October 22, 2003

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

This is the first volume of Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events which are books for children about the Baudelaire orphans, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny.

The story consists, as the title proclaims, of a series of unfortunate events which befall the hapless children. Their parents are killed in a fire. They are subjected to the custody of extremely unpleasant people who further subject them to even more unpleasant depredations (a word which, here, means "unfortunate events"). What makes this tolerable (and it is questionably tolerable, even so) is the humor with which all these misadventures are related. Snicket writes in a consistently sardonic voice that somehow makes the appalling palatable.

I didn't actually read the book, but instead listened to the unabridged audio book. It is read by the wonderful Tim Curry who does a marvelous job with giving each character a recognizable voice.

While I did enjoy the book after a fashion, the things that happen to the Baudelaire orphans really are horrible things, and I liked the characters enough to be hesitant to read about any more completely undeserved torture befalling them. If I change my mind, there are nine more volumes in the series so far.

Posted by jeffy at October 22, 2003 06:56 PM
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