Three children - Klaus, a book-loving boy; Violet, the oldest girl, who is a born inventor; and Sunny, the baby of the family, whose newly discovered talent is biting. These three Baudelaire children start out living (peacefully) with their parents in a grand mansion. Little did they know that their adventures were about to begin after a messenger came to them with the grave news that their parents had been lost in a fire.
Evil is depicted plainly as evil and there is no magic involved at all. Their uncle Olaf is a very evil man who tries his very best to steal the fortune the Baudelaire children will inherit when they come of age.
A man at Count Olaf's party slaps Klaus on the cheek. A house fire is mentioned. Sunny is dangled outside a building.
Drug and Alcohol Content
The men at Olaf's party drink beer.
Count Olaf tries to trick Violet into marrying him, so that he would have legal access to her money.
Crude or Profane Language or Content
Count Olaf and his friends treat the Baudelaires very poorly, more like servants than children in his care.
I love this book and all of the books in the series. The book lives up to its title: unfortunate. If you can handle a less happy ending then read on, as these books are very well written.