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The Bad Beginning: Book the First (A Series of Unfortunate Events)

The Bad Beginning: Book the First (A Series of Unfortunate Events)

4.5 1428
by Lemony Snicket

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Are you made fainthearted by death? Does fire unnerve you? Is a villain something that might crop up in future nightmares of yours? Are you thrilled by nefarious plots? Is cold porridge upsetting to you? Vicious threats? Hooks? Uncomfortable clothing?

It is likely that your answers will reveal A Series of



Are you made fainthearted by death? Does fire unnerve you? Is a villain something that might crop up in future nightmares of yours? Are you thrilled by nefarious plots? Is cold porridge upsetting to you? Vicious threats? Hooks? Uncomfortable clothing?

It is likely that your answers will reveal A Series of Unfortunate Events to be ill-suited for your personal use. A librarian, bookseller, or acquaintance should be able to suggest books more appropriate for your fragile temperament. But to the rarest of readers we say, "Proceed, but cautiously."

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
A Series of Unfortunate Events
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File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Lemony Snicket had an unusual education which may or may not explain his ability to evade capture. He is the author of the 13 volumes in A Series of Unfortunate Events, several picture books including The Dark, and the books collectively titled All The Wrong Questions.

Brett Helquist's celebrated art has graced books from the charming Bedtime for Bear, which he also wrote, to the New York Times–bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket to the glorious picture book adaptation of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. He lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.

Brief Biography

Snicket is something of a nomad. Handler lives in San Francisco, California.
Date of Birth:
February 28, 1970
Place of Birth:
Handler was born in San Francisco in 1970, and says Snicket's family has roots in a land that's now underwater.
Handler is a 1992 graduate of Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

