Julie S.'s Reviews > The Miserable Mill

The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket
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Jun 04, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: own, read-in-2011, whimsical, smart-kids-and-teens, childrens-and-middle-grade, funny

** spoiler alert ** This book followed in the tradition of the previous three. It has funny definitions, such as cacophony (30) and catastrophe (5). It has more witty things that Sunny's baby talk is translated to mean. There have been more references to this woman named Beatrice that Snicket knows.

And of course, there is some dialogue that I could only see coming from a Lemony Snicket novel. There was also a running joke about optimism, optimism about alligator bites, and "feeling better in the morning." To give one example, on page 88, Snicket said, "My chauffer once told me that I would feel better in the morning, but we were still on a tiny island surrounded by man-eating crocodiles, and, as I'm sure you can understand, I didn't feel any better about it."

Like before, I was charmed by the unique flavor to the story that Snicket's narrating style brings. The evil eye doctor/hypnotist Dr Georgina Orwell got a sword to hurt the children. But Sunny defended herself and her siblings by using her four sharp teeth to get in a swordfight with Dr Orwell. "There was a loud clink! noise that a sword makes when it hits another sword- or, in this case, a tooth- and whenever I hear it I am reminded of a swordfight I was forced to have with a television repairman not long ago" (167-168). Awesome.

The adults in this series seem to misunderstand/underestimate children at every turn. Mr Poe commented, "If it's too complicated for an adult, it's much too complicated for a child" (7). Dr Orwell commented, "How in the world would a child know a complicated word like 'inordinate'?" But Snicket always shows that the three siblings pull together and use their skills/wits to come ahead of the scheming Count Olaf. Even though I'm not a child anymore, I can always enjoy that kind of storyline.
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