Friday, June 3, 2016

Audiobook Review: The Bad Beginning

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning
Publisher: Harper Collins 
Release Date: September 30th, 1999
Format: Full cast audiobook read by Tim Curry
My Rating: ★★1/2

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
Dear Reader,

I'm sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page of this book when the children are at the beach and receive terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune.

In this short book alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, and cold porridge for breakfast.

It is my sad duty to write down these unpleasant tales, but there is nothing stopping you from putting this book down at once and reading something happy, if you prefer that sort of thing.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket
So I'm not sure how, but I missed this series when it came out. Which is strange, because I think I am of the right age where I should have loved it. I actually asked my mom, "Did you not let me read this series when I was a kid?" and she had no idea. (P.S. This is not an outlandish question, she didn't let me read Harry Potter). So somehow I missed this series, but I wanted to finally experience it so I decided to do it via audiobook.

This is a children's book so it wasn't very long, and I did love that not only did Tim Curry do the narration, but it was a full cast audio with different actors doing the dialogue for the different characters.  I love when audiobooks do that! I find it makes me more invested in what I am reading, and it makes the audiobook experience a little more exciting then just reading a book.

So I liked this story enough, but I am definitely not the target audience. I think children will still enjoy this, but as an adult I found some of the ways it tried to "teach" grammar and vocabulary to children a little annoying. I think it is a good way to introduce kids to new words, but I found there were too many instances that it became a little distracting from the plot of the novel.

I will say that I do really love the style that the narration is written in. I'm wondering if we find out who exactly Lemony Snicket is later in the series. I also love the different aspects of the children in this novel. I love that Klaus is a huge bookworm and his response to not knowing something is to read a book about it. I also have to appreciate that Violet is an inventor and it's pretty clear that she is on the path to engineering. For a book that came out in '99 I think that was progressive to have a female character have stereotypical masculine interests.

I haven't decided if I'm going to continue on with the series or not. I find it a little hard to read, and I definitely think I would have enjoyed this better when I was a kid. The audiobook for the third book also changed to the author, not a full cast, so that might be why I'm struggling to decided if I still want to continue reading this story.

Did you read and love this series as a kid? Or are you like me and completed missed it somehow?


Happy Reads Everyone!
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