Lemony Snicket,
A Series of Unfortunate Events,
#1: The Bad Beginning

(HarperCollins, 1999)

The book that started it all is still fresh years, tears and more tomes later. If there are 'tweenagers out there who haven't read it yet, oh! what dreadful pleasures await. Grownups, once they get over the fact that stories, like life, don't always have happy endings, will also find some amusement and mirth in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events.

In The Bad Beginning, Snicket well establishes the resilient personalities of his young protagonists, the Baudelaire orphans, as well as the droll wickedness of his vile villain, Count Olaf, who covets their fortune. For wordplay, unflinchingly intelligent prose and subtle, entirely anti-pedantic morality, nothing compares to this amazing little book and its siblings.

Lemony Snicket, along with J.K. Rowling, Jane Yolen, Jon Scieszka and others, are changing the literature of youngsters, especially for this age group, and thankfully so. The Bad Beginning is a brilliant start to an incredible series.

by Stephen Richmond
28 January 2006

Buy it from Amazon.com.