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4.5 out of 5 stars63
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 10 March 2005
A fantastic book to read. For 9 and overs because there are quite difficult words in it. I liked the bit when Count Olaf dressed up as a woman, because it was funny. There was alot of surprising events which kept me on the edge of my seat, waiting to find out more. Someone who enjoys adventures would enjoy this book because the three children have to work in a lumber mill and have lots of adventures doing so. The three children only eat gum for their lunch and at dinner they have a bad casserole. This book is the funniest one in the series yet, it is also exciting, dark, with other surprises on the way.
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on 28 March 2005
Although Snikett takes a different direction in book 5, this 4th book in the series of Unfortunate Events is just as inventive and surprising and probably my favourite up to this point, with the exception of book 1. To me this definitely didn't feel like a repeat of previous books, on the contrary- I found the content both refreshing and at the same time familiar enough for me as a fan to feel at home.
In some ways this is similar to previous books i.e. a clueless guardian, a disguised Count Olaf and a series of unfortunate events that the siblings must overcome using their inventiveness, knowledge and sharp tooth, respectively. So all we've come to expect, really. But there are also several new elements that keep the reader both gripped by the story and constantly guessing, as to what will happen next.
In the 'Miserable Mill' the continued story of the Baudelaire's that was waning in book 3 feels renewed and invigorated by new characters and unusual events. Count Olaf, although still present in all his horrid glory, takes a back seat to some very despicable new characters who attempt to thwart Violet, Klaus and Sunny in their perfectly reasonable pursuit of a calm and contented childhood. The Boss character for example is captivating- he may only have one facial expression, but he just makes a fantastically menacing character for the reader to love to hate.
With this book I felt more than ever before that the author was gradually upping the anti, putting the siblings in greater and greater danger and so providing the reader with greater thrills. Also with this book, you'll be screaming at the pages more than ever before for the Baudelaire orphans to resort to more extreme measures to battle the fiends they face, even though you know if they did they would very probably find themselves in an even more unfortunate position. So all that we can really do is wait and continue to hope that very soon they may be a little bit better off. Unlikely I know, but we can still hope.
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on 28 March 2005
This is the fourth book of the series and sees the Baudelaire Orphans dropped off to their newest guardian, the mysterious 'Sir' of Lucky Smell Lumbermill.
The story starts with the ominous - which here means the Baudelaire Orphans were reminded of Count Olaf - eye shaped building. The children meet a variety of people from the optimistic Phil - optimistic means someone who is irritatingly bright and cheerful even when normal people would be crying in a corner - to the horrible Foreman Flacutono - horrible here means wakes people up with the banging of two pots rather then with the clanging of the alarm clock, rooster or fire alarm. It is a shame that the nice people the children meet never have any influence, like Charles. Look out for Count Olaf who enters the stage in his best disguise yet!
All in all (a phase here which means I've said enough and tried not to give anything away) this is a good, easy read story. I would like to add a caution to my review for younger reader: there are squeamish bits in the book - squeamish here means the death of a character and the squashing of another.
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on 30 December 2004
I loved this book so much, that when I finished reading it the first time, I started to read it again. Without giving the story away, my favourite part was Count Olaf's disguise as the receptionist at the eye shaped building. Once you've read this book, you'll be itching to get your hands on book 5, the Austere Academy.
Calum - age 11
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on 19 December 2001
This is a very good book. If you enjoy books by authors like Roald Dahl or JK Rowling you will love this book. It is the fourth book in the series of unfortunate events by Lemony snicket. After living with Aunt Josephine, the Baudlaires find themselves living with a relative who forces them to work in a lumber mill for no pay.
If you read other books in this series you should buy this book. You won't be disappointed.
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VINE VOICEon 15 October 2003
Once again the Baudelaire orphans are transplanted in what will turn out to be a "Series of Unfortunate Events.” Their newest home is the Lucky Smells Lumbermill dormitory.
Here once again Lemony tells the meaning of many words (usually with words that need the meaning explained.) We are treated to the difference of literally and figurative among other such concepts.
Naturally they think everyone is Olaf. And of course they are correct. A mystery has to be solved and to do this Violet must learn Klaus's skills of reading apprehension. Then there are lives to be saved and Klaus must learn Violets' inventive skills. Sunny stays En garde.
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In this book Violet, Klaus and Sunny live in a small village called Paltryville. The mill they work in is terrible! There are no windows in the dormitory but felt tip drawn ones on the walls, they call ‘gum’ lunch, they are only payed in coupons and on top of everything else they have the worst foreman in the world, Foreman Flacutono! One morning he trips Klaus up which shatters his glasses and has to be taken to the opticians! (Klaus has glasses by the way.) But when he comes back from the eye test with his brand new glasses he is dazed and confused and keeps saying “Yes Sir” to all his sisters say! Then the next day he smashed down a piece of stone on a very optimistic-which means ‘someone who looks on the bright side of everything’- friend of theirs with a big machine and that person had to be taken to hospital! The foreman trips Klaus again and he is taken to the opticians again and Count Olaf is the receptionist there! What will become of the Baudelaires now?

