Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1)

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  247,766 Ratings  ·  9,442 Reviews
Hyvä lukija,

valitettavasti minun täytyy kertoa sinulle, että käsissäsi on erittäin epämiellyttävä kirja. Se kertoo kolmen hyvin epäonnisen lapsen onnettoman tarinan. Vaikka Baudelairen sisarukset ovat miellyttäviä ja viisaita lapsia, heidän elämänsä on täynnä murhetta ja vaivaa. Onnettomuus hiipii heidän kintereillään jo ensimmäisillä sivuilla, kun lapset ovat rannalla ja
Paperback, 176 pages
Published September 30th 1999 by Scholastic, Inc.
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Bad Beginning, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Elizabeth Newton I am 28 and I am now reading the series... for the fourth time through. Even though I know I will become slightly obsessed by it during that time. You…moreI am 28 and I am now reading the series... for the fourth time through. Even though I know I will become slightly obsessed by it during that time. You guessed it - I love it!!(less)
Emma Clark It isn't a BAD book......though if you expect something where the main characters have everything and are super happy then maybe. The book gets better…moreIt isn't a BAD book......though if you expect something where the main characters have everything and are super happy then maybe. The book gets better as tthe series progresses.....overall this is a very good book!
The only annoying thing is everything is explained so it kinda feels like a dictionary......(less)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingThe Lightning Thief by Rick RiordanTwilight by Stephenie MeyerThe Giver by Lois LowryCity of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Best Young Adult Books
38th out of 10,205 books — 69,068 voters
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. RowlingTwilight by Stephenie MeyerHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. RowlingThe Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
The BOOK was BETTER than the MOVIE
39th out of 1,342 books — 17,690 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Dec 04, 2013 Chris rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
I am not a violent man. In my lifetime, I have never been in a fight. I've never seriously threatened anyone with violence, never made anyone feel afraid by my physical presence, never even really seriously considered doing violence to another person.

Having said that, the feelings this book evoked in me were... violent.

Not because Lemony Snicket has written a book where terribly unfortunate things happen to small children - I have no problems with that and in fact encourage it; it builds charact
Catriona (LittleBookOwl)
For some reason I had the sudden urge to re-read these books... so I decided to start listening to them on audiobook!
I have the 11th book in a physical copy, but I will eventually be picking the rest of them up as well.
Feb 25, 2008 Lizziegolightly rated it it was amazing
When I was a child, I learned a thing or two from reading the works of Roald Dahl. The most important of these lessons is that adults are, more often than not, either evil or oblivious and, to co-opt Lemony Snicket's writing style, by oblivious I mean "lacking conscious awareness; unmindful."

As an adult, I have only received mountains of proof substantiating the notion that adults are either evil or oblivious. All you need to do is watch the news or enter the workforce and you too will realize t
J.G. Keely
Jul 28, 2011 J.G. Keely rated it it was ok
Shelves: humor, novel, reviewed, america
So the premise of this book (as the narrator keeps helpfully reminding us) is that this group of three children will continue to have difficult problems to overcome, and every time they succeed in dealing with one problem, another will crop up. In the writing business, this is what's known as 'a plot'.

But then he takes it one step further: in addition to all the difficulties along the way, he assures us that the characters will never break this pattern, and there will be no 'happy ending'. I thi
Nov 22, 2011 Monk rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those Who Missed The Potter Bus
I never really did get into Harry Potter. I imagine that this is viewed as a crime by most everyone on this service. For some it is heresy. But, I refuse to stand shamefaced - Hogwarts just didn't do it for me.

I didn't think this would either.

However, I was more than pleasantly surprised. I am of a somewhat morbid streak, and the Series of Unfortunate Events books, I must say, tickles that grotesque bone in a way most pleasing.

The story of the Baudelaire Children is one filled with tragedy and d
Mark Lawrence
Sep 29, 2015 Mark Lawrence rated it really liked it
I'm reading through this series with my daughter Celyn (10 years old, very disabled, hence Dad does the reading).

