The Bad Beginning

The Bad Beginning

Book - 1999
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Baker & Taylor
After the sudden death of their parents, the three Baudelaire children must depend on each other and their wits when it turns out that the distant relative who is appointed their guardian is determined to use any means necessary to get their fortune.


It's a good thing that Violet Baudelaire has a real knack for inventing things. When misery comes to call, the right invention at the right time can mean everything.

It's also fortunate that her brother, Klaus, has read lots of books and knows many important things, like how to tell an alligator from a crocodile and who killed Julius Caesar. When everything that can possibly go wrong does, a small fact can be vital.

It's lucky, too, that Sunny Baudelaire, the youngest sibling, likes to bite things. Even though she is an infant, and scarcely larger than a boot, she has four very big and sharp teeth. When trouble comes along, sharp teeth can save the day.

But most of all, it is good fortune that Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are as sturdy and resilient as they are, for ahead of these three children lies a seemingly infinite series of unfortunate events.

& Taylor

Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire--intelligent, charming, and resourceful but exceptionally unlucky children--receive terrible news while enjoying a day at the beach, in the first installment of a dark comedy series.

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins Children's Books, [1999]
Copyright Date: ©1999
ISBN: 9780060283124
Branch Call Number: J FICTION SNICK...L
Characteristics: 162 pages
Additional Contributors: Helquist, Bret


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Oct 04, 2017

I can't believe I never read this as a kid. It's very sad yet humorous with a dark humor, and I enjoyed it a lot!

I don't think it will ever give me a warm fuzzy feeling but I'm excited for the rest of the series!

Jul 31, 2017

Could I pick up seven copies of this book on Sept. 9?

Jul 09, 2017

I really enjoyed this book because it kept me wanting to read. My favourite part was when violet and klaus were trying to save sunny from the tower. I also liked when they were trying to figure out what what count Olaf was planing. Overall, this book was great and I do not have any negative feedback.

Jul 03, 2017

As the title of the book explains it all, this is a really, really, bad beginning to the Series Of Unfortunate Events. I would recommend it to anybody who enjoys sad stories.

Jul 01, 2017

These books are so good! If you haven't read them, you should!

Apr 16, 2017

I like the show, but the book in french is not as good. I think it is terrible in french, but the book in english is pretty good.

Mar 23, 2017

Lemony Snicket never fails to please in this series. His writing style is still unmatched for me in any other author or book.

Aug 01, 2016

I've been reading this series to my 8 year old at bed time. It's been great except that it's not exactly the best book to lull a child to sleep (not because she's scared, but because she is shriek-laughing at the turn of every page).

Jul 27, 2016

This was really sad in the beginning and sad on the end. I fell bad for this kids. But as you continue the series you soon feel better for the kids.

Jul 13, 2016

Although the title does suggest some of this book´s more depressing themes, it is also full of adventure, mystery, humor, and excitement. The main characters encourage critical thinking, persistence, and compassion, even in during grim situations.

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Jul 03, 2017

roop33 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Jun 17, 2017

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May 08, 2017

maroon_owl_109 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

May 01, 2017

ccarcallas thinks this title is suitable for 7 years and over

Jul 22, 2015

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Jul 12, 2015

dvtucker thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Apr 27, 2015

Geek_4_Narnia_ thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 7 and 18

Oct 03, 2014

jihongye thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Aug 04, 2014

hopecovey thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

bubblepop560 Jul 09, 2014

bubblepop560 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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Jun 28, 2017

"If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book. In this book, not only is there no happy ending, there is no happy beginning and very few happy things in the middle. This is because not very many happy thing happened in the lives of the three Baudelaire youngsters."

[Page 1]

Jul 06, 2016

“I don't know if you've ever noticed this, but first impressions are often entirely wrong.”

Jun 28, 2015

“Your initial opinion on just about anything may change over time.”
― Lemony Snicket

Jun 21, 2012

“I don't know if you've ever noticed this, but first impressions are often entirely wrong. You can look at a painting for the first time, for example, and not like it at all, but after looking at it a little longer you may find it very pleasing. The first time you try Gorgonzola cheese you may find it too strong, but when you are older you may want to eat nothing but Gorgonzola cheese. Klaus, when Sunny was born, did not like her at all, but by the time she was six weeks old the two of them were thick as thieves. Your initial opinion on just about anything may change over time.”


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Jun 04, 2011

Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire are turned orphans when their parents suddenly die in a house fire. They are sent by the manager of their parents' funds, Mr. Poe, to live with a distant relative, Count Olaf. Count Olaf was an evil man, making them do chores and cook for his theatre troupe, who are equally evil people. One day Count Olaf orders the children to perform in a play called the Marvelous Marriage. In which case he asks his next door neighbor, Justice Strauss (a judge) to play herself in the play, violet to play his fiancee, and he will play the groom. Since a justice of the peace is present and they would sign actual marriage licenses, the marriage would be legal and he would be in charge of the rich fortune that was to await Violet when she turned 18. Klaus uncovers this plan after reading a book on nuptial law. Klaus confronts Olaf and Violet refuses to play the part but she is forced to because Olaf takes Sunny and places her in a cage on the top of a tower and threatens to drop her off the top of the tower. Violet is forced to play the part, so she goes through with the whole play. Once the marriage license is signed, Olaf announces to the crowd that he is legally married to Violet. Then Violet announces that she signed the license with her left hand. Everyone watching the play tries to capture Olaf and his theatre troupe, but they quickly turn off all the lights and the whole troupe escapes in a car.


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