You should’ve read: A Series of Unfortunate Events

There are a lot of things in life that people write off as being too simple, too shallow to really bother with. Sometimes in life, however, one of the greatest joys is realizing that something that seemed so plain on its surface actually has a …

There are a lot of things in life that people write off as being too simple, too shallow to really bother with. Sometimes in life, however, one of the greatest joys is realizing that something that seemed so plain on its surface actually has a rich secret just beneath, waiting to be uncovered.

So it is with _A Series of Unfortunate Events_ by Lemony Snicket. Ostensibly a series of children’s books, truly they should appeal to all ages. The books center on the lives of the Baudelaire children: Violet the inventor, Klaus the scholar, and Sunny, the baby with the iron bite. In the first book, _The Bad Beginning_, the children are suddenly and tragically orphaned when their parents are killed in a fire that consumes their home. They are quickly whisked off to live with a distant relative, Count Olaf, who offers to take them in. Their life with Olaf is, in short, miserable. His plans for the children soon become apparent, as he hatches a scheme to marry Violet in order to steal the Baudelaire fortune she will inherit when she turns 18. Through their combined talents, the children thwart Olaf’s plan and are taken away to find a new place to live, safe from his clutches.

That, of course, proves to be entirely untrue. It is at this point that some may give up on the series, fearing that each book will become a re-hash of the plot of the children going somewhere new, having Olaf show up, and again thwarting his plans. In some ways, that is true. However, the further into the series you read, the more you come to realize that there is a much, much bigger story being played out. Clues are given, hints are dropped, and if you are like me, you are sucked in all the more. I am only at book 9 out of 11 at the moment, but I have every intention of reading more at any opportunity I have.

In fact, I’m going right now.

Article © 2004 by Joel Haddock