Saturday, August 12, 2017

A Series of Unfortunate Re-reads: Part 1

Imagine this: 9-year-old Amanda, going to the library in 4th grade and picking out books. Stumbling upon the Series of Unfortunate Events and becoming curious--what kind of book openly deters you from reading it? Tells you to avoid its unfortunate misery? Cracking open the book. Following the series until the last book is published, and finishing it in her 6th grade English class. That was my introduction to Lemony Snicket's positively entertaining book series. And now, I'm revisiting the books for the first time since finishing the series in 6th grade.

After watching the Netflix show this past winter, I felt the desire to re-read these books that I loved so much in elementary school to see how they line up with the show, and if they stand the test of time. So, I headed on over to the library to check out this thirteen book series, thus embarking on an unfortunate re-reading adventure!

First thoughts, after finishing the first three books: I'm a much faster reader than I was before (to no surprise. I've read a lot more books since then). I picked up the first book on my way downtown one day, and basically finished it on the bus ride back (for perspective, the bus ride takes about 20-25 minutes). I still enjoy Lemony Snicket's writing as much as I did back when I first read the books. It's refreshing and amusing, and I found myself smiling at much of his writing.

Another factor that I noted while reading is that the Netflix show basically follows the books almost to a tee. The extra story line about the Baudelaire's parents is just an added bonus, in my opinion. It rounds out the Baudelaire's story, and I'm excited to see where they take it.

Re-reading the books, I can see why some people might be turned off by Snicket's writing style. The entire series is him breaking the fourth wall, which bothers some people, and sometimes becomes a bit repetitive in warning readers against the unfortunate events that befall the Baudelaires. I, however, find it an excellent device to keep readers going. If the events of this book were so terrible, how could their lives possibly get any worse? And there lies the plot device to get you to keep reading--and keep reading I shall!

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