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The Trouble Begins: A Box of Unfortunate Events, Books 1-3 (The Bad Beginning; The Reptile Room; The Wide Window) Hardcover – Box set, October 2, 2001


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Frequently Bought Together

The Trouble Begins: A Box of Unfortunate Events, Books 1-3 (The Bad Beginning; The Reptile Room; The Wide Window) + The Situation Worsens: A Box of Unfortunate Events, Books 4-6 (The Miserable Mill; The Austere Academy; The Ersatz Elevator) + The Dilemma Deepens: A Box of Unfortunate Events, Books 7-9 (The Vile Village; The Hostile Hospital; The Carnivorous Carnival)
Price for all three: $81.87

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Fans of Lemony Snicket and newcomers to his gleefully ghastly Series of Unfortunate Events will be elated to discover this boxed gift set of the first three books in hardcover: The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room, and The Wide Window. While it's true that the events that unfold in 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, Charles Dickens, and Edward Gorey. After they get their paws on this boxed set, there is no question that young readers will want to read the continuing unlucky adventures of the three Baudelaire orphans. (Ages 9 and older) --Karin Snelson

About the Author

Lemony Snicket is often despondent, mostly about his published research, which includes A Series of Unfortunate Events and The Composer Is Dead.



Brett Helquist's celebrated art has graced books from the charming Roger, The Jolly Pirate, to the alarming New York Times bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events, to the cozy E. B. White Read-Aloud Award finalist bedtime for bear. He lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events
  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Box edition (October 2, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006029809X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060298098
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 5.2 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (205 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lemony Snicket claims he was nowhere near the scene of the crime. He is the author of several other unpleasant stories, including those in the bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events and The Lump of Coal.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

211 of 225 people found the following review helpful By Steven A. Slaughter on January 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover
These books are amazing. As a big fan of quality children's writing, I was completely engrossed in these books. Each narrative is strong, compelling, and unique. The author retains his structure while not allowing the plots to get too formulatic and boring. While you can see by the end of book 2 that a pattern is emerging (that is all I'll say here) -- and the fact that the series continues -- it seems to me that this helps the reader know that somehow the children will survive whatever ordeal they find themselves in, which is a great device. It alleviates our anxiety, and more importantly, a child's anxiety, that real harm might come to the kids, while letting us relax enough to enjoy the story as it unfolds.
I once read an essay by Maurice Sendac in which he described how hard it was to get published. The common thinking was that you can't wirte about things that scare children, like death. These dark fears are tabboo. He argued that children do think about such things, and that writing about them in a careful way respects children and their real concerns and provides them with a place to air their deepest fears. The success of his books, I believe, is in large part due to his respect for children.
These books, I believe, provide the same sort of thing, though they are much funnier than Sendac. The children are so bright and clever that they are wonderful heros. The grownups never seem to listen to them or realize that these are really insightful and intelligent people. I suppose this might be interpreted by some parents as undermining adult authority, but the writing is so good and the characters so ridiculous that bright kids would not see them as actual representations of real adults.
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149 of 168 people found the following review helpful By Ada Cole on October 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I absolutely had to write a reveiw of this book after reading some of the idiocy posted here. First of all, they are called UNFORTUNATE EVENTS. Not HAPPY ENDINGS. These are NOT "The Happy Golden Years." They are not about Children as victims. They are about two smart cookies and a baby who don't accept the world around them as inevitable or inherently right. They have the best quality any person can have above intelligence: resourcefulness. To those who dislike these books, I can only imagine what technicolor idealist rubbish you would have your children read. Children these days know better than to believe everything ends happily. I believe that they are relieved to finally find in Lemony an adult who understands and acknowledges *sometimes it's tough being a kid*. Children are smart enough to see what is pretend, and surely grow bored with books that have underlying psychological agendas, games where everyone wins, and protagonists who go through life with no negative events. Who can relate to that? As in the case of Cleary's Ramona books, life just isn't like that.
I think that children who read these books (aside from those who have lost a parent or a have a fear of losing parents) will see right through the farce and root for these small heros. Sure, there are some shockers in plot, but the children solve their problems ingeniously. This story has great lessons, and smacks of epic poetry (If you can keep your head about you when everyone else is losing theirs and blaming it on you...) It is no more terrible than Hansel and Gretel. In fact, these children lost their parents to an accident, and I would fear that a child reading Hansel and Gretel would believe that a parent could be convinced to abandon his children.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Before I discovered this series, I felt numb about reading. I really didn't care much for anything in the form of words. As a gift for Christmas I recieved these, and I thought, "This had to cost a fortune. My uncle really wasted his money." On New Years Day, I got bored and I looked for something to do. I pulled out book 1 still in place in it's box. As I put it down, I looked at the cruel face of Count Olaf (one of the charecters), and it sparked questions like *Why does he look mean?* and *How do the kids feel?* so I started reading it. Since, I couldn't stop! I had to know what horrible event would happen next! I suggest this book for any person who is in my case. They are great! I can't wait to read book 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9! :)
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Gillian M. Kendall on June 6, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I enjoy reading these books to my children, and my eldest reads and re-reads them on his own. The only thing annoying to me as a reader is Sir Lemony's habit of explaining what words mean. Yet this annoyance to me is a source of joy to my seven year old, who doesn't have to ask what words mean and thus interrupt the story. This stylistic habit of Mr. Snicket also means that my child is learning a lot of new words -- and that the books are not written DOWN to children but respect their intelligence. Also, the iconoclastic nature of this new genre of book makes them truly fun to read and easy to relish. Children don't really like goody-goody books -- mine, at least (and I bet yours), see at once they are being condescended to. Lemony Snicket's works are both fun, genre-breaking, and, (thus undermining my word "both") terrific reads.
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The Trouble Begins: A Box of Unfortunate Events, Books 1-3 (The Bad Beginning; The Reptile Room; The Wide Window)
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