A Series of Unfortunate Events
A Series of Unfortunate Events is the story of the three Baudelaire orphans, Violet, Claus and Sunny. The books are narrated by Lemony Snicket, a mysterious man who follows the story through clues passed on through a secret organization known only as the V.F.D. The series begins with the three children losing their parents in a fire. Consequently, a banker named Mr. Poe takes charge of the children and leaves them with the nearest relative, Count Olaf. The children, however, are dubious to the fact that Olaf is actually a relative. Olaf and his troupe become the villain of the series. During their stay with Count Olaf, the children are forced to perform ridiculous and cruel tasks. Eventually, the children are able to escape, and though the children are not still under Olaf's care, he is still intent on finding them and stealing their money. In each book, the children are given a different guardian which causes more problems for them. In their attempts to settle down into a home, the orphans find that the problems they encounter all seem to be pointing to the same mysterious agency, the V.F.D. They meet many members of this secret organization that train them in different areas. Violet is a great inventor. Klaus is good at research. And, Sunny, though just a baby, is good at biting things, and eventually becomes a wonderful cook. The mystery of the V.F.D. compounds as the series goes on, making it often ambiguous as to whether the agency is good or bad.
The Bad Beginning
The Baudelaire orphans learn of their parents death while sitting on a beach. Mr. Poe, a banker, comes to give them the news of their parents demise and take charge of them. He gives them into the hands of their next nearest relative, Count Olaf. Though the children doubt Olaf's legitimacy as their relative, he becomes their guardian. Olaf and his acting troupe treat the children horribly. They force them to cook and clean the house, which is filthy and falling apart. However, the children find a friend in their next door neighbor, Justice Strauss. She lets them use her library and is generally sympathetic towards the children. The children use her as help in buying ingredients for a dinner that Olaf has ordered them to cook for his acting troupe. There is no food in the house, and because of the mess the house is in, the kitchen is unfit to cook in. However, with the help of Violet's inventions, Klause's research skills, and Sunny's teeth, the children cook up a wonderful dinner of Pasta Puttanesca. This, of course, does not satisfy Count Olaf, who wanted roast beef.
The children seek Mr. Poe for help in the matter of their new guardian. However, Mr. Poe is not the most observant or understanding banker, and tells the children that Olaf is a perfectly fine guardian. However, unbeknown to Mr. Poe, Count Olaf has devised a plan to steal the orphan's money left to them after their parents death. Olaf puts together a play with his troupe, entitled The Marvelous Marriage by Al Funcoot. This series is filled with acronyms. During the play, Olaf will marry Violet, the oldest Baudelaire orphan, making it seem as if it is all part of the show. Klause uses the library of Justice Strauss to read about nuptial law to find a way to stop Olaf's plan. But, Olaf has invited Justice Strauss to play the part of a Justice in the play, and if they say wedding vows and sign the legal documents, the marriage will be legal.
To make sure that the Baudelaire orphans will behave during the play, Olaf puts Sunny in a cage and locks her in the highest tower of his house, guarded by a member of his troupe. Klause and Violet attempt to rescue Sunny by using the grappling hook invented by Violet. However, Olaf's troupe captures them and locks them in the tower until the play begins.
The play is performed using members of the community and Olaf's troupe. When it reaches the point of Olaf and Violet's marriage, Olaf proudly declares the success of his plan by announcing Violet's marriage. Justice Strauss, who sympathizes with the children, informs Olaf that you cannot marry if you are underage. But, Olaf counters that you may marry with a guardian's permission, and since he is her guardian, she must have permission. But, Violet announces that she has signed the document with her left hand. Being right handed, this voids the marriage. Justice Strauss agrees. Klause, Violet and Sunny are reunited, but Olaf escapes, threatening the children by telling them he will continue to pursuit them. Because the children have grown close to Justice Strauss, she offers to adopt them. But, Mr. Poe insists that their parents wished for them to be kept by a relative. The book ends as they are taken off to find their next guardian.
