Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
I’ve only read the first book in the series of 11, going on 13, and I enjoyed it immensely … though I have some reasonable doubts as to whether younger children should read it. It is downbeat. What I love is, it warns you right up front that it is, and even urges you to put the book down and read something more cheerful. (What better way to sell a book to a child, huh?) The movie was made from the first three books, and you find yourself wondering why they made the changes they did, in particular why in the sham wedding Count Olaf was foiled not by the clever Violet signing the marriage document with her left hand (not “her own hand”) but by Klaus using divine intervention and a burning lens. But that’s a quibble. The movie was extremely well-designed, and fun to watch. It even preserves the ambiance by starting out to be some animated, chirpy horror called “The Littlest Elf,” before Lemony breaks in mournfully to advise us this is not the movie we’ll be seeing, but you still have time to leave and find something more cheerful playing elsewhere in the Cineplex. Being at the drive-in, though, we were out of luck … though not really.