A Series Of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning: The Bad Beginning

Hardcover | August 15, 1999

byLemony Snicket

not yet rated|write a review


Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are intelligent children. They are charming, and resourceful, and have pleasant facial features. Unfortunately, they are exceptionally unlucky.

In the first two books alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, a lumpy bed, a deadly serpent, a large brass reading lamp, a long knife, and a terrible odor.

In the tradition of great storytellers, from Dickens to Dahl, comes an exquisitely dark comedy that is both literary and irreverent, hilarious and deftly crafted. Never before has a tale of three likeable and unfortunate children been quite so enchanting, or quite so uproariously unhappy.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$14.88 online
$15.99 list price (save 6%)
In stock online
Ships free on orders over $25
Prices may vary. why?
Please call ahead to confirm inventory.

From Our Editors

This is a book that starts out badly, gets worse and never gets better. The Baudelaire children -- 14-year old inventor Violet, bookish 12-year old Klaus and baby Sunny -- suddenly lose their parents and home in a tragic fire, and are sent to live with the ghoulish Count Olaf, who hatches a plot to steal the children's fortune, which i...

From the Publisher

SOON TO BE A NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIESViolet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are intelligent children. They are charming, and resourceful, and have pleasant facial features. Unfortunately, they are exceptionally unlucky.In the first two books alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous ...

From the Jacket


Lemony Snicket is often despondent, mostly about his published research, which includes A Series of Unfortunate Events andThe Composer Is Dead.

other books by Lemony Snicket

A Series Of Unfortunate Events Box: The Complete Wreck (books 1-13)
A Series Of Unfortunate Events Box: The Complete Wreck ...

Hardcover|Oct 13 2006

$146.86 online$195.00list price(save 24%)
The Dark
The Dark

Hardcover|Apr 2 2013

$18.13 online$19.99list price(save 9%)
A Series of Unfortunate Events Box: The Gloom Looms (Books 10-12): The Gloom Looms (10, 11, 12)
A Series of Unfortunate Events Box: The Gloom Looms (Bo...

Hardcover|Oct 18 2005

$43.09 online$47.99list price(save 10%)
see all books by Lemony Snicket
Format:HardcoverDimensions:176 pages, 7 × 5 × 0.74 inPublished:August 15, 1999Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0064407667

