July 17, 2020

"To Beatrice – darling, dearest, dead."

I read the entirety of A Series of Unfortunate Events over the course of about 3 months. I was a bit slow because I was only reading about 2 chapters a day, but I'm actually very glad that I took it slow instead of just binge-reading the entire thing. I was able to digest and appreciate every word and sentence written by Lemony Snicket, and by the end of The End, it really felt like a long journey had ended—even, when I really didn't want it too. (Minor Spoilers)

So, what did I think of A Series of Unfortunate Events after finally finishing it? Well, I absolutely loved it!

There is so much that I could discuss about the whole series. For now though, I'll just be focusing on what I really want to talk about. First will be my criticisms, and next will be my praises.

If I were to criticize one thing about the series, it would be the repetitiveness of Books 1-7. I think it's pretty clear that Daniel Handler didn't have the whole series planned out for the first 4-ish books. Hence, the use of the same formula: the Baudelaires appear with a new guardian, Count Olaf appears in a disguise, no one believes the Baudelaires, someone is killed or almost killed, and Olaf escapes. However, things do get much more dramatic and exciting starting Book 8.

Other than that aspect though, all I can give is praise.

Lemony Snicket's writing style is probably what I love most about this series. He's an intrusive narrator. Meaning, he speaks directly to the reader. This is a technique used a lot when children's authors are writing something maybe scary, and so the intrusive narrator is there to hold the hand of the reader, to provide some distance between the reader & the story, and to give them a hand to hold onto. A Series of Unfortunate Events would be much more depressing if you didn't have Lemony Snicket there telling us that things are going to be depressing and that we've been warned.

The 3 Baudelaire siblings are characters that I got very attached to. Seeing every miserable thing to occur to the Baudelaires, how they're affected by it, and how they deal with it over the course of 13 books and 170 chapters made me care deeply about them. It's not the fact that they experience bad things is why I care so much about them. There's just something very bittersweet about experiencing bad things and sharing them with the only family you have left.

The mysteries and the uncovering of said mysteries, whether successful or not, are what may keep one from not sleeping at night—at least that's what Lemony Snicket warns if you do decide to read. It is true though, that one can ponder on these mysteries for a long time. When I myself will ponder on these mysteries, I will be sure to read The Snicket Sleuth and everything it has to say.

A Series of Unfortunate Events can be seen as a "coming of age" story. The 3 Baudelaire siblings go through massive growth on their long journey. They start off as wealthy & innocent and somewhat naive children who are dependent on their parents. After their parents die, the Baudelaires are unable to rely on their money and live in many dismal and terrible places and circumstances. They gradually learn about the horrors and corruption in their world and, by the end, have become incredibly strong, brave and mature teenagers.

After all that's happened to them, the ending was comparatively quite nice. :)

P.S. Not done yet! Gonna watch the Netflix series! :0

Written by Quarter

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