Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Book Review: The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events #4)

The Miserable Mill (#4)
by Lemony Snicket
Date Read:  7/22/14
Rating: ★ ★ ★

Ok, I’m first going to rant about the quality of this audio book.  The author narrates in a very soft voice, but when the adult characters start talking, he almost shouts them.  We listen to these in the car on the way to work, so the narrating part is a bit hard to hear over the road noise….but we had to try to find a happy medium so that our ear drums didn’t burst when it went to dialogue.  Also, I didn’t feel that he pulled off the humor in the book very well. I actually expected these to be more humorous in audio book form than when I just read them...but they were not.

Ok, on to the review of the actual story: It was decent; along par with the rest of the books in the series.  I’m not really sure why these have such high ratings.  Sure they’re kind of fun, but they are also very repetitive and dark for children’s stories.  One thing that I actually liked in this book was that Count Olaf was NOT the main bad guy in this book.  He actually didn’t make many appearances in this book which was a relief.  While he was still the mastermind, the author found a different way to create miserable situations for the children.

Another thing that I liked in this book as opposed to the previous books was that the roles were mixed up.  Violet ended up having to do research and Klaus had to create an invention.  I thought that was a nice change.  They still used their own wits to get themselves out of trouble, but it wasn’t the same monotonous way.

I like that each book always has at least one character who is friendly to the children…but it’s so frustrating that they can’t ever just end up staying with one of them.  But I guess the series would be much shorter otherwise. 

The setting of this book was a bit strange – a lumber mill.  But I suppose when you go to write a 13 book series, you have to make up some strange places for the children to go live – there are only so many times you can put them in a house with a strange guardian.

These books are a good way to pass the time on the drive to work.  I can’t stand listening to the radio anymore because they are either playing commercials or the same songs over and over again.  So this is a good way to pass the time.  I think I’ll continue listening to them (I’m borrowing them from the library), even though they’re not my favorite stories.  I have a secret wish to see a somewhat happy ending for the children at the end of the series.


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