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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Memento Mori"
After their extremely unfortunate stay at a disastrous mill, the three Baudelaire siblings find themselves once more without a home. And now Mr. Poe, who is the person in charge of administering their estate until Violet becomes of age, has gotten the orphans admitted to Prufrock Preparatory School. If you have read the previous books in this series, you are aware that...
Published on 19 Feb 2005 by Sebastian Fernandez

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3.0 out of 5 stars Not one of the best
The Lemony Snicket formula is still holding true in this novel. The book still follows the same kind of pattern as those that came before it, with the Orphans being abandoned with some oblivious adult and being targeted by a disguised Count Olaf. For me, this novel was not quite as entertaining as the Miserable Mill because Olaf's plan this time around was a little more...
Published 1 month ago by Kim Dyer


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Memento Mori", 19 Feb 2005
By 
Sebastian Fernandez (Tampa, Florida United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
After their extremely unfortunate stay at a disastrous mill, the three Baudelaire siblings find themselves once more without a home. And now Mr. Poe, who is the person in charge of administering their estate until Violet becomes of age, has gotten the orphans admitted to Prufrock Preparatory School. If you have read the previous books in this series, you are aware that Count Olaf, an evil man that will stop at nothing to get their fortune, has constantly harassed the Baudelaires. One of the reasons why Mr. Poe chose the school to which they are headed is that it has an advance computer system that is supposed to keep the hideous count away.
Upon their arrival at the school, Violet, Klaus and Sunny start oddities about the place, like the fact that all the buildings are shaped as gravestones and that the school motto is the one shown in the title of this review and means "Remember you will die". But these are mere nuisances that in a different situation would make the children laugh, since they had gone through much worse. Unluckily there are more important obstacles that the children have to face, like vice principal Nero, who is a very annoying and conceited man that spends almost all his time playing the violin...BADLY! He decides to send the siblings to live in the orphan shack and they also have to follow the capricious rules that govern the lives of students at Prufrock. The most important and annoying of these rules is that they have to attend daily a six-hour concert in which Nero performs with his screeching violin. The penalty for not doing that is steep: buy a bag of candy, give it to the vice principal and watch him eat it.
There are several aspects of this series that I enjoy greatly, and I found all of them in this book, making it one of the best in the series so far. One of these is the cleverly depicted characters, which have characteristics that allow Snicket to create funny situations throughout the story. In this case, we find Nero, who Snicket uses in great fashion to make us laugh. The author also has a great ability for interjecting hilarious comments that are most of times nonsense, but that work well with the tone of the story nevertheless. These also provide a nice balance with the unfortunate situations the Baudelaires go through.
Of course, Count Olaf shows his ugly face, with his continuous eyebrow, in this story, but we also get the chance to meet a couple of other very interesting characters. Like Carmelita Spats, who is the typical bully present in all schools in this planet. But the orphans also get the chance to meet other orphans, the Quagmire triplets. They only get to meet two of them though, since one of them is dead. The Quagmires also come from a wealthy family and quickly become that Baudelaires' best friends.
The new characters provide the story with more depth, and as we have seen in other children's series, like Harry Potter, the plot is starting to be more complex and elaborate. Also, the suspense level is clearly increasing and it is hard to stop between one installment and the next. If you are following this series you will not be disappointed by this episode, and if you have not read any of the books yet, I recommend that you start with "The Bad Beginning", you will not be able to stop after that.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Crucial Turning Point in the Baudelaire series., 1 May 2004
The Wide Window and Miserable Mill only really revisited the themes of the first two books, but from The Austere Academy onwards the plot really begins to find it's bearings.
In this novel we meet the two Quagmire Triplets whose experienced are not unlike those of the Baudelaires. It's still follows the pattern of the previous three books, flawed adults that persistently disbelieve the kids until the last minute, and Olaf in yet another ridiculous disguise, but the introduction of the Quagmires starts the ball rolling with a story arc that makes all subsequent novels a series of masterpieces.
If you haven't read any of the Lemony Snicket novels before (in which case you should really start with "Bad Beginning") he has a witty style that never talks down to his audience. Though he often explains any words or phrases that might not be in the younger readers vocbulary but always does so in a humourous (sometimes quite darkly so) way, that makes each explanation a joy to anyone who like Klaus Baudelaire already know what that word or phrase means. I usually laugh out loud at some point reading each page including the dedication and about the author!
Lots of children's authors are likened to Roald Dahl, but none so deservedly so as Lemony Snicket.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Read!, 8 April 2002
This book is the best so far in the series. It is a very good read and as per usual Count Olaf appears in one of his ridiculous disguises! We learn more about Lemony Snicket's own life as the book goes along and some of the characters are very annoying! This book is slightly longer than the first 4 and it shouldn't be read in one go. The book ends on a cliffhanger, unlike the first 4 and readers are left wondering what will happen next. This book is suitable for all ages and everyone who wants a good laugh will enjoy this!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Evil Boarding Schools And Psycotic Villains..., 13 Oct 2001
By A Customer
The Series Of Unfortunate Events books are about the Baudelaire orphans (Violet, Klaus and Sunny), who have been pursued by their evil cousin, Count Olaf, since their parents died in a house fire. This particular book (The 5th in the series) features a boarding school with a concieted and selfish Vice-Principal, rude pupils and boring teachers. They have to live in the Orphans Shack, which is infested by crabs. But just when you think things couldn't get any worse, Count Olaf turns up. I think that this book is the best in the series so far, and that's really saying something.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Austere Academy, 8 April 2006
By 
RYAN JAMES ENNIS THE FIRST (BALLYMONEY, ANTRIM United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
THE FITH IN A SERIES OF THIRTEEN. I HAVE READ THE PREVIOUS FOUR AND WOULD SAY THIS ONE IS THE BEST. COUNT OLAF DISGUISED AS COACH GENGHIS COMES TO THE BAUDELAIRS' BOARDING SCHOOL WHERE AS USUAL MR POE DOES NOT BELIEVE THE BAUDELAIRS WHEN THEY TELL HIM WHO COACH GENGHIS REALLY IS. IN THIS BOOK THE BAUDELAIRS MAKE FRIENDS WITH TWO OF A SET OF TRIPLETS. KLAUS'S FRIEND IS ISADORA AND VIOLETS FRIEND IS DUNCAN.
I WOULD SAY THIS BOOK WOULD BE GOOD FOR 8-13 YEAR OLDS. I GIVE IT 10 OUT OF 10 AND CAN'T WAIT FOR BOOK THE SIXTH.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review the Fifth, 28 Mar 2005
By A Customer
After the Baudelaire Orphans unfortunate stay at the Lucky Smell Lumbermill, they are dropped off, by the ever coughing Mr Poe, to the Prufrock Preparatory School.
As the author warns you on the back of the book, this story isn't about giggling girls who have a jolly good time, and if it is then you'll have to look under the dust jacket because you've probably got the wrong book!
In this instalment - which here means the fifth book out of all the other books - Violet, Klaus and Sunny are enrolled in school (about time!). They meet Vice Principal Nero (the one who thinks he can play the violin) and the 'Advanced Computer System' (the one Poe and Nero think can keep Olaf away). But alas it isn't long before Count Olaf makes his appearance in yet another disguise, which might have fooled you and me, but it doesn't fool the Baudelaire Children. They also make some new friends, the Quagmire triplets, whose parents also died in a fire leaving a fortune - a word which means a lot of sapphires. Look out for a twist at the end of the book!
In summary (a phase here which means I've said enough and tried not to give anything away) the book advances the story and introduces V.F.D. I would like to add a caution to my review for younger reader: don't try making those home made staples at home!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memento Mori, 20 Jun 2005
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This is the fifth book in the series. If you just picked it up you should start from the first book as the story builds on each previous book. You will notice a common theme running through the stories. However the details change as you learn reading and inventing and biting skills.
Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire finally get to go to school. Well Sunny is too young so she becomes an administrative assistant. Of course who should turn up but Coach Genghis. And we all know who he is. Once again Count Olaf has the three Baudelaire brats running around in circles, as they try to illuminate his plan. This time his plot is so insidious tat you will not be able to anticipate it.
Along the way we learn many lessons, the least of which is the value of utensils.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memento Mori, 3 Aug 2004
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This is the fifth book in the series. If you just picked it up you should start from the first book as the story builds on each previous book. You will notice a common theme running through the stories. However the details change as you learn reading and inventing and biting skills.
Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire finally get to go to school. Well Sunny is too young so she becomes an administrative assistant. Of course who should turn up but Coach Genghis. And we all know who he is. Once again Count Olaf has the three Baudelaire brats running around in circles, as they try to illuminate his plan. This time his plot is so insidious that you will not be able to anticipate it.
Along the way we learn many lessons, the least of which is the value of utensils.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not one of the best, 10 Nov 2014
The Lemony Snicket formula is still holding true in this novel. The book still follows the same kind of pattern as those that came before it, with the Orphans being abandoned with some oblivious adult and being targeted by a disguised Count Olaf. For me, this novel was not quite as entertaining as the Miserable Mill because Olaf's plan this time around was a little more mundane. The Guardian - Nero - has also been the least memorable as he does not really interact with the Baudelaires much or possess many distinguishing traits.

