I am sorry to say that the lives of the Baudelaire orphans, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny, are filled with bad luck and misery. All of the stories about these three children are unhappy and wretched, and this one may be the worst of them all.
If you haven't got the stomach for a story that includes a hurricane, a signaling device, hungry leeches, cold cucumber soup, a horrible villain, and a doll named Pretty Penny, then this audiobook will probably fill you with despair.
I will continue to record these tragic tales, for that is what I do. You, however, should decide for yourself whether you can possibly endure this miserable story.
With all due respect,
©2000 Lemony Snicket; (P)2001, 2003 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
"Snicket's narration is surprisingly good; his narrator voice has just the right neutral tone, rising and falling in pitch with each plot twist." (AudioFile)
For those of you who loved the first two audiobooks in this series as I did, you may find yourselves disappointed with this one, as Lemony Snickett has decided to read the book himself. Unfortunately, Tim Curry does a MUCH better job of it all the way around. It appears that Listening Library figured that out along the way, because although books three, four and five are read (very poorly) by Snickett, he appears to have been sacked and Curry brought back on.
Tim Curry really brings these books to life. In fact, I love his style so much that I have listened to almost every book he's narrated that Audible offers, and have never been disappointed.
That being said, the Series of Unfortunate Events books are truly fun, and very funny. Snickett does have a delightful way with words, a dry wit, and an uncanny knack for telling the same story over and over and over again (albeit with different characters and settings) and making it fresh and funny each time. I am 32, my significant other is 46, we have no children, and we get a kick out of listening to the Snickett books in the car or at bedtime. A rolicking good time for both children and adults! (In fact, most of the Lemony Snickett fans I know are over the age of 30, so that tells you something right there!)
This book CAN be enjoyed in spite of Lemony Snickett's stilted reading, but I'm looking forward to the later books in the series more. I rate the book 2 stars because of the narration; if Tim Curry had read it, it probably would have been three. It's not great literature, but it's fun nonetheless.
I had toyed with the idea of picking up these books on occasion at various places. After I heard the interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air (on my 40th birthday no less), I had to give these a try. This not just kidstuff (although they are completely kid appropriate). These are so much FUN!!! My husband and I listen to them over and over and laugh our heads off. Misery loves company -- and I am hooked.
The Series of Unfortunate Event books are quirky. Daniel Handler is a quirky guy. While he is not a professional actor, I find his reading to fit perfectly in with the tone of the books. It is like your dad reading you a funny book at bedtime. Personally I find his characterization of Mr. Poe and Aunt Josephine to be spectacular. It makes me laugh out loud everytime I listen to this audiobook.
I don't think these books are funny, nor intended to be. I think they're poignant. I think they're introducing children to adversity that has the vague, irrational form that is the most difficult to deal with.
At first, I was put off by the narration. Its not as professional as the best narrators. However, I got used to it, and then loved it. LS is speaking from the heart. It is like your Dad talking to you, in the best way - not reading to you.
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