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

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9780749746117: The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 1)
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There is nothing to be found in the pages of A Series of Unfortunate Events but misery and despair. You still have time to choose another international best-seller to read. But if you must know what unpleasantries befall the charming and clever Baudelaire children read on...In The Bad Beginning 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. Then again, why trouble yourself with the unfortunate resolutions? With 5 million copies sold in the UK alone, one might consider Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events to make him one of the most successful children's authors of the past decade. We, however, consider these miserable so-called adventure stories and the Hollywood film starring Jim Carrey that accompanied the books for children as nothing more than a dreadful mistake.

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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 Inside Flap:

Read by Tim Curry
Approx. 2 hours
2 cassettes

Beware — Not for fans of happy endings!

After the sudden death of their parents, the three Baudelaire children must depend on each other and their wits when it turns out that the distant relative who is appointed their guardian is determined to use any means necessary to get their fortune.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780061146305: The Bad Beginning: Or, Orphans! (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 1)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0061146307 ISBN 13:  9780061146305
Publisher: HarperCollins, 2007
Softcover

9781405266062: The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events)

Egmont, 2012
Softcover

9780064407663: The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1)

Harper..., 1999
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9780062796028: A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning Netflix Tie-in

Harper..., 2017
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9781405290647: The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events)

EGMONT, 2018
Softcover

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Lemony Snicket
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