ISBN - 13:9780064407663

Appropriate for ages: 9 - 12


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing As Expected! So so good! It's slightly different from the movie for sure, but in all the good way!
Date published: 2016-04-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from OMG!!!! I absolutely loved this book and I loved the whole series. If I had to pick between reading Harry potter and this I would defiantly pick this book. I'm only on the fifth book and I have seen the movie and I have up to the 12 book and I just adore them. I defiantly recommend this one!
Date published: 2015-12-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The 3 chums Violate: a good inventor. Klaus: is as smart as teenage Instine. Sunny: the ultimte biter. Uses the strongest muscle in her tiny body with pride.
Date published: 2015-10-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from the bad beginning This book has a ladder going to the climax of the story. This book has a lot of characters Including Count Olaf , Violet,Klaus ,and Sunny. My favorite character is Sunny the baby
Date published: 2015-04-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from "Quick and Enjoyable" This book really impressed me, after years of staring at it on the shelves in the library, I finally picked it up and just read it like it was my job. The Bad Beginning wasn't bad, it should of been galled "The Great Beginning" and our mysterious author Lemony Snicket, did an amazing job of writing the book. It was so different, instead of children who always get what they want, these are children who just keep escaping death from a psychopath criminal villain. TheBookReviewer
Date published: 2013-06-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Good Book The first book here is very suspenseful. I read this at school and later had my grandmother buy me the whole series,- and the movie!
Date published: 2013-02-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Easy and fun read Aside from a page-turner plot, what works in the book's favor is the language. Snicket uses large grown-up words with the context of child-sized sentences. He defines the words without being condescending and goes on to explain many of the legal concepts that are used throughout the story. The characters are also intriguing. The adults in the story often appear as grotesque figures that make just enough sense to keep the storyline plausible. And, in the grand tradition of children's literature, the Baudelaire orphans are quick-witted and strong-willed.
Date published: 2012-09-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Frightening (-ly good) Tale I had high hopes for this book, as the premise seemed dark and chilling - almost implausible seeing as it is a novel for children. Yet Lemony Snickett did not disappoint! The plights of the Baudelaire orphans are truly terrifying! I look forward to reading the rest of the series to see what other perilous situations will be devised by the loathsome Count Olaf!
Date published: 2009-07-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Most Unusual Read this book actually a couple of years ago and thought that it was most unusual. A word here that means, interesting and original! Anyway, it's a sad tale and not for the lighthearted but one that is perhaps more realistic than other fiction novels, because like in life, things don't always work out as planned.
Date published: 2009-06-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Audio at it's finest! The book was good but the Audio was fantastic! Tim Curry gives a great performance, did all the voices so well. I first took it out from the library because since I had read it a couple years ago and had planned on continuing with the series. Instead of rereading them I decided to listen to the CD's at times that I was unable to read and now I can't wait to hear the whole series on audio.
Date published: 2009-06-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutley Amazing! I read this book and it was so good. It was filled with suspense. Whenever I only had about 2 minutes or less before I had to go to dance or school, I'd just move right on to the next chapter, it was quite the page-turner. I am hoping to recieve the whole series as hardcover for my birthday coming up in 4 days. Valentines day! There are 13 books in the whole series. I can't wait! Hope I convinced you to give the series a chance...Brianna.
Date published: 2009-02-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutley Amazing! I read this book and it was so good. It was filled with suspense. Whenever I only had about 2 minutes or less before I had to go to dance or school, I'd just move right on to the next chapter, it was quite the page-turner. I am hoping to recieve the whole series as hardcover for my birthday coming up in 4 days. Valentines day! There are 13 books in the whole series. I can't wait! Hope I convinced you to give the series a chance...Brianna.
Date published: 2009-02-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from And I have to admit, I liked the movie ; ) Just as children are not immune to unfortunate events and tragedies in the real world, neither are the Baudelaire orphans in this melancholy filled, inspiring and witty young-adult series. Lemony Snicket’s obvious reverence for children is apparent by his honest and forward illustrations of how cruel the world can be for them, as it is for adults. It is of course not all doom and gloom as Snicket imparts illuminative anecdotes for dealing with disastrous luck as part of his narrative. Also, whilst speaking directly to the reader in an engaging style, he informs and defines for us any advanced vocabulary or phrasing that a young reader might not yet be aware of. This alone would make this series appealing to any reluctant readers out there. The Baudelaire children may be sad at times, and often unlucky, but they are clearly notable role models, especially in a world where hard times can be just as prevalent as the easy ones. Just because there are some unfortunate events that take place in this series, that is no reason to strike this collection from your child’s library. www.booksnakereviews.blogspot.com
Date published: 2009-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The great beginning This book is a great book, it is the first book of the series of the unfortunate events violet a smart girl who loves inventing things, Sunny an enfant who loves to bit things with her front sharp teeths. And last Klaus a great reader he read more books in his life then anybody that is around 50 or less years old. But then when they here that their parents died in a fire they need to go live with their new gardian called Count Olaf a terrible and ugly man who is selfish and well he is the same thing as a monster. Wants to steel the enormous fortune of the baudelaires what will happen ? you will need to read it if you want to know.
