The Bad Beginning

The Bad Beginning

Book - 1999
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After the sudden death of their parents, the three Baudelaire children must depend on each other and their wits when it turns out that the distant relative who is appointed their guardian is determined to use any means necessary to get their fortune. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are intelligent children. They are charming, and resourceful, and have pleasant facial features. Unfortunately, they are exceptionally unlucky.
Publisher: New York : HarperCollins Publishers, 1999.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780060283124
Characteristics: 162 p. : ill. ; 19 cm.
Additional Contributors: Helquist, Brett - Illustrator
Study Program: Accelerated Reader AR-ATOS MG 6.4 4.0 41281.
Reading Counts RC 6.1 7.0 20828.


From Library Staff

(Book series) Warning, the title says it all. Don’t expect happy endings or Kodak moments. Do expect dark and mysterious characters, suspect murders, twisting plot, and exposed conspiracies. The series is not for the faint of heart, so expect to feel discouraged after each novel. Enjoy it the way... Read More »

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Apr 30, 2019

Take the author's advice and don't read this book. If this book is allegorical, I guess I missed it.

This is an awesome book!!!! I like the main characters and feel bad for them when bad things come their way, which I don't easily feel in books. Overall a great read, I highly suggest reading it!!!!

Mar 29, 2019

This was (as it says in the first chapter) a depressing book. But it is written in a lighthearted way that, amazingly, doesn't diminish what the children go through, but shows the stark reality of their misfortunes. I read this as a child, and I must admit that I forgot most of what happened in this book. But I am glad I picked it up again.

The Baudelaire orphans are an interesting set of main characters. They are resourceful and intelligent and try to look on the positive side, even when there is very little positive showing. Just as the children are endearing, Count Olaf and his troupe are repulsive. They represent evil very clearly, and even their descriptions and attitudes towards the children conjure up the worst of feelings.

The characters are well-written, and the story is enjoyable, despite the near depressing things that happen within the pages. If you want to read a good adventure with a variety of characters, you will enjoy this introduction into what is aptly named 'A Series of Unfortunate Events.' Settle in for the ride of a lifetime, and bring your friends for support.

A Series of Unfortunate Events is popular, especially among pre-teens, for a reason. At first, I didn’t think I’d like the series since it seemed too odd and dreary. However, Lemony Snicket (the pen name for Daniel Handler) has such an intriguing style of writing. The series is about three orphans who try to escape Count Olaf, a relative who attempts to steal the inheritance the orphans are supposed to receive when they grow older. While I agree with others that the books in the middle of the series are repetitive, the end gets very interesting! There are so many clues and sub-plots that the books start to feel like a mystery series, and it’s very rewarding if you read every single book. It’s a clean read that’s great for people who are willing to finish something all the way through and get lost in the mystery and adventure. (Submitted by Beatrice)

Nov 12, 2018

It's really good book but he (the author) spoiles the book when they are just about to ______________________________________________SPOILERS________________________________________
believe it or not i got a A in my most recent writing assinment -yellow_mouse_84

Aug 11, 2018

Love it.

Jul 07, 2018

Great book I read this book a lot watch the Netflix series I can’t explain it anymore read the book yourself

Jun 29, 2018

I love this book and the series mostly I enjoyed how kids as nice as them got the worst luck possible because I feel like it made the book even more enjoyable.

Mar 31, 2018

The Series of Unfortunate Events books were some of my favorite to read as a kid. Read this one again for nostalgia reasons and it's still pretty good as an adult. Lemony Snicket has a subtle sense of humor that younger audiences may miss.

DCLteens Mar 29, 2018

After their parents die, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny have to go to a new guardian. Everything gets worse under his care. Dramatic story with a never ending bad ending with bits of humor mixed in.
Reviewed by Alyse, a Teen Library Council member

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Apr 06, 2019

SingKan thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 69 and 69

Nov 12, 2018

sueblack5 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 7 and 13

Jul 15, 2018

TARA BEHRAVESH thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Jun 29, 2018

Joaquin1 thinks this title is suitable for 7 years and over

Jan 05, 2018

green_zebu_65 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Jul 03, 2017

roop33 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Jun 17, 2017

lbnemi thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

May 08, 2017

maroon_owl_109 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

May 01, 2017

ccarcallas thinks this title is suitable for 7 years and over

Jul 22, 2015

blue_cheetah_3163 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

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Jun 28, 2017

"If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book. In this book, not only is there no happy ending, there is no happy beginning and very few happy things in the middle. This is because not very many happy thing happened in the lives of the three Baudelaire youngsters."

[Page 1]

Jul 06, 2016

“I don't know if you've ever noticed this, but first impressions are often entirely wrong.”

Jun 28, 2015

“Your initial opinion on just about anything may change over time.”
― Lemony Snicket

Jun 21, 2012

“I don't know if you've ever noticed this, but first impressions are often entirely wrong. You can look at a painting for the first time, for example, and not like it at all, but after looking at it a little longer you may find it very pleasing. The first time you try Gorgonzola cheese you may find it too strong, but when you are older you may want to eat nothing but Gorgonzola cheese. Klaus, when Sunny was born, did not like her at all, but by the time she was six weeks old the two of them were thick as thieves. Your initial opinion on just about anything may change over time.”


Add a Summary
Jun 04, 2011

Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire are turned orphans when their parents suddenly die in a house fire. They are sent by the manager of their parents' funds, Mr. Poe, to live with a distant relative, Count Olaf. Count Olaf was an evil man, making them do chores and cook for his theatre troupe, who are equally evil people. One day Count Olaf orders the children to perform in a play called the Marvelous Marriage. In which case he asks his next door neighbor, Justice Strauss (a judge) to play herself in the play, violet to play his fiancee, and he will play the groom. Since a justice of the peace is present and they would sign actual marriage licenses, the marriage would be legal and he would be in charge of the rich fortune that was to await Violet when she turned 18. Klaus uncovers this plan after reading a book on nuptial law. Klaus confronts Olaf and Violet refuses to play the part but she is forced to because Olaf takes Sunny and places her in a cage on the top of a tower and threatens to drop her off the top of the tower. Violet is forced to play the part, so she goes through with the whole play. Once the marriage license is signed, Olaf announces to the crowd that he is legally married to Violet. Then Violet announces that she signed the license with her left hand. Everyone watching the play tries to capture Olaf and his theatre troupe, but they quickly turn off all the lights and the whole troupe escapes in a car.


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