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

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  77,493 ratings  ·  1,532 reviews
Dear Reader,

If you are looking for a story about cheerful youngsters spending a jolly time at boarding school, look elsewhere. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are intelligent and resourceful children, and you might expect that they do very well at school. Don't. Fore the Baudelaires, school turns out to be another miserable episode in their unlucky lives.

Truth be told,
Hardcover, 244 pages
Published January 2002 by Egmont (first published August 31st 2000)
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Jason Koivu
Oh, oh! This is the one where the orphans get thrown into a difficult situation and are overseen by a caretaker who just doesn't care, allowing the evil Count Olaf to get at deja vu all over again.

In The Austere Academy the Baudelaire kids end up at a school, which should be good news, because they love the learning, but of course it's not good. It's never good.

I stopped reading the series for a good long while at this point. Although the quality of this one is slightly higher than t
Kat Thomas
As a series these books are incredible. The formulaic plot that is repeated in every book satisfies the child who is being read to's expectation of what's going on, right and wrong and the band of simple characters.

Where the books become really clever is the additional bits of plot woven into the anecdotes, dedications and acknowledgments, written for the older reader, whether parents reading aloud or older children.

The humour is clever, beautifully insightful and infinitely quotable. Type Lem
I really do love Lemony Snicket. Reading this just brought up so many feelings from childhood. Real review to come eventually.
Nicholas Karpuk
Much like The Miserable Mill, Austere Academy finds Lemony Snicket showing that he set up his formula for the series partly to screw with the reader by changing them up occasionally.

Whereas book four featured very little Count Olaf until the end, with the orphans anticipating his appearance through the bulk of the story, book five introduces him fairly early as a gym teacher. What really amused me is that by this point the orphans are actually learning something. Instead of blurting out, "there'
I didn't read A Series of Unfortunate Events in order; so this was the first book I read, and I liked it. I liked it a lot. In fact, I liked it so much so, I read all the other books, attempted to draw Count Olaf, watched the film and I get seriously defensive if anyone dares to insult the books.

These books are often branded as being for children. I'm not really sure I would brand it as just being for children. It will definitely appeal to children, but I think to fully understand the humour in
Georgina Ortiz
Favorite word definition: The waning light of the sunset--the word "waning" here means "dim, and making everything look extra-creepy"--made the shadow of the coach's turban look like a huge, deep hole.
Definitivamente el mejor libro de la serie hasta ahora. El adulto idiota de esta historia es uno de los personajes más odiables que leí.

¿Está bien que shippee tan pero tan fuertemente a Violet y Klaus con los Quagmire? ¡No pude evitarlo!

Como ya dije, esto se pone cada vez más horrible para los pobres chicos cuanto más avanza la historia, pero sé que van a salir de todo esto y ser felices, yo lO SÉ.
The brightest story so far. This book restored my faith in SOUE. So much fun inspite the craziness, unrealistic unfortunate events the Baudelaires experienced. Lemony Snicket, hits and misses but this one was surely a hit!
Slightly more bearable than the Miserable Mill - 3.7 stars :v
I read the book, "The Austere Academy" by Lemony Snicket. I liked this book, as I have been reading The Series of Unfortunate Events. This book was just another great writes Lemony Snicket has done, making this book exciting and suspenseful. Overall, this is a great book with a fantastic plot, like any other book that Snicket writes.

The Plot starts out where Klaus, Violet, and Sunny learn they will be living in the "Orphan Shack" at the Academy because they don't have a guardian to give them the
Mark Lawrence
Another decent read with Celyn. It seems that The Miserable Mill may have been the low-point of the series as this volume is an improvement. The formula is applied once more, but with a slight variation in that the Baudelaires find friends of their own age and this alliance faces Count Olaaf with predictably grim consequences.

What steps this up from the previous book is a return to the established level of surreal, i.e. marked but not extreme. In The Miserable Mill we had Sunny fighting a sword-
Jbb Lim
Now, the more I read this series, the more I like how smart these kids are. Though they are EXTREMELY unfortunate (obviously) but I think many readers are missing out the point that they are really smart. They can adapt to many of their misfortunes in order to get their way. I don't know what the end will be but I think there's something about this series that the author has to give.