However, this book did have a couple of interesting aspects. It was nice to see the Baudelaires meeting other children their own age as this is something that has been missing from all of the earlier stories. The hints of a large conspiracy are also coming further to the foreground - including Snicket's own involvement in it - which left me very curious to read on to see how it will develop in the Ersatz Elevator.

The writing style is still magnificent. While I think some people may not like Snicket's overly dramatic and repetitive turn of phrase, I still find this utterly irresistible and look forward to starting on the next novel.
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4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD, 3 Feb 2008
this book is one of my favorite story's out of the whole series.
After the terrible gaurdians the Baudelaires had already had ,m.r Poe once more finds himself incharge of the Baudelaires guardians.
This time he decides to take them to a boarding school hoping that This time the orphans would find them selves at home.
But he was wrong,of course !!!!!!
Count olaf is once again desguising him self as some one else.
His desguise was useless of coarse the baudelaires had known their new gym teacher was infact the evil count that had been trying to steal their fortune right from the moment they set their eyes upon him.
But when Coach Genius had got them running laps they had,had enouth.
With the stuck up Camilla Spats the Quagmire triplets were the only people who could cheer the Baudelaire orphans up and out of their misery.
But does count Olaf get away with the Baudelaires fortune after all or do the Quagmire triplets and the Baudelaire orphans reach the end of their misery.
Why dont you read the book and find out what happend.
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The Austere Academy (A Series of Unfortunate Events)
The Austere Academy (A Series of Unfortunate Events) by Lemony Snicket (Paperback - 1 Mar 2010)
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