13 Reasons to Read A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS by Lemony Snicket

Since today is Friday the 13th, I’d thought I would interrupt our usual Feminist Fridays feature to talk about something a little more…. unlucky. Over the past few months I’ve been reading (via audio book) the entirety of A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket for the very first time. When a friend learned that for some reason I never read this series when I was a kid, she immediately told me that I must read it ASAP. Fortunately, there’s nothing unfortunate about this series! In case you’re turned off by the rather strange title, here are 13 reasons why you should read A Series of Unfortunate Events: 

1. The writing is witty, clever, and funny. I’m a sucker for puns and cleverness in general, so Lemony Snicket’s hilarious yet smart writing style immediately made me adore this series.

2. There are SO MANY BOOKS. There’s nothing better than being captivated by a series that seems to go on forever. With thirteen books, it’s easy to feel as though this series will never end, yet it’s so fast-paced that it never felt like the plot was dragging or carrying on too long.

3. Each book is pretty short. I think the fact that each book is fairly short (usually between four to six hours of audio book, or 200-300 pages) helps keep the series from feeling slow, allowing it to be so long overall. You always feel like you’re making fast progress as you read, which is always a good feeling.

4. You never know what will happen next. The plots of these books are wild. Even when you think you’ve figured out how each book will end, Lemony Snicket throws a wrench in all of your carefully crafted predictions.

5. The audio books are fantastic. I’ve listened to every single one of these books on audio book and I loved every single second of it. Not only is the narrator (Tim Curry) incredible, but the extra sounds and music also make it feel as though you are right there alongside the Baudelaire children, desperately trying to outrun Count Olaf. This was the perfect way for me to read this series while abroad because I could listen while walking around Oxford to college and lecture, cooking, doing laundry, cleaning, etc. I would highly, highly recommend the audio books if you’re looking to read (or reread) this series!

6. It’s as entertaining for adults as for children. Lemony Snicket has managed to write a series that is aptly suited for both kids and adults without it feeling too simple or too mature for any age. While he does clearly state “messages” or “lessons” that he wishes children to take away, he does so in a way that is clever and also a great reminder for adults (sometimes adults need the reminder more than kids!).

7. So many funny repeated phrases. Quite a few phrases and ideas are repeated time and time again throughout this series, simultaneously forming a common thread between the books and creating what feel like little inside jokes between the reader and writer. I couldn’t help but smile to myself when any of these phrases reappeared.

8. Very, very bookish. Lemony Snicket clearly knows his intended audience (bookworms) well because there are so many aspects of this series that appeal to bibliophiles: Klaus’ love of reading, constant references to literature like T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land,” countless trips to libraries… the list goes on and on!

9. Each book is unique. Sometimes books in series tend to blur together because they seem so similar. Luckily, that’s not the case here! Each book is very distinct from the others thanks to creative plots, unusual settings, and a constant flood of new characters.

10. Character development. As engrossing as the plot of this series is, I think the star of the show is really the remarkable character development that occurs as the Violet, Klaus, and Sunny make their way through obstacle after obstacle.

11. Count Olaf. That’s right: I’m actually listing a villain here. I think Count Olaf is one of the most hilarious, creative, clever, sinister villains I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. He’s definitely a bad guy that you can’t help but love to hate!

12. Nostalgia. If you read this series as a kid, then you get the added benefit of lovely nostalgia. Nevertheless, I still loved the way this series reminded me of how I used to get lost in endless series of books as a kid, wandering the aisles of spacious libraries just like Violent, Klaus, and Sunny. Get ready for a (rather odd) trip down memory lane!

13. It gives you an binge-watch the fantastic Netflix series. I can’t recommend this Netflix series enough! The acting is incredible, the music is excellent, and the dreary world of the Baudelaire children is captured perfectly. Definitely check it out!

Hopefully I’ve convinced you to read this series if you haven’t already! Happy Friday the 13th!

What are your thoughts on A Series of Unfortunate Events? Do you have a specific favorite book out of the entire series? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

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33 thoughts on “13 Reasons to Read A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS by Lemony Snicket

  1. Just realised, what a devious and clever man Lemony Snicket is, 13 books for thirteen unfortunate events! I have been watching the Netflix series recently and am very impressed by how true to the books it is, and how well it encapsulates the odd, dread-inducing world of the Baudelaires.

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  2. I am in love with the Netflix adaptation so I’ve been considering returning to this series myself – I haven’t read them since I was a kid so it’d be fun to read them again now. I might take you up on that audiobook suggestion. I can imagine how the storytelling would work really well in that format. I just wish Daniel Handler wasn’t such a creep in real life!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I read all the books of the series when I was younger, and it definitely was a series to remember. Lemony Snicket definitely is a great author and I’d be very happy to see how the Netflix series turns out.
    Great post, very interesting topic and great points!! 😀

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    1. YES. 🙂 I thought it would be too depressing initially as well, but it’s actually pretty funny because the narrator is so witty and the plot and characters are so ridiculous 🙂 hope you enjoy them whenever you get around to reading them!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I read the whole series as a child and I think they did a wonderful job in the Netflix adaptation of the story! The story arch is very childlike in a way and definitely brings me back into a state of childhood. I don’t have a specific book that’s a favorite but the earlier books I like better as opposed to the later books in the series

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    1. I definitely agree! The earlier books have a certain creativeness and charm to them that sort of gets lost in the whirlwind plots of the later books. So glad the Netflix series is doing these great books justice 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I LOVED this series when I was younger! I’ve never been able to get rid of the books because of it, and I’m glad I didn’t because when I watched the first season on Netflix I was SO nostalgic, and I can imagine it happening again when I get round to watching the second. A reread is called for!

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  6. I remember reading these books and loving them as a kid! I’ve been wanting to buy the set for while now. I’m determined to get physical copies of all my childhood favourites now that I’ve got a bookworm nephew for when he’s old enough to read them all. ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I was a library kid so all of my faves were borrowed from there or friends aha
        So far I’ve gotten him horrible histories and he seems to like them aha, I’m gonna be slowly getting him the Harry Potter series as I wanna keep my editions 😂 and I’ve slowly been buying all of rick riordans books but I’ve not actually read them yet so if I do I’ll probably get him his own set but if I don’t he can have mine aha
        I really want to get him the captain underpants books as well 😂

        Liked by 1 person

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