The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1) The Short-Lived Edition

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A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning

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Overview

Dear Reader,

The book you are holding in your hands is a short-lived edition of a book that will likely make your life shorter as well. The tale of three Baudelaire children, who find themselves thrown into an unhappy situation containing a treacherous villain with an evil scheme and bad manners, becomes more and more dreadful on each page, and everyone so foolhardy as to read it will find themselves weeping and moaning by the end of the book.

This book is offered at an introductory price, but it introduces the reader to such unpleasantries as a disastrous fire, itchy clothing, a baby trapped in a cage, a plot to steal an enormous fortune, and dusty curtains.

I made a solemn promise to write down these wretched tales, but you have no such promise, and if I were you I would put down a book this terrible, no matter how reasonably priced.

With all due respect,

Lemony Snicket

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062206046
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/29/2012
  • Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events , #1
  • Pages: 176
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Lemony Snicket

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

Brett Helquist's celebrated art has graced books from the charming Roger, The Jolly Pirate, to the alarming New York Times bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events, to the cozy E. B. White Read-Aloud Award finalist bedtime for bear. He lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.

Biography

As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end -- and, in the case of Lemony Snicket, all unfortunate things must come to an end, too. After seven years and thirteen episodes, the much beloved A Series of Unfortunate Events books are drawing to a close. At least, that's what Snicket's "handler" Daniel Handler says.

But before getting to what promises to be "the most unfortunate event of all," it is first necessary to familiarize oneself with the mysterious man who created a mega-selling series of children's novels pivoting on the premise of placing young people in peril. According to his autobiography Lemony Snicket: the Unauthorized Autobiography, Snicket "grew up near the sea and currently lives beneath it. To his horror and dismay, he has no wife or children, only enemies, associates, and the occasional loyal manservant. His trial has been delayed, so he is free to continue researching and recording the tragic tales of the Baudelaire orphans." Hmmm. Perhaps an autobiography purporting that it may or may not be true isn't the best place to begin.

Instead, let us focus on Daniel Handler, the man who might actually be responsible for composing the Series of Unfortunate Events books according to certain skeptics (which include Handler, himself). Daniel Handler has been asked many times why anyone would want to make a career of chronicling the ghastly trials of a trio of ill-fated orphans. "When I was young, my favorite stories were not the sort of children's books that are constantly being thrust at you when you're little," he explained in an audio essay on Barnes & Noble.com. "I didn't like books where people played on a sports team and won a bunch of games, or went to summer camp and had a wonderful time. I really liked a book where a witch might cut a child's head off or a pack of angry dogs might burst through a door and terrorize a family. So, I guess it should not be surprising that when I turned to children's literature I tried to think of all sorts of interesting things to happen to small children, and all of these things were pretty dreadful."

Handler has long made it clear that his wildly popular series would be limited to thirteen installments. The Penultimate Peril: Book the Twelfth finds the much-beleaguered Baudelaire orphans "enjoying" a family vacation at a menacing hotel, and Handler is wrapping up his saga with The End: Book the Thirteenth, which promises to tie up all remaining threads in the story in an undoubtedly exciting manner.

However, the conclusion of his series is no indication that Handler plans on bringing his writing career to an end. He has also written adult-targeted titles under his own name, including his latest, Adverbs: A Novel. This exploration of love, which Publishers Weekly deemed "lovely" and "lilting," may forgo the trademark Lemony Snicket wry morbidity, but Handler ensures readers that the book isn't without its own unfortunate events. "It's a fairly miserable story, as any story about love will be," he says. "People try to find love -- some of them find it, some of them don't, some of them have an unhappy time even if they do find it -- but it is considerably more cheerful than any of my so-called children's books."

Good To Know

Daniel Handler has a potentially embarrassing confession to make: he is an avowed accordion player. Handler says that when he told his parents about his decidedly uncool musical pursuits, they reacted "as if I had taken up heroin."

