Tag Archives: A Series of Unfortunate Events

The Austere Academy (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #5)

The Austere Academy (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #5)The Austere Academy by Lemony Snicket
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I love being able to check these books out from the public library from wherever I may be. Of course, I cannot for the life of me justify tax dollars being spent on this service, but since the are, I will avow myself of the privilege.

The Beaudelaires once again find themselves in misery with Count Olaf on their heels. I am not certain if I am just growing tired or the series has changed, but everything is quite telegraphed here. It was surprising that Olaf did not try a bit harder when challenged at the end, but he did wind up with the Quagmire triplets. Vice Principal Nero was annoying. I have a vivid image of this buffoon and his screech.

Alas, the orphans foil Count Olaf disguised as the world’s greatest gym teacher. The story was preposterous. I suppose they all are, but Nero was over-the-top.

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The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #4)

The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #4)The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It’s been almost three years since I read The Wide Window, the third book in the series. The other evening I was in the mood for a light read. I logged onto the public library’s site and poked around. Eventually I saw one of the Lemony Snicket books. I followed the link and saw they had many in the series. I decided to check it out, despite having the book in the To-Read pile in the basement.

The Baudelaires find themselves in mosery once again as they are placed at a logging company and forced to work for coupons. Ha! As per the formula, Count Olaf was there.

This book was a bit more dark in that there is a messy murder. laus and Violet rise to the occasion and save themselves. Count Olaf and his assistance did make off, assuredly to return to hassle the orphans once again in the next book.

A fun, easy, and light read. Just what I needed this evening.

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The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #3)

The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #3)The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When I found this series a few years ago, I was immediately taken with it. I knocked out the first two books in no time and began this one. I made it about 30 pages in before real life slowed me down and the book was put away.

Seeking some reading for our trip to Jamaica, this went into the pile. I had knocked out another book on the trip and wanted something to read on the flight home. The amusing thing is I barely read this on the plane. I read the first 100 pages in the lobby waiting for the limousine to take us to the airport. I knocked out 30 pages or so waiting in line to check in. We had a little time before boarding and I read almost the balance of the book. By the time we boarded, I had about 20 pages remaining. This was a quick and easy read.

The tragic tale of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny continues here. Mr. Poe placed the orphans with “Aunt Josephine”. The old woman is afraid of everything and is not the least bit interested in caring for these children. She is totally absorbed in herself.

It was no surprise then when a disguised Count Olaf (the man who has been plotting to capture the children’s inheritance) shows up, that Josephine is immediately smitten. Blind to the truth, the children are in peril once again . . . until Josephine disappears. Oh, how woeful her end was.

The book follows the same formula the previous books. It is essentially one large chapter of a longer book. I do like the structure of the books. Fun and easy reads.

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Dot . . . Dot . . . Dot . . .

Not much to report this evening other than I am exhausted . . . have books three and four of A Series of Unfortunate Events and am ready to read them this weekend . . . Round and round the Groundspeak fora go. FWIW, I feel reviewers should beg off FTF so as to avoid the appearance of impropriety. Of course, it does not affect me, but there is a huge advantage being a reviewer, despite what has been stated . . . Speaking of geocaching, it’s difficult to believe there’s any interest whatsoever in terracaching these days. The system is broken, the one guy who can do anything has been MIA for a very long time, and there seems to be no interest in improving things . . . Lucy has a big weekend in front of her 🙂 . . . Am beginning to welcome my return to the classroom. Each year at this time I am always motivated for the following school year . . . I wonder if I can convince the family to go caching before or after the christening given where it will be held now . . . I found my holster today. It had been missing . . . I am looking forward to brewing again. I am going to start out simply next week. It should be ready for when my mother visits . . . There’s a new tea room in town for the girls to enjoy . . . Hanson is still going? . . . No one wants to compete with paper airplanes . . . Scoble is pulling $400,000? Wow!

The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #2)

The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #2)The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Too much of everything is just enough.”
Barlow & Weir

On the heels of completing A Bad Beginning earlier today, I finished The Reptile Room this afternoon. The Reptile Room is the second book in A Series of Unfortunate Events.

The Bauderlaire children continue their misfortune in this exciting tale that has them combating Count Olaf once again.

Despite never having a happy ending, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny begin this book with happy times. After escaping Count Olaf’s plot to marry Violet and take control of the vast family fortune, the children are rushed off to Uncle Monty’s (Montgomery Montgomery) home.

Uncle Monty is a herpetologist and has a vast collection of reptiles including the Incredibly Deadly Viper, which he discovered and was set to present to the Herpetological Society. The Bauderlaire children were quite comfortable at Uncle Monty’s for a time, until his new assistant showed up.

Disguised as Stephano, Count Olaf enters the story once again with the help of the hook-handed man. The Bauderlaire fortune is still the target of Olaf’s affection and he will seemingly stop at nothing to get it.

Murder, snakes, and ingenious exploits make for a most interesting tale and one that keeps the reader engaged throughout.

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The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1)

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1)The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Through a weird set of circumstances, I came to read The Reptile Room with a group of students. This, as many know, is the second book in the A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. This is a series I have wanted to read, but frankly, with such a lengthy list of unread books, I have not tackled. As I read The Reptile Room, my OCD kicked in. I just had to read the first book in the series.

For the past week I had been wanting to stop off at the used bookstore in town to pick up a copy. It didn’t happen. But yesterday Beetle remained home with her mother, which freed my trip home from work. I stopped in and found two copies of the first book (The Bad Beginning): one hardcover and one paperback, both priced the same. 🙁 I selected the hardcover.

Upon opening the book, the nameplate was signed with a familiar name; the boy who lives across the street had owned this book. I took this as a good omen. 🙂

The Baudelaire children (Violet, Klaus, and Sunny) do indeed have a series of unfortunate events. First their parents die in a house fire. Then they are shepherded off to Count Olaf, their closest (in distance) relative. The Count, a drunkard, actor, and otherwise miserable brute devises a plan to take control of the vast Baudelaire fortune.

Ah yes, dear reader, upon Violet turning of age (she is 14 now) she will inherit a great fortune. Until then, Violet and her siblings are bounced about among the seedy.

While the fortunate remains safe for the time being, there is no happy ending, as Lemony Snicket is fond of highlighting. Life is miserable for the Baudelaires.

Lemony Snicket’s writing is a breath of fresh air. The author frequently takes time out to explain terms and events to the reader. These read much like movies/television shows where the actors break out of character and address the camera. What great fun! The Bad Beginning is classic English humor that, much in the spirit of the late Roald Dahl, captures the reader immediately.

Follett states the reading level of this book sixth grade (ages 11-12). Much like Rowling’s Harry Potter series, A Series of Unfortunate Events has captured young readers. Many of my fourth graders are reading the series and an even larger group of fifth graders are too. Interesting, well-written prose will always find an audience and this book is just that.

It looks like I will be visiting the bookstore again real soon . . .

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