The Miserable Mill: Book the Fourth (A Series of Unfortunate Events)

The Miserable Mill: Book the Fourth (A Series of Unfortunate Events)


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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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780064407694
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/05/2000
Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 29,017
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.30(h) x 0.80(d)
Lexile: 1000L (what's this?)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Lemony Snicket had an unusual education which may or may not explain his ability to evade capture. He is the author of the 13 volumes in A Series of Unfortunate Events, several picture books including The Dark, and the books collectively titled All The Wrong Questions.

Brett Helquist's celebrated art has graced books from the charming Bedtime for Bear, which he also wrote, to the New York Times–bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket to the glorious picture book adaptation of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. He lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.

Michael Kupperman has done many illustrations for such publications as Fortune, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. He frequently writes scripts for DC Comics. This is his first book.


Snicket is something of a nomad. Handler lives in San Francisco, California.

Date of Birth:

February 28, 1970

Place of Birth:

Handler was born in San Francisco in 1970, and says Snicket's family has roots in a land that's now underwater.


Handler is a 1992 graduate of Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

Read an Excerpt

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 story your book contains. For instance, a book that began with the sentence "Once upon a time there was a family of cunning little chipmunks who lived in a hollow tree" would probably contain a story full of talking animals who get into all sorts of mischief. A book that began with the sentence "Emily sat down and looked at the stack of blueberry pancakes her mother had prepared for her, but she was too nervous about Camp Timbertops to eat a bite" would probably contain a story full of giggly girls who have a grand old time. And a book that began with the sentence "Gary smelled the leather of his brand-new catcher's mitt and waited impatiently for his best friend Larry to come around the corner" would probably contain a story full of sweaty boys who win some sort of trophy. And if you liked mischief, a grand old time, or trophies, you would know which book to read, and you could throw the rest of them away.

But this book begins with the sentence "The Baudelaire orphans looked out the grimy window of the train and gazed at the gloomy blackness of the Finite Forest, wondering if their lives would ever get any better," and you should be able to tell that the story that follows will be very different from the story of Gary or Emily or the family of cunning little chipmunks. And this is for the simple reason that the lives of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are very different from most people's lives, with the main differencebeing the amount of unhappiness, horror, and despair. The three children have no time to get into all sorts of mischief, because misery follows them wherever they go. They have not had a grand old time since their parents died in a terrible fire. And the only trophy they would win would be some sort of First Prize for Wretchedness. It is atrociously unfair, of course, that the Baudelaires have so many troubles, but that is the way the story goes. So now that I've told you that the first sentence will be "The Baudelaire orphans looked out the grimy window of the train and gazed at the gloomy blackness of the Finite Forest, wondering if their lives would ever get any better," if you wish to avoid an unpleasant story you had best put this book down.

The Baudelaire orphans looked out the grimy window of the train and gazed at the gloomy blackness of the Finite Forest, wondering if their lives would ever get any better. An announcement over a crackly loudspeaker had just told them that in a few minutes they would arrive in the town of Paltryville, where their new caretaker lived, and they couldn't help wondering who in the world would want to live in such dark and eerie countryside. Violet, who was fourteen and the eldest Baudelaire, looked out at the trees of the forest, which were very tall and had practically no branches, so they looked almost like metal pipes instead of trees. Violet was an inventor, and was always designing machines and devices in her head, with her hair tied up in a ribbon to help her think, and as she gazed out at the trees she began work on a mechanism that would allow you to climb to the top of any tree, even if it were completely bare. Klaus, who was twelve, looked down at the forest floor, which was covered in brown, patchy moss. Klaus liked to read more than anything else, and he tried to remember what he had read about Paltryville mosses and whether any of them were edible. And Sunny, who was just an infant, looked out at the smoky gray sky that hung over the forest like a damp sweater. Sunny had four sharp teeth, and biting things with them was what interested her most, and she was eager to see what there was available to bite in the area. But even as Violet began planning her invention, and Klaus thought of his moss research, and Sunny opened and closed her mouth as a prebiting exercise, the Finite Forest looked so uninspiring that they couldn't help wondering if their new home would really be a pleasant one.

"What a lovely forest!" Mr. Poe remarked, and coughed into a white handkerchief. Mr. Poe was a banker who had been in charge of managing the Baudelaire affairs since the fire, and I must tell you that he was not doing a very good job. His two main duties were finding the orphans a good home and protecting the enormous fortune that the children's parents had left behind, and so far each home had been a catastrophe, a word which here means "an utter disaster involving tragedy, deception, and Count Olaf." Count Olaf was a terrible man who wanted the Baudelaire fortune for himself, and tried every disgusting scheme he could think of to steal it. Time after time he had come very close to succeeding, and time after time the Baudelaire orphans had revealed his plan, and time after time he had escaped–and all Mr. Poe had ever done was cough. Now he was accompanying the children to Paltryville, and it pains me to tell you that once again Count Olaf would appear with yet another disgusting scheme, and that Mr. Poe would once again fail to do anything even remotely helpful. "What a lovely forest!" Mr. Poe said again, when he was done coughing. "I think you children will have a good home here. I hope you do, anyway, because I've just received a promotion at Mulctuary Money Management. I'm now the Vice President in Charge of Coins, and from now on I will be busier than ever. If anything goes wrong with you here, I will have to send you to boarding school until I have time to find you another home, so please be on your best behavior."

