Book: The Bad Beginning // Lemony Snicket, published 1999
Memories: I read a ton of the Series of Unfortunate Events books as a kid, and I remember them being creepy…and also thinking Violet was a badass, Sunny was annoying, and Klaus was awesome. I very clearly remember Count Olaf and his eye tattoo and his evil schemes and plots. I can’t recall feeling scared or freaked out reading it.
Thoughts as an adult: Wow. This was way darker than I remember. I still think Violet is a badass, as is Klaus, but the creepy factor is way more apparent to me as an adult reader. Mr. Poe is useless (at least until the very end) and Justice Strauss is pretty ineffective too. I had totally forgotten Count Olaf’s first plot to get the Baudelaire fortune was a legal marriage in the guise of a play. To Violet. Who is his niece and FOURTEEN. Also Count Olaf has a minion who hits on Violet (who is, again, FOURTEEN), which made me quite uncomfortable. While it was shorter than I remembered, it also outdid itself on the creepy factor.
Does it hold up? Sort of. I appreciated the character personalities more as an adult reader and I think Snicket’s presentation of the children and the adults in their life is actually quite nuanced. On the other hand, Count Olaf and his minions and his plot was much more disturbing than I remembered…so I’m a conflicted re-reader.
As always, let me know what you think of this week’s #TBT in the comments or on Twitter @EMurch. Until next time, happy reading!