Dark! Like Scooby Doo without the carthartic "if it weren't for those darn kids" and laughter filled endings. The Bad Beginning
starts with tragedy for the three Baudelaire children, with their beloved parents dying in a fire. Throughout the remainder of the story, the orphans experience threats of death or maiming at the hands of their guardian Count Olaf and his mutant posse. The law, meant to establish order in a community, instead keeps putting the orphans in sketchy and disordered living situations. Instead of living with the accomplished and kind Justice Strauss, Violet, Klaus and Sunny must live next door with their pedophilic and murderously opportunistic relative Count Olaf. Like I said, dark!
Lemony Snicket offers us zero hope in the first installment of A Series of Unfortunate Events
. Even the dedication is creepy and mysterious: "To Beatrice--darling, dearest, dead." Who the hell are Lemony Snicket and Beatrice anyway? I'm guessing the answer will be revealed in due time.
Our family really did have fun reading The Bad Beginning
together. Sure, it's for older kids than our toddler, but Sigourney enjoyed my goofy faces when I read Count Olaf's lines. A demented, enjoyable read.