top of page

REVIEW: A Series of Unfortunate Events Books 1-3

The Bad Beginning:

The Bad Beginning is the first in the series of A Series of Unfortunate Events books. In the first book, we are introduced to the Baudelaire children which consists of Violet, Klaus and Sunny. We meet them just as they hear the bad news that their parents have died in a fire. This would be the first of many bad things that happen to them. Now orphans, they are hand delivered by Mr. Poe who is handling their case, to a distant relation, Count Olaf. It is revealed during their stay with Count Olaf that he is the villainous type and only took in the Baudelaire children as a way to try and get their inheritance away from them. Count Olaf uses many ways throughout this first book to do such a thing but finds himself loosing custody of the young children after he tries to legally marry Violet during a play. The children are taken away from him but Count Olaf will stop at nothing to get their inheritance.

I previously read this as a child and so I was interested in my take on reading it whilst I was an adult. This book is honestly amazing for both children and adults. When you are a child, you may not understand everything but reading it as an adult means that you can comprehend more of the little inside jokes that you wouldn’t as a child. This series meant so much to me as a child so I’m glad that translates to me as an adult.

4 out of 5 stars.

The Reptile Room:

The Reptile Room is the second book in the Series of Unfortunate Events books. Taken away from the care of nasty and villainous Count Olaf, the Baudelaire children are placed by Mr. Poe into the care of a close living relative, Dr. Montgomery Montgomery who likes to be known as Uncle Monty. Uncle Monty is a herpetologist, which means the study of reptiles. The children are absolutely enthralled by the room known as the ‘Reptile Room’ which holds many reptiles from Uncle Monty’s personal collection. This is where they meet the Incredibly Deadly Viper. The Incredibly Deadly Viper is a viper that Uncle Monty recently discovered and so decided to name it as a misnomer, which means a wrong or inaccurate name or designation meaning that it is incredibly friendly.

When Stephano, Uncle Monty’s new research assistant arrives, the children immediately see through the ruse and realise that is indeed Count Olaf. The children try to warn Uncle Monty but he is having none of it but he is convinced that he is a spy instead. The next morning, the children find their Uncle Monty dead. Count Olaf tries to take them away but crashes into Mr Poe, where he has to try and explain his way out of this one. Mr. Poe does not believe the children that this is really Count Olaf. The Autopsy reveals that Uncle Monty was killed by the Incredibly Deadly Viper. The children decide to clear the name of the viper and get the adults to realise who Stephano is and so they go about investigating and find that Count Olaf’s suitcase reveals that he is the one that used the venom from a snake. Klaus reveals that Uncle Monty should have been black if it was really attacked by the Viper instead of pale. Olaf manages to escape capture and the children are once again taken in by Mr. Poe.

I started rereading this series as a way to get my goodreads score up as they are incredibly short but I found myself really enjoying this reread. The way Lemony Snicket writes about the Baudelaire children is something that I really appreciate and absolutely adore. His writing style is simply peculiar and draws a person in from the first word.

4 out of 5 stars.

The Wide Window:

The Wide Window is the third book in the A Series of Unfortunate Events.

The third book follows the Baudelaire children as they go to live with their Aunt Josephine. Aunt Josephine’s house is atop of a hill looking out on Lake Lachrymose. This house is so old and drafty that it almost is in Lake Lachrymose as it is tilting that way. Unfortunately for the Baudelaire children, Aunt Josephine is scared of almost everything and hates bad grammar. She is absolutely afraid of the phone or cooking on the stove just in case these things blow up and catch fire.

Whilst living with Aunt Josephine they come across a Captain named Captain Sham who is really just Olaf in disguise. It honestly just seems like no adults in the Baudelaire’s lives truly believe them about Count Olaf and what danger he truly brings to them. That night, the children hear a crash and find that their latest guardian has indeed jumped out of the window that looks upon the lake. She apparently leaves a note telling them that they must go with Captain Sham and that he will be their new guardian. Mr. Poe of course things Captain Sham is not Count Olaf and so takes them out to dinner with him and Sham. Upon looking closely at said letter, this is when Klaus finds multiple grammar mistakes that Aunt Josephine would never commit and realises that she is actually sending them a message through her mistakes. These errors and mistakes tell them to head towards the Curdled Cave. They steal a boat and head there. When they arrive, Aunt Josephine tells them that Count Olaf made her write that note and so she faked her suicide. Whilst travelling back to the land, the leeches of the Lake Lachrymose attack Aunt Josephine and she is killed, the children are rescued by none other than Count Olaf. When they get to land, Sunny bites Count Olaf’s fake peg leg in half and Olaf’s eye tattoo is revealed. He narrowly escapes and Mr. Poe is left to find the orphans another guardian.

My main goal of this reread was to actually try and get the copies that I used to have again. So when I was younger, I had the hardback copies but my mum eventually sold them or gave them to charity. So I was on a mission to find them all again. Unfortunately for me, I have majority of the series but not number 4, The Miserable Mill so this is where my reread ends for now. Overall this reread of the first three books truly reminded me of how much I loved this series and that I adore it even know as an adult.

4 out of 5 stars.


Recent Posts
bottom of page