Millie's Reviews > The Bad Beginning

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
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's review
Jul 21, 07

bookshelves: transcendently-fabulous

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 lives of the Baudelaire children - Violet, Klaus and Sunny, orphaned in book 1. Their misadventures trying to escape the evil Count Olaf (who is after their inheritance) and the multiple tragedies that befall them takes up 13 volumes, all terrific fun and illustrated by Bret Helquist, who was clearly channelling Edward Gorey at the time. The "author" adds a Brechtian element to the narrative, with "Lemony Snicket"'s own mysterious and tragic life playing a part in the lives of the characters. The final, 13th volume, ties everything together wonderfully in a denouement that reminded me, somehow, of Life of Pi by Yann Martell. Highly recommended for both adults and children.
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Danny Bhagat I totally agree with you!

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