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A delightful beginning to the book series, not due to plot of characterization, but to the author's style, something that is lacking in so much juvenile fiction.
The tongue-in-cheekiness throughout just tickled me. Even the cover and page design is enough out of the ordinary to clue you in that this book is something special.
Be sure to read every word: fronispiece, back cover, every bit of the book, for they all add to the quirky--which in this case, probably means odd or peculiar--charm.
If you want your children to love reading, I would recommend this series above Harry Potter.
Feb 19, 2009
Daughter read this book for college freshman seminar class (along with another book written by same author, Daniel Handler). This one she actually enjoyed.
P.S. Be cautious of books written under the author's real name!
Apr 3, 2007
A Good Beginning
In this first book about the three Baudelaire siblings, the reader is drawn into their young lives through experiencing the tragedy of their loss and the subsequent consequences, --- a phrase which here means "all the bad things that happened to them after that" --- brought to them by a well meaning banker who was put in charge of their affairs, --- a word which here means "a vast fortune" ---. Enter; the VILLAIN, --- a word which here means "very nasty man" --- in the form of Count Olaf, who will do whatever it takes to get his hands on the vast Baudelaire fortune. The writing style of Lemony Snicket is what holds the reader's attention, especially when he continues to tell us to stop reading this book, and read something else. His droll wit and humor in the telling of the tragedy of the Baudelaires, hooks the reader from page one, --- a phrase which here means "you want to read all of the books before you go to bed" ---. He puts his own spin on the meaning of words that are used throughout the book, as well as explaining the 'special' words that are used by the youngest Baudelaire, Sunny, who is an infant...with extraordinarily strong teeth. The oldest Baudelaire, Violet, who is 14 years old, has a talent for inventing things. Klaus, who is 12 years old, is an avid reader and loves to do research. The three children use their special talents to escape from one situation --- a word which here means "all the nasty things that Count Olaf does" --- after another. This book is not for the 'faint of heart', but is well worth reading...if you enjoy reading about "A Series of Unfortunate Events" that happen to someone else...if only to take your mind off of your own.
Publishers Weekly, 2001-04-09 British actor Tim Curry, whose reputation for playing dastardly villain types precedes him, is terrific in this adaptation of the intentionally over-the-top, slightly scary tale of the Baudelaire orphans. As narrator/author Snicket, Curry relates the sad saga with pity and enlightenment sparked by dashes of humor. When the Baudelaire children, Violet, Klaus and baby Sunny, learn that their parents have perished in a fire at the family mansion, the children's rocky course is set for misery and misadventure (enough to fill the projected 13 volumes of this clever book series). The executor of the Baudelaire parents' will and keeper of the family fortune, Mr. Poe, arranges for the orphans to live with a guardian, a creepy distant relative named Count Olaf. Nasty in more ways than one, Count Olaf mistreats the children, leading them to quickly discover that he only wants their money. After they unravel one of the count's more awful schemes, the children are eventually delivered from the situation, leading neatly into a sequel. Curry plays Olaf with an appropriately spooky whispering hiss and deserves extra kudos for his convincing portrayal of Poe's racking, sometimes phlegmy cough. As a bonus, the tape contains a hilarious interview between historian, critic and author Leonard S. Marcus and Daniel Handler (suspected to be the mysterious Lemony Snicket himself). An entertaining song called "Scream and Run Away," about Count Olaf, fittingly closes the proceedings. Ages 9-up. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 1999-09-06 "If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book." So cautions Snicket, the exceedingly well-mannered narrator of these two witty mock-gothic novels featuring the misadventures of 14-year-old Violet, 12-year-old Klaus and infant Sunny Baudelaire. From the first, things look unfortunate indeed for the trio: a fire destroys their home, killing their parents along with it; the executor of their parents' estate, the obtuse Mr. Poe (with a son, Edgar), ignores whatever the children have to say; and their new guardian, Count Olaf, is determined to get his hands on the Baudelaire fortune. But by using their individual gifts (Violet's for inventing, Klaus's for reading and researching and baby Sunny's for biting) the three enterprising children thwart the Count's plan?for now. The author uses formal, Latinate language and intrusive commentary to hilarious effect, even for readers unfamiliar with the literary conventions he parodies. The peril in which he places the Baudelaires may be frightening (Count Olaf actually follows through on his threats of violence on several occasions), but the author paints the satire with such broad strokes that most readers will view it from a safe distance. Luckily for fans, the woes of the Baudelaires are far from over; readers eager for more misfortune can turn to The Reptile Room, for an even more suspenseful tale. Exquisitely detailed drawings of Gothic gargoyles and mischievous eyes echo the contents of this elegantly designed hardcover. Age 9-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2003-10-06 Stand back, Snicket fans, the latest Unfortunate Events are about to unfold in The Slippery Slope by Lemony Snicket, illus. by Brett Helquist. Violet and Klaus Baudelaire must climb the titular terrain as they search for their sister Sunny in the Mortmain Mountains, after she is kidnapped by-who else-the diabolical Count Olaf. Will they reunite? Will they find their way out? Read on and find out.... Also being released this month, a slip-covered edition of the launch title, The Bad Beginning: Rare Edition, along with a stand-up portrait of the calamitous cast. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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