The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

So I originally started reading this way back when, I was probably 10 years old. And since then I have always regretted not reading the series in its entirety and reading it out of order. Since I recently watched the Netflix Original Series based off of these books, I decided it was about time to read them, in order and finishing the whole series as well.


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

-Via Goodreads


I had forgotten how short these books are. It was such a quick read, literally only took me a little over two hours to finish this book. In case you were wondering the Netflix series does justice to this series.

It was actually strange reading a book that I read when I was so much younger. But I loved every minute of this book, despite the depressing topic and the misfortune of the Baudelaires. It was very descriptive, used many words that young children do not know, and included a simplified version of the words to help explain a situation in the book. I believe this is how I learned certain words in my vast vocabulary.

The plot is fairly simple and easy to follow. The children are orphaned after a mysterious fire kills their parents, they are then sent to live with a distant relative who, to put it simply, is evil. They find little things here and there to help them adjust but it’s no use.

Violet, Klaus and Sunny are the main characters of the series and the main villain is Count Olaf, a very distant relative of the children and the man who is after their fortune. it’s kind of funny that we associate the term “fortune-hunter” with women because as this book clearly shows, men marry for money as well.

Speaking of marriage, there is a wedding in this novel, how well that turned out, well you’ll just have to read the novel for answers. Meanwhile, when I say that Count Olaf is evil, I mean he is really truly evil. He kidnaps one of the children and locks him or her in a cage.

It’s thanks to the children’s quick thinking, the knowledge they posses and the help of a few adults that they escape the clutches of Count Olaf, if only momentarily.

While certain themes and characters in this novel are too complex for children to understand, as adults we can fully grasp some of the things this author was trying to tell us. I certainly understood more of the themes as a college student than when I had originally read this as a child.


If you’ve read or are currently reading this book, comment your thoughts down below. And don’t forget to follow for more book reviews.


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