on October 2, 2000
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.
on April 28, 2001
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.
on April 26, 2000
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.
on May 12, 2000
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.
on April 11, 2000
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.
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. The style of the books is such that bad things happen to these children on a regular basis, but in this book it seems as though bad things are happening to nearly everyone. This book is very depressing. I was also a bit annoyed with the extremes that the author went to in his exaggerations. This time we have baby Sunny using her teeth in a sword fight, and Klaus using chewing gum to move a log, among other things. These books have seemed to venture further and further into fantasy.
The educational messages in this book are somewhat weaker than in the previous three stories, but there are still some. There are a few instances where things are explained, but less often than in the first three books. Because of the dark, dreary images, and the death, which is not detailed to any extent, I would consider this book to be more appropriate for a 9 or 10-year-old. However, as always, you should know your own child and her or his ability to handle the material.
One aspect of these books I have covered in only minimal detail in my previous reviews. The children are incredibly self-reliant. Often the children are the only ones who seem to know what is going on around them, and they often have to solve the problems they are in. I think the message that children can have an effect and can take responsibility for their lives may be the most positive message in these books. Furthermore, the children typically behave ethically and generally legally when doing so.
Because this book was more dreary than the previous books, and because of the ever more fantastic elements, I rate this book lower than the previous books. However, while I think this book rates lower, I think it is still in the 4-star range. I'm hoping for some improvement in the next book. See you in the next review!
on March 17, 2004
The Miserable Mill isn't necessarily my favorite book in this series, but it has my favorite Count Olaf disguise by far. I don't want to give it away, but I could not stop laughing. Sometimes I wonder how Count Olaf even gets away with things, he's just as dumb as all the other adults around, the only difference is that he's 10x's more evil. ;P
Book 4 only has a 4 star average, I'm not sure why, because I don't read reviews for things until I've reviewed them myself(that is unless I read the reviews before I read the book). I have a feeling its because of the child labor issue, which is a very touchy issue. The way that the head "Sir" of the Mill treats the children is abominable. How can you let children, let alone a baby work in a lumber mill? But so it goes. Not all the adults are like that, but all of them are clueless or too fearful to help the orphans.
This book, was the one that really hooked me in. Surprisingly enough, I didn't enjoy the last 3 very much. I assume it is because I wasnot yet accustomed to Lemony Snicket's oddball humor. The intro to this book was the funniest out of all 13. It was hilarious.! I could not stop laughing.! The funny thing about these stories is that every person they go to live with, no matter how horrid they may be, they're able to take something from the experience and use against Count Olaf, even though he always wins.
As Lemony Snicket always warns, if you hate sad stories, and prefer happy endings, pick up another book, because this wont satisify you. But...If you enjoy dire situations, a little hope and major letdowns, and absolutely despicable villians, then you'll love this volume of Unfortunate Events.
God Bless ~Amy
I love the dark humor Lemony Snicket uses in the book. Thesepoor children's lives are so unfortunate, the situations they get intoso ridiculuous, it's hilarious. They probably were the unluckiest in this book.... if the situations weren't so silly, this would be quite a depressing book. I highly reccomend this book. It has some very clever twists and turns.
on December 3, 2014
My kid loves these books. As a parent I have tried to instill the love of reading into my son and it has gotten easier overtime and we are reaping the benefits of the improved reading. Sometimes it was difficult to match the content level with his advanced reading level in addition to his interest in the content itself, however these books have seemed to be a perfect storm of sorts. He is 9 but reading at a 12th grade level and it wasn't until this series that we really saw a passion for reading show, he always liked it and did it daily but never sought it out as feverishly as he did with this series, he is sharing the story with us in addition to laughing and enjoying himself. I highly recommend them and we now own them all.
on September 29, 2015
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 gruesome. Each page keeps you intrigued. My son, who is not a self motivated reader, could not stop reading this book.