Thursday, December 31, 2015

Re-Read 2015: The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket

Summary from Goodreads:
Dear Reader,

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
So, the repetition is kind of getting to me. It’s been four books now where the story repeats itself in a new setting, with a new relative. At least in this one, it took much longer for Count Olaf to show his face. Also, the children appeared to have spent not quite as much time convincing Mr. Poe that the secretary was really Count Olaf in disguise. Mr. Poe is not fooled by nametags and business cards any more. He’s slowly learning, kind of.
Also, in positive news, the death count in this one was much smaller! There were a few close calls involving Klaus being hypnotized and almost killing his guardian’s business partner, but thankfully, all seemed to work itself out (minus a couple of accidents and almost getting kidnapped again).
If possible, the books are getting more and more absurd as they go. The children, in this one, are expected to work at factory with dangerous machines. How on earth could anyone expect an infant to work at a machine? Also, the employees are never paid money, and are only given coupons for their labor…And then there’s the whole mess with the hypnotizing optometrist, and well. There’s a lot of peculiar things happening.
I also couldn’t help but notice a few more literary references. The eye doctor who worked in the building with the giant eye, was named Georgina Orwell. That had to be a 1984 reference, right? I love these littler literary clues the author spreads through out the books. I’m always on the lookout for them now. I also like where things end, with the children being told about going off to boarding school. I assume they go there because of the title of the next book being: The Austere Academy. I can’t help but be happy with the slight change of scenery too.
I think this installment was my least favorite so far. Like I said, the formula of it all has finally gotten to me. I know the formula will change soon though, and I have hopes for the rest of the books. I give this one a 7/10.

No comments:

Post a Comment