Sunday, March 05, 2017

The Bad Beginning

I am embarking on a reading binge (more accurately, I have already begun a reading binge) and thought that I would write a very short review of the books as I complete them. The first book that I have finished is The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler), the first book in A Series of Unfortunate Events. I have been watching the Netflix series of the same title and thought I'd begin to read the series again. The first time through, I only read up to the middle of Book 5; there are 13 books in the series, so I still have a long way to go. I believe this was the third time I have read The Bad Beginning.

I have a love-hate relationship with these books, I think. This relationship extends to the Jim Carrey movie and these Netflix episodes as well. I like the idea of the books: the world that Snicket (AKA Handler) creates is whimsical, but not in a Diagon Alley way. To explain, I was immediately perturbed by the first Harry Potter book because of the reference to Diagon Alley, which seemed a silly name for a place, a place that is supposed to exist in the real world (not in some alternate dimension). There is little reference in The Bad Beginning to the real world (though the Netflix series talks about Winnipeg).

What I found pleasurable in reading this book this time, though, was the feel of the physical book in my hands: the print was big, the chapters short. The story was simple and humourous. It was a bit of a break from Proust, which I am trying to slog through in this reading binge. My plans are not to read the second book right away (I'll try to get through one of my other books first). My reading binge began with too many books at once (12, I think).

So, look forward to these write-ups after each book is completed. I'll refrain from doing a sort of Barthesian reading of this book at this point. Don't think it will never happen, though.