2 May 2016

THE MISERABLE MILL (A Series Of Unfortunate Events # 4).



I hope, for your sake, that you have not chosen to read this book because you are in the mood for a pleasant experience. If this is the case, I advise you to put this book down instantaneously, because of all the books describing the unhappy lives of the Baudelaire orphans, The Miserable Mill might be the unhappiest yet. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are sent to Paltryville to work in a lumber mill, and they find disaster and misfortune lurking behind every log.

The pages of this book, I'm sorry to inform you, contain such unpleasantries as a giant pincher machine, a bad casserole, a man with a cloud of smoke where his head should be, a hypnotist, a terrible accident resulting in injury, and coupons.

I have promised to write down the entire history of these three poor children, but you haven't, so if you prefer stories that are more heartwarming, please feel free to make another selection.

With all due respect,

Lemony Snicket

FIRST SENTENCE {Chapter One}: 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 a story your book contains.

MEMORABLE RANDOM MOMENT{Page 121}: Behind his newest pair of glasses, Klaus had wide, wide eyes and a dazed and distant smile, as if his sisters were people he did not know so well. 

SOURCE: Ex-library stock.

MY THOUGHTS: 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. 

Read for the 2016 Reading Challenge: 'A book you can finish in a day' category.


Kelly said...

This is a series I've never had any desire to read. It seems I heard bad reviews early on, but can't remember now what or why. I think you've just confirmed it for me.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I have a few of the ebooks I wanted to try out of curiosity but haven't gotten to them yet. Sorry this one didn't work out for you. Look like I may have to see the movie. :)

Suko said...

Tracy, thanks for your honest review! I have read other Lemony Snicket, but had not heard of this particular book before. Enjoy your week! I will be on a short blogging break soon.

brandileigh2003 said...

These haven't stood out as something I want to read. Sorry to hear it wasn't for you

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

Sorry that you didn't enjoy this one more. I read the first three in the series years ago when my students were in to them. They are quite similar in format and plot and I never ended up reading the last 10 books in the series. I really enjoyed your review and your honesty. :)

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I never read any of these. I wasn't quite at the right age when they were finally being published, though I did see the film. Definitely sounds like one of those books ONLY children would really get into.

Melliane said...

I didn't know about these ones but sorry it wasn't a bit more there...

Brian Joseph said...

It is too bad that this was so disappointing. I liked the first sentence.

Gina said...

Goodness me. On a bit of a down steak are we? I read the whole series some time ago and while yes, I can see how some aspects might irritate, it's a part of its charm. Perhaps starting at the beginning would have helped? The movie, while good, still doesn't cover the lot of the first three books. Happy Reading!

Barbara said...

I've bought and sold lots of these in the past but never once was I tempted to read one. Odd for me because I usually enjoy children's books both old and new, but somehow these didn't appeal. Have a lovely week. x

carol said...

We listened to a lot of these on audio when Amber was younger and enjoyed them.

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

Hi Tracy,

A bit like the 'Harry Potter' series, the 'Lemony Snicket' books, have no real interest for me.

I did watch a really good breakfast television interview with the author, which had me smiling, despite myself.

I can't tell you how popular the books are when we get them donated into the charity shop, mostly with the boys!

Thanks for sharing