Kristen Mcchesney's Reviews > The Bad Beginning

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
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Sep 18, 2010

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I was looking foward to reading this book - knowing little about it except for the praise that I know it has received. However, while I was reading the story I was a bit disappointed in both style and substance. Perhaps it is because of my station in life that this did not connect with me, as other YA books have in the past. As a parent and teacher, I interact with the text in a different manner than a child. I found the treatment of the children was disturbing and thought often about how a child would interalize the ways in which the children in the book were treated. The story lacked the whimsical nature of Harry Potter and gave little in the way of fantasy, mystery or suspense. I felt the characters were somewhat flat and undeveloped and I wasn't as engaged as I would have hoped to be in reading of the book. Overall I have little interest in reading the rest of the series. A small part of me was engaged with the story of the children and how they will end up as the story continues - but, the other issues of the book overtake any strong commitment in continuing the stories. I did enjoy how the author used definitions throughout the book and some characters had the potential to grow into interesting people. Yet, this intial reading of the first book does not leave me wanting to know more.
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Michael Agnew You should have read Snicket's warning before reading! All joking aside, I was able to overlook the treatment of the children because our their resolve and their cunning. I'm naturally drawn to stories of overcoming life's obstacles.


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