Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Bad Beginning

I know that I am an adult (more or less). After all, I’m getting married in a few short weeks. I would like to think that more often than not, I make good choices. The books I read often reflect the interests I have. Recently, I found myself reading Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book the First: The Bad Beginning. (A long title, I know.)

Have an open mind; it leads to good choices. I had heard many good things about Lemony Snicket’s series of books, long before the movie came out and I did quite enjoy the movie. It was very entertaining, even though so many bad things happened to the Baudelaire children. Naturally (for me, anyway) I thought, I absolutely have to read these books. Plus, I like knowing what the kids are reading.

The Bad Beginning was a curious ride. Things that seemed to plainly obvious to the children were missed by the adults. The only adult to really understand how intelligent the Baudelaire children were, was Count Olaf. (Isn’t that a great name for a villain?) As much as they try to explain their predicament to Mr. Poe and Justice Strauss, the adults just don’t hear them. Nobody listens to children.

Even when Count Olaf is found out, that does not mean the children get what they want. For a moment, which the author clearly indicates to the reader, you thing that it will be a happy ending. The children will end up in a nice home and Count Olaf will get what he deserves. But if that happened, it would be a ‘series of unfortunate events,’ would it? The children are then set up for the next story.

One thing that did strike me was how educational this book actually is. While the book itself does not have the feeling of being complex (though the story is quite intricate) the author does not shy away from using ‘big words.’ When he uses words that his young readers may not know, he explains their meaning within the context of the story. It seems quite cleaver to me. It teaches the reader without if feeling like a lesson. Some of these little definitions are even a bit funny.

It was definitely a fun book. I read The Bad Beginning in just a couple hours. It’s a great story to read, whether kid or adult. Don’t forget to watch the movie too. Jim Carrey and the young actors are marvelous. This is definitely an enjoyable read.

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