This is another series that brings about nostalgia for me. I read this a while ago in middle school, and even bought the 12th book when it came out only to be later completely disappointed by the 13th. It was rather interesting to reread it as a whole. I’ve tried to reread before but it was just so depressing in the early books that I couldn’t follow through. But I tried again, and thanks to the entire series being available as an ebook through my library, I succeeded. Reading it as a young adult is much more satisfying than reading it as a child (possibly because I’m anticipating that the mystery will never be solved and I catch things that I missed before). Even though I was disappointed in the series ending when I was younger, I’m glad that I was. It made me angry and it made me even more determined to figure out the mystery now that I’m older. And I think that because of the experience that I have now helped me like (or at least understand) the ending a little bit more. It’s not necessarily a happy ending, as Snicket routinely points out from the beginning, but it is a complete one (except for the whole sugar bowl thing). Rereading the series as a young adult, I’m more ok with not knowing all the secrets about the Baudelaire family and VFD, and really, how could we know the whole story? How could we understand it all? As Snicket mentioned in the final book several times, it would 13 more volumes to per character to explain the unfortunate events surrounding their story.
Funny thing, I still don’t understand all of the definitions (insouciant? Really? Is this an SAT prep book?) that Snicket uses, but his writing style ever amuses me. I still love how he filled an entire page with “evers” and three pages with black to show how dark the elevator shaft was in book 6. He even hides a letter to his sister in boring prose and tries to dissuade the reader from reading this series by boring them to sleep with descriptions of the water cycle. His humor delighted me so much that sometimes I forgot about the unfortunate events in the lives of the Baudelaires.
This was one of the first series that I really dug deep into and really looked out for the next in the series. I never read Harry Potter nor do I plan to anytime soon, but I think I’d be mostly correct in saying that A Series of Unfortunate Events is on par with it, and it’s a series most kids will read and remember for the rest of their lives. Unlike most series, subsequent books were better; the plot thickened, mysteries abounded, unanswerable questions were asked. I would describe this as a kids’ series for adults; young kids can like it, but they’ll love it more when their older (kind of like Calvin and Hobbes).
I won’t attempt to summarize the entire series, especially since the books themselves have an adequate summary on Goodreads and because the plot can be so complicated and involved that any explaining would inadvertently spoil something. But if you’ll excuse me, I now have to buy a common-place book and Beatrice’s Letters to figure out what the heck is going on with this story.
And if there really is a Netflix series coming out soon, that might be the sole reason why I get an account.