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Sarah's Shelves

I'm a Graduate in English and American Literatures and I love reading and reviewing books in almost every genre! My favourites are definitely fantasy, dystopian, and sci-fi, but I will reading absolutely anything.

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

A Series of Unfortunate Events Box: The Complete Wreck - Brett Helquist, Lemony Snicket

I should forewarn anyone who is about to read this review that it would be better for them if they didn’t. This review contains nothing but misery, despair and… nah, I’m just kidding.


I was going to attempt to write a review for each of the thirteen books in this series individually but realised that it would be a mistake as some books are so short that the review would be nothing more than ‘This was a very good book’ and the later books would contain nothing but spoilers which would have been rather unfortunate (excuse the slight pun) for anyone who accidentally stumbled across them. Therefore, I’ve changed this so all the books are included here. This will be an entirely spoiler-free review so have no worries there!

A thirteen book series (but with each book only being about 200 easily digestible in one-sitting pages) which covers the unfortunate adventures of the children: Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire. The books explore a mystery, which surround the parents of these newly orphaned children, whilst they also attempt to escape the clutches of a sinister man named Count Olaf who wants their fortune.

The author, who goes by the name Lemony Snicket, has such a distinctive style of writing that you just can’t help but get completely wrapped up within the story and enthralled by the simplicity of such an unfortunate mystery. Snicket manages to embrace the concept  of children’s literature whilst adding a hint of gothic to the text, making it thoroughly enjoyable for both adults and children alike. As well as this, through a second reading of the texts as an adult now, I have been able to spot cunning and humorous word plays and jokes, which I previously had not noticed. Particularly in the language of the youngest Baudelaire.

I have to admit that by the tenth book the air of mystery starts to become somewhat frustrating as the reader just wishes to know the truth, however, I find that this adds to the character of both the novels and the author so completely, that it just fits.

I would highly recommend these novels to absolutely any reader, whether you read avidly or hardly ever. Such simple yet amazing texts that have not had the credit they deserve, in my opinion.

Also, as a side note, if you were put off by the film adaptation, I would just like to add that it was rather a disappointment when compared to the texts as it was much more humorous than the books first intended. Still, Jim Carrey did very well in his role, but it did not do justice to the books and malicious Count Olaf.