This book has a turn of event, it kind of left me with a cliffhanger. Now, that is goooood writing... They've made
Teresa B
This "woe-filled" collection of thirteen books about the tribulations of three unusually talented orphans will keep adults entertained as well as children. When I first saw the series I thought, "That looks too depressing," but soon I discovered the hilarity in overabundant alliteration, contemptible villains, and idiotic bystanders.

As the series progresses and the mysteries deepen, the children's characters grow and develop in surprising ways as togehter they face obstacles and a growing numbe

The Austere Academy is a rather important book in the Series of Unfortunate Events. It introduces us to 3 important new players in our story. The First and unfortunately the most horrid, is Carmelita Spats. There is no getting around it. You will hate this character. She is obnoxious and rude and cruel. She is the opposite of everything the Baudelaire children are and stand for I almost can't imagine a most unlikeable child and I have to give Daniel Handler kudos for creating her.

The next two
This was back to being much more light-hearted again. Not only were the Baudelaire children all able to remain united as they tried to outwit Count Olaf, but this time they even recruited friends to help them.

I thoroughly enjoyed getting to watch the development of the friendship between the two sets of orphans, and definitely appreciated that the Baudelaires finally had someone believe them.

I was also increasingly fascinated by the mentions of Beatrice and am intrigued to learn more about how s
This is the brightest story so far among the first five of SUE. I kept telling myself this is quite different from the others because one, the Baudelaires actually had friends; two, it was a pretty long story that it did quite drag a bit; and three, the ending is too suspenseful and hanging. These three are not reasons for the three stars (and not higher like what I gave to the first four). These three things just made Book 5 a bit different from the rest.

I was happy though that the Baudelaires
Penny Raspenny
Pleasantly surprised!

I expected it to be mediocre in comparison with the others (being the 5th book and all) but I found myself liking it more than the 4th.

It was good to finally have some friends for the Baulelaire children, in spite of what happens in the end. This time the children handled their unfortunate situation better although, as we all expected, things didn't go as planned. We do finally get some hints about Count Olaf's secrets but only in the end of chapter 13. What the hell could
Chris Blocker
I like what Snicket/Handler is setting up in this, the fifth book, for the rest of the series. In books 1 through 4 he set up a basic storyline and formula, and repeated it in episodic fashion, making only the slightest alterations to keep the story interesting. The same basic formula is repeated in The Austere Academy, but Snicket/Handler introduces several arcs to the series that will clearly play out in future books. What's the V.F.D.? Who is Beatrice, and what is her relation to the author? ...more
Miserable Orphan Fiction. The Baudelaire orphans are sent to boarding school. Violet and Klaus attend classes while Sunny is pressed into service as an administrative assistant. The Baudelaires are befriended by the Quagmire triplets and if you think that ends well, you haven't been paying attention.

For the first time in these books, we catch a glimpse of other children's lives and get the sense that maybe everyone is miserable in this world. The boarding school is a terrible place, staffed wit
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Austere Academy is usually the point at which I give up trying to re-read the ASoUE series, not because it's a bad book - certainly not - but because I think it's the point at which the original formula stretches too far. There are only so many times the Baudelaires can be transferred to a new guardian, pursued by a disguised Olaf and narrowly thwart his schemes before it becomes as tiring as forcing orphans to run laps around a luminous track night after night. This time I was absolutely de ...more
Sent this time to a boarding school, the orphaned Baudelaire siblings encounter horrible living conditions, grueling courses, and something truly unexpected: friends. But not even friendship is safe from Count Olaf's continued machinations. The Quagmire siblings are what this series needed. The best of the previous books--their darkly whimsical content and humorously maudlin tone--persists, but the friendship between the Quagmires and Baudelaires introduces variety and contrast, as well as progr ...more
Alyssa Miller
“The Austere Academy” is the fourth book in “A Series Of Unfortunate Events”. This is a fantastic book written by Lemony Snicket. The Baudelaire children have, yet again, been sent to another guardian. The children find that they have, once again, been put in the car of a person who doesn’t really know how to properly care for them. The children are living in a shack with no access to a library. This is the first time in the series that the children can’t use the library to help them out of this ...more
Few of the negative reviews I read about this series are about the repetitive plot, you know, orphans find a new guardian, the guardian overlooks plain proofs of Count Olaf being around, Mr Poe is a coughing idiot, Olaf a disgusting being that in the end manages to run off. I must be sincere, I quite enjoy the familiar patterns of these books, maybe because I read them when I want to relax my mind, so I don't really expect the Plot of the century, or maybe because Snicket's writing has become on ...more
OMG the last chapter had my heart racing, I just wanna know what happens next!
This story Is starting to kick off into bad ass adventure.

