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"The Baudelaire orphans looked out the grimy window of the train and gazed at the gloomy blackness of the Finite Forest, wondering if their lives would ever get better," begins The Miserable Mill. If you have been introduced to the three Baudelaire orphans in any of Lemony Snicket's previous novels, you know that not only will their lives not get better, they will get much worse. In the fourth installment in the "Series of Unfortunate Events," the sorrowful siblings, having once again narrowly escaped the clutches of the evil Count Olaf, are escorted by the kindly but ineffectual Mr. Poe to their newest "home" at the Lucky Smells Lumbermill. Much to their horror (if not surprise), their dormitory at the mill is crowded and damp, they are forced to work with spinning saw blades, they are fed only one meal a day (not counting the chewing gum they get for lunch), and worst of all, Count Olaf lurks in a dreadful disguise as Shirley the receptionist just down the street. Not even the clever wordplay and ludicrous plot twists could keep this story buoyant--reading about the mean-spirited foreman, the deadly blades, poor Klaus (hypnotized and "reprogrammed"), and the relentless hopelessness of the children's situation only made us feel gloomy. Fans of these wickedly funny, suspenseful adventures won't want to miss out on a single one, but we're hoping the next tales have the delicate balance of delight and disaster we've come to expect from this exciting series. (Ages 9 to 12)
Grade 4-7-This fourth book in the series about the Baudelaire orphans works fine as a stand-alone. The "poor little rich kids" lead lives filled with unhappiness, gothic horror, and melodramatic despair. Here, the protagonists are sent to work in a lumber mill in Paltryville, where they are fed only a stick of gum for lunch and are forced to perform backbreaking labor. Their enemy, Count Olaf, is not far from the scene, and will certainly utilize any disguise to get at the siblings' inheritance. Violet, Klaus, and Baby Sunny are responsible for their own fate and, as usual, they take matters in hand. This is for readers who appreciate this particular type of humor; it exaggerates the sour and makes anyone's real life seem sweet in comparison.
Sharon R. Pearce, Geronimo Public School, OK
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
My son loves this Series. Perfect for the kid that is curious to read about horror and despair. Lemony Snicket is able to engage the child on such subjects without becoming to... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Jacqueline
The plot was a little more far fetched than its usual even for Mr snicket, but the writing is his usual rollicking (a word which here means making you laugh out loud) fun.Published 2 months ago by happycamper
Again the children find themselves moved to a new relative, but this time they are put to work at a lumber mill. They work long hard hours and are not fed well. Read morePublished 2 months ago by J. Butler
As much as I enjoy reading about the Baudelaire orphans, I'm afraid this fourth instalment was a little repetitive for me. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Dan Thompson, Author
This was a gift for my 10 year old grandson who has started reading the series. he loved this book and series! Read morePublished 4 months ago by debra cornwell
This one was pretty good. Quite the quick read also. Seemed to go faster than some of the others.Published 5 months ago by 224perweek