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."

Hardcover, 3243 pages
Published on October 13, 2006 by HarperCollins
ISBN-10: 0061119067
ISBN-13: 9780061119064
189 Book Reviews
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  • bobbobbob
    bobbobbobThursday, November 21, 2019 at 9:15 pm44 starsFeatured
    Hi! If you love unfortunate, uncontrollable stories, this is the book for you. Although this book is fairly short to more avid readers, it is filled with a lot of detail. It's about 3 children who lead " unfortunate " lives. Because their parent s dies in a fire, the will of their parents states that they should live with their closest relative. This means they move in with a second cousin,three times removchildrens name is Count Olaf. In the children's eyes, he is a cruel, heartless man only in for the three children's fortune. Because the oldest girl does not agree to marry him, Count Olaf traps the youngest, who is still an infant, in case on the tower of the broken down mansion. In order to save her, the oldest decided to agree to Count Olaf and marry him. She is still in her early teens. During the wedding ceremony, she tricks him. Sorry about the cliff hanger, but now you have to read the book to figure out the rest.
    • ghost_dk_diemx
      ghost_dk_diemxSunday, November 10, 2019 at 11:15 pm55 stars
      I've read this entire series. Cover to cover. I've put a review on the first 2 or 3 I think so if any of you wanna take a look at that go ahead. I think in the 11 or 12 book one of my favorite characters die but I'm not gonna tell you who it is you'll have to figure it out yourself. In the end Olaf ends up getting stuck with the Baudelaire children and seeing someone he once knew. Ishmael and Ishmael forced him off an island and made him stay in the coastal shelf until the storm came once again and flooded the coastal shelf and so Olaf could suffer and the three children didn't think it was right so they went to go find him to see if was there and planing something. In the beginning the children where trying to escape olaf until book 12 when they were pretty forced to be stuck on a boat with him unless they wanted to jump into the ocean and find a way to save themself from either the water or going to jail and dealing with the fire by the time they get back to land. The reason they are wanted by the police was because Olaf did something very bad to lemony snickers brother Jack snicket and framed the children for it. After they were driven out of the town that was supposed to be home for the children. They got there friend to make his flying home to go air born after fixing a few machine issues that he didn't know how to fix so that's why violet helped him out. The quagmires from the bording school book where there and there friend let them join him in the huge mobile home. Olaf's mate had a typhoon gun though and ended up shooting down a few of the balloons and they soared away far enough to not be in danger and that's when the Baudelaire children got there escape on after breaking out of the back of a jail cell by making a contraption with the food and a piece of wood they found in the room. And they were sent by lemonys sister to a hotel to be hidden as workers in the build ing where a lot of people they knew were in the recent books of this series and if you remember the twins after reading this then you would know they were triplets and the third is the one is the one that gets horribly harmed and is able to help the three Baudelaire children. But they end up getting caught and that's how they all got stuck together. Klaus, Sunny, Violet and Olaf. It's a horribly sad and never ending pain staking story unless you manage to get to the poisoned end where there's a new comer into the world that hangs out with three Baudelaire children as the harm and horror ends at the end of the series and that's all I really have to say for now. Anyway as you know I luv you all my viewers, friends and homies!
      • jellytoast
        jellytoastFriday, November 1, 2019 at 6:46 pm
        • 1234Sunday, September 22, 2019 at 3:56 pm
          I love this book
          • hedgeguin2
            hedgeguin2Sunday, June 9, 2019 at 8:14 am55 stars
            Series of Unfortunate Events-Book the First is a great book, filled with details. It’s not your happy and cheerful book. No it’s not. Instead, this book has very unfortunate events that the main characters, the Baudelaire children encounter. For example, their parents died in a horrible fire, and then they are sent to Count Olaf, who is a nasty man. You might think the ending is happy. You’re wrong. The book ends unhappily. But, this book has emotion and feeling to make you not stop reading. I reccommend it to anyone who doesn’t like happy and cheerful books!
            • spottedleaf_fan
              spottedleaf_fanSaturday, June 8, 2019 at 2:05 pm55 stars
              i luv this book!
              • sg123
                sg123Tuesday, May 21, 2019 at 5:57 pm55 stars
                Our teacher is read this book to us to read aloud at school and at every end of the chapter there was a cliff hanger and our teacher stopped and everyone screamed"noooooooooooooooooooooo"! This book is very very interesting to trust me.
                • mysteryturtle24
                  mysteryturtle24Monday, May 13, 2019 at 2:13 pm55 stars
                  This is a quite depressing book to read, as the back cover and introduction may warn you. And why wouldn't it be? It's a sad tale of three children who are orphaned and taken to live with their uncle that they've never heard of before: Count Olaf. He looks evil, with his tattoo of an eye on his ankle and his unibrow, and he is definitely up to something evil. I loved this book, though, as it's one of those that you have to read in one sitting. You just can't get up until it's done. I would recommend it, and the whole rest of the series, for all middle-schoolers, as I would rate it PG if it were a movie. You have been warned of the melancholy, though, so don't say I didn't.
                  • gymzonia
                    gymzoniaMonday, March 18, 2019 at 7:56 pm44 stars
                    I read it for my second time because the first time i did not like it. It is a really good book though.
                    • I love unicornsThursday, January 31, 2019 at 3:42 pm
                      I wached the hole seris im wating for seson 4 and i like the book😍😍😍