Love the work by lemony snicket, let the adventure begin.
Another set of unfortunate events for the children.

As with the last books the children are trying to escape the past which is still chasing them, moving once more to what is supposed to be a safe haven. Here the children are faced with a variety of characters, both loveable and hateful, including some who will come to feature more in later books – characters who will help them uncover the mystery of the series. As a whole it is another great book in the series.
I forgot how much I liked this book. I knew there was one with a really obnoxious character that repeated everyone, but I couldn't remember which book it was. It is definitely hard not to mimic people while reading this book. I really liked reading about the Quagmires even though there wasn't much about them. I definitely love this series more than I remembered I did. I don't want to say too much to ruin anything for anyone who hasn't read it yet.
I really love this series! I am also very happy that the Baudelaires have made some new friends who will make more appearances in the next books.

"Assumptions are dangerous things to make, and like all dangerous things to make -- bombs, for instance, or strawberry shortcake -- if you make even the tiniest mistake you can find yourself in terrible trouble. Making assumptions simply means believing things are a certain way with little or no evidence that shows you are correct, and you can see at o
Bryce Akey
“The Austere Academy," by Lemony Snicket, was a fun book to read. The book is about the Baudelaire orphans, which was yet another unfortunate event. The story starts out as they are on their way to the Prufrock Preparatory School, where they will be attending. The principal says they have an advanced computer system that can keep Count Olaf away from the children. Count Olaf is a very evil man who is after the Baudelaire fortune. As the orphans arrive at the school, it is nothing like they expec ...more
"You certainly are an intelligent man," he continued.

"Not only am I intelligent," Genghis agreed, "I’m also very smart."

This spoiler-free review was first published on The Bookshelf at the End. If you've already read The Austere Academy read the discussion/reaction review here.

This is definitely the end of the patterned story line from the previous four books and now we start with more plot and more mystery revolving around the Baudelaires and their fortune. There’s more drama, so it’s a nice sw
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Lemony Snicket had an unusual education and a perplexing youth and now endures a despondent adulthood. His previous published works include the thirteen volumes in A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Composer is Dead, and 13 Words. His new series is All The Wrong Questions.

For A Series of Unfortunate Events:

For All The Wrong Questions:
More about Lemony Snicket...

Other Books in the Series

A Series of Unfortunate Events (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1)
  • The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #2)
  • The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #3)
  • The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #4)
  • The Ersatz Elevator (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #6)
  • The Vile Village (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #7)
  • The Hostile Hospital (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #8)
  • The Carnivorous Carnival (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #9)
  • The Slippery Slope (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #10)
  • The Grim Grotto (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #11)
The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1) The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #2) The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #3) The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #4) The Ersatz Elevator (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #6)

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“Assumptions are dangerous things to make, and like all dangerous things to make -- bombs, for instance, or strawberry shortcake -- if you make even the tiniest mistake you can find yourself in terrible trouble. Making assumptions simply means believing things are a certain way with little or no evidence that shows you are correct, and you can see at once how this can lead to terrible trouble. For instance, one morning you might wake up and make the assumption that your bed was in the same place that it always was, even though you would have no real evidence that this was so. But when you got out of your bed, you might discover that it had floated out to sea, and now you would be in terrible trouble all because of the incorrect assumption that you'd made. You can see that it is better not to make too many assumptions, particularly in the morning.” 935 likes
“There is no worse sound in the world than someone who cannot play the violin but insists on doing so anyway.” 547 likes
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