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Salon.com Audio

"The Austere Academy"
By Lemony Snicket

Lemony Snicket is the author of "A Series of Unfortunate Events." He first received his education from public schools and private tutors, and then vice versa. He has been hailed as a brilliant fraud, and mistaken for a much taller man on several occasions. Mr. Snicket's researching skills are currently and devoutly concentrated on the plight of the Baudelaire orphans, published serially by HarperCollins.

Mr. Snicket introduces "The Austere Academy" as follows:

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.


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

Listen to Snicket read an excerpt from "The Austere Academy" [Harper Audio], with music by Stephin Merritt.