A Series of Unfortunate Events is the collective volume of the thirteen children's books following the unfortunate lives of the Baudelaire Orphans, as written by Lemony Snicket which is a pen name for Daniel Handler. The whole series, including Snicket's additional materials, were published by HarperCollins and illustrated by Brett Helquist. Side works include The Beatrice Letters and Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography.
The series focused on Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire, who become extremely unfortunate children after their parents perish in a fire that destroy their entire home, only to be brought to their third cousin four times removed, the treacherous Count Olaf. Books 1-13 in the series describe the treacheries that the children face through their young lives while trying to prevent Olaf and his many associates's attempts on getting his hands on the Baudelaire fortune.
Throughout the series, the children encounter abuse, death, murder, violence, horror, suffering, loss, pain, grief, misery and despair in a series of unfortunate events.
A Series of Unfortunate Events consists of thirteen novels:
- The Bad Beginning
- The Reptile Room
- The Wide Window
- The Miserable Mill
- The Austere Academy
- The Ersatz Elevator
- The Vile Village
- The Hostile Hospital
- The Carnivorous Carnival
- The Slippery Slope
- The Grim Grotto
- The Penultimate Peril
- The End
Releases and packaging
The series carries a unique feel, not only in content, but also in packaging.
The original covers were made to look old fashioned, with Victorian designs throughout. They were originally released in paperback, but those have now become harder to find, with hardcovers becoming the standard for the series.
Several hardcover box sets were released in the US. The first four box sets came with three books each, and were each referred to as "A Box of Unfortunate Events." Books 1-3 were released as The Trouble Begins, books 4-6 were released as The Situation Worsens, books 1-6 were re-released as The Loathsome Library, books 7-9 were released as The Dilemma Deepens, and books 10-12 were released as The Gloom Looms. Shortly after publication of the last book, The End, the entire series was released in a box set called The Complete Wreck.
The series's illustrator Brett Helquist returned to illustrate another release of the series in paperback form, made to mimic the penny dreadful--a common nineteenth century British publication that was usually released in parts, each of which cost a penny. Books one, two, and three saw releases in this form, as well as secondary names: The Bad Beginning or, Orphans!, The Reptile Room or, Murder!, and The Wide Window or, Disappearance! Penny Dreadful releases have been put on hold indefinitely for the remainder of the books.
Other works by Snicket, set in the VFD universe
All the Wrong Questions
- Main article: All the Wrong Questions
Starting in 2012, a new series by Snicket, set in the same VFD universe, began, entitled All the Wrong Questions. This new book series depicted the childhood of Lemony Snicket himself. In his adolescence, Snicket is new to VFD and is taken by his chaperone S. Theodora Markson to the town Stain'd-by-the-Sea, where he solves mysteries on his own and asks all the wrong questions.
There have been two major adaptations of A Series of Unfortunate Events: the Paramount film, and the Netflix series. Only the latter, which began in 2017, is considered "canon" and a valid source on this wiki, due to Handler's involvement and its mostly true-to-the-book depictions.
2003 film (non-canon)
- Main article: Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (film)
The first three novels of the series, The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room, and The Wide Window, were made into a film, entitled Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, and starring Emily Browning, Liam Aiken and Jim Carrey. All chances of a sequel, as of 2016, are abandoned.
Video game (non-canon)
The film was consequently adapted into a video game.
The game is based primarily on the movie, which in turn is based on the plots of the first three books of the series: The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room and The Wide Window.
Players take the roles of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire, solving puzzles, fighting villains and finding objects.
- Main article: A Series of Unfortunate Events (TV series)
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On January 13, 2017, Netflix released a TV series based on the books. Because of the cancelled franchise of films, Lemony Snicket was reportedly happy with the idea, and had intentions to join production. He is one of the executive producers and a writer for the series, which, in the first season, contains eight episodes. Each book is broken up into two episodes, and season 1 adapts the first four in the series: The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room, The Wide Window, and The Miserable Mill. A second season was renewed in March 2017, and it will cover the next five books: The Austere Academy, The Ersatz Elevator, The Vile Village, The Hostile Hospital, and The Carnivorous Carnival.
Directors of the series include Barry Sonnenfield, Mark Palansky, and Bo Welch. Violet is played by Malina Weissman, Klaus by Louis Hynes, and Sunny by Presley Smith, while Sunny's voice is performed by Tara Strong.
- 13 Shocking Secrets You'll Wish You Never Knew About Lemony Snicket
- Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography
- The Beatrice Letters
- The Blank Book
- The Dismal Dinner (released by Lunchables)
- The Pessimistic Posters
- The Ponderous Postcards
- The Puzzling Puzzles
- The Notorious Notations
- The Tragic Treasury