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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
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 Rating

4.4 (2730 )
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4.6 (2058 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Matt 04-17-17
    Matt 04-17-17 Member Since 2016
    ratings
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    6
    5
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    "A Terribly Good Awful Story"

    A classic, to be sure! well produced and preformed! An awful story of you have a heart at all, but in the best way!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alleycat1981 04-17-17 Member Since 2017
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    2
    2
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    "A tragic story indeed"

    I did enjoy the book, and I loved how sound effects and music were added to make you feel like you're placed right into the story. Having the full cast portray the characters was a smart idea too. However, some people may feel turned off by what the children in the story were going through.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle Lefferts Washington, D.C. 04-17-17
    Michelle Lefferts Washington, D.C. 04-17-17 Member Since 2016

    Twins' Mom in Georgetown

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    7
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    "Fantastic narration; suspenseful story"

    This is more of a performed book than a narration - different actors play each character, and there are sound effects. My 8 year-old-twin sons and I loved it and were on the edge of our seats for almost the entire story. The author does not pander to his audience with simplistic language; rather, advanced vocabulary and idioms are used but then explained in asides - I think it is an excellent way to expand vocabulary.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph 04-12-17
    Joseph 04-12-17 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Holy hell!"

    I didn't realize this story was so twisted! Take the preface seriously. What an odd experience..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kyle Shykes 04-12-17
    Kyle Shykes 04-12-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Still one of my all time favorites."

    This book is one of my favorites, and is even better when read by the legendary Tim Curry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lila 04-11-17
    Lila 04-11-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    28
    15
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    "Meh"

    Having been abused growing up, I had a really hard time listening to this.I had to ask a friend if it got better or worse which has made my decision not to finish the series because its just too much. I dont understand why kids like reading about abused kids but anyways performance wise the narrator is okay but there was a lot of back ground noise bells, people chatting, water running sometimes all at the same time while the narrator was well narrating and it was hard to grasp the words and separate them from the noise.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Derahk 04-02-17
    Derahk 04-02-17 Member Since 2016
    ratings
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    9
    8
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    Performance
    Story
    "What is the target audience?"
    What would have made The Bad Beginning, A Multi-Voice Recording better?

    Either lighten the subject matter for it's target audience or write the material to match to a older demographic that matches the disturbing subject matter.


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

    Disturbance. The second act's subject matter seemed a little too dark and adult to be in a seemingly children's book.


    Any additional comments?

    I am baffled by this series' popularity given the dark subject matter, I would refrain from exposing this book to my children, if I had them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Corry 04-01-17
    Corry 04-01-17 Member Since 2016
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    8
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    "great"

    reading as an adult, and the nostalgia is wonderful. the reading is just amazing. comparable to jim Dale the man who reads Harry potter

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LynNe Redwood Valley, CA USA 03-29-17
    LynNe Redwood Valley, CA USA 03-29-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    10
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    "Too Unfortunate"

    Narration and dramatization is good. The story is relentlessly sad. Guess you have to read the next book to get some relief.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cajunaussie Austin, TX 03-29-17
    cajunaussie Austin, TX 03-29-17
    ratings
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    1
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    "To Lemony, Dreadful, weeping, presumed dead"

    Unlike books such as Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl, or even Where the Red Fern Grows this audio program contains nothing happy. There is no happy tower, no happy reptile room, no happy schools, no happy apartments, no happy village, nor is there any happiness at all. You will most certainly cry, unlike the first of the two previously mentioned books, and unlike the third book mentioned you will most certainly be tracked down by a villainous actor who will try to steal not only the absurd amount of money that everyone apparently has by using arson, but he will also poke you with a stick until you give him your almond cookie. Your day will become Reptilian, wide, miserable, austere, ersatz, vile, hostile, carnivorous, slippery, grim, penultimate, and to end, inevitably- a word which here means "a fancy word for all adjectives that I just listed and more terrible things, but ending on an obvious adjective"- bad. So in conclusion instead of listening to an audio book reported by a man who is tied up in a coffin at a funeral that is for a woman named Beatrice, don't expect a happy ending. Besides, that's not how the story goes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • John
    wigan, GTM, United Kingdom
    10/29/05
    Overall
    "brilliant"

    What a great tale, I could not stop listening all the while hoping that something pleasant was going to happen to the three orphans!! A must hear!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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