Date published: 2008-12-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Bad Beginning I found this book quite good. I enjoyed how he never lost oyur intrest. But the thing that i dod not like was how he would use a page to explain a word, but that no big deal :P but anyway, great book.
Date published: 2008-06-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I WAS ON THE EDGE OF MY SEAT! Now matter whitch store you buy a book by Lemony Snicket you always want to read more. Since this is the 1st book of the Series it really is one of the best! It will make you cry in the beginning laugh in the middle and will make you feel haninging at the end! OMG!!!!!!
Date published: 2008-01-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Lots of Fun! I read the first three Unfortunate Events books about 3 years ago and for some reason never got around to reading the rest of them. In this first volume the Baudelaire children become orphans and are sent to live with the evil Count Orloff who treats them miserably and plans to take their fortune from them. This series is mostly a parody of the Victorian penny dreadful type of books and is really a lot fun. The atmosphere is dark and gloomy and the humour dry and ironic. Literary allusions abound. The setting is an alternate one being clearly set in a Victorian age while also having such conveniences as cars and walkie-talkies. Some parts went over the 7yo's head but mostly he understood the humour and when he didn't I explained it to him. He was certainly along for the ride and experienced a roller coaster of emotions throughout the story. The children are very likable characters and the villains are evil and dastardly. We are both anxious to read the next book.
Date published: 2008-01-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my FAVOURITES! In this book three very clever children's parents are killed in a terible fire and are sent to live with a evil and fake relative. They follow adventure after adventure, each quite... exiting.
Date published: 2007-06-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Oh My God Amazing My sister just gave me some books to read and one of them was Lemony Snicket's Series Of Unfortunate Events. I read it and I thought who is this author? He is totally amazing and I ordered from the library 2-12. Number 13 is coming out in October 13. If you haven't started you better get hooked on it now!
Date published: 2006-09-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazingly terrible tale Interesting from beginning to end. Couldn't put the book down!
Date published: 2006-09-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absoloutly Fantastic! I have no idea why they put age limits on books! It s absoloutly ridiculous. I thought this book was great! And I love violet! Shes awesome. And i like how Lemony used books to save their lives. Its amazing! Monika
Date published: 2006-08-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Entertaining This is the first book in the Series of Unfortunate Events. The three orphaned children are faced with bad luck that does not seem to leave. The plot to this book is amazing, but I found that the writing was a little weak. I found The Bad Beginning at times was quite funny and addicting despite the weak writing.
Date published: 2006-08-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A good book for people who like adventure This story is about three children. There is Violet, the eldest; Klaus, the middle child; and Sunny, the youngest. Now when you’re going to a beach, what would you expect if a man comes up to you...? Well, in this case the banker called Mr.Poe came up to the children and says that their parents have died in a fire. So Mr.Poe has to find a caregiver who’s willing to take care of the poor orphans. Also their parents have left a huge fortune behind. So, Mr. Poe finds a caregiver. His name is Count Olaf. But, you see, Count Olaf is planning to steal the orphans’ fortune! Count Olaf tries to make Violet secretly marry him so he could take the fortune! You see, Count Olaf got a legal judge to act in a play of the wedding, so technically it would be a real marriage. But the smart orphans find out that Count Olaf is planning to steal the Baudelaire fortune. They try to stop it, but it takes a lot of work. Count Olaf keeps Sunny locked up in a tower until Violet secretly marries him. But then Claus crawls up the tower and gets Sunny! I think you would like these types of if you like books where children must do intense tasks and fix them with their knowledge! I picked this book because they are good for people who like adventure.
Date published: 2006-06-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Book for Younger Readers I think this is a great book, but even greater for younger readers. Not that complex. I am a teenage reader and i have read this book when i was young(when it first came out) and it was an amazing read. I still think it was a great book but not the best i have read. Better for younger readers but i wouldnt recomend it to teen readers because they will find it far fetched and not that beliveable considering it takes place in early 1900s and there are some odd things in these books(such as devices Violet makes, things they do in general in these series of books that arent the believeable). Read the books in order and try and read them as close together as possible because of all the secrets(you may forget them as you go on to the next book).
Date published: 2006-02-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Book I've Read! I am a twelve year old boy currently going into the eighth grade, and the finest book i have read all year was the incomparable, Series of Unfortunate Events book number 1, The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket. It was full of first-rate vocabulary , nonstop action and i was constantly woundering what would accor next. It might not of been the most cheerful book or joyous one but it is still a tremendous book. I would recommend this books to readers of all ages , and if you read this book you will see why i gave it five out of five stars. ~~Eric~~
Date published: 2005-06-23
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Wow...AWFUL This book claimed to have the same adult/child enjoyment factor as Harry Potter, but don't waste your time. The author seems unsure of who he's writing to, the language is too complex for most children while the plotline is too extreme and far fetched for an adult to enjoy. (Not implying that wizards are more plausible) Disappointed ....Bad Beginning was a very appropriate title.
