The Austere Academy by Daniel Handler - Book Review

The Austere Academy

The Austere Academy by Daniel Handler - Book Review

Mr. Poe lost hope in letting the children live in a house with a guardian or a mill where they are forced to do adult work.

So, he opts to send them to a private school. One of the worst schools out there, as the building looks to have been built out of gravestones.

This book features some school drama, poetry, strict school rules, and new characters who are this time allies to the Baudelaires instead of unhelpful characters or terrible villains.

They will also learn a lot of boring stories, measure everything they can lay their eyes on, and perform secretary work that is, again, not suitable for their age, but most importantly, the children will start getting the first clues about the mysterious lives their parents led.

The story begins in Prufrock Preparatory school, where the children make friends with Isadora and Duncan Quagmire, who were sent to Prufrock because their parents as well did perish in a terrible fire.

Their backgrounds are similar since their parents knew each other. Count Olaf does not settle and follows them even to the school disguised as the new gym teacher. His false name is Coach Genghis and he uses his position to torture the children with arduous running laps to make them fail their classes.

Along with the bully of the school Carmelita Spats, Count Olaf makes their school experience the absolute worst. The book ends on a high note, leaving the reader excited for the sequel to know what will happen in the lives of the Baudelaires next.

This book is the first to move the plot of the story and gives hints to the readers about a certain secret organization. It also features Daniel Handler’s signature allegories and eccentric writing style.

The name Prufrock is a reference to T.S. Elliot’s poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. Also, the illustrator Brett Helquist references the famous Oliver Twist illustration in his book cover design.

This makes for a harmony between the author and the illustrator that elevates the reading experience.

Book Details

Title: The Austere Academy
Format: Hardcover
Author: Daniel Handler
Language : English
Publisher : HarperCollins
ISBN: 978-0062796158

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Updated 3 years ago