Un mal principio (The Bad Beginning: Book the First)

( 6 )


Querido lector:
Siento decirte que este libro que tienes en las manos es extremadamente desagradable. Cuenta una triste historia acerca de tres niños con muy mala suerte. Aunque son encantadores y muy listos, los hermanos Baudelaire llevan una vida llena de desgracias e infortunios. Desde la primera página de este libro, cuando los niños están en la playa y reciben terribles noticias, y a lo largo de toda la historia, un sinfín de desastres ...
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Querido lector:
Siento decirte que este libro que tienes en las manos es extremadamente desagradable. Cuenta una triste historia acerca de tres niños con muy mala suerte. Aunque son encantadores y muy listos, los hermanos Baudelaire llevan una vida llena de desgracias e infortunios. Desde la primera página de este libro, cuando los niños están en la playa y reciben terribles noticias, y a lo largo de toda la historia, un sinfín de desastres les van pisando los talones. Casi se podría decir que tienen un imán para las catástrofes.

Sólo en este librito tan corto, los tres jóvenes y simpáticos niños se enfrentan con un codicioso y repulsivo malvado, se ven obligados a llevar ropa que pica, sobreviven al desastre de un pavoroso incendio, a un complot para despojarles de su fortuna y a tener que tomar gachas frís para el desayuno.

Yo tengo la triste obligación de escribir estos desagradables acontecimientos, pero a ti nada te impide cerrar inmediatamente este libro y leer algo más alegre, si eso es lo que prefieres.

Con todo mi respeto,
Lemony Snicket

After the sudden death of their parents, the three Baudelaire children must depend on each other and their wits when it turns out that the distant relative who is appointed their guardian is determined to use any means necessary to get their fortune.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Bad Beginning is actually a great beginning. It's the first book in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, a wonderfully different and disastrous children's story starring three highly unlucky siblings. In this first book, readers are introduced to the unfortunate Baudelaire children -- 14-year-old Violet, 12-year-old Klaus, and their infant sister, Sunny -- when they learn they've just been orphaned by a terrible house fire. The executor of the Baudelaire estate -- a phlegm-plagued banker named Mr. Poe -- sends the children to live with a distant relative: a conniving and dastardly villain named Count Olaf, who has designs on the Baudelaire fortune. Count Olaf uses the children as slave labor, provides horrid accommodations for them, and makes them cook huge meals for him and his acting troupe, a bunch of odd-looking, renegade good-for-nothings. When the children are commandeered to appear in Count Olaf's new play, they grow suspicious and soon learn that the play is not the innocent performance it seems but rather a scheme cooked up by Olaf to help him gain control of the children's millions. All this bad luck does provide for both great fun and great learning opportunities, however. Violet is a budding McGyver whose inventions help the children in their quest, Klaus possesses a great deal of book smarts, and Sunny -- whose only real ability is an incredibly strong bite -- provides moral support and frequent comedy relief. Then there are the many amusing word definitions, colloquialisms, clichés, hackneyed phrases, and other snippets of language provided by the narrator (a character in his own right) that can't help but expand readers' vocabularies. Though the Baudelaire children suffer myriad hardships and setbacks, in the end they do manage to outsmart and expose Olaf's devious ways. But of course, with luck like theirs, it's a given that Olaf will escape and return to torment them again some day. If only misery was always this much fun. (Beth Amos)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789685958301
  • Publisher: Random House Mondadori
  • Publication date: 2/28/2006
  • Language: Spanish
  • Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events , #1
  • Edition description: Spanish-language Edition
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Lemony Snicket
Lemony Snicket
To the uninitiated, his name may sound more like dessert than good reading; but Lemony Snicket (known to communicate through emissary Daniel Handler, shown here) is a star author to readers who are hooked on his gloomy A Series of Unfortunate Events books. You never know what will happen to those poor Baudelaire orphans next -- only that whatever it is, it's going to be a head-shaking shame.


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."

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    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 5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2009

    This book is great for everyone who wants to fall into a book and maybe a whole series!

