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The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket
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The Miserable Mill (2000)

by Lemony Snicket

Other authors: Brett Helquist (Illustrator)

Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events (4)

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8,15388599 (3.62)59
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» See also 59 mentions

English (86)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (88)
Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)
The Lemony Snicket series continues to be a favorite "MOAR MOAR" bedtime story. ( )
  morbusiff | Sep 20, 2018 |
While I appreciated that the author found a new and interesting way to introduce this book, I found it much slower paced until the very end. The final payoff was good, but I prefer some of the previous volumes in the series. ( )
  quaintlittlehead | Mar 31, 2018 |
This one was not as entertaining as the preceeding books in the series, but it was still cute. ( )
  JBarringer | Dec 30, 2017 |
The Baudelaire children are off to stay with yet another guardian, this time in Paltryville, a dingy little town whose main function is to house Lucky Smells Lumbermill. The owner of the mill also happens to be their new guardian, the cold and unsympathetic Sir. Sir promises to provide the children protection from their nemesis, Count Olaf. However, he also requires that they work in the mill as the condition of their stay with him. His partner, Charles, is actually a nice man who feels sorry for the poor juggled-about children, but is unfortunately too weak to stand up to Sir and demand that they receive the kind of care children deserve. At least he shows them the library, and books are always a haven for Violet, Klaus, and Sunny.

Of course, even this grim, difficult way of life is too much happiness for the children to keep for long. They quickly notice a building in town that looks suspiciously like the eye tattooed on Olaf's ankle. When the mill's foreman intentionally trips Klaus, causing him to break his glasses, the children discover that the ominous looking building is an optometrist's office, and it is there that Klaus has to go to get his glasses repaired. When he returns, Klaus is not acting like himself, and even causes an accident to befall one of the nice mill workers. Klaus confesses to his sisters that he doesn't remember anything from the time he went to the doctor's office until after the accident. So when the foreman trips Klaus again, once more breaking his glasses, the girls decide to accompany their brother on his visit to the eye doctor.

The Baudelaires quickly begin putting the pieces together after they arrive at the office and realize that the receptionist is actually Count Olaf in another of his terrible disguises. The girls also realize that the optometrist, Dr. Orwell, has been hypnotizing Klaus, resulting in his strange behaviors and lost memory. The battle with Olaf is on again. By this stage in the story, the children realize that they are probably on their own in figuring out Olaf's new scheme for stealing their money, and how they can reveal Olaf - who none of the adults believe is an imposter despite his absurdly unbelievable costume as a female receptionist - to the authorities. Fortunately, the three of them are up to the task, far more so than the adults that are supposed to be providing their protection.

Another unfortunate adventure, filled with dark humor, outrageous situations, and three central children characters who are becoming more admirable with each new book in the series. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny are thrust into independence before they should be as they learn how to rely only on themselves. In this gloomy world that Snicket has created, the adults continue to be cruel, incompetent, completely out of touch with reality, or some combination of all three. The Baudelaires rise above the useless adults around them, though, as they put their individual talents together to make one formidable team. All of this is told by a very involved narrator, whose personality and style adds a whole new level of enjoyment to the story, with his dire warnings and his incessant explication of events that is tongue-in-cheek and hilarious. A fun book in a great series; fans of the absurd and darkly humorous should not miss out on this installment of the Unfortunate Events series. ( )
  nmhale | Dec 4, 2017 |
Gum. As a MEAL! Who comes up with these things, honestly. And children working in a mill. I know these things happened before child labor laws were a thing, but really. I'm driven to believe that social services doesn't exist in this world. ( )
  erinla | Oct 31, 2017 |
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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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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0064407691, Hardcover)

"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)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:29 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Accidents, evil plots, and general misfortune abound when, in their continuing search for a home, the Beaudelaire orphans are sent to live and work in a sinister lumber mill.

» see all 10 descriptions

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