Publisher: Scholastic


Date Published: 30th September 1999


Pages: 176







Dear Reader,

I’m sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page of this book when the children are at the beach and receive terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune.

In this short book alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, and cold porridge for breakfast.

It is my sad duty to write down these unpleasant tales, but there is nothing stopping you from putting this book down at once and reading something happy, if you prefer that sort of thing.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket




Lemony Snickett’s writing style is something that is so unique. I love how he inserts himself in the story and the prose from the point of view of an outside narrator, it is so very well done. While this is classed as a middle grade book I feel that anyone can appreciate these darkly morbid tales.




Violet, Klaus and Sunny develop through this book. At the beginning the three characters are carefree children who are wealthy and loved. The misfortune that follows these children only lead to develop these characters and bring them closer together.




Misfortune: As you can tell by the title the main characters in this book face misfortune at every turn. This is a middle grade series that broaches this topic in a unique way so that the topic is not glossed over but it is not gory either.


Family: In this novel the three Baudelaire orphans only really have each other and their reliance and love for each other is displayed through the prose. Also, Count Olaf is their distant relative and while he is family he is the epitome of greed.




This is a re-read of this series for me as the Netflix series will be coming out soon and I cannot wait. I was able to gain a better understanding and different point of view from reading this book as an adult.


I still greatly appreciate this series and the dark humour that is inserted through the prose. I think this series can be appreciated by people of all ages and don’t think I will ever grow out of this series.





Keep Calm and Read On,



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