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The Bad Beginning: Or, Orphans! (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 1) Paperback – Unabridged, May 8, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
The Baudelaire orphans are nice and smart. But boy are they unlucky. The book opens with the Baudelaire parents dying in a fire and the orphans having to find a relative to look after them. Although there is a huge family fortune, they can't get it until Violet, the oldest at 14, turns 18. But this doesn't stop the dastardly (and there isn't really any other word to describe him) Count Olaf, a horrible and distant relative, and his nasty henchmen/women/things from trying to get their hands (or hooks) on it. And as far as Olaf is concerened, the Baudelaires are expendable, a word which here means "not needed after Count Olaf gets his hands on the money".
Just one word of warning--when the author says if you like cheerful books or happy endings, stop reading now, he means it. But if you like miserable scary books with unhappy endings, keep reading! And you'll learn lots of horrible words with depressing or unfortunate meanings as well.
Aside from everything else, these children actually come alive; they're inventive, clever and resourceful. They also suffer at the hands of their wonderfully conceived evil uncle Count Olaf.
I've passed these books along to a number of children who gobbled them up as avidly as I did--which proves that a good book knows no age barriers. This series is pure pleasure.
Lemony Snicket writes for all those kids who know that adults aren't always on their side. His stories are funny, a little creepy and always interesting. The Baudelaire children are the best of what boy and girl heros in books should be and the adults, well, the adults might just be portrayed a little too accurately for some grown-ups to handle. As most children know, adults don't always do what's right, aren't always to be trusted and don't always believe what a child tells them. Reading some of the negative reviews here, some adults would prefer that children not know this. Silly grown-ups, your children already know far more than you understand.
My daughter and I have read book the first and are rapidly demolishing book the second. They are smart books the way Roald Dahl books are smart. The author explains a lot of words or phrases, but not, in my opinion, in a "dumbing down" way. Many of the explainations are useful even for adults who know what the words already mean... for example, the explaination of "literal" vs. "figurative" in book the first.
Enjoy the books and read them along with your kids. You'll be amazed at how much this writing stikes a chord with them!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a simple read. My 11 yo daughter liked it but I was a little bored by it. ...Published 3 days ago by Laura
A great series for children to read! It was highly recommended by my child's teacher. My children love it!Published 7 days ago by Living LiPkAi
The second of this author's books I've read I fear I don't get the popularity of this series which now extends to at least nine. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Garth R. Mailman
I discovered this book while researching successful books and series that have been made into movies or television shows. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Shelly Mateer, Author, Single in the CIA and the Mingling in the CIA series
There was mystery and odd humor but it showed strong, well wovven characters (ecxept for Sunnny) of course. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Adam Kradel
So I'm not sure how, but I missed this series when it came out. Which is strange, because I think I am of the right age where I should have loved it. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Deanna Reads
I had been planning to read these books for many years. Finally made the time. I hope to enjoy this series with my children in the coming years.Published 27 days ago by Keila R. Young