The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 1)

Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 5 - 10V6.424130


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."

Paperback, 176 pages
Published on May 8, 2007 by HarperCollins
ISBN-10: 0061146307
ISBN-13: 9780061146305
150 Book Reviews
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  • cugitinoma
    cugitinomaWednesday, October 11, 2017 at 7:56 am55 stars
    One of the best books I have ever read
    • cupcake321
      cupcake321Monday, August 7, 2017 at 10:06 pmFeatured
      This is a truly wonderful book! I am almost finished with the entire series, and I am so super excited to see how it ends out! This series contains many twists and turns and I hope everyone who reads this considers reading this series!
      • albina200
        albina200Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 10:42 am55 stars
        This book is so sad I read all the book and I have them too
        • callumbarnacles
          callumbarnaclesThursday, March 9, 2017 at 12:17 pm
          love the movie must read the book
          • lrohne2005
            lrohne2005Sunday, February 26, 2017 at 6:48 pm55 starsFeatured
            Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire lived a happy life in their mansion with their parents. Violet was an inventor, Klaus loved to read, and Sunny had four sharp teeth that she bit everything with. But on one unexpected day, Mr. Poe, a banker, told the children that their parents died in a fire. Their parents had a big fortune that would go to Violet once she came of age. Their parents' wills had clearly stated the children must be raised by a relative. The children were sent to live with Count Olaf. He gave them hard chores to do everyday, and did not give them great living conditions. After living with Count Olaf for awhile, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny figured out he wanted the fortune. He cooked up a plan to get the Baudelaire fortune, and it was up to Violet, Klaus, and Sunny to stop him. I loved this book, and I could not put it down. Lemony Snicket does a great job, and I feel as if I am in the story; it is as if I am chopping wood with them and feeling their misery. I recommend this book to boys and girls ages 10+.
            • jo13
              jo13Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 12:01 pm
              Wow i love your review! So descriptive! Just wanted to let you know! #coolwriting
            • jade56forever
              jade56foreverFriday, February 17, 2017 at 2:25 pm55 stars
              I finished this book quite long ago, and it's so good it's just my kind of book. It's a very thought out story and has many intention grabbers and makes you want to read more. Warning: It made me cry so might make you cry too!
              • cupcake321
                cupcake321Monday, August 7, 2017 at 10:09 pm
                I completely agree with you on the fact that these books are attention grabbers! I can not wait to finish the last three I have left to read!
              • dictionary
                dictionaryThursday, February 2, 2017 at 6:41 pm55 stars
                I have to admit, this story made me cry. But before I begin, there is a warning. ''If you like stories with happy endings and do not like stories with sad endings, set this book down and get a different one'' For this case, stop reading the review. The Baudelaire's lives were fine, until the fire that made their parents perish. In this case, perish means ''killed'' Violet and Klaus thought that Mr. Poe was joking when he said that their parents had perished. They were stunned to see that he was right, and they were going to be spending the next few days with the Poes. Do not expect there to be happiness later, after all, this is called The Bad Beginning. Unfortunately, their parent's will was very specific. They must be raised by anyone who is related to them. That ended them up with Count Olaf. The strange thing about him was that he has eyes in his house. One printed on the wall, one in a room, and one on his left ankle. But Count Olaf is not exactly how you expect him to be. He is very mean, cruel, and greedy. If you did not know, he is after the fortune Violet and Klaus's parents left for them. He orders them to cook, chop wood, and he yells if they do not do the task like he wanted them to. But when he mentions the play coming up, Violet and Klaus get suspicious since he forced them to be in the play. But after reading law books, they realize he might be trying to get Violet to marry him during the play, so he can get the Baudelaire fortune. Fortunately, the fortune stays in the bank until Violet is at age to own it. Violet struggles to find ways during the play to not marry him, but it gets worse when they find out Sunny, their baby sister, is missing. Count Olaf had told them she might be in the backyard. They are frightened to see that she was hanging in the air tied to ropes. Olaf would release her if Violet did not marry him. If she did, he would give them Sunny. Violet had no choice but to accept. During the play, she yet had another trick up her sleeve that Count had not thought of. To be married, you must sign with your hand you use. Violet is right-handed. She signed with her left, and yet Olaf had already told his gang to get the baby because he thought they were married. Sunny ends up safe, and Violet is not married and the fortune is safe. Count is about to be arrested when he escapes. They were also going to live with Justice, the nice lawyer who let them use her books which saved them, cannot be their guardian. You see, the will the Bauldelaire parents left was very specific, as I have said before. They must be raised with a relative. That is, of course, a bad ending. After all, why would it be called The Bad Beginning?
                • JesseJumpThursday, January 19, 2017 at 5:24 pm
                  This is a very detailed portrayal of the Baudelaire's first misadventure, a word which here means an unfortunate incident. However, I recommend you spend your elsewhere reading a much more joyful story. If you are fond of happy endings, you will not find one here. If you are still interested, I suggest reading the other 12 documentations of the Baudelaire children's story, as they will answer all of your questions.
                  • 23pulidoa
                    23pulidoaFriday, December 16, 2016 at 10:02 am55 stars
                    so tell me if this is weird i read book 2,3, and 4 and i have not read the first one this is and awesome series if u have not read it all u should go check it out
                    • vb15
                      vb15Friday, October 14, 2016 at 6:45 pm55 stars
                      I'm still reading this book . But so far it has been a great book! This is only the first of 10! The four main charecters are the Baudelaire children witch are Vilot,Klaus,Sunny and last but not least Count Olaf! I definitely recommend this book!

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