Book Review – A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

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(My Rating: 3 / 5)

Book 1 of A Series of Unfortunate Events tells the story of how the Baudelaire orphans’ plight came to be and the events that occurred soon after.

The story’s message – of life not always turning out how you expect it to and never giving up, even in the face of extreme adversity – is a good one for its target audience, which I imagine is children aged 8 / 9 years and above.

Also keeping in mind the target audience, I thought the idea of explaining what difficult words mean, right there, as they pop up in the text, was an excellent one.

Yet somehow I didn’t find the book riveting enough. I expected more. Not from the story – because it is a good one – but from the writing of it. I kept feeling like I was reading an abridged version of a far more compelling tale, one that was not allowed to be told in all its glory. (But I am no expert on who the target audience is or should be and what is suitable for them, so perhaps that is where the problem lies) I just felt like the story hadn’t realised its full potential. This is one of the few occasions where I found the movie more enjoyable than the book.

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