The Bad Beginning
by Lemony Snicket
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A Series of Unfortunate Events 1: The Bad Beginning / 9780061757099
I came to this book after already watching the tie-in movie "Lemony Snicket's a Series of Unfortunate Events". I was fairly certain I would like the novel, as I had enjoyed the movie well enough and I knew that the books were supposed to contain a lot of dark humor, but I was surprised at how very much I loved "The Bad Beginning".
This novel is slender and can be whipped through in a few short hours - if it has any drawbacks at all, it would perhaps be the price-to-page ratio. However, the story is engaging and well-told and it's impossible to not be drawn into the drama of the Baudelaire orphans as they struggle to survive in the wake of their parents' deaths. The children are wonderfully characterized, and it is such a breath of fresh air to have Violet as an active female character who invents things and scales towers; and brother Klaus is a delightful support character as the brainy bookworm who digs through libraries for answers to help the children out of peril. And, of course, Sunny the biter adds a great deal to the story with her loosely translated shrieks and baby gurgles.
A note about the audiobook edition of this book: this installation in the series is narrated by Tim Curry. He narrates the story superbly and adds a wonderful layer of creepy inflection over the entire affair. The pacing is excellent and the overall effect on the reader is very immersive and well worth the listen.
~ Ana Mardoll
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