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The Bad Beginning, A Multi-Voice Recording Audiobook

The Bad Beginning, A Multi-Voice Recording: A Series of Unfortunate Events #1

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: The Bad Beginning may be, as Lemony Snicket reveals, a miserable tale, but it is a joy to listen to. This full-cast production is of the highest caliber, filled with orchestral music and chilling sound effects. I loved Tim Curry (yes, Dr. Frank N. Furter) as the infamous villain Count Olaf, and was charmed by the witty Baudelaire siblings, who rely on books to help them avoid the Count's treachery. —Diana Dapito

Publisher's Summary

Like a car alarm, bagpipe music, or a doorbell ringing in the middle of the night, hearing this all-new audio edition of The Bad Beginning will only upset you. This unique multi-voice recording brings the first book in Lemony Snicket's alarming A Series of Unfortunate Events to such terrible life that no one should really have to experience it. Unless you have an ear for such ghastly details as a tragic fire, a nefarious villain, itchy clothing, and cold porridge for breakfast, all narrated in chilly detail by the distinguished, and disturbed, Tim Curry with a team of talented readers, you would be better off listening to something else.

Don't miss the rest of A Series of Unfortunate Events or Audible's exclusive interview with Lemony Snicket!

©1999 Lemony Snicket; (P)2004 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Audie Award Finalist, Children's Titles for Ages 8+, 2005
  • b>Grammy Award Nominee, Best Spoken Word Album for Children, 2005
  • Book Sense Book of the Year Award Finalist, Children's Literature, 2001

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (1395 )
5 star
 (716)
4 star
 (377)
3 star
 (197)
2 star
 (61)
1 star
 (44)
Overall
4.4 (845 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (111)
2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.5 (847 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (66)
2 star
 (21)
1 star
 (18)
Performance
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  •  
    KWolfie 06-12-15
    KWolfie 06-12-15 Member Since 2015

    What doesn't kill me ... Gives me XP.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    85
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "All the Noise"

    wonderfully read, awesome writing, but the background noise was unnecessary, mildly irritating, and at times made the reading hard to hear. A great performance but is go with the normal audiobook version if I had to choose again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine Storey 06-01-15 Member Since 2015

    I just learned how to read, so I figured I'd just listen.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    2
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "good, but"

    everything was great, except the sound effects often drowned out the reader. the effects were much louder than the story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Fabel Lancaster, PA, United States 05-10-15
    Scott Fabel Lancaster, PA, United States 05-10-15 Member Since 2010

    I'm a corporate training consultant and adjunct professor who loves to read! I'm always looking for the next big thing.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    120
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    262
    67
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    10
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Great story, but a terrible production"

    I really love this story; however, there was far, far too much background noise and voices that were supposed to enhance the experience. It had just the opposite effect and was very distracting.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nigel Sandy, N/A, United Kingdom 03-11-05
    Nigel Sandy, N/A, United Kingdom 03-11-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    0
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    Overall
    "Not my cup of tea"

    The quality of the recording is excellent, second to none. I can't see me downloading any more though, as I really didn't like the book. If anyone hasn't come accross it, (as I hadn't), this is a VERY depressing tome. Snicket cleverly paints a beautiful picture of childhood idyl, and then smashes it into a million pieces in one sentence, genuinely shocking the reader. Following on from that, things go from bad to worse for the primary characters, and I found myself feeling very down after listening to it. I shan't say any more as I don't want to give away the ending but be aware this is not a happy ending read.

    15 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald Seattle, WA, USA 12-16-04
    Donald Seattle, WA, USA 12-16-04 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    209
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    650
    17
    FOLLOWERS
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    2
    5
    Overall
    "Yes!"

    Tim Curry! Lemony Snicket!
    This is as good as it gets!

    26 of 42 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Libby Montana 08-24-16

    trocadero22

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Tim Curry is fabulous, background and baby awful"
    What did you love best about The Bad Beginning, A Multi-Voice Recording?

    Tim Curry is fabulous. The story is fun and creepy. Our family - ages 5,9 and 12 plus adults - are all enjoying the it.


    Which character – as performed by Tim Curry and Full Cast – was your favorite?

    Tim Curry.


    Any additional comments?

    The background effects are VERY distracting, my kids even commented on it. In some parts it is even hard to hear the characters speaking because of bells clanking, etc. Then the part with the baby crying and wimpering and whining is AWFUL. It is an adult making baby sounds and we all - grown ups and kids - just wanted it to stop!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    rj n 08-14-16
    rj n 08-14-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "disability unfriendly"

    full cast productions are usually fantastic, but the way the editing was done in this, with some scenes layering one or two ambient sound effects that aren't music I've the narration made it difficult to understand any of it. I had to rewind several times to tree listen to those parts, which after a few go round was physically painful. I got the basic idea abd had to press on, eventually.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachel Chan TUCSON, AZ, US 07-15-16
    Rachel Chan TUCSON, AZ, US 07-15-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unfortunate indeed"
    What disappointed you about The Bad Beginning, A Multi-Voice Recording?

    I absolutely love the series and wanted to share it with my partner since they had never read them before. This was the only version of the 1st book and so we had to get it to start off on the story. IMPOSSIBLE to get through with the unnecessary sound effects and background noise. It may not bother others, but the screaming and crying baby sounds that seemed to last an eternity were headache-inducing. I loved Sunny when I was reading about her and wouldn't mind a description of her crying, but I did not want nor need to hear a screaming baby that lasted for what seemed like hours as background noise while the narrator continued telling the story.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Bad Beginning, A Multi-Voice Recording?

    The crying baby.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Tim Curry and Full Cast ?

    I love Tim Curry, I would have loved if he could have just read the story.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Anger that there was not another version that was just a voice-readover.


    Any additional comments?

    Audible also wouldn't let me return this book, so I lost a credit on a book I could not even enjoy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Megan 07-04-16
    Megan 07-04-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Full cast and sound effects are too much"

    I've listened to this whole series before, not the full cast version. It was really hard for me to listen to this version because I feel like the sound effects are way too loud and distracting. The full cast was okay, but I prefer the other versions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rumi Faizer 06-16-16
    Rumi Faizer 06-16-16 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great performance of good story"

    wonderfully performed sorry that is perfect for tweens. Great for a 2 and a half hour trip

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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