When it comes to this series, I read the first four books in the three days prior to the first season of the show coming out on Netflix. I loved these books as a child but have very little memory regarding what actually happens.
So without further ado, here are the reviews for books one to four.
The Bad Beginning
I forgot how much I enjoyed this book, and am kicking myself for not getting around to re-reading this series before the Netflix series premiered (and it looks like the new show goes up to book four!)
Lemony Snicket is hilarious, even when ridiculously morbid, and I get the feeling that I can thank him for my own sense of humour as I have grown. His vocabulary and his explanations of the more complex words will always hold my attention just as much as his characters. Violet is on par with Hermione in my mind, as she is so focused on the tasks at hand and never gives up even when it looks as though her fate is sealed. Klaus is gentle and sensitive, and makes me realize just how important he is as a character to any young boys who read this series. He cries, he gets upset, he loves books more than anything and is incredibly smart. You don’t need to be a fighter to be a boy and Klaus helps prove that.
All that’s left to say is that if you have never read these books before, read them. And if you have? Read them again.
The Reptile Room
Well, I think this one definitely confirmed where my nihilistic sense of humour came from. I forgot just how dark and messed up these books were considering they’re meant for middle-grade readers (or lower considering I’m pretty sure I started these books in grade three). Still, Lemony Snicket remains to be a genius of dark humour.
The Reptile Room is one of the most frustrating stories, as Count Olaf is so obviously present but no one sees it but the readers and the Baudelaire children. Even at 22, I found myself with the urge to yell at the book on several occasions. Otherwise, I love Uncle Monty so much and am so sad that the Baudelaire’s weren’t allowed to keep even one of the reptiles to keep them company. I wonder how the creatures will look in the show.
Now onto book three. All I can remember about The Wide Window is that their Aunt is a lunatic. So let’s see if my memory is correct.
The Wide Window
Well, I have remembered why my brain didn’t bother remembering this one.
I was right about Aunt Josephine being a bit of a loon, but I forgot how much this book pissed me off. The children’s aunt is basically afraid of everything and why anyone would believe a person like that would make a good guardian of children is infuriating. Although, Mr. Poe is the most infuriating of all. He never listens to the children until the last minute and even then he needs ever last detail explained to him. Not to mention he is more than content to dump Violet, Klaus, and Sunny with any old stranger so long as they’re friendly to him! What about seeing if he lives in a place appropriate for children? What about a background check to confirm the identities of these people as well as determining if they’re fit to be parents in the first place? Do social workers just not exist in this universe? They mustn’t, I guess.
I didn’t like this one nearly as much as the first two as it was mostly annoying, but I do remember enjoying book four and five the most, so onwards I go into this series.
The Miserable Mill
And with this, I have finally gotten far enough into my binge re-read of the series to watch the Netflix show! Woohoo!
But for now let’s talk about book four, shall we?
I enjoyed The Miserable Mill, but mostly because it’s the first to get a little different from the first three books. For the first time, the Baudelaire children and not placed with family – a strange thing considering how much better off they’d be with Justice Strauss – and it is the first time that Count Olaf is not blatantly present from early on in the book. I also like it because it isolates each of the children in a way that forces them to think differently from how they normally do. Violet needs to do the research, and Klaus needs to do the quick-thinking inventing in order to save everyone from the horrible fate they face.
Not to mention the cross-dressing makes me smile at how ridiculous is it and I can’t wait to see that portrayed in the show.
From this point, my binge read will be paused while I watch the Netflix adaptation (which will hopefully be 800000 times better than the movie was) and then I will continue. The Austere Academy is my absolute favourite and I’m excited to be reunited with the two Quagmire Triplets.