NOW A NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES
A Warning from the Publisher:
Imagine you are wearing a bandage that needs to be removed. Are you the sort of person who tears the bandage right off, causing an enormous amount of pain in a short instance? Or do you prefer to spread your pain out over a longer period of time, by slowly unpeeling the bandage from your injury?
If you are the first type of person, then this three-book box set might be for you. All of the misery and woe available in three Lemony Snicket volumes—The Miserable Mill, The Austere Academy, and The Ersatz Elevator—have been joined into one compactly miserable package, so readers foolish enough to read about the Baudelaire orphans can be unnerved in a slightly more economical fashion.
If you are the second type of person, then volumes four through six in A Series of Unfortunate Events might be for you. Even if you unwisely choose to read them at a more leisurely pace, you will encounter such atrocities as poorly paid employees, a hypnotist, an evil scheme, a gym teacher, dripping fungus, another evil scheme, a fake accent, three mysterious consonants, a red herring, and at least one more evil scheme.
Of course, most people would prefer not to be injured at all. We salute these sensible people, who will doubtless not purchase any books by Lemony Snicket, no matter how conveniently bundled.
About the Author
Lemony Snicket had an unusual education which may or may not explain his ability to evade capture. He is the author of the 13 volumes in A Series of Unfortunate Events, several picture books including The Dark, and the books collectively titled All The Wrong Questions.
Brett Helquist's celebrated art has graced books from the charming Bedtime for Bear, which he also wrote, to the New York Times–bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket to the glorious picture book adaptation of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. He lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.
Hometown:Snicket is something of a nomad. Handler lives in San Francisco, California.
Date of Birth:February 28, 1970
Place of Birth:Handler was born in San Francisco in 1970, and says Snicket's family has roots in a land that's now underwater.
Education:Handler is a 1992 graduate of Wesleyan University in Connecticut.
Read an Excerpt
The Bad Beginning
If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book. In this book, not only is there no happy ending, there is no happy beginning and very few happy things in the middle. This is because not very many happy things happened in the lives of the three Baudelaire youngsters. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire were intelligent children, and they were charming, and resourceful, and had pleasant facial features, but they were extremely unlucky, and most everything that happened to them was rife with misfortune, misery, and despair. I'm sorry to tell you this, but that is how the story goes.
Their misfortune began one day at Briny Beach. The three Baudelaire children lived with their parents in an enormous mansion at the heart of a dirty and busy city, and occasionally their parents gave them permission to take a rickety trolley-the word "rickety," you probably know, here means "unsteady" or "likely to collapse"-alone to the seashore, where they would spend the day as a sort of vacation as long as they were home for dinner. This particular morning it was gray and cloudy, which didn't bother the Baudelaire youngsters one bit. When it was hot and sunny, Briny Beach was crowded with tourists and it was impossible to find a good place to lay one's blanket. On gray and cloudy days, the Baudelaires had the beach to themselves to do what they liked...
The Reptile Room
The stretch of road that leads out of the city, past Hazy Harbor and into the town of Tedia, is perhaps the most unpleasant in theworld. It is called Lousy Lane. Lousy Lane runs through fields that are a sickly gray color, in which a handful of scraggly trees produce apples so sour that one only has to look at them to feel ill. Lousy Lane traverses the Grim River, a body of water that is nine-tenths mud and that contains extremely unnerving fish, and it encircles a horseradish factory, so the entire area smells bitter and strong.
I am sorry to tell you that this story begins with the Baudelaire orphans traveling along this most displeasing road, and that from this moment on, the story only gets worse. Of all the people in the world who have miserable lives-and, as I'm sure you know, there are quite a few-the Baudelaire youngsters take the cake, a phrase which here means that more horrible things have happened to them than just about anybody. Their misfortune began with an enormous fire that destroyed their home and killed both their loving parents, which is enough sadness to last anyone a lifetime, but in the case of these three children it was only the bad beginning. After the fire, the siblings were sent to live with a distant relative named Count Olaf, a terrible and greedy man...
The Wide Window
If you didn't know much about the Baudelaire orphans, and you saw them sitting on their suitcases at Damocles Dock, you might think that they were bound for an exciting adventure. After all, the three children had just disembarked from the Fickle Ferry, which had driven them across Lake Lachrymose to live with their Aunt Josephine, and in most cases such a situation would lead to thrillingly good times.
But of course you would be dead wrong. For although Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire were about to experience events that would be both exciting and memorable, they would not be exciting and memorable like having your fortune told or going to a rodeo. Their adventure would be exciting and memorable like being chased by a werewolf through a field of thorny bushes at midnight with nobody around to help you. If you are interested in reading a story filled with thrillingly good times, I am sorry to inform you that you are most certainly reading the wrong book, because the Baudelaires experience very few good times over the course of their gloomy and miserable lives. It is a terrible thing, their misfortune, so terrible that I can scarcely bring myself to write about it. So if you do not want to read a story of tragedy and sadness, this is your very last chance to put this book down, because the misery of the Baudelaire orphans begins in the very next paragraph....
A Series of Unfortunate Events Box Set. Copyright © by Lemony Snicket. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.