Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events)

This is a book I would love for Amélie (my daughter) to read when she is a little bit older and has learn how to read.
These kinds of books are the reason I still love to read, because if you didn't love it when you were younger, you aren't going to love it now.

I had some terrific books growing up, most of them unknown to the english public, although some of them made it across the water.

I'm talking about Kruistocht in Spijkerbroek (Crusade in Jeans), all of Anthony Horowitz's novels, Mark De Bel and so many others.
They knew how to write for a young public.
And Lemony Snicket does as well. He's somehow making you feel like you shouldn't be reading this book, which I would've loved back in the day. Also, he isn't afraid of using BIG words and explaining them very well.
I'm getting the feeling the writer must be a teacher of close to it. He has an uncanny feeling to what attracts children to certain novels. JK Rowling has that talent as well and I applaud them for it.

Even though I'm already past 30, I still loved reading about the Beaudelaire children and their misfortune. It's a tale full of misery but brought very sober. It doesn't want you to feel bad afterwards, but it doesn't give you the satisfaction of all's well, end's well either.

The plot is pretty simple and you get thrown in almost immediately.
The beaudelaire children find out their parents have perished in a fire and they are left in the care of a distant relative, Count Olaf, who turns out to be a very wicked man.
He puts the children through a rough time and is scheming to get their fortune without actually caring for the children.

As much as I loved the book, I understand now why the adaptation to the big screen has been such a letdown.
It's not a book easily put into images, it's rather subtle in a way that can't be translated with grand gestures. And with Jim Carey playing Count Olaf, it's pretty much all grand gestures and overarticulation.

I recommend the novel, to both children and their parents. It's fun to read something for a 10year old, something which I find most adult novels lacking.
Reading should be fun once in a while.
And on that note..