Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

This series of unfortunate events belongs to three newly made Baudeliare Orphans. whose parents die in a mysterious fire. They get passed from guardian to guardian, and struggle their way through tragedy and adventure to find the truth of their past. Al the while being pursued by a super-villain-master-of-disguise named Count Olaf.
“this book is best left on the ground where you undoubtedly found it.” (direct audiobook quote, keep reading though) Having finished this 13 book series less than 15 minutes ago, I feel a  profound love-hate for this series. Lemony Snicket, the narrator did warn me about this about 100 times through the audiobooks. but did I listen? Well, yes. I did keep listening. He let’s listeners know that the story is very tragic but as the plot thickens you still hope for a bright outcome.
The somewhat victorian manner in which the story is written is amazing. I love the constant back and forth of The Orphan’s story and the Narrator’s back story which were somehow connected from many years previous.
The first 9 books or-so are kind of the same story over and over with a bit of a remix. I absolutely loved the movie with Jim Carrey, and it seems fairly accurate in that often hated translation. The director of the movie, Brad Silbering nailed it in my opinion. Having finished the audiobooks I can see why a second movie has never materialized, thought I read that a TV series will be coming out in the next year produced by Netflix.

I also see that the author Daniel Handler has written several supplemental side stories to the 13 book series. I do want more, but after spending 3 dedicated weeks to the original 13, do I dare delve deeper? At some point in the distant future, I will consider.

Another thing I loved was, since it is written more or less for children, the narrator gives a definition of any large or complicated word that he comes to. The definition is never a dictionary definition but rather a case-sensitive example, either from the Baudeliare Orphans story, or the narrator’s, which always seems extra exaggeratingly embellished. He uses that defined word again several times shortly after, so the books are a pretty interesting lesson in the English language. Along those same lines, the narrator interjects upon the story to teach common courtesy and etiquette, almost like a “hey kids don’t try this at home” but the proceeds to explain why in this specific example the children were in the right by going against these common courtesy practices.

Another endearing aspect of the audiobooks is the songs performed between chapters and between books which are loosely based on the book title or what is happening in the story. They are always catchy and quite silly.
The books really start to gain steam by book 9, they aren’t so stand alone and it makes you want to proceed on to the next book. Of the audiobooks I have listened to and wanted to talk to you and my friends about, I cannot say whether I recommend this book while in the work place or not. I would have to say yes, I do, but once you have burned through several audiobooks that you’ve always really wanted to experience. I would recommend listening to the audiobooks before watching the TV series and/or Movie. If they can make the TV series as wonderfully graphical as they did the movie, I will be ecstatic. 

There is something very refreshing about this series, but could this series ever become a cult classic? I am unsure. If Daniel Handler decides to put out a few more books, maybe aimed at a slightly broader audience, I think the possibility is there.

Each book ranges from 3-6 hours. Takes a dedicated 3 weeks to complete.

Ages 10 & Up.

 4/5 Stars 

Genres: Children's Literature, Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Adventure, Action, Crime. Family

Book to Movie Grade: A+

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