Book 1 of the Series of Unfortunate Events. Read it in about an hour or so. The Baudelaire children find themselves in the care of a very distant (and cruel) relative after their parents' death. This is the beginning of their unfortunate adventures as orphans.
I was expecting something a lot different when I started reading this book. I enjoyed this book, but it wasn't what I expected it to be. I found it a little jarring how the omnipresent narrator would suddenly start defining words in the middle of sentence, but I can see how that would be important for children who have no interest in dictionaries.
The book was absorbing. The plot was a little thin, but I had to see what happened to the children. Yes, it is slightly despressing for a children's novel--morose, even--but it's an interesting read. I couldn't help hoping that something good happened to those children, but as we all know, this isn't the case. I'll defintely read the later books.
Note: Old review, just importing it from an old book blog.