Review: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

78411The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
Published by: HarperCollinsPublishers
Genres: Gothic Fiction
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 176
Rating: 4
Date Read: 31/01/2016

Dear Reader,

I’m sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page of this book when the children are at the beach and receive terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune.

In this short 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 write down these unpleasant tales, but there is nothing stopping you from putting this book down at once and reading something happy, if you prefer that sort of thing.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

I didn’t know what to expect coming into this one. I’ve heard a lot about the series, and everything from the cover to the name enchants and drew me in. The style of reading was simple but interesting, with lines boasting ironic humour. The dialogue is fine and the characters charming.

This series is about three young children who are set to have a very unpleasant existence from the get go of this book. The narrator tells you this from the beginning and regularly reminds you of this throughout and tells you that if you want a happy ending then you shouldn’t read this. The children’s parents die and they get sent to live with the person who their parents had wanted them to live with in their will. This person was Count Olaf, who is a terrible person and treats them badly in so many ways.

I found the plot to be gripping, but also relentless. Each time things seemed to be getting better for the children like a glimmer of hope, it would be taken away from them on the next page. I enjoyed the plot a lot, but I did feel that it was a little too harsh at times, which became annoying as the book went on.

I enjoyed the style in which the story was written, and particularly enjoyed how you would be reminded to not get too happy for the children because more tragedy would follow.

I loved that this book just totally pulled me in from the first page. I love the feeling of getting totally lost in a book, which this story did so well.

I enjoyed this book a lot, but the adults where really stupid. The children were more intelligent than them. And with the twist at the end, and the adults seeing Count Olaf for the snake he is – they are like ok you ‘legally’ married your foster child, who is only 13 years old, and we can’t do anything about it.

Because the orphans are so likeable, which led me to care for them and their future, I never wanted to stop reading. Being assured that Violet, Klaus and Sunny would find their happily ever after was my first preoccupation.

Many events conducted the lives of the Baudelaires and, although they were unmistakably unhappy and antagonistic ones, I found charming how much we learned about the characters from them.

However, the story and its protagonists are not the only elements that will enthral readers. While I understand why some disliked the liberty the author took in interrupting the flow of events for a second or two to swiftly provide a definition for certain words, I was never bothered by that.

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