To Perish Means A Dreadful and Unfathomable End (The Bad Beginning – A Book Review)

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1)
Author: Lemony Snicket
Published: 1999

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My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated D for dreadful which here means something that makes you feel terrible and in some cases, sullen. That is not only what is in store for the main characters here, but you as well when you read about them.

 

Dear Reader, I’m very sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant.

 

Here, within this long and abysmal series is the tale of the Baudelaire children that suddenly became the Baudelaire orphans after losing their parents to a dreadful fire. Sent to live with a distant relative, Count Olaf, they quickly discover he is as horrible a man as he is an actor and seeks to get free of the bony, wretched grip he has no them and wants to have on their fortune. Violet, a clever inventor, Klaus a bright book lover, and Sunny, a vivacious talker, and biter, trust in each other, because no adult believes them about the dastardly Olaf, and work together to defeat him and his villainous acting troupe.

However, it must be known before all else, that this story does not have a happy ending.

 

A Series of Unfortunate Events is 1 of 3 books series I am rereading this year as a part of my New Year’s Resolution. This is book 1 of 13.

 

This is such a classic series and it’s beginning is just as it’s titled: bad. Not badly written or badly told. Bad as in villainous, sorrowful, heartbreaking, and hard for the Baudelaires. Even though it’s so, I was still drawn in. Such dark and twisted storytelling with family at the center. Truly ageless and such a unique and relatable POV of children making their way in the world, growing up fast, and realizing that sometimes you have to do what you have to do to protect those you care about when nobody else will.

Olaf is one dastardly bastard. A truly heinous villain. He’s so dumb that he’s actually smart. His plan to It’s creepy, especially because I can actually feel the unnerving glares he gives the children! Some serious heebie-jeebies, like bugs skittering across my skin. Stealing the Baudelaire fortune from the kids and coming off as completely unhinged, yet somehow coming off as a sane adult that made the Baudelaire children seem naïve.

WCTH

The exquisite illustration that decorates the cover of the book, as well as key moments in the book, gives me those Tim Burton-esque vibes and I love it. The illustrator, Brett Helquist, is an absolute gem, creating stark, yet bleak and eerie scenery that shows just how disheartened and dark the world seems to these kids. It’s also deeply impactful, showing how distraught they are. More so, I was in love with how it gave me a guide to the imagery I’d already built up in my head.

Love it

 

Overall

I’m so glad I’m rereading this series and am now getting it up on the blog. It’s phenomenal and truly shows that life isn’t always a ray of sunshine for kids. There are stories of dread out there. That, and this series really turns you on its head with the way the story ultimately tells you that this tale doesn’t end well. Still, I kept reading and couldn’t get enough of the perseverance of the Baudelaires.

 

Quotables:

“Your parent have perished in a terrible fire.” (Mr. Poe to the Baudelaire children, p. 8)

“Sometimes, just saying that you hate something, and having someone agree with you, can make you feel better about a terrible situation.” (p. 32)

“I’ll get my hands on your fortune if it’s the last thing I do. And when I have it, I’ll kill you and your siblings with my own two hands.” (Count Olaf to the Baudelaire orphans, p. 158)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Let It go by James Arthur.

 

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