Welcome to November! Thanksgiving is in a few weeks and the December holidays are just around the corner. It’s a time of reflection and celebration with your loved ones. For some that’s a joy. But if your family is starting to drive you crazy, take a small comfort in the knowledge that your life is not as unfortunate as the orphaned Baudelaire siblings. And even though you may have a crazy uncle to deal with at the dinner table, at least he’s not Count Olaf.
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events tells the survival stories of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny who are being threatened by Count Olaf and his band of villainous misfits who want the children’s inheritance. Even though the author warns us from the very first page not to read these stories expecting positive outcomes, readers are rooting for Violet’s inventions, Klaus’ knowledge and Sunny’s teeth to get them through every obstacle.
In 2004 the movie version came out starring Jim Carrey who played Count Olaf with mischievous perfection. It was easy to believe that the children were going to be victorious because Lemony Snicket was played by Jude Law, who has a voice that could soothe the waves of a violent storm. Violet and Klaus were played by amazing actors but it was Shelby and Kara Hoffman who played Sunny that stole the show. The film asked a lot of these child actors and they delivered on every scene.
Even though the book series is 13 parts, the movie was a combination of the first three stories, The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room, and The Wide Window. Since the movie grossed $209 million worldwide, I have no idea why a sequel never happened. However, ten years later, Netflix began discussions to turn the novels into a television series. Rumor has it that the show will be available online in 2016. Just so you are aware of all your options, I also highly suggest listening this series in the audio books narrated by one of my favorite actors, Tim Curry. Now if I could just get something with Jim Carrey and Tim Curry together, I would be in Heaven but I am digressing...
So which one did I love best? Drum Roll Please…… the Movie
If I was a young adult I think I would have voted for the books because I believe that even in the children’s darkest moments, without the aid of any adult, they found the inner strength to solve the problem and defeat the villain. That is a very powerful message to send young children, even if the story is told in a macabre fashion. But as an adult reading these stories, I just wanted to scream and then hold my breath until the children were out of danger. As I watched the movie and read the books, the novels came across as dark humor while the film was more comical which was easier for me to digest. However, last month’s poll showed that people enjoyed the books more than the movie.
Columnist: Jessie lives in Oregon and writes to avoid the rain. She only feels compelled to kill her characters when she starts a new diet and if she hates the ending of a TV episode she’ll rewrite it to give everyone a happily ever after. Currently Jessie is an unpublished author but she works tirelessly to removed two letters – un – from that word.
Column book and movie tape drawn by Evangeline Owen