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The Museum of Extraordinary Things Audiobook

The Museum of Extraordinary Things: A Novel

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Publisher's Summary

From the beloved, best-selling author of The Dovekeepers, a mesmerizing new novel about the electric and impassioned love between two vastly different souls in New York during the volatile first decades of the 20th century.

Coney Island: Coralie Sardie is the daughter of the impresario behind The Museum of Extraordinary Things, a boardwalk freak show that amazes and stimulates the crowds. An exceptional swimmer, Coralie appears as the Mermaid in her father's "museum", alongside performers like the Wolfman, the Butterfly Girl, and a 100-year-old turtle. One night Coralie stumbles upon a striking young man photographing moonlit trees in the woods off the Hudson River.

The dashing photographer is Eddie Cohen, a Russian immigrant who has run away from his father's Lower East Side Orthodox community and his job as an apprentice tailor. When Eddie captures with his camera the devastation on the streets of New York following the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, he becomes embroiled in the mystery behind a young woman's disappearance.

New York itself becomes a riveting character as Hoffman weaves her magic, romance, and masterful storytelling to unite Coralie and Eddie in a sizzling, tender, and moving story of young love in tumultuous times. The Museum of Extraordinary Things is Hoffman at her most spellbinding.

©2014 Alice Hoffman (P)2014 Simon & Schuster Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (991 )
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4.1 (891 )
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Performance
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  •  
    green ice cream garden miramar, FL United States 07-06-15
    green ice cream garden miramar, FL United States 07-06-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Extraordinary!"

    It has history, intrigue, mystery, romance, magic and a wonderful way of telling stories. The way it's told is what I enjoyed the most two protagonists and one narrator that keeps things moving along. If you enjoy or are in the mood for something really different, pick up this listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Glynn Boston 03-07-16
    M. Glynn Boston 03-07-16 Member Since 2010

    Meggo

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    "Good storytelling, rich history, flat characters"
    What made the experience of listening to The Museum of Extraordinary Things the most enjoyable?

    Coralie's voice was the most relatable.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    The ending was, like the rest of the story, quite convenient and neat. Satisfying, but disappointingly simple.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The main narrator was really terrible at reading dialogue. The characters sounded like over-enthused theater majors, rather than the young men and women with difficult and (in Eddie's case) dodgy backgrounds in turn-of-the-century New York City. The rest of the third-person narration was decent, and imbued the events with the gravity they warranted, but lacked any sense of humor or character when it came to dialogue.


    If you could take any character from The Museum of Extraordinary Things out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    The driver, obviously. He'd have some stories to tell, and would probably know some good vegetarian places to eat.


    Any additional comments?

    This book read like a young-adult fairy tale. The characters were wooden and felt more like props in the plot rather than real people. Eddie and Coralie developed as characters, but were extremely obtuse at every opportunity. It was frustrating to watch them fail due to miscommunication and seemingly random bouts of stubbornness, when otherwise they could be very intelligent and resourceful.

    That said, the storytelling was excellent. Historical fact was woven into the fiction seamlessly, leading to intimately candid glimpses of events that are usually presented as dry fact.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Mackenzie Seattle, WA United States 09-30-15
    James Mackenzie Seattle, WA United States 09-30-15
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    "Half-remembered history brought to life"
    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed this strange and vivid book. It is a delicate balance of precise history - the Triangle Shirt Factory fire, Coney Island at the turn of the 20th Century - and near fantasy. The narrative kept bringing to mind half-forgotten pictures, so much so I found myself online, trying to see if the images in the book were real, or imagined.
    It takes great narration to pull off this kind of story - without complete conviction, some of the more fantastical elements could derail the flow pretty quickly, I think, but the two voices do a terrific job. My only disappointment, strangely, was the author interview bonus at the end. It's lovely that the author and narrator like and admire each other so deeply, but it doesn't make for insightful conversation.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MARY Olive Branch, MS, United States 09-28-15
    MARY Olive Branch, MS, United States 09-28-15 Member Since 2015

    Tell us about yourself!

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    "Beautiful Historically Accurate Fiction"

    Go back to 1910 - 1911 and lose yourself in New York City. You will not be disappointed with this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gina Grimmer 07-29-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Too much, and not enough"

    I struggle with what to say about this book. I think the main problem I had was that the story focused so much in description of historic facts amd locations. typically i would be fine with that and, in fact, find it interesting. However, i felt that, in this instance, it actually took away from the other storylines and subplots that were developing. i felt like the romance and mystery subolplots kind if fell by the wayside. The story was engaging and i felt myself react to all the goings on, but i felt like the overwhelming amount of detail in the minutiae took away from the overall story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth Bain 10-28-14
    Ruth Bain 10-28-14

    RueRue

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    "The parts are better than the whole"

    The strengths of this story are the unique characters and well-researched historical detail. But somehow, the pie ex of the story don't coalesce into a smooth narrative. The (3) separate narrators may have added to this. I agree, Judith Light's narration was a distraction. ( Grace Gummer and Zack Appleman were fine ). My favorite "character " was the 100-year tortoise ...... probably not what the author was trying for.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N. Possas Phoenx, AZ 07-07-14
    N. Possas Phoenx, AZ 07-07-14 Member Since 2004

    Peeved in Phoenix

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    "Judith Light ruins this book"
    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I'm about a third of the way through the book but Judith Light's narration is so irritating that I don't think I'll be able to listen to the rest of it. She reads this book like she's reading a fairy tale to a kindergartener. Just awful.


    Any additional comments?

    I was hoping that I would be able to buy this book on my Kindle and read the parts that Judith Light narrates but it's not offered. What a disappointment!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ray Stewart 03-19-14
    Ray Stewart 03-19-14
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    "Great History"

    Excellent history-based fiction about New York City, Coney Island, and how terrible women and children were treated in the early 1900s. Alice Hoffman does an outstanding job of bringing multiple characters to life. My grandmother and mother worked for the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) in the 1950-60's, so the references to working conditions fifty years earlier was extremely interesting and horrifying.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
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    Callie Schrader-Dwornik 08-02-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Novel with a historic touch"

    Great narration. Readers will be able to make a personal connection with the characters. Ideal book for book clubs.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Margaret A Stern 06-16-16 Member Since 2016
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    Story
    "Just poor writing. Sensationalized boring"
    Would you try another book from Alice Hoffman and/or the narrators?

    NOPE


    What was most disappointing about Alice Hoffman’s story?

    Boring cliche predictable, and sensationalized. A poor shadow to Geek Love by Katherine Dunn


    Did the narrators do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    They were fine, I couldn't get through the book


    Any additional comments?

    I would like to return it but its not eligible for return. Prolly cause everyone returned it

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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