Monday, 21 January 2019

Review: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

Publication date: September 30th 1999
Publisher: Egmont Books
Pages: 162

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

These books completely passed me by when they first hit shelves. They got tangled up with the parodies of Harry Potter that came out around the same time, and then the film came out and I'm not a fan of Jim Carey, and before I knew it I was (apparently) an adult and had never read A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Then the TV show was released and received such rave reviews that I figured I should really at least try the show. Which I then loved. And then binged. And now it's all over and The End has happened, I'm desperate for my next fix of the Baudelaire orphans. Enter the books.

I think approaching the series like this is an unintended bonus, because I have a lot of really amazing show to picture as it's happening, and I have Patrick Warbourton's voice in my head reading it to me, which is never a bad thing.

You're introduced to the main players in this first book, and I loved going back to the beginning and meeting Violet, Klaus, and Sunny. And even, to a certain extent, Count Olaf who I both loathe and adore. It's a really dark start to what is a wonderful series.

Suffice to say I really loved the first book. It's a quick read - the writing style takes a bit of getting used to but once you're into the flow it works really well. It's dark, it's twisted, it's  unlike anything else I've read. I loved it.

The TV show is incredibly faithful to the first book, and the casting is absolutely spot on - the casting for the Baudelaire's is perfect, and don't even get me started on Neil Patrick Harris as Olaf... I love this overblown, crazy world that they create, and whilst it's dark and a little bit depressing to watch, it's a solid start to the series, sucking you in and refusing to let you go.

If you've struggled with the books, watch the show and come back to them, it's definitely worth it.

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