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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is no fairy tale, but it is great anyway
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...
Published on 31 May 2004 by Sebastian Fernandez

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dark tale for children.
Having seen the film I was curious about the book series. The film obviously combines several of the books as this only focused on part of the story covered in the film. It's quite a dark and bleak tale which might not appeal to all children. I did enjoy it though.
Published 20 months ago by isisjem


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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is no fairy tale, but it is great anyway, 31 May 2004
By 
Sebastian Fernandez (Tampa, Florida United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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". However, my recommendation is: keep reading, you will not be disappointed.
The start of the series left me hooked and I will read the following books in the near future. I like the story, even with its sad tone, and enjoy the author's style. He has a humorous way of writing, defining obvious words and explaining some things that do not need explanations, even for kids. I think this is his way of satirizing some children's book that treat kids as if they were unable to comprehend simple matters. Moreover, there is a point in which he will start defining words using other words he defined before.
I am extremely satisfied with the experience of trying out this new author and would highly recommend it to people of all ages.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not exactly a fairy tale..., 31 May 2007
By 
Matt Pucci "mattpucci.com" (Here, there and everywhere) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent beginning..., 15 Oct 2001
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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
4.0 out of 5 stars An easy read that entertains without challenging the reader., 8 Feb 2002
By A Customer
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic start to a series of funny books., 7 April 2002
By A Customer
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too, 14 Oct 2006
By 
TeensReadToo "Eat. Drink. Read. Be Merrier." (All Over the US & Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
After already having seen the movie version of A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS, I decided to invest in reading the books. Book one, THE BAD BEGINNING, only took me an hour to finish, and it was an enjoyable, if dark, read.

The Baudelaire children--Violet, Klaus, and Sunny--are left orphaned after a mysterious fire destroys their home and kills their parents. Taken into custody by Mr. Poe, the executor of their parents' estate, they learn that their parents' will states that they must be cared for by a relative. The closest relative, unbeknown to the children, is Count Olaf, an actor and the leader of a theatre troupe who lives in a dilapidated house on the other side of town.

Things, of course, only go from bad to worse after the children move into Count Olaf's home, which is strangely covered inside and out with drawings and representations of a strange looking eye. Count Olaf even has a tattoo of the same image on his ankle. As the Count hatches a scheme to gain control of the Baudelaire fortune, which the children are not privy to until Violet comes of age, the children are alternately scared of their new "parent" and determined to find a way out of their

dreadful situation.

I enjoyed this walk on the dark side, and plan on reading Book two in the series later today. That said, however, I think it depends on your child and his or her maturity as to whether this would be a good read for them or not. Although the reading material is suitable for around eight years old and up, the book is dark-natured, and might scare some children. If they've already seen the movie, they might be prepared for its darkness; if the movie depiction scared them, then hold off on the book for awhile.

Reviewed by: Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius"
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for increasing vocabulary., 30 May 2006
By 
R. MCMILLAN - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
My children have both the books and the audiobooks of the whole series so far. We first bought book one, as an audiobook to listen to on a long journey. The older children were captivated and so the buying of the books began. Our youngest child discovered the audiobook at the age of 5. He listened to it, then listened again and again and so we bought the second and the third and the fourth and so on. He often comes out with amazing words, sayings and explanations. At first we asked where he had heard such things, but now we don't. The answer was always the same- from "A series of unfortunate events." At school he is known as the class dictionary! He is now begining to read the books along with the CD.All 4 children are eagerly awaiting the final installment. Their ages ranging from 7 to 15! A great story, well told. I only hope Lemony has his next stories planned.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant book!, 22 July 2002
This was a great read because it wasn't jolly and it didn't have a nice, happy ending, which made the book even better. Not only that the Baudelaire children don't really have any luck through the rest of the book either so some people might find it a bit depressing. But for people like my who don't really mind reading a slightly depressing book, it makes you think, "well at least my luck isn't as bad as that!"
I througherly recommend this book to anyone who wants a change from the, "they lived happily ever after" scenario, and I can't wait to buy and read the second one.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Things go from bad to... BRILLIANT!!!, 28 Jan 2005
When i first heard about the storyline of this book from my friend, I was a bit unsure. I was expecting the usual boring children go to a boring old house with creepy guardian who gets captured in the end and everyone lives happily ever after. Well boy was i wrong! It is a positively brilliant book which i couldn't put down. It follows the unfortunate lives of Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire who are sent to live with their evil distant cousin count olaf, whose only interested in getting his greedy hands on the Baudelaire fortune. What more can i say? BUY IT BUY IT BUY IT!!!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!!!, 6 July 2002
By 
Clare Fitton (Midhurst, West Sussex, England) - See all my reviews
Wow, I don't class reading as my fave hobbie but since I read the blurb on the back I knew this book was for me. I was supposed to be saving it for when I was on holiday, but I just couldn't stop myself from taking a peek at the first chapter. And after I'd read the first ten pages I had only scratched the surface of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelair's terrible misfortunes. Their parents' recent death in a fire at their own home, left the three Baudelair siblings in the presence of a frightfull and truly evil relative of theirs, Count Olaf. This cold and severe man is described in a way no other author could. Lemony Snicket and Brett Helquest (illustrator) have teamed up to provide us with a truly involving read. I loved the pictures,and found myself learning many new adjectives as when the writer uses a long or unusual words, he explains himself and his meanings clearly as part of the story. It was like he was also a narrator, popping up and chatting to you! I would recomend this book to anyone who loves being scared sensless, and will gasp and tremble at the unbelievible predicaments encountoured by these unfortunate children.
By Clare Fitton,12. (Massive fan.)
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