His interest in music does not end with the accordion. Close friend and leader of indie-rock band The Magnetic Fields Steven Merritt has written an original song for each audio book version of the Series of Unfortunate Events books. Merritt and Handler will be releasing a CD of all 13 "dreadful" songs when the final installment of the series is published in late 2006. Handler also lent his accordion-laying talents to The Magnetic Fields' critically acclaimed album 69 Love Songs.

Handler's persistence may rival that of the never-say-die Baudelaire orphans. His first novel, The Basic Eight, was rejected 37 times before it was finally published.

He enjoys the work of novelist Haruki Murakami so much that Handler devoted an entire essay to the subject in the plainly and guilelessly entitled Village Voice review, "I Love Murakami."

According to a former high school classmate writing in the local paper, Handler was "voted not only Class Clown, but also Best Actor, Chatterbox, and Teacher's Pet."

A few fun facts from our interview with Handler:

"I can cook anything."

"I know one very good card trick."

"I auditioned for an enormous role in the film Gigli."

Read More Show Less
    1. Also Known As:
      In some parts, people get to know him through his handler, Daniel Handler.
    2. Hometown:
      Snicket is something of a nomad. Handler lives in San Francisco, California.
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 28, 1970
    2. 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.
    1. Education:
      Handler is a 1992 graduate of Wesleyan University in Connecticut.
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 1356 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(977)

4 Star

(217)

3 Star

(79)

2 Star

(36)

1 Star

(47)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 1363 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 17, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    I'm Hooked!

    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!

    91 out of 101 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2011

    AWSOMENESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    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.

    47 out of 64 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2010

    Great Kiddie Book!

    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.

    38 out of 48 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2007

    Very Adventurous

    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.

    35 out of 50 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2012

    Great book

    I really enjoyed reading the sad tales.
    If you dont like sad books, dont read these ones.

    25 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2011

    Awesome series

    I have read the frist two books and watched the movie (books 1-3). It is awesome.

    25 out of 37 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    WEIRD AND WONDERFUL..READING AND LEARNING HIDDEN IN GHOULISH FUN!

    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.

    22 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 21, 2009

    This Is A Wonderful Book

    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.

    21 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2012

    Tainna

    Best bookkk!!!!!!its the bomb digetty.

    17 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    my book review!!

    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.

    15 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2012

    LOL

    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!!!!!!!!!!!!

    9 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2004

    A disappointed reader

    Given all the recent talk regarding this book, I felt compelled to find out exactly what was the content of such a book that my young nieces and nephews might be reading. To my disappointment, I found a poorly written book that merely and obviously attempts to capture the profitable audience of children with a series of books, much the same way Harry Potter has. In addition, I was also horrified to find a plot consisting of an incestuous relationship, which undermines the sanctity of marriage by presenting it as just a legal means to an end. Upon completion of this book, I was forced to return it for fear that one day my nieces and nephews might find it in my library and want to read it.

    9 out of 43 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

    Love it!!!!

    Love the book and the movie but the book better!!!!!!

    8 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2012

    The bad beginning

    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!!!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 5, 2011

    Lame

    Mark my words do NOT get it

    7 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius" for TeensReadToo.com

    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. <BR/><BR/>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. <BR/><BR/>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. <BR/><BR/>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.

    7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2012

    VFD

    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.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2012

    Fantastic book!

    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!?!!


    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2012

    This is a terrible book, designed solely to sell a series to uns

    This is a terrible book, designed solely to sell a series to unsuspecting parents. The plot is boring, the characters flat, and the writing ho-hum. This is not worth your valuable time with your children.

    6 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2012

    U changed my life ! Thank u l.s.

    Im on the sixth book so far, but u know its so weird. Author is so depressed over his dead wife-im sorry for that-and i rread his depression in the lifes of three children.There parents died, but L.S. wife died too. And hes saying that his life is hopeless like the children. I think he wrote these books after his wife died.
    But dude ur life isnt hopeless. U got fans that freakin love u(like me!!!!) . Ur freakin awesome man, keep writin

    6 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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