Lemony Snicket's Popularity Soars

Posted on April 23, 2004

The popularity of Lemony Snicket is soaring as the Dec. 17, 2004 release of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, approaches. The movie is a feature film by Paramount, Nickelodeon Movies and DreamWorks based on the bestselling children's book series and starring Jim Carrey. The movie will probably turn out to be a miserable time for unfortunate Lemony Snicket fans, but if the book sales are any indication the movie will be very popular. On the March 21, 2004 New York Times Best Sellers List, A Series of Unfortunate Events held seven out of ten slots on the Children's Chapter Book List -- a feat only duplicated by the Snicket series itself on May 5, 2002; Feb. 9, 2003 and April 13, 2003.

The seven titles on the March 21 list -- The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room, The Wide Window, The Miserable Mill, The Ersatz Elevator, The Austere Academy and The Slippery Slope -- have been on the New York Times' list a total of 448 reported weeks. The series as a whole has been on the list in excess of 600 weeks. More than 18 million readers worldwide since have read a Lemony Snicket book since the release of the first book in 1999. Each of the ten books in the series has reached the New York Times Best Sellers list. The 11th book in the series, The Grim Grotto is scheduled to hit bookstores this September.

Brett Helquist was born in Gonado, Ariz., grew up in Orem, Utah, and now lives in New York City. He earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts from Brigham Young University and has been illustrating ever since. His work deciphering the unusual findings of Lemony Snicket into the pictures contained in these books often leaves him so distraught that he is awake late into the night.

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events starring Jim Carrey, Jude Law and Meryl Streep, directed by Brad Silberling ("Moonlight Mile") with supporting cast including Luis Guzman, Jennifer Coolidge, Liam Aiken and Cedric the Entertainer is based on the first three books in the series including The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room and The Wide Window. The movie chronicles the misadventures of the Baudelaires, three savvy and resilient orphans in search of a home. From chapter one of The Bad Beginning -- the kids find themselves abruptly orphaned and taken in by the villainous Count Olaf who has designs on their inheritance.