Monday, August 21, 2006

Review: "A Series of Unfortunate Events,Book the First: A Bad Beginning" by Lemony Snicket.

Okay I sat down and decided to read the "Series of Unfortunate events" Books. (I make my best decisions sitting down.) After all I got the books once for my step-son to read, and then my step-daughter started reading them and they weren't wrong about Harry Potter, so I'm giving this series a chance. Besides, this October Mr. Lemony Snicket (a.k.a. Daniel Handler author of "Watch Your Mouth","The Basic Eight" & "Adverbs") will be ending the series with book 13.

Okay first of all if you've seen the should have read the books first, at least, that's what I'm finding out. The movie has bits and pieces of the first 3 books all scrambled to make the movie.

In this first book we find the unfortunate Baudelaire children, who once led happy lives, have lost their parents and their home. They are then shuffled off to live with some distant relative they had never heard of, Count Olaf. Well the Count is only after their fortune. So he comes up with a brilliant plan to marry the 14 year old violet, thus giving him control over the fortune. Hmmmm something strange about an old man marrying a 14 year old girl. But they have many unfortunate encounters...notice they are never bad...just unfortunate.

Without just retelling the story, I'll just say this that anything good that happens to these kids doesn't last.

Now the storytelling in this book and I'm sure like the rest of the books in the series, is written in a very cynical/ironic voice. When something bad happens the author will say, or rather ask you to stop reading and constantly tell you nothing good happens to the orphans. At the same time these books are great for children ages 8 - 16, not only for great reading but also because the author teaches with his writing. In a unique tool, which allows for several asides to the reader, the author also defines some words that definitely help to increase a young reader's vocabulary. Now as an adult I found some of this irritating...defining words I already knew the meaning of, however he found ways to define some of the words to fit within the story.

Get those kids to reading. There are 12 and soon to be 13 books in this series, so they can stay interested for a while.

I'm cutting this review short because I'm going to start on the next book in the series "The Reptile Room" and may provide some more info in that review.

Books I am currently reading (and will be reviewing soon):

"Bushwhacked" by Molly Ivins & Lou Dubose

"The Accidental" by Ali Smith

"A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book The Second: The Reptile Room" by Lemony Snicket.

"No One Here Gets Out Alive" by Danny Sugerman and Jerry Hopkins

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