If you want read a romantic comedy – this is not the book for you. If you want a pleasant adventure that definitely has a happy ending- this is not the book for you. If you want to enter a world full of beautiful and magnificent magic creatures that help the protagonists every step of their way – this is not the book for you. I guess that the title should’ve hinted all of the above but better safe than sorry.
’A Series of Unfortunate Events’ follows the lives of the three orphaned siblings who seem to bump into misfortune all of the time. They struggle to keep their heads held up while the merciless hand of destiny keeps pushing them down. Why would somebody want to read such a gruesome story? Well, let’s start from ‘The Bad Beginning’.
When Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire are left without parents and a home after a fire has broken out in their mansion the person who takes to care for them is their distant uncle Count Olaf. After he discovers that the vast fortunes of the Baudelaire family can be accessed only when Violet reaches 18, the orphans’ new guardian drops all friendly and kind attitude and starts treating his new ‘children’ as servants. And while the young protagonists are scrubbing floors, washing dishes, cleaning windows and cooking dinner, Count Olaf is busy plotting schemes to get his hands on their money.
It is in this hostile environment that Violet, Klaus and Sunny must survive. But the grief and the difficulties do not prevail over the siblings. For they have some cards up their sleeves. Violet is a 14-year old amateur inventor, Klaus Baudelaire – a 12-year old book worm, and Sunny Baudelaire – an infant with unusually powerful teeth. All the things that most kids get laughed at school for are proved useful in real life. So don’t give up on reading, chewing and trying to make that very complicated and absolutely useless machine. Someday it might help.
In a world where adults make the rules it is inspiring to see such youngsters make their way through thick and thin, especially if the reader of the books is approximately as old as the Baudelaires. It is important that children never forget what a vital role they have in the complicated web of life. Parents should know that at some point their precious and seemingly helpless babies are actually capable of handling themselves. Not in such a distraught and hostile situation.
The author of the books who goes by the pen name Lemony Snicket puts a lot of cross-references with other literature. It is fun to discover such links. ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ holds secrets for readership of all ages. So don’t dismiss it just because it looks like a children’s book. Grab ‘The Bad Beginning’ and enter the world of the Baudelaires and their everyday life full of dismay. From that point of view your life doesn’t look that bad now, does it?