A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning: The Short-Lived Edition

Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grade 7n/a6.424130


Are you made fainthearted by death? Does fire unnerve you? Is a villain something that might crop up in future nightmares of yours? Are you thrilled by nefarious plots? Is cold porridge upsetting to you? Vicious threats? Hooks? Uncomfortable clothing?

It is likely that your answers will reveal A Series of Unfortunate Events to be ill-suited for your personal use. A librarian, bookseller, or acquaintance should be able to suggest books more appropriate for your fragile temperament. But to the rarest of readers we say, "Proceed, but cautiously."

Hardcover, 176 pages
Published on May 29, 2012 by HarperCollins
ISBN-10: 0062206044
ISBN-13: 9780062206046
51 Book Reviews
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  • rinabi
    rinabiTuesday, August 1, 2017 at 11:01 am
    Orphans who lost parents. Horrible Relative. *** SPOILER ALERT!!1***This story started at Briny beach, where Mr Poe tells the three children-now orphans- the terrible fire that claimed the life of their parents. Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire have nowhere to go. A very bad beginning indeed. Their parents leave Violet the heir to the fortune, but it will not be released until fourteen year old violet is eighteen. They live with Count Olaf, an either third cousin four times removed, or fourth cousin three times removed. He, and his accomplices, have made up a twisted and complicated plan to steal the fortune. They intend to use what we call anagrams. They disguise Count Olaf's name as Al Funcoot, and Violet is the bride in the play. Count Olaf has somehow gotten hold of the real marriage document. Law states that when two get married, the husband owns possession of all the wife's money. But clever Violet sings with her left hand, and somehow, he escaped. I recommend this book to people that are NOT all rainbows and unicorns. ***SPOILER ALERT!!!***
    • tacosforlife
      tacosforlifeMonday, December 12, 2016 at 5:28 pm55 stars
      In some places of the book it touched my heart.I like mysterious,sad books and this series is for me!After the Baudelaire parent's died in a fire,Mr.Poe went on a search for a guardian for the orphans.They never imagined they would be under the care of....COUNT OLAF!!
      • eyp
        eypThursday, September 22, 2016 at 3:34 pm44 stars
        A sad but good story.
        • justinw20
          justinw20Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 5:59 am44 stars
          They are poor, their parent die in a fire, and they will never expect live with Count Olaf just the beginning of the disaster. But with their intelligent Count Olaf finally get what he deserve, and live happily with Mr. Poe, but this is just the beginning. I really enjoy reading this book, because the story of three Baudelaire are great, it specifically describe how the Baudelaire orphan do with their intelligent to solve the problem. Every time when the Count Olaf gave them something to do, I will be excited of what they will going to do to solve the problem.
          • natasha_y
            natasha_ySaturday, November 28, 2015 at 12:52 am22 starsFeatured
            The story of the Baudelaire orphans after the lost their parents and their home, As the oldest, Violet has the responsibility to protect her younger siblings from their distant relative, Count Olaf, which they never knew about. Moving to Count Olaf's house was a horrible start for the new orphans, however the orphans never gave up in search for a new home. I admire the responsibility Violet has taken in protecting her siblings after a tragic lost, because after a tragic lost some people give up on everything and just leave. Standing up for her fears is a place where I can learn from Violet.
            • olliebob
              olliebobThursday, August 13, 2015 at 12:35 pm
              I haven't finished the series. I'm on the seventh book. This series is GREAT. They're so crazy, they sound true.
              • momo16
                momo16Thursday, April 9, 2015 at 11:38 am
                I loved this book it was awsome
                • emmabookworm5
                  emmabookworm5Sunday, October 19, 2014 at 6:40 pm
                  This book was the best! I remember my brother and I fighting about who would get to read it first!
                  • missviolin
                    missviolinTuesday, August 26, 2014 at 9:49 am55 stars
                    This series is about three orphans that are put into the care of the evil Count Olaf, their greedy relative. He plots schemes throughout the series to steal their fortune. Meanwhile, the orphans try to solve the mystery of VFD, and their parents.
                    • gigiann
                      gigiannMonday, June 2, 2014 at 2:47 pm55 stars
                      it was a very sad but good book