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Publisher's Summary

Dear Listener,

If you are looking for a story about cheerful youngsters spending a jolly time at boarding school, look elsewhere. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are intelligent and resourceful children, and you might expect that they would do very well at school.

Don't.

For the Baudelaires, school turns out to be another miserable episode in their unlucky lives. Truth be told, within the chapters that make up this dreadful story, the children will face snapping crabs, strict punishments, dripping fungus, comprehensive exams, violin recitals, S.O.R.E., and the metric system.

It is my solemn duty to stay up all night reading my history of these three hapless youngsters into a microphone, but you may be more comfortable getting a good night's sleep. In that case, you should probably listen to something else.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

Don't miss the rest of A Series of Unfortunate Events or Audible's exclusive interview with Lemony Snicket!
©2001 Lemony Snicket; (P)2001, 2003 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"It's a pleasure to hear an author read his own creation. One gets to hear the story just as the creator would like it heard. Each inflection, babble of baby Sunny, elongated word, or character introduction is Snicket's own, with all the import he would like it to have. This is a listening delight." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    384
  • 4 Stars
    152
  • 3 Stars
    46
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    6

Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    264
  • 4 Stars
    92
  • 3 Stars
    56
  • 2 Stars
    14
  • 1 Stars
    10

Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    317
  • 4 Stars
    84
  • 3 Stars
    26
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    3
Sort by:
  • Overall

Tim Curry did a much much better job

Okay, Lemony Snicket did a great job writing this series of books, but the narration stuff isn't the same story. His tone is way too flat(except the dramatization part). Tim Curry in the first episode did a fantastic job. Snicket should stick to writing, the narration is far from perfect.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Sometimes the author isn't the best narrator

While the author-narrator did an outstanding job voicing the villains, his other reading abilities (for the main characters and narration) do not match the professional narrators I've grown used to. As for the story, if you've read the first three books, you know what you can expect.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Hours of peace and quiet in the car

As a family we listened to all the Lemony Snicket books. Although it has been a few years, my children who are teens still remember these books.These books are classic. One of the best attributes is that you and your children can learn some big new words. Its great for vocabulary building. If you have a long drive your kids will sit there and listen to these books for hours on end. I guarantee it. Since you will be trapped in the car with them, you also have to like books. I enjoyed listening just as much as they did. They turn long drives into a pleasurable experience.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great Book, so-so narration

Would you listen to The Austere Academy again? Why?

Lemony Snicket is a great writer. A Series of Unfortunate Events is a great, fun series. Snicket’s narration is OK, but doesn’t compare well to Tim Curry. They should release an additional audiobook with Tim Curry for all of the Snicket narrations so people have a choice.

What other book might you compare The Austere Academy to and why?

The rest of the series. Lewis Carroll.<br/>

Would you be willing to try another one of Lemony Snicket’s performances?

Yes, but would rather have Tim Curry.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

1. Ruining Christmas December 17. 2. We're very concerned. 3. Darkening theaters December 17.

Any additional comments?

Please release an additional audiobook with Tim Curry for all of the Snicket narrations so people have a choice.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Where's the Tim Curry version?

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes! BUT I came back here to buy the Tim Curry version after listening to the rest of the series. This is a big disappointment after hearing his readings!

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Lemony Snicket?

Tim Curry. Perfection.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

inconsistent volume

The narration was very quite, but the voices of the characters was obnoxiously loud. We were trying to listen in the car with a sleeping child and had to constantly turn the volume up and down, and of course, the loud whiney voice of Camalita Spatz woke up the sleeping child. I with the volume we more even and consistent.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Excellent story to share with your kids

Where does The Austere Academy rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The whole series is very good.

What did you like best about this story?

The drama of the Baudelaire children

Which scene was your favorite?

The suspenseful ending

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It makes you both laugh and cry

Any additional comments?

Highly commendable

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Hysterically funny and mysterious to boot

I had toyed with the idea of picking up these books on occasion at various places. After I heard the interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air (on my 40th birthday no less), I had to give these a try. This not just kidstuff (although they are completely kid appropriate). These are so much FUN!!! My husband and I listen to them over and over and laugh our heads off. Misery loves company -- and I am hooked. If ever you need a pick-me-up, this series is the way to go.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

wonderful story

it's great to hear the author reading the book the way he imagined it. Buy it and enjoy!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

love this book

they made wonderful friends and I think this is the book that the series took a big turn. love it!!!