A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book the First
Finished: Jan. 4, 2008
Reason for Reading: read aloud to my 7yo.
First Published: 1999
Genre: children, Gothic mystery
If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book.
Comments: I read the first three Unfortunate Events books about 3 years ago and for some reason never got around to reading the rest of them. In this first volume the Baudelaire children become orphans and are sent to live with the evil Count Orloff who treats them miserably and plans to take their fortune from them. This series is mostly a parody of the Victorian penny dreadful type of books and is really a lot fun. The atmosphere is dark and gloomy and the humour dry and ironic. Literary allusions abound. The setting is an alternate one being clearly set in a Victorian age while also having such conveniences as cars and walkie-talkies. Some parts went over the 7yo's head but mostly he understood the humour and when he didn't I explained it to him. He was certainly along for the ride and experienced a roller coaster of emotions throughout the story. The children are very likable characters and the villains are evil and dastardly. We are both anxious to read the next book.