Edit: Finished & reviewed all 13!

So, this is a clever, entertaining book set in a world like ours but populated with bizarre characters and with distinctly dark undercurrents.

Recurring themes throughout the series are:

i) Adults are mindbogglingly stupid.

ii) The narrator, Lemony Snicket, is a character we glimpse in tantalising snatches.

iii) Words that stretch a child's vocabulary
Mar 09, 2014 Ariel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
This was fantastic! I read the series when I was a kid and then just now had to reread it for my Children's Lit class! And I'm glad I did! Because eff yeah! This! IS! GREAT!

Daniel Handler/Lemony Snicket has such a distinctive tone and writing style, and it's one that I love. He's sarcastic and realistic and cynical and hilarious. Best of all, even though this is absolutely a children's book it treats the reader (who is technically supposed to be a child) as an intelligent human who is capable of
Tea Jovanović
Apr 11, 2013 Tea Jovanović rated it it was amazing
Must read! Must read! Dve godine sam jurila informaciju ko drži prava, šetali me od jednog do drugog da bih na kraju sjurila samog Lemoni Sniketa na jednom javnom čitanju/druženju s čitaocima u knjižari Barnes & Noble u Njujorku davne 2002. godine i doživela nesvakidašnje iskustvo... Oko dvestotinjak dece (i njihovih roditelja) sedelo je na podu/stajalo i naizmenično se smejalo ili vrištalo i plakalo na Sniketove imitacije/interpretacije... Kako su deca nekada reagovala na Branka Kockicu sam ...more
Shannon (leaninglights)
This is entertaining but definitely not my cup of tea. The ending definitely pulls you in though!
Jason Koivu
Apr 18, 2012 Jason Koivu rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Jason by: The Magnetic Fields
Shelves: fiction
Made for kids, but adults like it too! The Bad Beginning is one of those kids' books that doesn't try to "talk down" to their level. Yes, it breaks the 4th wall and assists the reader with more advanced words, often for comedic purposes, but it never feels like the drudgery of a school lesson. This first book in the series concisely sets up the sympathetic main characters and their dilemna, pits them against their colorful arch enemy and sweeps you up in the saga straight away. A most excellent ...more
Aug 02, 2015 Chloe rated it liked it
Read this for booktubeathon!
I wasn't expecting this book to be as creepy as it was, if I read this when I was younger I would have been terrified!
Jul 25, 2015 April rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
so depressing omg
Sep 09, 2015 Riley rated it really liked it
This is the first time I have reread this since the first time I read the series. I listened to the audiobook for this and loved it!
Jul 21, 2007 Millie rated it it was amazing
I love the entire Lemony Snicket Series of Unfortunate Events. This book came out at the most opportune time to offer an alternative to the saccharine niceness of the abysmally ubiquitous Harry Potter, and thank goodness for that (I'm sure the monolithic HP franchise inspired, at least in part, the conception of Lemony Snicket, Count Olaf and the Baudelaires). The writing style encourages readers to question language and the function language plays in our lives while describing the ill-fated liv ...more
Aug 13, 2007 fleegan rated it it was ok
Okay, I know this is a popular series and all, but frankly, I just don't see the charm. I do like that there's lots of vocabulary lessons in the book, but I don't like that the book is basically about child abuse. No, really. You want to write a kid's book? Fine. You want to write a kid's book about child abuse? Fine. Great even. But for the love, abuse is a serious thing, m'kay? And? AND? THE PART WHERE THE EVIL, GREEDY UNCLE TRIES TO MARRY THE 14 YEAR OLD ORPHAN GIRL?! EW! HELLO?! MR. SNICKET, ...more
Richard Denney
Mar 11, 2016 Richard Denney rated it really liked it


Now that was fun… and dark and mess up. I loved it. Am I evil for liking stories where children get fucked over? I am lol I just love dark middle grade too much. #sorrynotsorry

I remember picking up this book in middle school, reading the first few pages and then putting it down. Ever since, I passed these books time after time in stores and libraries and never thought to pick the first book up again… until now.

