The kids and I read the first book a few weeks ago. Three quarters of the way through, we promised ourselves we would finish the first one and that would be that. We would not be reading further. Why? Because A Series of Unfortunate Events is, naturally, depressing, and quite unfortunate.
And yet, at the end of the first book, suddenly the kids were clamoring for me to download #2. Which I did.
Now halfway through The Reptile Room, I am still interrupted every couple of paragraphs by a child demanding — a word which here means “yelling insistently so as to drown out the parent attempting to read aloud” — that I explain “Why don’t they just TELL someone it’s Count Olaf???”
Yet we keep reading. Why? Because the books are lots of fun, very well written, and as with a train wreck in slow motion, you feel compelled to watch every detail unfold. The train wreck, of course, exists in the lives of the characters and does not here refer to any defects in the writing process.
My thanks to Lemony Snicket, whose biography we will probably be reading in the near future, when we have run out Unfortunate Events.