The Bad BeginningBook - 1999
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.
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.
From the critics
AgeAdd Age Suitability
blue_cheetah_3163 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over
Geek_4_Narnia_ thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 7 and 18
QuotesAdd a Quote
"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."
“I don't know if you've ever noticed this, but first impressions are often entirely wrong.”
“Your initial opinion on just about anything may change over time.”
― Lemony Snicket
“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.”
SummaryAdd a Summary
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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