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Search tags: The-Beginning-of-Everything
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text 2019-06-04 20:25
Review: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
The Bad Beginning - Lemony Snicket

Title: The Bad Beginning
Author: Lemony Snicket
Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events, 1
Format: ebook
Length: 211 pages (iPhone)
Rating: 4 stars


Dear Reader,
I'm sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page of this book when the children are at the beach and receive terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune.
In this short book alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, and cold porridge for breakfast.
It is my sad duty to write down these unpleasant tales, but there is nothing stopping you from putting this book down at once and reading something happy, if you prefer that sort of thing.
With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket


Favourite character: Klaus
Least favourite character: Olaf (duh)


I adore this series. Because even if the scenes aren't well-written or the character's aren't named or developed, Lemony Snicket's writing his hysterical, with his repeating sentences to make sure the reader gets what Klaus is going through, or teaching kids big words by explaining how they fit with his usage. Can't wait to reread the rest of the series.

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text 2019-05-24 13:03
Reading progress update: I've read 213 out of 213 pages.
Log Horizon, Vol. 1: The Beginning of Another World - Mamare Touno

OMG, I'm finished. I loved the first season of the anime, despite its pacing issues. Unfortunately, it turns out that whoever adapted the anime actually made quite a few improvements, because the original book's pacing was excruciating. Also, I can't believe I'm saying this, but the anime actually had less fanservice than the book.


In the afterword:


"This book is an edited and revised version of an online serial I started writing in April 2010. When the story was turned into a book, I changed the setting a bit and revised the text to improve the quality of the writing and its readability."


Uh, not enough, but I suspect that truly fixing the story would have involved scrapping at least the first couple books' worth of material and complete rewriting everything.

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review 2019-05-20 17:23
The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
A Series of Unfortunate Events 1: The Bad Beginning - Lemony Snicket

What a great read!
I can totally see why this series is so huge and was made into a tv series on Netfix. It is epic! 
It is one of those stories that doesn't have a happy ending. It takes you where you don't want to go, but brings you out again. All of this is in good fun though.
Some pretty brilliant writing is  at play here. You are pulled so deep into the lives of these three children, hoping they are well taken care of in the end.
And now I want more!
It may be a while though, but I will definitely read on!



Source: www.fredasvoice.com/2019/05/the-bad-beginning-by-lemony-snicket-21.html
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text 2019-05-19 20:36
Reading progress update: I've read 118 out of 213 pages.
Log Horizon, Vol. 1: The Beginning of Another World - Mamare Touno

I'm going to attempt to finish this before Booklikesopoly tomorrow, and/or write some reviews because my backlog is awful.


It's been ages since I last touched this book. If I hadn't seen the anime, I'm not sure I'd remember what's going on in the current scene.

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review 2019-03-31 13:53
"A Curious Beginning - Veronica Speedwell #1" by Deanna Raybourn - highly recommended
A Curious Beginning - Deanna Raybourn

This is a splendid late-Victorian romp introducing the indomitable Veronica Speedwell: adventuress, lepidopterist and reader of crime mysteries



In "A Curious Beginning", I've found, rather belatedly, given that book four came out in 2019, a series that I'm eager to read more of.


This came as a welcome surprise to me as I'm not normally a fan of light-hearted historical fiction. I tend to get distracted by small anachronisms and inaccuracies or lose interest in people and plots too shallow to be convincing. To my great pleasure, Deanna Raybourn's late-Victorian England stands up to my layman's scrutiny and she succeeds in sustaining a lightness of tone that is powered by strong characters and a twisty plot.


What really excited me about the book was its freshness. Sam Goldwyn is alleged to have said, "What we need now is some fresh clichés". Deanna Raybourn does a good job in providing them.


"A Curious Beginning" is a boys-own-adventure where the adventurer is a young woman with a self-confidence and a knowledge of the world that would make Holmes look shy and make Watson blush. This simple inversion, combined with a cute-meet involving taxidermy, a hero who provides eye-candy as well as competence and a few set pieces where our heroine bedazzles the soon-to-be-but-not-quite-yet hero with her knowledge, wit and sheet impertinence make this very entertaining.


I think Sam Goldwyn would have bought the film rights on the spot although I'd rather see it done by RKO with Howard Hughes directing.


Veronica Speedwell is a fiercely independent, widely travelled woman who makes her living capturing and selling exotic butterflies. She is a woman of strong passions and deep intellect with a talent for science, a hunger for adventure and firm rules about never taking Englishmen as lovers.


She is also, for reasons she does not yet understand, at the centre of a complex plot by shady characters who seek to abduct or kill her. The plot, when it is revealed, has the advantage of being truly bold in scope and (just about) plausible. The threats to her lead to her taking refuge with Stoker, an eccentric, irascible but pleasant to look at almost-hero who hides her first amongst the members of a circus/freakshow and then amongst the equally strange members of the English aristocracy.


The plot romps along, dispensing wit, banter, moments of (mostly repressed) sexual tension and bursts of physical conflict as it reveals itself.


Veronica Speedwell is the heart of this novel. Her spirit and wit power it. She's impressive but also quite human. As well as being a serious scientist, she has a passion the fictional adventures of Arcadia Brown, Lady Detective and adopts Arcadia's habit of declaiming "Excelsior" when on the trail of the bad guys. I thought this was a wonderful idea that filled out Veronica's character, provided an in-joke for readers and made Stoker seem boorish (if still eye-catching) by his I-don't-read-low-fiction snobbish response.


I was deeply impressed by Raybourn's ability to sustain a playfully humorous tone while still developing her main characters into real(ish) people and unrolling the plot of the mystery at an effective pace. It's really quite masterful. The result was a refreshing and entertaining read, which I was much in need of.


I listened to the audiobook version and I thought Angèle Masters did an excellent job of bringing Veronica to life. Click on the SoundCloud link below to hear a sample.

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