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Bad Beginning 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1428 reviews.
greeninoakpark More than 1 year ago
I bought the Lemony Snicket book 1 to get motivated to continue with my desire to write my own children's story. Surprisingly, I am hooked! I read through book one and couldn't wait to get book 2! I am now on the 4th in the series and look forward to reading each and every one! I won't miss a book! They are fun and great reading for ALL ages. So get started and enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At first I didn't really like the series but then after I finished the first chapter I got hooked into the book on the nook.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book even though I'm 39. I bought it for my 11 year old son and the cover didn't look too exciting to him. He had to have a book report book and this was the only one we had at home. I started reading the first page late one night and couldn't put it down. I read the first 3 chapters and finished it the next day. I was pretty good for a "kiddie" book. I'm ready to start the next one...the reptile room i believe it is.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A Series of Unfortunate Events The Bad Beginnning This story is about three children whose parents are killed in a fire, so they have to go live with their uncle, Count Olaf. When the three children¿s parents are killed in the fire, their dad¿s old friend, Mr. Poe, helps them. Mr. Poe gives them over to Count Olaf, and then they realize he¿s only after the family fortune. The three children try to catch the Count throughout the book. I recommend this book to everyone, because it keeps you on the edge of your seat. I liked this book because the children are smart. They were smart because when Count Olaf tried to marry the oldest child, Violet, they were reading laws about marriage. They made a plan to catch Count Olaf trying to marry Violet against her will. To catch Count Olaf is very smart because they read the law books and made plans. I liked this book because of the children¿s personalities. They were always happy when they were together doing anything. They were motivated when working on the plan to catch Count Olaf. They knew that they shouldn¿t be scared of Count Olaf because they had each other. I liked this book because it leaves you with a cliffhanger. You don¿t know what is going to happen to the children when they leave Count Olaf. You wonder where Count Olaf disappeared to, and what is he going to do when he comes back. When you are reading this book you feel like you are in the children¿s shoes, and still keeps you on the edge of your seat. Reading this book leaves you with a cliffhanger to let you know there is another a story.
Cinnamon-A More than 1 year ago
I love this book. It's about three brilliant kids who try to get away from their mean, evil relative. This is breath taking and a beautiful work of art.
LiteracyMaven More than 1 year ago
This book begins a long series that entices the reader at every turn. The characters are truly overblown and, therefore, incredibly fun to read about. It harks back to the 1930's movie serials with the heroes placed in the most threatening and in turn ridiculous situations. The beauty of the book is that while it is thrilling it is not gory or frightening in any real way. The book begins the chronicles of the three orphaned Baudelaire children, Violet, Klaus and baby Sunny,each with unusual skills, who would be right at home with the kids from the Addams family or the cartoons of Edward Gorey. They are trying survive so that they can find the out why their parents were killed. Every page is a high level language lesson. Words are used and then explained in context so the reader is exposed to incredible amounts of vocabulary in the most painless way possible. These books are a delight to read and so engaging that both girls and boys can't wait to read them. Even the author, Lemony Snicket, is part of the fun as the books are "mysteriously" written and given to Daniel Hendler to be share with the world. In the first book they are placed in the custody of their "Uncle" a nefarious character with a telltale tattoo on his ankle....and the fun begins. Do your child aged 9+ a favor and invite him or her into the world of Lemony Snicket.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read the frist two books and watched the movie (books 1-3). It is awesome.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading the sad tales. If you dont like sad books, dont read these ones.
huntertheman More than 1 year ago
Book Reveiw This book Unfortunate Events is a great book. It is written by Lemony Snicket. It is a fiction book and adventure book. I thinki this book is a good short book for 5 and 6 graders. It has 162 pages in it so, it is not a very long story. It is full of idea's from the baudelaire children. The name's of the baudelair's are Sunny, Klause, and Violet. I give this book a 5 star for it's rating. It has alot of adventure and when u start reading it you want to keep reading it. This book is about 3 children that's parent's died in a fire at there house. The 3 children, Klause, Sunny, and Violet are very smart children that know how to build very big and hard inventions, like building a raft to survive on water. The baudelair family only had 1 friend that would offer to watch the kids when there parents died. His name is Count Olaf. He is the most meanest person you will ever meet in your life. He hates the children but keeps them for only 1 reason. The children have to sleep in a room that is the size of a closet and no view of the city. They have to make there own food and drinks. Count Olaf has an evil crew and he is the leader.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The bad beginning is a great beginning to the series. It is full of excitement action and mystery. If you arent someone who likes fiction than you will still love this series. Even though it may get a little confusing along the way. Lemony Snicket really describes the pain and dissapointment the bauldelaires are dealling with.A series of unfortunate events is one of the best series you will ever read and i mean it. Lemony Snicket deserves a thumbs up!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best bookkk!!!!!!its the bomb digetty.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The series of unfortunate event follows the lives of the Bauldelair orphans. They became orphans when their parents died in a mysterious fire, leaving them an enormous fortune. Now Violet the eldest, and the inventor of the family, Klaus,the middle child and book worm, and Sunny, the youngest one with a passion for bitting, must go to live with there closest relative (who they don't at all know) Count Olaf. They don't get the greatest first impression of him, and he only gets worse. Does Count Olaf really care about the kids, or is he just after the money? I highly recomend this amazing series that will take on a journy and make you feel like your part of the story. I will admit that i became obbsessed with this book just like Klaus.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the serie of unfortunate events they are awesome and i want the special edition even though i read the origanal one lol I CANT WAIT TO READ IT ive read like all the books and i started to read them AT THE END OF SCHOOL!!!!!!!!!! AND IM ELEVEN YEARS OLD!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. I am proud to say that i'm hooked to fantasy books now. Before, I refused to read any book that looked like fantasy. I opened the book thinking it be the most boring book ever not knowing that I, later that day would not get off the couch until I finished the book. I really liked the plot. I enjoyed the part when Klaus figured out the evil plan. I am on book 7 now and I will not stop reading until I finish the series. Who knows? Maybe you'll read the series!?!!
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
After already having seen the movie, I decided to invest in reading the books. Bk #1, THE BAD BEGINNING, only took me an hour to finish, and it was an enjoyable--if dark--read.