Date published: 2005-06-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The best book ever!!!!!!!!!!!!LOLZ I Love this book so much I've read all the books. I can't wait till the twelth and thirteenth books come out. Lol. I want to buy all the books. I need to Really Meet Lemony Snicket Cause he is the best author in the world. Bye. P.S. I want to meet Lemony Snicket.
Date published: 2005-05-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The best of the whole series! You will be amazed by how good this book is! If you ever start reading the series don't do it mish and mash start from the first one all the way to the last one.The story begins on who's trying to steal the baudilare fortune and I won't you anything else because it will give the whole story away.
Date published: 2005-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from 2 thumbs up!!!! Hi, This book,'A series of Unfortunate Events' I think this is one of the best books I've ever read!! The movie is also good, but the movie is quite a mix-up because the movie is a mix up of the numbers 1,2 and 3, (The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room and The Wide Window and also there are very different things from the book and the movie.) If you wanted to know the results about the book because probably you planning to get it, I'm the right person to tell you!!! You can't put the book down!! Lemony Sniket is a good writer and I'm starting The Reptile Room (#2), so when I'm finished I'll tell you the results!! ok? Well just to tell if I would actually rate it and I mean really rate, I would rate it 6 stars or if there was more than that I would rate it the highest number. If you are done reading it and you disagreewith me, that's alright, people have different taste!!!.... ~Arlene J.C.~
Date published: 2005-01-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOW I never thought they would be so good.I never read one but I saw the movie and it was so good. I can not wait for more movies and to read the whole series.
Date published: 2004-12-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It was good! i didn't read the book until a whole lot of people in my class started doing their book report on it. So i thought it must be a good book. I started to read it and it was awsome! im going to read all of them!!!
Date published: 2004-12-18
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Same Concept!!! 1,2, and 3 books of The Series of Unfortunate Events , have all the same concept. They stay at a long relatives place and soon tell them and the their social worker, that Lord Olaf is after them. He dresses as different people, and charm their guardians. He always does something horrible to their guardians afterward. When the guardians figure it all out. Lord Olaf gets away (so the author can right more such unfortunate events), while the kid's social worker is like darn why didn't I listen to them . The social worker doesn't get it, he makes the same mistake over, and over again. I couldn't read anymore of that series in the middle of the 4rth book it was dull and boring. I can't believe I didn't notice at the end of the 2nd book, it was a waste of my time. And I can't believe everyone likes them. Well I woudn't recommend them to anyone, only if the reader likes to read the same thing over again. That's fine by me.
Date published: 2004-12-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Best Book You will Ever Read This is my favourite book out of the series. It has a lot of information, frights and unfortunate events that happen to Violet, Klaus and Sunny. Their Parents have died, and the evil count Olaf is after the Baudelaire fortune. Includes wonderful illustrations, fantastic words to describe different things that happen in the story and a lot more! This book is a must read!
Date published: 2004-11-13
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Same old, same old Same old, same old... Quoting Lemony Snicket 'I'm sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant' It gets a little repetitive. I'd suggest taking his advice and NOT reading it.
Date published: 2004-10-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from the best book ever this is the best book of my life. My friends say it's good, so I tried it. I read it in two days. I couldn't put it down. I really felt bad for the three children. I would recomend this book to anyone.
Date published: 2003-11-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of The Best Books EVER! Wow! I highly recomend this book to people of all ages. I started reading it and just couldent put it down. Its not a happy book, if thats what your looking for, dont buy it! Its more for boys then girls I would have to say! You should read this book, its well worth your money!!!!!
Date published: 2003-08-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from No bad beginning! Hey this book is not bad or the beginning is not bad. That's just a title. I read this book and I bought 2,3,4,5,6,7 but 8 and 9 is still coming.I love these book. I was reading animal ark books but I found these books way better and more exciting.The animal ark books are good. but if I had to chose to read animal ark or these books I would read these books not animal ark.But the author Ben your books still rock but no all the way home. Well I enjoyed this review and I hope u read mine.
Date published: 2003-04-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Best Books These books are the best! I absolutely LOVE these books, and I don't usually want to read other books than what I usully read. When my mom told me I couldn't get any books until Xmas, I got really mad.
Date published: 2001-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A happy start to a sad ending There were three Bualdares which is Voilet the oldest Klaus who is the middle and Sunny being the youngest. When they recieve a message that they're parents have been killed in a fire in their homes and they're parents had left a large sum of money. So when they are sent to their uncle Count Olaf, he tries to steal their money since he was a very poor man. So he treated them very badly and soon came to a evil plot to tell Violet to marry him too trick her to get the money but Violet knew the trick and tricked him back.
