children's book

Audiobook Review: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket


Title: A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning
Author: Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler)
Narrator: Tim Curry (with other actors for various voices)
Publisher: HarperAudio
Length: 2 hours and 31 minutes
Genre: Children’s book
Rating: 4 Folded Pages

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.

I read the entirety of the series when I was 12 and I loved it then. It was interesting and I enjoyed that Snicket (IE Handler) didn’t treat the reader like a child but was still able to explain the bigger words he used and the context. I think a great part of my vocabulary inauspiciously came from these books but I digress.

I decided to reread (well listen to the audiobooks) to refresh my memory on the series now that Netflix is putting out a TV show based on them. I’m super excited for that by the way. Let’s just pretend the movie they decided to make didn’t nearly do the books justice.

I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook. Tim Curry has exactly the voice I imagined the narrator to have while I was reading them. I didn’t necessarily care for the other voice actors who voiced the children mostly because they all kind of sound the same and make it hard to stay immersed in the story.

The story itself is relatively simple and there isn’t much I can say on it without spoiling people. I doubt there are people who haven’t read or still want to read it but just in case. I’m excited to get to further books in the series where Snicket isn’t setting up the scene so much so it focuses more heavily on plot.

The book was very short especially since I listened to it on 1.25x the normal speed. I appreciated that. It was just as good as I remember. I’m waiting for the next audiobook in the series to become available at my library to continue my “reread.”


children's book, classic

Book Review: Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett


Title: The Secret Garden
Author: Frances Hodgson Burnett
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Length: 298, Kindle Book
Genre: Classic, Children’s book
Rating: 4 Folded Pages

When spoiled child Mary Lennox loses her family to a cholera outbreak, she moves to her uncle’s manor surrounded by a massive garden. Within, Mary discovers a whole new outlook on life thanks to a supportive household and the garden’s power of healing.

Funny how the first review after my Unpopular Opinion: Classics goes out is, well, a classic. And although it’s a classic, I did really enjoy it.

It was very hard to get through the first 50 pages or so. It was all exposition and passive voice. I hated that. But I pushed through and once Mary Lennox started doing things instead of having things done to her, it became much more interesting.

I remember, vaguely, being read this in third grade. I remember the wheelchair and the big reveal quite differently than it actually happens. My third grade mind made a much bigger deal of it all and I see why it’s labeled as a children’s book. I actually really enjoyed being able to remember bits and pieces of how I thought it as a child. It gave me a very interesting viewpoint to compare it against.

Still I just can’t give it 5 folded pages. It was too slow for my liking and overall not a lot happens. It’s interesting and still kept my attention but I could only read it in bouts of 20 minutes or so.