A fortunate discovery: Musing on A Series of Unfortunate Events – The Bad Beginning


I think I have got my next series fixation ready. I have been avoiding reading the series A Series of Unfortunate Events in spite of reading wonderful snippets from the book here and there. I am weary of reading bad things happening to fictional and non-fictional children. But recently when I was taking vacation in all senses, in hotel’s library picked up the first book of the series, The Bad Beginning and finished it in few hours. It’s a small book but I have been taking weeks to finish even the smallest books. As a fan of language, inventive style of narration and innovative usage of words reading the book was equivalent to a foodie sampling my mother’s cooking for first time; simple, easy to relate and unputdownable.

When the whole world was reeling under Harry Potter fever Daniel Handler under the pen name Lemony Snicket started publishing his series for children.

And if today I have to suggest a series for children then it would be A Series of Unfortunate Events above all other series of recent times. There are absolutely no sugarcoating in the books, hence children can get realistic life lessons. Life can get tough any moment and parents won’t be around always. People in real life generally don’t help or can’t help. No one overnight discovers she is a princess or he is a wizard and all their problems are solved miraculously. One almost never gets figurative or real fairy Godmother coming to rescue.

Bad things happen in life not once but in a series, every time one needs to rescue oneself with help of intelligence, thinking logically and acquired skill set.

Three siblings Violet, Klaus and Sunny were born in a rich family but in a fire their loving parents died. Their home got destroyed. Unfortunately they can’t touch the family fortune until Violet is of age. They ended up living with their evil distant relative count Olaf. There were few nice grownups but they could not help the Baudelaire orphans.

As a loud and clear shout to break gender stereotype Violet is an engineer and Klaus is the bookworm. They both used their skills to rescue themselves from some unfortunate events. But like life the book did not have a happy and fulfilling ending. There are more unfortunate events waiting for them in the next book.

I am obviously going to read the next twelve books in the series. I would strongly recommend you to read the series if you have not. If you are a child you will learn realistic life lessons (as mentioned above) and if you are an adult you can relate.

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