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The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events No.1) Hardcover – 12 May 2003


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Egmont Books Ltd; New edition edition (12 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405208678
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405208673
  • Product Dimensions: 18.2 x 12.8 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (160 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 130,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lemony Snicket was born before you were and is likely to die before you as well. He was born in a small town where the inhabitants were suspicious and prone to riot. He grew up near the sea and currently lives beneath it. Until recently, he was living somewhere else.

Mr Snicket first received his education from public schools and private tutors, and then vice versa. Early in life, he learned to reupholster furniture, a skill that turned out to be far more important than anyone imagined. He has been hailed as a brilliant scholar, discredited as a brilliant fraud and mistaken for a much taller man on several occasions.
A studied expert in rhetorical analysis, Mr Snicket has spent the last several eras researching the travails of the Baudelaire orphans. During his spare time, he gathers evidence and is considered something of an expert by leading authorities. Recently, he had to give up his hobbies due to laws regarding musical performances in mountainous terrain.

Lemony Snicket published his first book in 1999 and has not had a good night's sleep since. Mr Snicket is the author of quite a few books, all dreadful, and has been falsely accused of many crimes, all falsely. Once the recipient of several distinguished rewards, he is now an escapee of several indistinguishable prisons. He is widely regarded as one of the most difficult children's authors to capture and imprison. There are thirteen books in the A Series of Unfortunate Events, which should be avoided at all costs.

To his horror and dismay, he has no wife or children, only enemies, associates, and the occasional loyal manservant. Lemony Snicket's extended family, if they were alive, would describe him as a distinguished scholar, an amateur connoisseur, and an outright gentleman. Unfortunately this description has been challenged of late, but Egmont Press continues to support his research and writing on the lives of the Baudelaire orphans. As he continues with his investigation, interest in the Baudelaire case has increased. So has his horror.

Until recently, he was presumed to be 'presumed dead'. Instead, this 'presumed' presumption wasn't disproved not to be incorrect. Most things written about him are not true, but this is. More miserable news about Mr Snicket and his dreadful books can be found at www.unfortunateevents.com.


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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Sebastian Fernandez on 31 May 2004
Format: Hardcover
Even though this is a book targeted to kids by its publisher, I think that the author wrote it considering a much broader audience. I would say that as Rowling did with "Harry Potter", Snicket will captivate people of all ages. A word of warning though, the author clearly states that this is an unhappy story and that if you do not like this you should not try to read it. He is not joking! The story is sad and every time there is a glimpse of hope, it is quickly quenched.
The three Baudelaire siblings are the main characters in this unhappy story. Violet is a fourteen-year-old who loves to think constantly about possible inventions. Klaus is twelve, intelligent and enjoys reading all kinds of books. Sunny is the little infant that is going through a biting stage and will go at anything with her four teeth. Everything starts out wrong right from the beginning, when the Baudelaire siblings, now orphans, find out that their parents died in a fire. They have a huge fortune, but they will not have access to it until Violet reaches adulthood. In the meantime, Mr. Poe, the executioner of the estate will manage the funds and take care of finding a place for the orphans to live in.
Violet, Klaus and Sunny end up living with Count Olaf, in a house that is a disaster and has a weird feeling about it. Also, they quickly realize that the Count's only interest is in the money they have and in nothing else. The kids are forced to take care of the house chores and only find solace in their friendly neighbor, Justice Strauss. But any glimpse at happiness is quickly extinguished by new terrible events. We even get a second warning by the author halfway through the book: "...people who hate stories in which terrible things happen to small children should put this book down immediately".
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 April 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a brilliant book with lots of laughs.The fact that Lemony Snicket has made `unfortunate events` humerous and that the children in the story never end up happy makes you want to read on. I also like the way Lemony Snicket speaks to you aswell as telling the story.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By ZeusBeheld on 15 Oct 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For those of us who are sick and tired of the cheery world of children's literature, complete with talking rabbits and other fluffy little creatures whose every problem is resolved to their complete and undeniably cheery satisfaction comes the very opposite. Lemony Snicket makes no pretensions where his books are concerned; each one of these magically morbid tales, of which this is the first, features deaths aplenty and more than a few situations which would have less realistic children's authors of yesteryear spinning in their grave. The whole thing is buoyed along on a bobbing tide of grim humour, and every book contains at least one moment of delicious realisation that the very worst you could possibly imagine is, yes... it's going to happen. The illustrations add a most macabre realism to the proceedings, and the three children's characters are not only depicted lavishly in glowing prose but also shine through in each meticulously detailed image. One can only hope the Baudelaire orphans never find happiness, for to do so would mean the end of a fine series of books.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Matt Pucci VINE VOICE on 31 May 2007
Format: Hardcover
The Lemony Snicket books are very popular among the boys in my Year 4 class, largely because they turn the predictable, good-characters-live-happily-ever-after, bad-character-gets-his-comeuppance type story on its head. This, the first in the series, starts as it means to go on as the three main characters - siblings Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire - lose their home and their parents in a big fire before being packed off to live with their closest relative, Count Olaf. But Count Olaf just happens to be a greedy, conniving and generally rather unpleasant character who tries every which way to get his hands on the children's inherited fortune.

The Lemony Snicket books are aimed at readers aged between 8 and 14; they are easy enough to read and - if you're prepared to heed the author's warning on the first page - enjoyable too, being, as they are, darkly comic and just the right side of "mildly disturbing".

Matt Pucci
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Feb 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is the first in a series of books which certainly succeed in entertaining the reader but I felt they become formulaic after a while. The constant misfortunes of the Baudelaire orphans somehow remain amusing without causing the reader to feel too sorry for them. Lemony Snicket writes with a crisp style and manages to weave jokes, interesting locations and an inexhaustable supply of disasters into a compact and attractive little book. The illustrations are lovely and a perfect marriage to the text. I recommend this series to reluctant readers of around 10+ who would find these books unchallenging, funny and possibly addictive.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 April 2005
Format: Hardcover
If you haven't heard of 'A Series of Unfortunate Events,' then where have you been? I don't know anyone who read these books and didn't like them. Just read the book! Read all the books!
Anyway, this is the first book about the three Baudelaires, Sunny, Violet and Klaus. Their parents are killed in the fire that burns down their home, and as if that wasn't bad enough, they are sent to live with the evil Count Olaf. Count Olaf is determined to steal the Baudelaires' fortune and this is the first of his attempts to kill them and get his hands on the money. The book is funny, gripping and tense, and it might even teach you some new words! If you're an extremely sensitive person, you might not like it, but I am and I love the books. Read this and then read the other books in the series - it won't be hard to find them in a bookshop, trust me...
Reviewed by britishfairyprincess
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