Two years ago when someone created that truly impeccable fan trailer for the Series of Unfortunate Events, I nearly screamed at the top of my lungs. Well, I screamed with my hand over my mouth like a muzzle. I’m going to take you on a quick journey into my childhood. For those who know me, this will explain a lot.
Reading was a pretty big deal in my first elementary school and I loved it. I won an award for reading the most books in my grade when I was in first grade (77 books and 77 AR tests to be exact). That’s not really important for this, but it’s worth mentioning. My sister was in the third or fourth grade when she started reading these weird books called The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. I don’t know when I picked up the first one, but I knew I was hooked pretty instantly. In second grade I asked my concerned teacher how to spell “unfortunate”. I got my hands on them as fast as Lemony Snicket could write them. When I was in third grade, the Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events movie with the star-studded cast including Jim Carrey, Emily Browning, Meryl Streep, and Jude Law as Lemony Snicket came out. I was so excited about this, I thought I would puke.
For some odd reason, it took me until the movie came out on DVD to be able to watch it. I’ve only seen it once in my life, solely because I was crushed when I watched it. I can’t remember exactly why I didn’t like it, but I know that it had to do with them putting three books into one movie. Of course we didn’t have Netflix streaming back in those days so it makes since that Hollywood wasn’t planning on making one movie for each of the 13 books, but still.
It wasn’t until years later when the books had been laid to rest in my house, that I truly realized the impact Lemony Snicket (or Daniel Handler) had on my life. I wouldn’t be the writer or the person I am today without his books. I recently read the first book again, and I realized that more than ever why I read them. Snicket respects the minds of children. I felt empowered reading these stories. The way that Violet was the inventor and Klaus was the bookworm instead of sticking with traditional gender stereotypes. The way that the Baudelaires encouraged each other, never backed down, and stood up for themselves really spoke to me. Looking in a broader sense, it can be seen in the way that Snicket explained expressive and colorful words in the book instead of just using simple terms, while saying things like “As you know…” without sounding condescending or making you feel stupid. The way the storyline wasn’t completely dense, but it was complex and made me think. I had to use my head while I was reading and Snicket knew I could do it.
So as I sat on my couch and watched the new Netflix series as an adult, I felt my heart warm. The Baudelaires are getting the time and devotion that they deserve and, though the series changed to storyline a bit for streaming purposes, I think it’s pretty darn good. I’m planning to keep watching until the end.
If you are/were anything like me and love the writing style of Lemony Snicket, I’d check out his newer series “All the Wrong Questions” which is about a young Snicket who solves crimes. They are easy reading because they’re for children so no worries about a time commitment. If you are somehow Lemony Snicket in the flesh and you’re reading this, thank you. I’m a writer and a lover of good stories because of you.
Happy Reading Friends!