The Baudelaire children--Violet, Klaus, and Sunny--are left orphaned after a mysterious fire destroys their home and kills their parents. Taken into custody by Mr. Poe, the executor of their parent's estate, they learn that their parent's will states that they must be cared for by a relative. The closest relative, unbeknownest to the children, is Count Olaf, an actor and leader of a theatre troupe who lives in a dilapitated house on the other side of town.

Things, of course, only go from bad to worse after the children move into Count Olaf's home, which is strangely covered inside and out with drawings and representations of a strange-looking eye. Count Olaf even has a tattoo of the same image on his ankle. As the Count hatches a scheme to gain control of the Baudelaire fortune, which the children are not privy to until Violet comes of age, the children are alternately scared of their new "parent" and determined to find a way out of their dreadful situation.

I enjoyed this walk on the dark side, and plan on reading Book #2 in the series later today. That said, however, I think it depends on your child and his or her maturity as to whether this would be a good read for them or not. Although the reading material is suitable for around 8 years old and up, the book IS dark-natured, and might scare some children. If they've already seen the movie, they might be prepared for its darkness--if the movie depiction scared them, then hold off on the book for awhile.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is Very Finely Described with Vindictive, Fairly Dreadful people. If you lived in a Village Full of Demons, I wouldn't read this book, I would Valliantly Flee to a Distant land. If you were a Vile, Famous Delinquent, I guess you could read this book, but it is a Veering Flimsy Drive down to the road of justice. If you are a member of an organization that is for a noble cause, then this could be a Valuable, Fine Device to use for information. If you'd excuse me, I need to go Vacuum the Fairly Dusty carpet.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read all the series and loved them. But the very end, the 13th, was very surprising! Any way great book you guys should definitly read them!!!
caitlyn10 More than 1 year ago
Lemony Snickets is a good author of writing the Series of Unfortunate Events. Violet, Klaus and Sunny are three orphans who lost their parents in a fire that burned their whole mansion down to the ground. Then Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire experience their mom's first cousins brother's second cousins uncle and then there is the evil Count Olaf that made them do a whole bunch of bad chores and made them cook dinner for his acting troupe. It is a good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i loved this book but it is also very sad one part brakes my heart. count olaf should have been arrested inthe begging of the book not at the end. i do not want to give away any more of the book but you should read it. you should also read the rest of the series if you do not want to cry. i almost did in the middle of book 1. this book is a 5 star book. from unknown ( sorry for not saying my name.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I never thought that I would even lay a finger on this series because of the weird covers but I am so glad that I read the overview! I read this series called The Secret Series and I loved it! The thing that I loved the most about it was that the author talked to the reader and he put his thoughts and feelings in the story. When I saw the dear reader part in the overview I knew that I would love this series because the auther talks to the reader. I was sooo right!!! I ended up loving the first book and am trying to get the second!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So good I want to read book 2#! I like books happy endings but for a book with a sad ending it's really good!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is not the best book I have ever read but I do recomend it for grades three andup
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think that you shold read this book in my opion the sieas is like a mix of villonly, heros,and mrder
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best book i have ever read i read them all the time my friend told me about them and soon evetybody was reading this totally read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The series is so good that I read all 13 books twice. They are about Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire. Their parents died in a house fire when they were 16, 14, and an infant, respectively. The fire killed their parents and destoyed their family's large home, and as a result, they were sent to live with their relative, Count Olaf. Count Olaf is an evil, greedy man who only wanted the children so he can steal their fortune, which the orphans cannot claim until Violet turns 18. Olaf repeatedly comes up with plans to try to seize the orphans' money, but the children outsmart him, even in the strangest of situations. Violet is a bright inventor, Klaus is an avid bookreader, and Sunny likes to bite things (which has helped them from time to time). There is a lot of witty humor and action throughout the books, and it is very thrilling, but it's not scary or gory or anything like that. Good for children and teens 9+. Be sure to remember that there are 12 more books after this one, so if you like this one, READ THE OTHERS TOO. Highly recommended. I seriously cannot stress this enough.