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The Miserable Mill (2000)

by Lemony Snicket

Other authors: Brett Helquist (Illustrator)

Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events (4)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
10,822112540 (3.63)66
Accidents, evil plots, and general misfortune abound when, in their continuing search for a home, the Baudelaire orphans are sent to live and work in a sinister lumber mill.
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» See also 66 mentions

English (101)  Spanish (2)  French (1)  All languages (104)
Showing 1-5 of 101 (next | show all)
The fourth installment, The Miserable Mill, sees the Baudelaire's heading to Paltryville (what a name!) to be placed with...some random guy? It never actually explains how they're related to this one...or what his name is...or what his face looks like (it makes total sense that cigar smoke would cover his face, duh). But he owns Lucky Smells Lumbermill and Mr Poe thinks this guy is fine - so much so he doesn't even bother getting off the train with them. Yes, responsible adulting right there.

Luckily for them boss dude who is probably not even related to them is willing to treat them like family. So he puts them to work at the Lumbermill under the authority of Foreman Flacutono. And Count Olaf doesn't seem to be anywhere. Not even in the big creepy house that's shaped like an eye.

Unfortunately, Foreman Flacutono is one of Count Olaf's cronies and it's not long before the latest plan to gain the Baudelaire fortune is enacted. This time it involves hypnosis and is targeted specifically at Klaus. Foreman Flacutono trips Klaus and he breaks his glasses. Klaus is taken to see Dr. Georgina Orwell - the town optometrist who hypnotises and sends him back to cause trouble at the Lumbermill. All in the hopes that boss dude will decide the children are too much trouble and agree to let the nice optometrist secretary, Shirley, (Count Olaf in disguise) adopt them. Perfectly reasonable. Couldn't have thought of a better plan myself. I honestly don't know if I'm more impressed that their plan almost works or that they came up with it and thought it might work in the first place.

Like always, the kids save themselves. Which is good because no one else was going to. And also like usual, they get removed from their guardian. Which was still good because he was terrible. And they live to see another day so I guess they're lucky.

Being alive had never seemed lucky before, but as the children considered their terrible time in Sir’s care, they were amazed at how many lucky things had actually happened to them. “It was lucky,” Violet admitted quietly, “that Klaus invented something so quickly, even though he’s not an inventor.” “It was lucky,” Klaus admitted quietly, “that Violet figured out how to end my hypnosis, even though she’s not a researcher.” “Croif,” Sunny admitted quietly, which meant something like “It was lucky that I could defend us from Dr. Orwell’s sword, if I do say so myself.”

Snicket, Lemony. A Series of Unfortunate Events Collection: Books 4-6 (A Series of Unfortunate Events Boxset Book 2) (p. 80). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.


Or are still terribly unfortunate but discovering they're closet optimists. 3 stars. ( )
  funstm | Dec 1, 2022 |
Hm this was not as good as the previous ones ( )
  Tratiezone | Nov 8, 2022 |
Book 4 of 13 of the phenomenal series: Series of Unfortunate Events!

Please Read my review of the series here, as my review applies to every book in the series. https://www.librarything.com/work/1748/reviews/227861550 ( )
  am08279 | Oct 23, 2022 |
though this book starts to break up the pattern of the first three in this series, it also drives me crazy for the simple reason that, though these books contain many far-fetched plot devices and a healthy redesigning of the laws of physics, as many good children's books should, it goes a little too far, to the point of me yelling "c'mon! that's stupid!" at the page. ( )
  J.Flux | Aug 13, 2022 |
Another really enjoyable read in the Series of Unfortunate Events series. Formulaic for sure, but that's part of the point, and it's brilliantly funny and inventive. ( )
  whatmeworry | Apr 9, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 101 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lemony Snicketprimary authorall editionscalculated
Helquist, BrettIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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To Beatrice -- My love flew like a butterfly Until death swooped down like a bat. The poet Emma Montana McElroy said: "That's the end of that."
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Sometime during your life - in fact, very soon - you may find yourself reading a book, and you may notice that a book's first sentence can often tell you what sort of story your book contains.
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Accidents, evil plots, and general misfortune abound when, in their continuing search for a home, the Baudelaire orphans are sent to live and work in a sinister lumber mill.

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