    I would give The Bad Beginning written by Lemony Snicket a 4.5 star rating. This story in my opinion is a 4.5 because it is very addicting and suspenseful. I enjoyed the fact that at the beginning of every chapter Lemony Snicket added his own opinion about what had happened in the past chapter. I also found it interesting how he warns you not to read the book because of how gloomy it is and because of all of the unfortunate events it tells about. And by him telling you not to read it-it makes you want to read it more so he uses reverse psychology on his readers. To compare the story to something I also watched the movie. I found that the movie leaves out many important details like how Count Olaf makes the Baudelaire orphans do many difficult chores and how Violet gets caught when trying to safe Sunny and all three of the orphans are locked in the tower until the performance. They also left out how Violet makes the marriage untrue by signing with her left hand when she is right handed. Therefore, I think that the book deserves a 4.5 star rating.<BR/> The overall setting of The Bad Beginning is gloomy, sad, and depressing. In the beginning of the story when the children are at Briny Beach it is described as a very depressing and gloomy setting because they said it was a grey, cloudy day and they had the beach all to themselves. Then when they moved in with Mr. Poe for a few weeks while he looked for relatives for the children to live with, the setting was miserable because they shared a small room with Mr. Poe¿s two sons so they were crammed into a small place, annoyed by the two boys, and it said that the house also smelled very bad. Most of the story however, took place at Count Olaf¿s house which was the worst of all settings. It was dirty, dark, gloomy, sad, and very depressing. The Baudelaire¿s had one small. Dirty room, with only one bed so Violet and Klaus had to alternate. And for Sunny, Violet used her inventing skills to make a small bed out of the curtains hanging in the window. So the main setting of the story is gloomy and depressing.<BR/> Violet Baudelaire is the eldest of the three Baudelaire children; she is fourteen and is always coming up with new inventions. Klaus is the middle child of the Baudelaire children; he is a very smart twelve year old who loves to read books. Sunny is the youngest of the Baudelaire children and loves to bite things. Count Olaf is an evil man who is the new guardian of the Baudelaire orphans, and who plans to steal their fortune. Mr. Poe is and accountant who is in control of the Baudelaire fortune; he is always coughing and doesn¿t believe what the children say about Count Olaf. And Justice Strauss is Count Olaf¿s lovely and very friendly neighbor who allows the children to use her library and was tricked into marrying Count Olaf and Violet.<BR/> The main conflict that occurs in the story is that after the sudden death of their parents in a fire, the three Baudelaire children are forced to depend on one another and their wits when it turns out that their distant relative, Count Olaf, who is their new guardian, is determined to use any means necessary to get their large family fortune. So the story is about there life as they move from their wonderful life with their loving supportive parents and living in a mansion to living in a beat up, old house, with the evil Count Olaf who gives them impossible chores to do and a terrible environment to live in.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2006

    A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning

    The Bad Beginning, by Lemony Snicket, tells an unhappy story about three very unlucky children. The three Baudelaire children come across a series of very unfortunate events. Their parents suddenly die in an unexpected fire that burns their entire house down. The three children are Violet, Klaus, and Sunny. Violet is fourteen and is always coming up with new inventions, Klaus is a very smart twelve year old and loves to read books, and Sunny is the youngest and she loves to bite things. The Baudelaire children¿s life is completely changing rite before their eyes. Count Olaf adopts the Baudelaire children. He is a very evil man and is always trying to get to the Baudelaire¿s fortune. He calls the children orphans and treats them like his servants, making them cook his meals and do the house chores. Count Olaf has an evil plan to get a hold of their fortune and the Baudelaire children are determined to stop him. This book is gloomy, terrifying, and entertaining, all at the same time. Once you start this book, you will not want to stop. This book also has an ending you would never expect. Once you have read this book, you will surely want to read the next one in the series. There are twelve books in the whole series so you can continue the mystery by reading them all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2005

    Great Book for all Ages

    It is a great book for all ages because the little ones can get help by the difinitions stated right there in the book. My 18 year brother reads them and so do my third grade friends.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2004

    Is the best book I read

    I think that is a good book not only the firs one all the series that I read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2003

    Great For Children

    if your child is struggling in the world of litureture and all you want is for her to complete one whole book, this is the book for you. It's weird plot structure and charector setting pulls your child in emidiatly makeing them anxious to turn to the next page. I highly recomend this book to any parent who just wants their child to have a good time lying back and reading

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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