Date published: 2001-06-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Bad Beginning The story is about very unlucky but smart kids. They loose their parents and They had to gallow their uncle which was a count and a actor. The uncle was a very greedy person with a very nice neighbour had had every thing the children liked(books). The children told all the bad things about Count Olaf. To the neighbour. Count Olaf always kept a plan he had quiet about trying to trick the children into doing play and getting the family's fortune by making a marriage which was real so he can be incharge of the family's fortune. Luckily Violet (the oldest child)was smart enough to trick Count Olaf into tricking him to save sunny (the little baby girl who was put in a cage and was going to thrown onto the ground fromh high above) and saved the Budelaire fortune. The police came to arrest Count Olaf, and the neighbour wanted to adopt them, but the will of the childrens parents were to adopt them to only a reletive.
Date published: 2001-06-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Best Book yet! I have read lots and lots of books, but none as good as the bad begining. Limony Snicket is a great author. It made me want to read more then I usually read. I think these books are better the Harry Potter. I cannot, i mean cannot put THIS book down. When I have supper,lunch and breakfast im reading this book. My mom thinks im crazy, but i tell her these books are great and sher says whatever. Then one day i made her read some of the book and she thought it was great. So she is going to read the book when im done. I want ALL of this series of books for my birthday. From your greatest,greatest fan Brianna
Date published: 2001-05-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Bad Beginning My friend told me about these books,"A Series of Unfortunate Events". I thought it was good and I kept asking him to tell me about it. Finally I went to the book store and read the book. I loved it, so I got the next book and the next. I am now on the 6th book, keep it up Lemony Snicket !!!!!
Date published: 2001-05-13
Rated 1 out of 5 by from I Hated it I hated #1, it was ssssoooo stupid. The end is the worst that I have ever read and I read a lot! All of the people in my school loved it but I don't see why, the ending stank!!! If there was a 0 that is what I would rate it. That's just my opinion but I think that Lemony could do wwwaaayyy better.
Date published: 2001-05-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Bad Beginning ROCKS!! I first heard about this book when my homeroom teacher read it to the class. Everyone liked it so much that we got to listen to the second book in the series, "The Repite Room". That was also a great book but, unfortunately we did didn't get to hear the third book, "The Wide Window". I liked the first two books so much that I went and bought all of the books from "The Bad beginning" to "The Vile Village". Lemony Snicket, the author of these fantastic books shows talent and humour in these amazing books. I have never showed a passion for reading but this book and the rest of the series are definitely the best books ever.
Date published: 2001-04-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from my opinion I hate to say this but I'v read almost the hole series so far and all the book I'v read are all very dipresing.There good books and all but ther to sad for me. If I were you, I woldn't read the rest of the series.
Date published: 2001-04-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Bad Beginning As a library technician at a Catholic school, I was told of a sensational author by the name of Lemony Snicket. At first, I thought what an unusual name so I did a little research and purchased the first three books in the series. There is a saying that you should never judge a book by its cover. Well, I almost did that because it does seems scary particularly to the younger students. However, after reading the first book I found the book very enjoyable, brilliant and funny. Since then, I had read the other two and the unfortunate journey of Violet, Klaus and Sunny Bauderlaine are remarkable and goes to show that children are just as intelligent and more aware of their situations as adults. Each of the characters are well described particularly Count Olaf and his numerous disguises and the dim-witted Mr. Poe. Sunny is my favourite because of the author's extraordinary insight into her mind. I have put the books on the shelves and am looking forward to purchasing the rest of the series for the library for the children to read. Well, I will be reading them before putting them on the shelves
Date published: 2001-03-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Look At Bad Many of you may not have read this book but it seems to be very interesting. It shows how even if you have alot of problems going on you can still make a difference in life and suceed. I'd say the level would be about for ages 9-99. It's a good book for the young and old, it could make you laugh or cry. When the orphans parents die in a house fire, what challenges will the orphans face? You'll only know if you read this book.
Date published: 2001-03-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Bad Beginning I ordered this book for my 10 year old daughter after a friend at work said that her children were really enjoying the series. The book arrived in the mail on a Tuesday after school and in the evening instead of watching many of her loved tv programs my daughter sat on the couch and continually read the book. At bed time she stayed up in her bed reading until 10:30pm. The next day she took the book to school so that she could continue reading during the free reading period. When I picked her up after school she announced that she had finished the book and wanted to go right out and purchase the next book in the series. My daughter has never really had a passion for reading until this book. The story ended wanting her to know how the children were going to make out. Even though I have a very sensitive child, the remarks about the story being sad did not discourage her from reading. I have just purchase the second novel and I can not wait till she returns from school to start reading it. If you want to have children that are passionate about reading then a greatly suggest The Series on Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket.
Date published: 2001-02-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Excellent Book! A very unfortunate story! There are many discriptive words in this book. This author is very creative. It's all about three orphans who are adopted by an evil man and tries to get away. So get to your nearest Chapters and get this book right away!
Date published: 2001-02-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This is Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat!!!!! This is a very good but easy read for people of all ages. I advise you go and get it straight away. Before thay run out. But I warn you that it is a very sad and heart touching book so beware. Soo get your behind off that computor seat and go to Chapters straight away to but the book of a lifetime.
