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The Austere Academy (2000)

by Lemony Snicket

Other authors: Brett Helquist (Illustrator), Michael Kupperman (Illustrator)

Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events (5)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
10,053108601 (3.79)44
As their outrageous misfortune continues, the Baudelaire orphans are shipped off to a miserable boarding school, where they befriend the two Quagmire triplets and find that they have been followed by the dreaded Count Olaf.
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» See also 44 mentions

English (98)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (100)
Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
this is a turning point in the story of the baudelaire orphans, as they gain some friends who introduce the idea of a deeper mystery behind what is happening to them. still, it's very similar to the book before it, and the fact that they don't get to sleep for half of the story makes me very tired and anxious.

i'm continuing to read these books because i want to know how they end, but really because i would have LOVED these as a child. i wish lemony snicket would invent a time machine and go back to 1982 and just hand all of the books to me. the repetition, the very thing that makes it harder to read these as an adult, is something that children thrive on. and i believe, because of the old-fashioned sensibilities of the author, they would play just fine in '82. i would even promise not to tell anyone about the awesome books from the future. pleeeeeeaaasse? ( )
  J.Flux | Aug 13, 2022 |
This was the book that truly got me enthralled into the series.
I even have started keeping a commonplace notebook to this day.
I love it because the atmosphere is normal, it's not as dangerous, we get to see daily problems like bullying, discrimination and the kids finally get to go to a real school and meet friends.
This was the turnign point of the series as the follow ups become darker, this was the start of the VFD mystery and I admit I have pretended to be a volunteer on occasion, hence the commonplace notebook.
I love the Quagmires to death and Count Olaf forcing children to run is evil, then again, all gym teachers have an evil spark. ( )
  crazynerd | Mar 30, 2022 |
This book did not ciece to amaze me. THe imaginative plot keeps the book unique and the witty writing style of Lemony Snicket can really just transport you to another world. If you are considering this book just go for it. An amazing read and one I would definitely recommend! ( )
  RIPpogle | Dec 10, 2021 |
I’m 5 books into this series and have yet to form a concrete opinion of it.

There’s quite a bit to like in a kid’s series that frequently wanders off onto dark and morbid rabbit trails, with 3 indomitable youngsters who see reality clearly, but refuse to give in to their hopeless circumstances.

There is also quite a bit that I am not crazy about, primarily the repetitive formulaic storylines. Shuffling about the people and locations, the adults range from friendly to hostile, but anyone not in cahoots with Olaf is clueless and dismissive of the children’s warnings, anyone kind enough to help the orphans risks mortal peril, and I completely expect Count Olaf to make a last minute escape approximately 7 more times before he is captured, or perhaps he will meet a dark and ironic end. I am also not overfond of the author’s propensity for stating the obvious. If he has to foreshadow (which he obviously does, because it’s a pretty constant feature) at least he makes it overly dramatic. I get that it’s his thing, but giving multiple *nudge, nudge; wink, wink* clues to the same event seems a bit much. Maybe the idea is for kids to know what’s coming so it’s not terribly scary or overwhelming when it happens?

I liked this book more than previous installments, because we learned just a little more about Count Olaf, and there’s the potential of unraveling more about his past and other despicable crimes he has perpetrated, which would provide a little variety to the story’s formula. I also did find myself chuckling out loud at more of the author’s asides in this book, so hopefully that bodes well for future books as well. ( )
  Annrosenzweig | Oct 15, 2021 |
Finally, a new pair of good guy characters without the same tired character traits. I liked the twins who were actually triplets minus one. The rest of the characters were annoying. The story was long and reminiscent of the last story in the series. The most unfortunate thing that I've realized about this series is that there are 13 of these, all bestsellers, and I've only enjoyed one of them so far. That's not a great success rate. I keep reading however, though I don't expect it to get any better. Call it a penchant for misery. ( )
  matthewbloome | Jun 20, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Snicket, Lemonyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Helquist, BrettIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kupperman, MichaelIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
For Beatrice -- You will always be in my heart, in my mind, and in your grave.
First words
If you were going to give a gold medal to the least delightful person on Earth, you would have to give that medal to a person named Carmelita Spats, and if you didn't give it to her, Carmelita Spats was the sort of person who would snatch it from your hands anyway.
Quotations
If you have walked into a museum recently --- whether you did so to attend an art exhibition or to escape from the police --- you may have noticed a type of painting known as a triptych.
Assumptions are dangerous things to make, and like all dangerous things to make -- bombs, for instance, or strawberry shortcake -- if you make even the tiniest mistake you can find yourself in terrible trouble. Making assumptions simply means believing things are a certain way with little or no evidence that shows you are correct, and you can see at once how this can lead to terrible trouble.
There is no worse sound in the world than someone who cannot play the violin but insists on doing so anyway.
Mr. Poe meant well, but a jar of mustard probably also means well and would do a better job of keeping the Baudelaires out of danger.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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As their outrageous misfortune continues, the Baudelaire orphans are shipped off to a miserable boarding school, where they befriend the two Quagmire triplets and find that they have been followed by the dreaded Count Olaf.

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