Punk's Reviews > The Bad Beginning

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
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's review
Aug 21, 2007

liked it
bookshelves: young-adult
Read in November, 2005

YA, Miserable Orphan Fiction. Everyone knows about the Baudelaire children and how their parents died in a fire, leaving them Dismal Orphans. I find the word "orphan" funny, so I got giggles out of how Count Olaf is constantly addressing the children as such (eg. "Good morning, orphans."), and I liked the narrator's self insertions, his snide little vocabulary lessons and colorful language, but the story itself wasn't anything special. Part of that is because I saw the movie before I read the book, but the rest has to do with the way the series has been marketed. These books pride themselves on their lack of warm fuzzies, so it's obvious the kids aren't going to have a happy ending, which leaves very few emotional options for them. Also the writing verged on the repetitive toward the end when I was told no less than four times exactly how and why Olaf's wedding scheme was going to work. I know they're kids' books, but they're obviously for smart kids, so why did we have to be told the same thing four times, in basically the same language every time?

Three stars, and I'll probably try the next book in the series; they can only get better, right?
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