Date published: 2001-02-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from a series of unfortunate events-the bad beginning the reason why i like lemony snicket is because he is very creative. You could never imagine three orphans adopted by a evil man tring to get there parent's money but with his books anything can come true. i don't have a favourite part in the book because i don't just like a part of it, i like the whole thing. Everytime i read a page i want to know more and that is why i like lemony snicket's books. I like the way that he explains every difficult word. the illustrations are very good and brett helquistis draws differently for each characterr instead of character that look alike and you can not tell who is who. That is the reason why i like this book.
Date published: 2001-02-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Irony Transformed Lemony Snicket has masterfully crafted this delicious children's book. It is ideal for adults as well as children. Full of hilarious misfortune, he grabs the attention of the reader with the opening paragraph, using the technique of reverse psychology. A great addition to any family library!!
Date published: 2000-11-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Bad Beggining The bad Beggining by Lemony Snicket Was a sad story as Lemony warns you on the back of the book. Though a sad story, it is very exciting. I recomend this book to people of ALL AGES. It's sequenses are also VERY GOOD. The series of unfornate events has now 5 books! Go to your local bookstore and buy it now!
Date published: 2000-09-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Poor, poor Baudelaires! I loved this book. I read it in the time after Harry Potter4 when i needed more to read. I've read all the others too, and this is a really good book, and all the books in the series are the as good as the othbers. "The Bad Beginning" was really, cool, and it's interesting to read the little bits about Beatrice that Mr. Snicket adds. I also like the "word which here means" and some of the other things said while reading sbout the unfortunate Baudelaires. I also like the many ways Count Olaf finds to get at the money. I'm also glad to hear there will be twelve in the series. And I like how the Baudelaires are so smart, but the grown-ups around them are such blithering idiots. It's so funny, but you have to bend your mind to see it that way. Really bend it, but looking back, you can kinda see it.
Date published: 2000-08-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Vocabulary booster One of the most well written children's books I've read in a while (along with Harry Potter) This entire series may appeal to young readers and their parents. Readers are presented with words, some complicated, others with several meanings,definitions and explanations to what they mean (in a number of situations)follow closely. The story is interesting enough for the young reader, but adults may enjoy th author's witty sense of humour and play on words.
Date published: 2000-08-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Depression, depression and more depression! The Bad Beginning is one of the most delightful books ever. Even though it is quite sad and ironic. Lemony Snicket's matter-of-factly way of writing is refreshingly different than other authors thus making this book as good as the Harry Potter series. The Bad Beginning's characters like Count Olaf, the person who looks like a man and a woman combined and the hook handed man; the settings like Count Olaf's house and Olaf's plot to get at the Baudelaire fortune make this book a must-read for all book lovers.
Date published: 2000-08-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Bad Beginning Violet, Klaus and Sunny Bauldelaire are on the beach while their parents are at home. A man comes and tells them horrid news. From there on, they run into terrible situations. I guess it's safe to say the Bauldelaire's are magnets of misfourtune. I thought it was a rather depressing book. However, I'd say Lemony Snicket is an author someone who has to much prozzak will be calmed down by this book!
Date published: 2000-07-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AS GOOD AS HARRY POTTER Dear Lemony Snicket, Since i have read your first book, i'm going crazy over all your books and trying to fing the whole set to read. It totaly changed my life , like when things could get worse, it turns out to be the worse i thought it could be. So i'm always begging my mom to go shopping with me to find the books and as you can see i'm alway's looking all over the stores ( expecially Chapters) even grocery stores but no luck at finding more than 4 books. I've read the first book and already I have gone crazy to read the rest. So hopefully you send out more to Chapter's and other store's ( and chapter's also I also like your service because the people in your bookstore are very helpful and i can always find the things i need to find like the washroom's and my favourite books in the children and adult sections so i'm giving you both good cedit for your wonderful work , thanks for all the help you have provided me and my family.
Date published: 2000-06-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Phenominal Beginning to a great series. Operating on different levels, this book is equally appropriate for young readers and their parents. It's witty, it's well-written and it draws you in from the first page. The story is a little formulaic (three orphans are placed with an evil relative...), but the execution is flawless.
Date published: 2000-06-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book, Lemony Snicket!!! Although I thought that this book was sometimes ironic, and minorly depressing, I also thought that it was very well writen and funny. I always wanted to know what was going to happen next even though I knew that what ever it was probably would not turn out very well for the Baudelaire children. Although I am 13, This book caught my eye almost right away. For some reason, this book reminded of Harry Potter although the authors write almost totally in different ways and I loved the Harry Potter books. In short I really enjoyed this book and I'm sure to read it again and again.
Date published: 2000-06-18
Rated 2 out of 5 by from mother I read this book before giving it to my daughters who are 8 & 10 years old. I found it to be quite cleverly written although the story line is depressing. Both my daughters began the book enthusiastically but did not finish it because of "all the sadness". I will not be buying any more in the series.
Date published: 2000-06-03

