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Which A Series of Unfortunate Events Book Is the Most...Unfortunate?

Posted by Hayley Igarashi on January 12, 2017


Since its publication in 1999, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events has greeted new readers with all the cheer of Dante's Gates of Hell.

In fact, this is the opening line of The Bad Beginning, book one of the series: "If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book. In this book, not only is there no happy ending, there is no happy beginning and very few happy things in the middle."

Yet despite the cheeky gloom and doom—or, more likely, because of it—Snicket's 13-book series is beloved around the world. And on Friday, a new take on the series arrives on Netflix: eight episodes all released at once for your binging pleasure.

Will the Netflix adaptation be better than that 2004 movie? Will our favorite Count Olaf disguises be included? These are questions we can't answer yet. But we're readers! We always have opinions on books. So let's decide which one of the "Unfortunate Events" is the best at being the worst.



Prepare yourself for a night of binging glory (or days of leisurely viewing if you insist on being such an adult about it) with the trailer for Netflix's A Series of Unfortunate Events, starring Neil Patrick Harris, Alfre Woodard, Patrick Warburton, Aasif Mandvi, and Catherine O'Hara.



And for a limited time, grab this wickedly good deal on The Bad Beginning, the first book in A Series of Unfortunate Events!

Love ebooks? Learn more about Goodreads Deals here!

Comments (showing 1-26 of 26) (26 new)

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message 1: by Abby (new)

Abby I'd say The Slippery Slope, because that's where Sunny is separated from her siblings and that made me so said that that little baby was completely alone.


message 2: by Nickcole (new)

Nickcole For me the first book has be the saddest. Losing your parents and moving into a house where you don't even know your new guardian and a case worker who could careless.

I loved the series though! =)


message 3: by Kino (new)

Kino Kino What happened in the end? I didn't finish because I didn't like the way the kids just didn't off Olaf (lol, I mean after 4 books I've read I think they would've gone insane and just bought a gun or something). But I do think they are great books and I understand why the kids didn't just get a club and used it on him. Soooo anyway :) If someone can enlighten me what happened at the end, that would be nice. :D


message 4: by Megan (new)

Megan Can I just pick all of them? I mean, the Baudelaires' situation just keeps getting worse throughout the series.


message 5: by Sophie (new)

Sophie Quist I think for me, it's The Vile Village. The Baudelaires had just been reunited with the Quagmires, they were about to escape Olaf once and for all...and it all slipped out of their fingers, leaving them truly and completely alone. That was a turning point in the series, and a pretty damn depressing one. :o


message 6: by Melissa (new)

Melissa I loved this series as a kid, and I'm so interested to see how the Netflix series turns out. Hopefully NPH's portrayal of Count Olaf will be better than Jim Carrey's, as I didn't much care for the movie.

I can remember liking all the ones I read (I don't think I finished the series...) but "Miserable Mill" was the one I kept re-reading. That said, they're all sad, and unfortunate - my favorite portion of each was Snicket's narration.


message 7: by Victor (new)

Victor Feagins I'm excited for the show since I finished the series last summer.


message 8: by Taylor (new)

Taylor Marie The Austere Academy actually freaked me out as a kid. All I can remember is how creepy the headmaster was written, and something odd about the cutlery. Whole book gave me the willies.


message 9: by Charlotte (new)

Charlotte THE NETFLIX ONE LOOKS SOOOOO GOOD! Can't wait to watch it!!!!!!


message 10: by Rachael (new)

Rachael Eyre The Reptile Room. Uncle Monty was their only decent guardian and genuinely seemed to love them.


message 11: by Kc (new)

Kc Bohanan The Penultimate Peril actually had me in tears! I was around 8/9, and I remember not talking through dinner because I was just in shock. That one is definitely the most unforutnate in my opinion!


message 12: by Eva (new)

Eva I've only read the first four books so far, but The Reptile Room is (again, so far) my favorite. :)


message 13: by DeAnn (new)

DeAnn Kaduce The End was the most unfortunate. It left too many unanswered questions and wasn't an end at all.


message 14: by Mash (new)

Mash Mine would have had to be either The Vile Village (I remember feeling like it was so unfair that they were blamed constantly) The Penultimate Peril or The End (they basically made me love reading)


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message 19: by QNPoohBear (last edited Jan 13, 2017 07:56PM) (new)

QNPoohBear I read them as an adult when they were first published. At first The Bad Beginning was the worst but I thought surely things would get better? Then each one got worse and worse! The End is super depressing and there isn't much of an end. The Beatrice Letters makes it even worse! I love them all and need to reread them soon. I'm not sure how I feel about the Netflix series. The movie with Jim Carey was OK but I had wanted Tim Curry as Count Olaf.


message 20: by Summer (new)

Summer Mason QNPoohBear wrote: "I read them as an adult when they were first published. At first The Bad Beginning was the worst but I thought surely things would get better? Then each one got worse and worse! The End is super de..."

I can't believe you thought they'd get better when all LS tells you is that you should put this book down and that there is nothing but misery and despair ahead. Because "Not only is there no happy ending, there is not happy beginning, and very few happy things in the middle."
but it would be cool it tim curry played olaf.


message 21: by Kerry (new)

Kerry I know we were told, but I really wanted something, anything good to happen to those orphans. I think The End is the saddest. I read these as an adult, but recommend them to my students all the time.


message 26: by Ashlee (new)

Ashlee i love it it is so good


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