Kerfuffles in The Bad Beginning || BOOK REVIEW

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket


Genre: Children’s Fiction
Author: Lemony Snicket
Published: September 1999
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 176 {hardback}

Originally posted on Goodreads

Initial Thoughts Upon Finishing

Spooky, spooky. Count Olaf has to be one of the heinous villains out there, *shudders*. This was actually my first time reading this story and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a nice, quick beginning to a series I’m sure will be a whirlwind of horror-filled adventures. I can’t wait to see where it all goes!

The Bad Beginning

This story follows three siblings after they lose their parents when their house burns down. They go through a variety of bad experiences as this man, Count Olaf, tries to “adopt” them with their inheritance in mind.

Although a short book, this is going to take you through a heart-stopping story as you team up with the children in trying to avoid the thumb of Count Olaf. It’s a fun (if somewhat horrifying) story that’ll have you turning onto the last page mere hours after starting the story.

Hilarity + SUPER Weird

I’ve always been a big fan of this series. Like I said, this was my first time reading the book but I’ve seen the film. I think I’m in that minority of people did actually like the film. I’m not sure if the film is a combination of the movies or not but it certainly had many elements of the first book in it.

I don’t know what it is about this story, but my childish side jumps with glee at the prospect three young children being sneaky and fending off a smelly, old man. But maybe I’m just strange.

It’s a funny kind of weird, you know? The children are pretty damn clever and do some pretty amazing stuff. But Count Olaf is literally plotting hideous things – if this actually happened in real life you’d be ditching your knitting and running to the police.

The Baudelaire Children

Klaus, Sunny and Violet are awesome characters. I love how distinctive each of them are but what appeals to me is how each of them have their own, incredibly useful talents.

As a sibling of three (that was a weird sentence) and being the middle child I LOVE reading stories that I relate to so well. Not that this is a plea about me being a left-out middle child (I can assure you, that was not the case in my family) it’s more that my siblings and I are very different from each other.

That means that someone has the potential to feel less. That feeling of being less talented, less important, less useful. But this story? This story is a great showcase of how everyone has a strength and therefore you can be a kickass team. And I think that’s awesome, but each of my siblings and I bring something different to the table so I can 100% see us as being the Baudelaire children and being AWESOME.

Which is really more of a minor side thought that I thought worth elaborating into a small essay. Ahem.


Although a tiny book, The Bad Beginning was a hoot. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it – perhaps I took way too much out of a simple children’s book – but I really do recommend it. I can’t wait to continue on the series and be delightfully horrified at the challenges that stand in the children’s way.

View all my reviews

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

You might also like . . . 

If you like daring stories, The Tale of Despereaux is for you

If you like adventures that involve fewer child-snatchers and more goblins, The Field Guide is for you

If you like stories involving adventurous siblings, The Fairy-Tale Detectives is for you

Have you read The Bad Beginning? What did you think?

Share your thoughts below!

End Note

~~ Kirstie ~~


5 thoughts on “Kerfuffles in The Bad Beginning || BOOK REVIEW

  1. YES YES I LOVE THIS SERIES!! I grew up on Lemony Snicket books (ok now you know why I’m so weird😂) and I 500% adore his humour and the random bizarreness of what these kids and Olaf get up to. The series just gets better and more weirder as it goes along too. Baudelaire intelligence FTW I say. :’)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I read this in preparation for the Netflix TV series adaptation. Like you, I had seen the film prior. I actually enjoyed the film too! I think the film covers the first 3 books… but I could be wrong. I enjoyed the quirkiness of the book. I actually listened to it via audiobook, but wasn’t exactly happy with that format. It was wonderfully narrated, BUT the background music was super loud and would play over the narration and I couldn’t hear the narrator? It was annoying.

    Have you seen the Netflix TV series? They did a really good job with it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, that would make sense if it covers the first three books. Watching it, I was sure that it had to have more than just one book but couldn’t possibly have them all.

      Ah man that’s really annoying. Sometimes watching Doctor Who is a bit like that, they just play the music way too loud and I’m like SAY WHAT, ARE YOU SAVING A PLANET OR PAVING A MAGNET?

      No! Not yet. I haven’t checked if it’s available on Australian Netflix – I might check that out today!

      Liked by 1 person

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