The Austere Academy, by Lemony Snicket

And now, back to the Baudelaire orphans.

In Book the Fifth, here, Mr. Poe just doesn’t even try to find a decent guardian for the orphans and just packs them off to boarding school. And he doesn’t even pick a good boarding school — Klaus’s teacher makes her class measure things all day and Violet’s tells his class stories and quizzes them on unimportant details. And Sunny is employed as a secretary by Vice Principal Nero, who, as you might expect, gives six-hour violin concerts every night which the students are required to attend. It’s a pretty crappy time, except that our beloved orphans meet some other orphans, two of the Quagmire triplets, and make fast friends. Of course, Count Olaf soon shows up and does terrible things and the book ends badly… but you knew that, I hope.

Of audio note: the phrase “cake-sniffing orphans in the Orphan Shack” and mocking voices are much better rendered in audio, even if I never want to hear such things again.

Rating: 7/10
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