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The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 4) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, April 5, 2000


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The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 4) + The Austere Academy (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 5) + The Ersatz Elevator (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 6)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1000L (What's this?)
  • Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 edition (April 5, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064407691
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064407694
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (283 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"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)

From School Library Journal

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.

More About the Author

Lemony Snicket claims he was nowhere near the scene of the crime. He is the author of several other unpleasant stories, including those in the bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events and The Lump of Coal.

Customer Reviews

I'm reading a series of books called A Series Of Unfortunate Events.
"some_sk8er"
While the children were going in a train with Mr. Poe (the banker) they saw a building that was shaped like the eyes of Count Olaf.
Eunice Lee
Omg best book ever thought about it and I think the same thing happens in the first place.
McKenna Kallas

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By "shayamorph" on April 28, 2001
Format: Library Binding
Violet, Klaus, and Sunny have endured some of the most horrid, unfortunate circumstances they could ever imagine since the sudden deaths of their parents. The three Baudelaire orphans just seem to always have misfortune following them -- and their miserable lives are about to become even worse. They have been sent to stay in under the care of a man who, quite mysteriously, has a cloud of smoke where his head should be. Assigned to work in a horrid mill that the three children find almost impossible to endure, their lives worsen by each day. And for some reason their evil uncle, Count Olaf, hasn't been seen around -- but little do they know where -- and how -- their evil uncle is lurking in the shadows. Can they solve a horrible mystery, avoid torture, and make their stay out alive? Or will Count Olaf for once be the victor of the Baudelaire fortune? This was one of the most hilarious books I have ever read, and Lemony Snicket's Series Of Unfortunate Events is so darkly funny I found it impossible to put down. The Miserable Mill, the fourth hilarious book in this unfortunate series, was another five-star, charming novel by Lemony Snicket, whose writing is beautiful and unmatched, funny in so many places that will always entertain.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By JulieS on October 2, 2000
Format: Library Binding
I'm not quite sure why this book struck me as the best of the series (I've only read 2, 3, and 4) but it was exceedingly well done and amusing. The poor Baudelaire orphans who seem to court bad luck at every turn end up living with their distant relative who is a tycoon industrialist who makes them work in his mill. Instead of getting paid, the mill workers get coupons, and they only get one meal a day (but lots of gum for breakfast). Lemony Snicket's books are all wonderful, and this is the cream of the crop. Count Olaf returns in attempt to once again steal the Baudelaire fortune, this time using hypnosis to achieve his evil gains. This book is full of so many clever moments, and the mill setting will scare and entertain the reader.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By "adamthecritic" on April 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
An amazing book about the three orphans who are sent to an old mill to live after the three other places they were sent to after their parents died. I have to say that this was a comical book with the author cutting in and giving the definitions of all the words that kids probably don't know. He also asks if you would like to stop the book at a certain point in order to keep the happy ending you can. This book has mischief and excitment at on every page. I suggest you buy this book.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The Series of Unfortunate Events seems to be getting better and better--The Miserable Mill is my favorite yet! So, I think the wait was worth it. Some important writing devices in the book were the advanced vocabulary, clever humor, and, of course,the MISERY! Also, Lemony Snicket doesn't get sidetracked! Count Olaf is never blocked out of the story, but the spotlight is not always on him, either.Ideal personalities of the main characters were not fiddled with either. Cautious, yet brave, Violet; smart, resourceful Klaus; and violent, puny, Sunny kept all eager readers anticipated during this intrigueing book.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mara B. on April 11, 2000
Format: Library Binding
it always does for the poor Baudelaire orphans. Although they are polite children with pleasing facial features, their lives are destined to be filled with despair and woe. Lemony Snicket's latest telling of their adventures is filled with much the same type of events as the previous three tales. Will Count Olaf appear in yet another fiendish disguise? Will Mr. Poe continue to be lovably ineffectual? As Sunny would say, 'Gack', which probably means something along the lines of "Of course! I wouldn't be surprised at all!" Fortunately, the Baudelaire children are blessed with above average intelligence and research skills. Readers will find much to treasure in this witty volume detailing how the Baudelaire orphans rescue themselves yet again from the schemes of Count Olaf...Perfect for a rainy afternoon.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Lonnie E. Holder HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover
We get to be miserable for a fourth time with the Baudelaire orphans, Violet, Klaus, and baby Sunny, in "The Miserable Mill". Once again the orphans have moved to another relative, this one the owner of the Lucky Smells Lumbermill in the rundown town of Paltryville. I'm not sure of the relationship of this new person to the children, and we really see very little of this wicked, uncaring person in any case. Furthermore, because he supposedly has a difficult name to pronounce, we never know his name, he is just called "Sir" or "The Boss".
The children toil in the lumber mill from the time they arrive in Paltryville. Soon they have splinters and are tired and hungry, because they get nothing for breakfast, almost nothing for lunch, and casserole for dinner. There are multiple labor and child abuse laws violated in this book, but perhaps it might make some readers more appreciative of what they have given that many children in the world today face these same conditions.
The children all live in a dormitory with the other workers of the lumber mill, wondering when evil Count Olaf might make an appearance. Eventually he does, in a somewhat surprising way. Count Olaf appears relatively late in this book, and from the time he does the book moves and ends very quickly. In addition to Count Olaf, we have two other characters working with him to make things bad for the children.
As has happened in the previous three books, the children are able, principally through their own efforts, to overcome the bad guys. Unfortunately someone does die in a gruesome, though not detailed, way. Once again the children are on their way to another home.
Of the four books thus far, this one was my least favorite.
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