Extra Content

From the Author

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

From Our Editors

This is a book that starts out badly, gets worse and never gets better. The Baudelaire children -- 14-year old inventor Violet, bookish 12-year old Klaus and baby Sunny -- suddenly lose their parents and home in a tragic fire, and are sent to live with the ghoulish Count Olaf, who hatches a plot to steal the children's fortune, which is held in trust. The mysterious author -- with the unlikely moniker Lemony Snicket -- makes no apologies for the bleakness of the plot; rather he revels in it. In witty Dickensian addresses to the reader he warns of the inevitably unhappy events to come and peppers his prose with challenging vocabulary used in most interesting and amusing ways. The book has a English gothic/Victorian feel, emphasized by the stylized cover illustration and an executor named Mr. Poe, but some details give readers a modernist jolt, such as walkie-talkies used to perpetuate the dastardly plot to hang baby Sunny out of a high tower in a bird cage. A most unusual but worthwhile chapter book for readers who are tired of typical children's fiction. Ages 9 and up.

Employee Review

This book introduces us to Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire, who lose their parents and their house to a terrible fire. Now orphans, they are sent to live with the horrible Count Olaf, who makes their lives miserable while trying to steal the Baudelaire fortune. In each book in the series, the children are sent to a different foster parent, only to have Count Olaf find them. The children outwit him, and he gets away without the fortune. The stories are a little predictable, but they're fun -- and only take a couple of hours to read.