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The Cumbersome Collection (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Books 1-11) [SHRINK WRAPPED] Hardcover – September 21, 2004

51 customer reviews

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Hardcover, September 21, 2004
$147.20 $69.99

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Product Details

  • Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events
  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Harpercollins Childrens Books (September 21, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060784660
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060784669
  • Product Dimensions: 4.8 x 10.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,033,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

92 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Christian Wheeler on November 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
If you or your children haven't been introduced to Lemony Snicket's (pseud. taken by Daniel Handler while researching extremist groups) wonderful "Series of Unfortunate Events" books, here's a great chance to get the first ten (of 13 total) at an exceptional value. The story centers on the three Baudelaire orphans: fourteen-year-old Violet, who's a talented inventer; twelve-year-old Klaus, who's a voracious reader; and baby Sunny, who can chew through almost anything and speaks in snippets of dialogue that only her siblings can understand. Each book finds them in a dreadful new situation, thanks to the evil Count Olaf, who's only goal is to get his hands on the Baudelaire fortune. Each story is cleverly plotted, with narrow escapes and tons of misery for the poor siblings. But they stick together, even when things are bad, and kids will love the way they escape bad situations using their own talents. The books follow a definite pattern, with the children barely escaping the nefarious Olaf's schemes, only to find themselves in trouble again. This pattern wears a little thin by book 4, but Snicket introduces some new characters in book 5 (the Quagmire triplets) that help change the direction of the story. After that, each book becomes more and more addictive as the plot weaves, twists and thickens, with increasing amounts of mystery and suspense. Snicket's delightfully oddball dialogue is replete with literary references, bad puns, grim humor, and social commentary. Even baby Sunny's language follows this pattern; her little bits of dialogue are often plays on words or commentary; in book 10, there's a clever knock at the President (I voted for him, and I still laughed!Read more ›
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Kicking back in New England on October 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This series of books by "Lemony Snicket" does not have the standard "happy ending" of most children's books. The 3 kids in the stories (newly orphaned) have miserable lives with one thing going wrong after another. To make matters worse, their "uncle" - bad guy Count Olaf - wants their money and is always after them. He and his evil minions are forever plaguing the lives of the Baudelaire children and cause constant mayhem.

Because of all this misery, I thought my 8-year-old son wouldn't like them - wrong! He absolutely loves them and is always begging me to read one more chapter! The writing is dry, but funny with loads of humor (much is directed to adults). The books contain many "large" or unusual words/expressions, but almost all are explained in the text (which can get annoying). I would say these books are good for kids from 7 - 14 (although use your judgement for the younger ones as the books do have evil bad guys, murder and lots of threats). As an adult reading the books to your kids, you might get a little frustrated as the stories are similar and the adults in the books are really dense - but these are for kids and they seem to love them!

The story is definitely moving along toward conclusion and we should have all the answers by book 13 (very appropriate!). Readers will enjoy the series more if they are able to read the books in order as they build on each other - so this collection will be perfect for those new to the series - and the price is super.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 30, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Kids are eating these books up, and so am I, even though I am a 26 year old mom of 2! Even for me, these books are fun and suspenseful. I love the look of the book itself and the artwork. The books are written by the mysterious Lemony Snicket, and he plunges you right into the make believe world of the Baudelaires and Count Olaf. I have yet to see anything in these books that a parent would find objectionable. The Baudelaire children are smart, helpful, and inventive, never whiny or disrespectful. I can't wait until my children are old enough to want to read these with me. These books are hardcovers, and very nice hardcovers at that, and the price on this set is really a great deal when you compare it to buying each one seperately, like I did. From cover to cover, these books will make you laugh.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By C. Coln on November 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The best way to evaluate these books is to read the first three paragraphs of the first book, "The Bad Beginning." If you don't laugh at loud, or at least chuckle, then these are not the books for you. The central theme of the Unfortunate Events series is absurdist tragedy in a world gone wrong. It is melodramatic satire in the best sense of the word, and most intelligent kids will delight in this.
I have to disagree with "A reader from LA, CA" who was upset with how the author signed a book for her three year old. First of all, these books are not meant for three year olds - these books are targeted for the 9 and up age group, and really, also for the many adults who love them. The stories center on the melodramatic tragedies befalling three siblings - the tragedies befalling tend to be very absurd, in the grand tradition of Rhoald Dahl (of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" fame) with the dark wit of Tim Burton. A three year old doesn't even know what an orphan is, and shouldn't be having these books read to him/her in the first place. A nine year old fan who had a book signed to him/her "To <namehere>, a future orphan" would find this incredibly funny, because they appreciate the wry sense of humor that the books and the author employ. I think the author terrorized the parent, who might want to read any book she's having signed first (I have to assume she didn't, because I can't imagine anyone who loves the books taking offense at such an inscription - I have a five year old son, and while I buy these books for myself, I look forward to reading them to him when he's 8 or 9, and I'd find such an inscription by Lemony Snicket to my son on a book hilariously funny).
The basic rule of thumb here is: Read the first three paragraphs of Book One. If you don't laugh, you will not like the series. Other clues: if you enjoy British humor such as Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, etc., you will probably enjoy this series.
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