Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events follows three orphans, the Baudelaires, as they survive and solve mysteries while under the care of various guardians. The author definitely delivers on the series’ title, with deaths, unreliable parental figures, and other sad occurrences. Surprisingly, despite the author’s warning of depressing events at the back of every book, there are plenty of happy moments, like new friendships, competent guardians, and even a tiny bit of romance. Readers will lose out if they heed Snicket’s plea to throw away his books and choose happier novels. Even though the series is supposed to be solely a catalog of gloomy happenings, the thirteen books manage to be fun, humorous and suitable for all ages. Sometimes the author lapses into writing backwards and upside down, so readers have to go to a mirror to continue. Other times the author playfully defines words, which is helpful when the youngest orphan, Sunny, speaks, because she is only a baby. Part of the fun comes because the world the Baudelaire children inhabit is very unlike our own. The newspaper is notorious for printing rumors. Being ambidextrous is a quality considered so freakish, the only job such a person could find is being on display at a circus. Flimsy disguises fool whole towns. This otherworldly tone is what helps make all the unfortunate events seem ridiculous and funny, instead of sad and melancholy. Reading this series helped me find joy in even the bleakest situations.
My name is Daphna Craven. I graduated from BYU with a print journalism degree last April. I currently work as a telephone surveyor at BRG Research Services. I love reading and being married, of course!