Friday, 9 May 2014

And the results are in...

Apologies for the hinky formatting on this. Blogger went a bit funny when I was scheduling my posts this week and this one ended up without paragraph breaks and randomly centred. I think I've fixed it now, even if I have been forced to do all my editing on the HTML setting because straightforward compose won't let me select anything! Weird.

I'd planned on posting this a wee bit earlier than I've actually ended up doing. This is mainly because I ended up getting ahead of myself in scheduling my posts and thought it was scheduled a week before it actually has been.

Anyway, excuses out of the way. The results of the poll are in (well, they were actually in about two weeks ago, basically I suck, we established that in the last paragraph).

The Edge Chronicles, Hunger Games, A Song of Ice and Fire, Discworld and Earth's Children didn't get any love at all. Tolkien's books and Fifty Shades fared slightly better (never ever thought I'd lump those two together in the same sentence) with a vote apiece. Harry Potter and Twilight went one further (I'll admit, once I got my hands on all the Twilight books in Oban I was kind of secretly rooting for it to win).

The Chronicles of Narnia was a very close second with three votes. But the overall book series that got the most votes was Lemony Snickett's A Series of Unfortunate Events. I've got all thirteen of the books of this series in my possession (you guys really believed in throwing me in at the deep end, didn't you?) as well as a book comprising of quotes from the series and Lemony Snickett's 'autobiography'. I wasn't planning on reviewing the last two books but I've got them on my shelf should I get to that point.

I have read all of these books before a various number of times. The earlier ones I've read more than the later ones, revisiting them all each time I picked up the latest one. I last read the complete series roughly three years ago so although I can remember most of what happens in the series there are bits that I've probably forgotten (but will remember as I get to them).

The books get progressively thicker as you go through the series and the last four look to be just under twice as thick as the original four.  My aim is to read each complete book and write my posts as I go, Chapter-by-Chapter. I'll be starting with Book the First: The Bad Beginning and I'll be inviting comments on the chapters as I read them. If anyone else wants to join in and read along with me, you're welcome to either post your own views on your blog or in the comments section.

As this is a series of books I've read before I can't guarantee that I won't post spoilers. It won't bother me to see spoilers in the comments either.  Before I begin...

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snickett
Book the First
The Bad Beginning

 My copy of this book is a hardback with an old-fashioned sort of cover. The book spines are all different colours and this one is red with a sort of spiky plant pattern (without checking, I think the other spines have different patterns on them).

The cover has Count Olaf up close and personal with the Baudelaire orphans seen through a window behind him. Also in the cover picture is a framed picture of an eye. I know that the eye symbolism plays an important part in the organisation their parents were part of but I can't remember exactly what part it played.

Other things I remember about this book is that each one has the children sent to live with some guardian or in some place which always seems to end badly for all involved.

I remember that Sunny, the baby, starts off speaking in single random words which mean whole sentences and usually the word links in some obscure way to the statement she's making. Sometimes they're tongue-in-cheek jokes about authors or historical figures but that as time goes on she starts speaking more coherently.

Count Olaf is the series's big bad and he wants the orphans' money. There's some link to the Volunteer Fire Department and the initials VFD play an important part throughout the story, as do the rules of the organisation.

I remember vaguely what happens at the end of the series, right at the end of the last book. I know that the stories don't have any happy endings and I remember the really distinctive way that they're written - the word 'distinctive' here means 'defining numerous words with elaborate descriptions'.
I'm quite looking forward to revisiting these, so let the reading commence!

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