Friday, December 3, 2010

The Bad Beginning - Lemony Snicket

The Bad Beginning
By: Lemony Snicket
Published: 1999
Audiobook Read by: Tim Cury
My rating: Delightful

The kids and I listened to to this one in the mornings while we waited for their school bus. Despite being a book of such unfortunate events, it was rather fun to listen to and the kids were excited to hear more each morning.

Violet, Klaus, and Sunny are truly unfortunate youngsters. Their misfortunes are many and horrendous to the point of being unbearable. I must warn you now as we were warned, this story does not have a happy ending. If you are looking for a happy tale of peace and tranquility, you are looking at the wrong book! However, the children need our support! If we abandon them because of the horrible things that happen in this story, how can we be sure that even worse events won't befall them? No, dear reader, we must be here for these poor unfortunate children and cheer them on their dreary way!

Violet is the eldest and has a knack for mechanical things, inventing all sorts of devices in her mind and using these skills to help them in tough situations. Klaus is a book worm to his very core. He would rather immerse himself in a book about Nuptial Law than run out to play baseball. Sunny, the baby, loves to bite! You may think of biting as being a rather useless skill but Sunny is really good at biting. When you combine these three, you have a team that will stop at nothing to protect one another. Despite insurmountable odds, they keep pressing on, hoping to find their way out of the gloom of Count Olaf's world. Count Olaf is as evil a man as you could wish to meet! His only desire is to get his hands on the children's family fortune and then do away with them. He will stop at nothing to realize his fiendish plots.

I think one of the things I liked about this book is the wild imagination of it. It is one of the most unique books I've come across and despite the lack of a happy ending, it was a lot of fun to listen to. Several times we got so wrapped up in it that we completely forgot to watch for the bus! The plot itself isn't all that out of the ordinary but the actions of the characters, and the style of the writing were definitely unique.

We listened to the audiobook performed by Tim Curry and a group of other supporting voices. I say performed because even though it was an unabridged reading of the book, it was more like a performance. They did a wonderful job and the voices they used for each character fit the style and mood of the book perfectly.

Overall, this was a delightful book. It was a little depressing at times but was very interesting. As I said at the beginning, the kids loved it and even wanted to leave early in the mornings to go to the bus stop so we could have more time to listen! It is definitely worth checking out!


  1. I loved this book. It is one of the best in the series. And the children are just so creative and sweet. A great family book.

  2. We are going to be working through the entire series but since it takes us about a month to get through one it will be a while! So far we are enjoying The Reptile Room just as much as this one!

  3. And I love Tim Curry! Sounds like fun. Good review.

  4. Tim was a perfect choice for this book! He is reading The Reptile Room as well but I'm not sure about the rest. He can do such a wonderfully evil voice! :)

  5. I've read most of the series and I think they are fabulous. Like you said, VERY imaginative and fun. I love the use of vocabulary. I mean, the guy used words I hadn't even heard before. Loved it. I really should finish those. And now I seriously want to listen to them!

  6. You should get the audiobook and listen to it, Karen, It is so much fun to hear the performance of Tim and his crew!