Title: The Miserable Mill
Author: Lemony Snicket
Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events, #4
Well, this one wasn't as awful as the last one. But that's not saying much. We're dealing with the same formula, the same annoying narrator, and the same problems. Just with a different setting.
This time, the Baudelaire orphans are sent to a mill, where their new guardian expects them to work. We're really starting to get to the implausible here. Not only is it considered absolutely okay for two children and a baby to work in a lumber mill, we find out that the workers there are being paid only in... coupons. And are given a stick of gum for lunch.
The kids are promised that in return for working until they come to age, their new guardian will keep Count Olaf away. But of course he doesn't.
There's some hypnosis stuff going on, as part of the nefarious plot to have the owner of the lumber mill give the kids up to Count Olaf who is masquerading as a receptionist named Shirley. There's again some weird gender stuff that's just kind of glossed over and it made me a bit uncomfortable, but not as badly as last time.
It's not quite a one star, but it's close. I don't even know why I'm still reading them at this point, except that reading anything more difficult is proving challenging.