snicket

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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