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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.

Critic Reviews

Audie Award Finalist, Children's Titles for Ages 8+, 2005
Grammy Award Nominee, Best Spoken Word Album for Children, 2005
Book Sense Book of the Year Award Finalist, Children's Literature, 2001
"Tension-producing orchestral music, scene-setting sound effects, and most of all, Tim Curry's chocolate-voiced narration captivate the listener in this multicast production of the Lemony Snicket that started it all.... It's all good fun for listening children and their parents." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,816
  • 4 Stars
    719
  • 3 Stars
    309
  • 2 Stars
    82
  • 1 Stars
    64

Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,682
  • 4 Stars
    389
  • 3 Stars
    150
  • 2 Stars
    45
  • 1 Stars
    36

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,468
  • 4 Stars
    529
  • 3 Stars
    228
  • 2 Stars
    39
  • 1 Stars
    35
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JORGE harrington

Loved this book. Finally reading all of them again to get ready for season two. These are classic books for older and younger readers. Thank you Lemony Snicket.

JORGE HARRINGTON

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AWESOME

I just love this book so give it a try would g ya

Thank You it is the best book I ever read

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Absolutely Disparaging.

The word disparaging, in this instance, means "depressing, or causing despair." The story of the Baudelaire Orphans has left me feeling quite depressed, but hopeful for their lives. This hope, of course, is most likely misplaced. If you want a cheery story, full of joy and wonder, this is not the tale for you. Perhaps you should find an audio recording of a story about a happy little elf, and his adventures.

I very much enjoyed the performance of the Actors involved, strictly excluding Count Olaf's dreadful "The Marvelous Marriage." The actors who blended their talents to give these characters life did so well, I've found myself figuratively in a very deep pit of dark sadness. I highly recommend this book to any of you with the constitution to endure it's woes. A wonderful, terribly sad tale.

Well worth the price of admission.

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Too much distration

I love A Series of Unfortunate Events: the books, the movie with Jim Carrey, the Netflix series with Neil Patrick Harris. I love Tim Curry. But even Tim Curry couldn't save this production.

Whoever mixed the levels on this should be fired. The background and ambient noises were way too loud, sometimes even making me miss words of the narration! That is why there is such a discrepancy in between my ratings on Overall vs. Performance and Story. Yes, it's that bad.

The acting was superb (of course), but why doesn't Audible list who is in this mysterious "Full Cast"? Don't they deserve credit?

The publisher would do well to re-release this WITHOUT the "ambiance". Then it will be worth your money.

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I️ wish it was just Tim Curry or Lemony Snicket

The background noise is borderline unbearable and I️ was really disappointed because this is one of my all time favorite stories and I️ wanted to listen start to finish and this is the only version of book one available on audible.

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great reading

The reading was great, will listen again. The whole cast did wonderfully and brought the book to life.

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Amazing

Amazing cool fantastic spectacular breathtaking Amazing cool fantastic spectacular breathtaking Amazing cool fantastic spectacular breathtaking audio book

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These Orphans Got the Raw-End of the Deal!

Violet, Claude, & baby Sonny were made orphans after the unfortunate death of the parents in a fire. Their parents' Will stated that all of their fortune was to go in to trust & not to be accessable until Violet comes of age. Also stated in their Will is that children were to be given to their next-of-kin. Enter Count Olaf, a terrible, terrible person. The children are mistreated, made to live in horrible living conditions, & they are forced to be servants to the Count. Meanwhile, Count Olaf is working overtime to devise a plan to get his hands on the childrens' fortune. Thank goodness there are a few decent people that are working on behalf of the childrens' best interest. There is a wonderful neighbor that adores the children, & it doesn't hurt the childrens' situation that she just happens to be a judge. There is also the banker, Mr Poe, that is the executor of the trust. But can the goodness of the judge & banker overcome the devious Count Olaf? For now, but time will tell in book 2.

I'm a little ashamed that I liked the book as much as I did. I listened to the audiobook through Audible narrated by Tim Curry. That likely played a big part in my overall ranking. Fantastic narration! Saying I "liked" the book is really difficult for me given that the story was SUPER depressing & downright infuriating at points. However, the characters were strong, & I couldn't put the book down because I NEEDED to find out if the children escaped the clutches of Count Olaf. As much as it hurt to read this book, I find myself needing to read the next one to see how the childrens' plight plays out.

Age recommendation: 10 & up (scenes of neglect & mistreatment of young children)

On a scale of 1-10 stars, I give it 8.

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Not Original Audio Books and It Sucks!

I listened to the original audio books years ago and they were great! I bought this, not realizing they had changed or rather added badly done kids voices. The original was amazing, this is sh*t. They ruined it.

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the best you could ask for

tim curry is already brilliant in his own right, but they couldn't have picked anyone better to narrate this book. it was flawless