Saturday, 17 August 2013
Review: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
Released: January 4th, 2012
Dear Customer, I am sorry to tell you that this book is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. One might say that they are magnets for misfortune. In this book alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune and cold porridge for breakfast. It is my sad duty to record these unpleasant tales, but there is nothing stopping you from ignoring this book completely and choosing something happy instead, if you prefer that sort of thing. With all due respect, Lemony Snicket.
I've never read any of the books in the series, not have I seen the film, so to be honest I wasn't sure what to expect. I did think it would be funnier, more along the lines of The Raven Mysteries or Stitch Head, but it wasn't. I'm sure children love it, but I don't think this series is for me.
The whole story revolves around the Baudelaire siblings, Violet, Klaus and Sunny, who are orphaned when their parents die in a fire. They're sent to live with Count Olaf, a distant relative who wants nothing more than to access their fortune. It's quite duplicitous and every now and then a bit shocking. Definitely unfortunate!
I really felt the plot fell flat, and it didn't hold my interest like I thought it would. I only finished it because its such a quick read! Maybe this is one of those instances where I should have read these books when I was younger, much like watching The Goonies (I first watched that a couple of years ago and didn't get it at all. Wrong age, clearly). I also found the explanations of words irritating, though again I'm sure it's indispensable for younger readers new to the vocabulary.
I'm glad I finally tried this book, though it's a shame I didn't get what all the fuss is about. I won't be reading any more of the series, but one day I might watch the film. We'll see.