A Series of Unfortunate Events

I've always been a reader. Unfortunately, I have not had very much brain power lately, so instead of giving up on reading altogether, I decided to read something that required less thought and attention. That is how I decided to read Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. After making it through the entire thirteen book series, I determined that I enjoyed eight of them. I won't bore you with my thoughts on each individual book, but I will tell you which ones I did and did not like (the number in parenthesis indicating where it falls in the series):

The Fortunate:

The Bad Beginning (1)
The Reptile Room (2)
The Wide Window (3)
The Vile Village (7)
The Slippery Slope (10)
The Grim Grotto (11)
The Penultimate Peril (12)
The End (13)

The Unfortunate:

The Miserable Mill (4)
The Austere Academy (5)
The Ersatz Elevator (6)
The Hostile Hospital (8)
The Carnivorous Carnival (9)

The books are creatively written. Lemony Snicket is a character who is researching the Baudelaire story, so the narrative gets a little strange. He throws in odd analogies and superfluous (and often ridiculous) details. They're funny at times and sad at times. They have plenty of mystery and a fair amount of action.

My main complaints with the series are the sheer number of books and the repetitious plot lines. Every book starts with Lemony Snicket telling the reader not to read the book. The first seven stories involve the orphans being sent to live somewhere. Count Olaf shows up in disguise and hatches an evil scheme against the children. Then they somehow foil his plans at the last second, saving themselves so they can do the same thing in the following book.

Starting in book 7 or 8, the series picks up some steam and the characters get increasingly complex as the mystery surrounding the Baudelaire orphans unfolds. I would recommend these books for anyone who is under age 14, or just looking for an easy read (I read each book in 1-2 days). But take my advice, skip a few in the middle and thank me later.

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

Jacob is a huge reader as you know and he hated these books, he didn't get past the 2nd one. I read several and like them at first, but got tired of the repeating plot in every book and stopped after about 4 or 5. But I know some people love them. I agree they are an easy read.