"Of course, Mr. Poe," Violet said, not adding that she and her siblings had always been on their best behavior but that it hadn't done them any good.

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The Miserable Mill: Book the Fourth (A Series of Unfortunate Events) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 405 reviews.
Sam Samtani More than 1 year ago
this book is really cool if you like mystery
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this book! This is a great series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a book that has described the 4th misfortune in the Baudelaire lives. It is really intersting and twisted! If you love lumbermills,Count Olaf's assitants' disguises,and Klaus being hypnotized over and over for a reason by his assitants, you have no other book to choose from!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was indeed sad but i very much enjoyed it. Even if it is most sad of its kind it was not wasted time of mine reading it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this series if my friend did not tell me about these books i would miss all of the action my nook is low on battery power so i say one thing READ THIS SERIES
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So far so good you all might want too read the other books in this serie thus one is the fourth book the first one has this evil guy named count Olaf and he tries to steal the Baudelair fortune he only way you can tell if it is him is if he has a tattoo on his left ankle he does have it covered in some of the books in one of them he has it covered woth powder in the other he has it covered with a fake peg leg un rhis one i have not gotten that far to see if he is in the boo or not whoch he probably will be or if he will be the caretaker or if he has it covered or not
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book and think it is a great series for anyone no matter their hobbies or likings.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book by far is my favorite.
cema More than 1 year ago
I realy enjoy this book you real should read this series starting with book one and read them in order or you may get lost as to what is happening I read one and cant wait to read the next to find out what is going to happen to these kids next
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it!!!!! :)
Manuel Francia More than 1 year ago
BEST BOOK EVER!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So awesome best book ever.did i tell you it was awesome
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sad but touching.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great !!
James Doak More than 1 year ago
This book wasn't my favorite, but you should read it because in the 11th and the 12th both mention characters from it.
Hamida Newsome More than 1 year ago
Luv it
Carolyn Jensen More than 1 year ago
These books are my best. There adventerous, mistereous, and most of all there interesting.
Sophia Mohammed More than 1 year ago
I am a fan of these books and, naturally, I luv it!!!
Anonymous 6 months ago
Duaa_A More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing. It is a pretty short read and I could not put it down until it was over. If you are interested in a good mysterious-fiction book that provides a little bit of dark humor then this is definitely the book for you. After reading the first three books I can say that the fourth did not disappoint. Taking place in the 20th century, fictional town called Paltryville, the book kept my interest from the first page. From the beginning, with Snicket’s customary “talk” with the reader, where he explains the unfortunate events that are about to unfold, there was never a boring chapter. The unexpected twists and turns add so much excitement and kept a suspenseful mood throughout. The individual writing techniques that Snicket uses, compel the reader to want more. Explore the next chapter of the thrilling story of the Baudelaires trying to escape the treacherous clutches of their number one foe Count Olaf. I would suggest this book for kids anywhere from ten to fourteen years of age. I don’t think this would interest older people just because of the childlike language that Snicket uses. I also wouldn’t suggest this book for too young of an audience due to the actual story being too scary for the younger group. There are hardly any good things that come to the Baudelaires in all of the books so far but personally, that is the very reason that I enjoy this series. It really conveys the lesson of perseverance and universal imperfection in the world that we live in today. Time and time again, the Baudelaires are put through near-death experiences. This is something hopefully no one can relate to, but the underlying moral to the story is something that everyone should be able to comprehend. Everyone makes mistakes and from your books, I have learned to not give up but to grow from those mistakes. Overall, this book just adds to the fresh perspective of storytelling that Snicket is showing the world and I would definitely recommend, “A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Miserable Mill.”
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JillJemmett More than 1 year ago
I loved the beginning of this story. It starts with a few paragraphs about different first sentences and what they tell about the story. The “first sentence” of the story doesn’t come until the second page. I love how Lemony Snicket talks about stories in this way, and brings attention to the fact that it is a story. There were some pretty gruesome parts at the end of the story. They weren’t described but the implied things that happened were gross. If you’re familiar with the story, you’ll know what I mean. I enjoyed this story. There wasn’t much of Count Olaf in this story, so it wasn’t quite as tense as previous ones. I hope the next ones are more exciting.
riverwillow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Life just keeps getting worse for the Baudelaires, following the tragic death of Aunt Josephine, they are sent to live with Sir, no one can pronounce his real name. Sir puts them to work in his lumber mill, where he promises to keep them safe from Count Olaf. Of course he can't and terrible things happen.