5

What is the reading order for the various books set in the same universe of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events?

  • You didn't ask, but for visual media: Skip the Jim Carrey movie, watch the Netflix series in order. The film was well-intentioned but poorly executed (and contained an excess of "Jim Carrey acts like Jim Carrey" schtick). – Kevin Sep 9 at 22:37
9

There are two main series, A Series of Unfortunate Events, and All the Wrong Questions. There are also several tie in books and pamphlets.

  • A Series of Unfortunate Events - Original series, 13 books, Lemony Snicket chronicling the lives of the Baudelaires
  • All the Wrong Questions - Newer series, 4 books, Lemony Snicket gives an account of his own life when he was 13
  • Lemony Snicket: An Unauthorized Autobiography - Published between books nine and ten, but only references stuff from the first six books
  • Mysterious Messages Concerning the Dismal Dinner - series of four pamphlets written to promote the movie, could be read anywhere after book 1
  • 13 Shocking Secrets you'll wish you never knew about Lemony Snicket - Pamphlet written to promote the 13th book, not much in it.
  • The Beatrice Letters - written before book thirteen, but I would recommend not reading it until afterwards.
  • File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents - tie in book to All the Wrong Questions, goes best between books two and three.
  • Lemony Snicket's You Choose the Mystery - Choose your adventure YouTube series created as promotion for All the Wrong Questions. Gives an account of how Snicket became a wanted man. Best seen after AtWQ.

Recomended Order

ASoUE 1. The Bad Beginning
ASoUE 2. The Reptile Room
ASoUE 3. The Wide Window
ASoUE 4. The Miserable Mill
ASoUE 5. The Austere Academy
ASoUE 6. The Ersatz Elevator
Lemony Snicket: An Unauthorized Autobiography
ASoUE 7. The Vile Village
ASoUE 8. The Hostile Hospital
ASoUE 9. The Carnivorous Carnival
ASoUE 10. The Slippery Slope
Mysterious Messages Concerning the Dismal Dinner
ASoUE 11. The Grim Grotto
ASoUE 12. The Penultimate Peril
ASoUE 13. The End
The Beatrice Letters
AtWQ 1. Who Could That Be at This Hour?
AtWQ 2. When Did You See Her Last?
File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents
AtWQ 3. Shouldn't You Be in School?
AtWQ 4. Why is This Night Different From All Other Nights?
Lemony Snicket's You Choose the Mystery

Chronological order

AtWQ 1. Who Could That Be at This Hour?
AtWQ 2. When Did You See Her Last?
File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents
AtWQ 3. Shouldn't You Be in School?
AtWQ 4. Why is This Night Different From All Other Nights?
The Beatrice Letters (half of it)
Lemony Snicket's You Choose the Mystery
Lemony Snicket: An Unauthorized Autobiography (this takes place over a large period, but the bulk of it takes place here)
Mysterious Messages Concerning the Dismal Dinner
ASoUE 1. The Bad Beginning
ASoUE 2. The Reptile Room
ASoUE 3. The Wide Window
ASoUE 4. The Miserable Mill
ASoUE 5. The Austere Academy
ASoUE 6. The Ersatz Elevator
ASoUE 7. The Vile Village
ASoUE 8. The Hostile Hospital
ASoUE 9. The Carnivorous Carnival
ASoUE 10. The Slippery Slope
ASoUE 11. The Grim Grotto
ASoUE 12. The Penultimate Peril
ASoUE 13. The End
The Beatrice Letters (the other half of it)

4

The A Series of Unfortunate Events books are numbered (in a rather esoteric "Book the First/Second/Third/etc." format) and I would really recommend you follow the numbering.

The books are definitely in chronological order and most certainly refer to each other. There is an overall story which does unfold as the series progresses, so it would be harmful, I think, to deviate from the numbering and I can't see any obvious reason why anyone should choose to.

So, for example, the entire series is set up in book one and really no other book can stand without it. Then, as another example, there are a host of characters introduced in book 5, so you should surely read that before reading any books that follow book 5. Later books contain spoilers of earlier books. And, in general, the order of the books follows a logical, chronological progression, so I'd say: stick to that!

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