This book I quite enjoyed with its saw cutting and gum chewing! In it, the boss, who’s name is so complicated everyone calls him ‘Sir’, has a cloud of smoke covering his whole head and the Baudelaires never, ever see his actual facial features! I wish they could make another film but this book is all about Klaus and his glasses whereas in the film Klaus only has reading glasses! I don’t like how in films they always change it so there are more differences then similarities. I think the book is better than the film. It always is. Well, not always but sometimes. The author is the narrator and he/she knows everything that happens and can explain a lot of things to us we don’t understand in the film. Lemony Snicket does that a lot in his books. He also gives examples. Once he was explaining deja vu (which is french) and he wrote the description about it then when I turned the page it was exactly the same! He’s a very clever writer!
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The Miserable Mill is the fourth book in A Series of Unfortunate Events by American author, Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler). As we once again join the unlucky Baudelaire orphans, they are deposited at the Paltreyville train station by the manager of their estate, Mr Poe. They are to live (and apparently, work as well) at the Lucky Smells Lumber Mill, which is owned by their new guardian, whose name is so unpronounceable, he is referred to as Sir. Having already suffered the loss of their parents, the threat of marriage, and the murder of their Uncle Monty and Aunt Josephine at the hands of the evil Count Olaf and his nefarious assistants, the siblings are ever-vigilant of his reappearance. Luckily these well-mannered and uncomplaining children are also very resourceful: Violet invents, Klaus reads and Sunny bites. Snicket's tone throughout is apologetic, sincere and matter-of-fact as he relates the unfortunate events in the children's lives; his imaginative and even surreptitiously educational style will hold much appeal for younger readers. This instalment, our protagonists work in a lumber mill, are paid in discount coupons, given chewing gum for lunch, meet a somewhat irritating optimist and wind up counting themselves lucky to be alive. For a change, Violet reads, Klaus invents and Sunny acquits herself well in a sword fight. Hypnotism, a circular saw and gum all feature importantly. As always, the alliterative titles are delightful and Brett Helquist provides some wonderfully evocative illustrations. Are the Baudelaire Orphans destined for boarding school? I guess we will find out in The Austere Academy.
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on 15 August 2012
The fouth book is about the orphans which are dropped off to strange Sir of the lumbermill. Sir is the Boss of the Lucky Smell Lumbermill. As I think about who reads this on our kindle Keyboard it is a reccomendation of six or so to any. I think that only patient people from the young age of eight to ten will not find the constant word explaining some tedium like a school teacher two youngsters have encountered. Anyway as Lemony is a real exuberant creative non de plume which one has said. Anyway the characters are easy for one to hate. These books FEED me with gloriousness and JOY in away that is clever and witty and horrid too. The characters will be mentioned too..... The orphans which get new guardians. Poor Violet and Klaus and Sunny. In this book Klaus is hypnotiysed and Violet dragged with babe Sunny in a tooth cane sword fight and I am greatly pitious. I think Shirley is very silly and this is a chacter to love to hate. Yet their boss can be hated too. And the foreman is delicous to say UGH to and you can relate to Phil enough. He is kind and when he loses his leg he is overly calm. I enjoy Charles helping them. He is kind like Phil. I think you can hear the doctor and her cry when she bumps on the lumbermill. You can relate to almost ANYONE in the works of his saga. His saga is brilliant and I love it. I have passion for Snicket. I can relate to everything he does. Bye bye everybody. Bye bye.
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on 2 May 2016
Not having read any of the previous books in the series, I had however watched the film starring John Carrey and so, feeling up to speed with the plot, this worked okay as a standalone read.

Firstly, I intensely disliked the writing, finding the authors habit of using a word only to then go on to describe it proceeded with the words 'here meaning ...' horrendously patronising.

Then there were the silly nonsense utterances - 'cigam' (apparently meaning, or so we are informed, 'Look at this note') or how about 'peli' ('meaning something like "but that doesn't explain the eye-shaped building, or the cover of the book!"') - of the youngest Baudelaire , the baby, Sunny, which I found beyond irritating, the children, with whom I discussed the book, finding it just plain silly.

Desperately striving to find a redeeming feature. Yes, older than the intended audience but by no means adverse to the reading of 'children's books'. I can normally at least put myself in the place of a child and recognise what it is they'd like in a book but alas in this instance I'm even struggling with that.

Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper
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