I read The Bad Beginning several years ago and never continued with the series, which turned out to be a good decision, as I just spent the last couple weeks reading almost the entire series, up to The Penultimate Peril, published this year. It might have been even smarter to wait for them all to be in print, as now I have charged through twelve books and am left hanging until the last one is available, most likely not for another year.
The books are dark and gloomy and include a lot of deﬁnitions for words and phrases used. There are also several passages in any one book where Lemony Snicket will try to convince you not to read any further because the books are so horrible. I always wondered why the author was hidden behind a pseudonym, with at least one reason becoming clear as the plot thickens when the ﬁctional author casually slips in evidence that he is closer to the story than he’s been letting on.
I have to say that The Penultimate Peril wasn’t my favorite (that distinction probably goes to The Grim Grotto), though perhaps it was all leading up to a great ﬁnale. I am not so optimistic about the movie, especially reading about how Daniel Handler was dropped as a screenwriter. At least there is a scathing commentary with Lemony Snicket and the director on the dvd.