The Austere Academy, by Lemony Snicket, is a mystery novel and the fifth book in the series, A
Series of Unfortunate Events.
The Austere Academy follows the Baudelaire triplets, as they move from home to home in their
search for a permanent place to stay. In this novel, the triplets arrive at an abhorrent boarding
school where they meet the Quagmire twins. The triplets are constantly mistreated by the
school’s employees as they try settle into their new home. After making new enemies and
friends, they are followed by Count Olaf where they navigate their escape again in this thrilling,
fast-paced story of three kids trying to survive after their parent’s death.
The Austere Academy uses detailed imagery to create themes of death and destruction within
the boarding school. The dreary, depressing appearance of the school and the enemies the
Baudelaires made only added to the impending doom they were to face. Snicket uses a variety
of characters to enhance the storyline. Absurd disguises and redeeming character development
added to the enjoyment of reading the story. The absurdity of the plot added elements of
surprise and no idea what to expect. Overall, Lemony Snicket’s narration of the story adds
dramatic irony, of which the audience watches as the Baudelaires figure out what the audience