Everyone knows what this book is about so I don’t feel the need to explain it
Apr 28, 2015 Carmen rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone and Everyone
What can I say? These books are amazing. Lemony Snicket does not dumb things down for children, and for that I am eternally grateful. He uses great words in this book, such as: insipid, aberrant, declaim, predicament, Molotov cocktails, incur, adroit, relinquish, nuptial, posthaste, in loco parentis, and mulctuary. Most of these words are explained in a great, kid-friendly way. A few are not, and that's when the child reaches for his/her dictionary. This is a great way of teaching children new w ...more
Anzu The Great Destroyer
Jun 08, 2012 Anzu The Great Destroyer rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: bullies dressed in pink pyjamas
To Beatrice-- darling, dearest, dead.

Wait. What??

Ever since I watched the Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, I've been dying to read the book. Yes, I know I probably loved the movie so much because of Jim Carrey (huge fan). I mean look at him! How can you NOT love it??

I wish the Count Olaf in the book was as funny as Carrey’s version in the movie.

Anyhow, I was sure the original story should be good, and I’m glad I was not proven wrong. I loved everything about the book minus the
Mar 29, 2009 Natalia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, audiobook, library
I remember being a kid, and feeling powerless in an adult world. where adults acted in ways that seemed inexplicable and capricious to me at the time. I enjoyed this book as a caricature of that feeling, exaggerated to an entertaining degree.

I think the fact that I listened to the audiobook read by Tim Curry increased my enjoyment of the book. I got the impression it was really intended to be enjoyed out loud, and they couldn't have picked a better narrator. (Though I did find myself waiting for
Mar 10, 2013 Rowena rated it really liked it
Quick, entertaining book with smart kids and clueless adults. I wish I'd read this when I was a child.
Jul 16, 2008 Suzanne rated it did not like it
Shelves: eye-gougers
Ugh. Rarely have I read a book so artificial, trite and purposefully unpleasant. I do like Edward Gorey, so I thought that the allusive title would be more in the spirit of the weird and delightfully obscure. However, I found this book to be calculated and unoriginal, with nothing of whimsy or genuine strangeness. In addition, it was clumsily written in a deliberately stilted style none the more charming for being intentional. I don't entirely understand the popularity of this series, but suspec ...more
Brendon Schrodinger
Nov 17, 2015 Brendon Schrodinger rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens
My partner loves these books and has been urging me to read them for years now. Unlike me, the science nerd, she is a word nerd, and I guess I can see her attraction to the book. But I think it was lost on me.

If you have no idea of what's going on, and I presume that I am one of the last people on the planet other than some isolated tribes in Papua New Guinea to know the story, three children are suddenly orphaned and sent to live with a distant relative who is a Count. He is a classic evil vill
It was a nice and entertaining read and exactly what I expected from it. Works great as a refreshing read in between the larger books I'm reading right now.
Nicay (thenerdysideofaqueen)

Review originally posted at The Nerdy side of a queen

“If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book.”

I’m also warning you, if you still want to read my review without regret, just continue; but if you have hesitations, better stop after the period. (.)

Oh gosh! You are still reading this?! Well, I guess I need to keep forward to this review. A series of unfortunate events by Lemony Snicket was told through how the Bauldelaire siblings’ fa
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
Dec 25, 2008 Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!* rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!* by: my mom
wow, loved it!! i really love to see a good work of juvenile fiction. i always feel like there aren't a lot of great kids' books these days ... but this was really good. although the story is dark, it's one of the most hilarious things i've read in my life at the same time. (the irony!!) i also love how the author defines certain vocabulary words; but he doesn't do it in a preachy, dictionary-definition kind of way, which i like. overall, really funny, unique, original, great characters, great t ...more
Nov 11, 2015 Bonnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tim Curry is a fantastic narrator.
Kimberley doruyter
Jul 08, 2015 Kimberley doruyter rated it really liked it
i loved the movie and have wanted to read the books for a while.
and i'm not one bit dissapointed.
Dec 06, 2008 Jennifer rated it liked it
I am not sure why I picked this up - Maybe I was hoping to capture some of the Harry Potter goodness in a different series? Not sure. But I did read this and I found it both irritating and compelling.