The Reptile Room
The Baudelaires continue their sad adventures in "The Reptile Room." Mr. Poe brings them to their new guardian,Dr. Montgomery Montgomery, a scientist who study reptiles. Uncle Monty( the children called him this)shows the children the Incredibly Deadly Viper and how it is one of a kind. He also tells them about their parents and that they will go to Peru to study more about reptiles. One day, the door rang and standing at the door, was Olaf disguised as an assistant name Stephano. The children tried to convince their guardian that "Stephano" is an imposter and he feels the same way too. So they plan to leave early in the morning to Peru until the next day, Dr. Montgomery was found dead.
The Baudelaires are convincing Mr. Poe that Stephano is Count Olaf. Then, a man named Dr. Lucafont, came to investigate the scene, but to the children, the man looked like one of Olaf's troupe members. Then when Mr. Poe realised that Stephano was Count Olaf in disguise, Olaf escaped, trying to think of another plan to steal the Baudelaire Fotune. Sadly, the reptiles in the reptile room were sent back to their natural habitats.The children waved good-bye to the reptiles and the Incredibly Deadly Viper as they drove away to their next guardian.
The Wide Window
The Baudalaires are driven to a house by the Lake Lachrymose, which belongs to a woman called Aunt Josephine. She is scared of everything and blah blah blah. Obviously, this book contains a wide window, hence the name, and this window happens to be in Aunt Josephines house. Everything is going great when suddenly...(scary music)the Baudelaires and Josephine just happen to meet Count Olaf, presently disguised as Captain Sham...Olaf does his usual evil deeds (hehe im speakin posh!)and in the end Aunt Josephine dies (mwahahahaaha lol) and the Baudelaires are shipped of to another parent.
The Miserable Mill
The Baudelaire orphans go to work at a lumber mill where everyone is paid very poorly -- in coupons that are worth nothing, in gum, etc. Claus is hypnotized by Olaf posing as an optometrist to try to kill the others, but that fails.
The Austere Academy
The Baudelaire orphans go to a very severe school where Olaf poses as a physical education instructor to try to get them. They meet a pair of triplets (the third is missing) who suffered their own unfortunate events, and Violet and Claus form close relationships with their counterparts. In the end the Baudelaires escape but the triplets are not so lucky. They are last seen in Olaf's car.
The Ersatz Elevator
The Baudelaire orphans are given to the care of a rich couple in a very tall building with a dysfunctional elevator. The wife is consumed with being in style, guided by Count Olaf in disguise. After escaping an elevator shaft thanks to Sunny's very sharp teeth, the orphans find that there is a system of tunnels under the town, and one of the tunnels leads to their burnt-out former house. The triplets are contained in an item up for auction, but which item? In the end the wife turns out to have been an associate of Olaf's, and the orphans fail to recover the triplets.
The Vile Village
The Baudelaire orphans find themselves in a very strange town, and under suspicion for murdering Count Olaf. They didn't kill anyone, and Olaf isn't really dead. The orphans enlist the help of a man working on an airborne home that will keep them safe. In the end they manage to rescue the triplets from the statue at the center of town, but it is the triplets (still only two of them) who end up escaping in the airborne home.
The Hostile Hospital
The Baudelaire orphans are at a hospital which eventually burns down.
The Carnivorous Carnival
The Baudelaire orphans almost get dumped into a pit filled with lions, but escape.
The Slippery Slope
The Baudelaire orphans find an ally and climb a mountain, only to find that the place they thought would help them has been attacked and destroyed.
The Grim Grotto
The Baudelaire orphans venture undersea. Sunny gets sick, but is cured.
The Penultimate Peril
The Baudelaire orphans stay at a hotel where they think they will find answers, but mostly they find more questions.
The Baudelaire orphans are stranded on an island. Olaf is finally dispatched. The Baudelaire orphans learn that life in general is a series of very unfortunate events. Olaf had a miserable childhood, as did all of his compatriots, and seemingly everyone the Baudelaires have come in contact with. Life is hard, they learn, and they'd better get used to it, because it's not getting any easier.