The themes were pretty darn adult in this book (series), but the writing was aimed at 7 year olds. The children are told their parents are dead on the first page of the book and that they are to stay with their Uncle Olaf - Who is a bad bad man. The children are pretty much abused by the adults in
Dec 09, 2015 Mimi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While almost everybody I knew was hung up on Harry Potter, I read A Series of Unfortunate Events when it first came out and fell for it immediately. For some reason, I could never get into J K Rowling's writing. There was something about her storytelling voice that put me off, but I was drawn in to Lemony Snicket almost immediately, and it left a huge impression.

Even though it hadn't been that long ago since it was written (a little more than a decade), The Bad Beginning stands the test of time.
Rinda Elwakil
Jul 09, 2015 Rinda Elwakil rated it really liked it
و كيف نُشفي من حب قصص الأطفال؟ :)

إلي ريفيو عن أفراد عائلة باوديلير تعيسي الحظ.

**جدير بالذكر إن ليموني سنيكت الكاتب إنسان محترم بيحترم الناس اللي بتقرا، أول كتاب اقراه مقدمته بتحذرك إن الكتاب رخم و غير سار و احتمال كبير متلاقيش فيه مرادك و اطلع برا انت ايه اللي جابك هنا :)))

احنا رايحين النار يا أخي و لا هنقرا كتاب؟؟ رايحين النار احنا؟؟

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • The Wrath of Mulgarath (The Spiderwick Chronicles, #5)
  • Dreadful Acts (The Eddie Dickens Trilogy, #2)
  • Molly Moon's Incredible Book of Hypnotism (Molly Moon, #1)
  • Knights of the Kitchen Table (Time Warp Trio, #1)
  • Cupid Doesn't Flip Hamburgers (The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids, #12)
  • Kissing Trouble (In the Dark, #2)
  • The Mysterious Howling (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place #1)
  • The Doll People (Doll People, #1)
  • Hidden Talents (Talents, #1)
  • Hello, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle (Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, #4)
  • Pet's Revenge (Edgar & Ellen, #4)
  • Wayside School Gets A Little Stranger (Wayside School #3)
  • The Landry News
  • The Mouse and the Motorcycle (Ralph S. Mouse, #1)
  • Sammy Keyes and the Art of Deception (Sammy Keyes, #8)
  • Cold Cereal (The Cold Cereal Saga, #1)
  • The Declaration Of Independence (The Amazing Days of Abby Hayes, #2)
  • Becoming Naomi León
Lemony Snicket had an unusual education and a perplexing youth and now endures a despondent adulthood. His previous published works include the thirteen volumes in A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Composer is Dead, and 13 Words. His new series is All The Wrong Questions.

For A Series of Unfortunate Events:

For All The Wrong Questions:
More about Lemony Snicket...

Other Books in the Series

A Series of Unfortunate Events (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #2)
  • The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #3)
  • The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #4)
  • The Austere Academy (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #5)
  • The Ersatz Elevator (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #6)
  • The Vile Village (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #7)
  • The Hostile Hospital (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #8)
  • The Carnivorous Carnival (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #9)
  • The Slippery Slope (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #10)
  • The Grim Grotto (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #11)

Share This Book

“ know that a good, long session of weeping can often make you feel better, even if your circumstances have not changed one bit.” 2297 likes
“I don't know if you've ever noticed this, but first impressions are often entirely wrong.” 1942 likes
More quotes…