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The Museum of Extraordinary Things: A Novel | [Alice Hoffman]

The Museum of Extraordinary Things: A Novel

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.
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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

3.9 (391 )
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4.0 (346 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Paige Turner 01-16-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
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    Story
    "Entertaining, however"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    It was an entertaining enough story, however I am always disappointed by books brought to a close with somewhat abrupt "happily-ever-after" endings. For that reason I found it disappointing.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Museum of Extraordinary Things?

    The description of the fire at the waistcoat factory is the obvious answer, however I did find many of the characters memorable.


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

    Extraordinary people. Extraordinary times.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenny 01-04-15
    Jenny 01-04-15
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    8
    3
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    "Good story, disappointing performance"
    Would you try another book from Alice Hoffman and/or the narrators?

    The story was compelling - a romance with a lot of historical accuracy about New York City in the early 1900s. The female narrators were both quite poor - one lowered her voice at the end of each sentence, so much so that I suspect anyone with some hearing loss would miss quite a bit. The other female narrator made all the voices she did sound like automatons. Bizarre.


    Would you be willing to try another one of the narrators’s performances?

    Perhaps the male. Not the females.


    Was The Museum of Extraordinary Things worth the listening time?

    Definitely. The story was engaging and interesting enough to keep me wanting to hear more, even with flawed narration.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Gilmore Normandy Park, WA USA 01-02-15
    Lisa Gilmore Normandy Park, WA USA 01-02-15 Member Since 2012
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    "5-stars a round!"

    From the characters to the narration to the story itself . . . riveting, fascinating, heartbreaking and heartwarming . . . I couldn't wait to get to the end but, as I neared it, realized how much I would miss it. It's the first book I've read by Alice Hoffman but will be on the hunt for other titles of hers. As well as anything narrated by Judith Light - who was fabulous!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan Arkansas 11-08-14
    Jan Arkansas 11-08-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Is A Chic-Lit Writer Doomed to Always Be Chic-Lit?"

    I read an Alice Hoffman years ago, and wasn't interested in continuing our brief reader/writer relationship. I read another Hoffman novel 10 years later, and saw a little bit of light shining from underneath her door. In " The Museum Of Extroidinary Things," Alice Hoffman emerges further out of the chic-lit basement and writes an intersting storyline that kept my attention, and with a decidedly more sophisticated plot. Any drama the reader experiences in this novel is written purposefully, and with no over-the-top emotion. Good for Alice Hoffman.

    Sadly, however, it serems it is difficult for Chic-Lit authors to break out of their genre. Ms. Hoffman doesn't abandon Chic-Lit readers in this novel, but she does venture out here. If this novel had been her first published, I am not certain it would have been classified as Chic-Lit.

    It's odd that a reader is allowed to widen their scope of interests and broaden their experiences with different genres, but readers don't allow Chic-Lit authors to do the same.

    I think you will enjoy this selection if you like mysteries, the field of magic or bizarre, and historical perspectives. Give it a try.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RANDY Tampa, FL, United States 10-16-14
    RANDY Tampa, FL, United States 10-16-14
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    "Beautifully written!"
    What did you love best about The Museum of Extraordinary Things?

    The novel is beautifully written. The language is eloquent but never too complicated, simple use of ordinary words put together to paint a wonderful story. Fiction wove around real life events such as the New York City Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and the wonderful amusement parks of the time period.


    What did you like best about this story?

    the book is so well written and the events seemingly so real you just have to investigate further the true life events surrounding the story. I found myself researching the Triangle Shirtwasist Fire of 1911 and also famous photographers of the time period. All of this from a love story. Excellent!


    Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    The author's use of language and knowing when to shift from one character narrative to the other made for a free flowing novel that once picked up is hard to put down.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    All three narrators did a wonderful job. My only issue with the performance is that sometimes the female narrators have a difficult time sounding masculine when taking on male character dialogue.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm not sure I've ever read a love story where the two main characters haven't met until about two thirds into the novel. Wonderful!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jodi California 10-01-14
    Jodi California 10-01-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Judith Light was just fine!"
    Any additional comments?

    The story was well written, not what I expected but this is my first book by this author. Not sure I would read another by her but this one was good enough to finish. I did not have a negative opinion of Judith Light like so many others did. I thought all 3 narrators were very well done and fit the roll for which they were reading.

    0 of 0 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!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth Anne Philadelphia, PA, United States 07-06-14
    Beth Anne Philadelphia, PA, United States 07-06-14 Member Since 2012

    i like to read. i like to listen.

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    "riveting story with captivating characters"

    i was absolutely riveted by this story. while the historical nature of the story seemed like a bit of a departure for Hoffman, the magical quality of the story was shining with every word written. i think Hoffman always has a way with words, and when her story is so captivating and her characters are so tormented the blend becomes a perfect novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marianne 05-16-14
    Marianne 05-16-14
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    "Loved it!"
    Would you listen to The Museum of Extraordinary Things again? Why?

    Yes- I thought the narrator was wonderful


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I loved the hermit- he was like the wise sage


    Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No i haven't


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maria A. Cosenza 05-12-14 Member Since 2008

    MAC

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    "Loved This Book"
    What made the experience of listening to The Museum of Extraordinary Things the most enjoyable?

    The performance captured the characters perfectly.


    What did you like best about this story?

    You were never sure where this story was going and wondering how they moved together almost the end.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There were many favorite scenes. Coney Island is one of the places I used to go as a child so it brought back so many memories.


    If you could rename The Museum of Extraordinary Things, what would you call it?

    An Extraordinary Life.


    Any additional comments?

    Alice Hoffman is a fantastic story teller. I have yet to be disappointed with her writing. Read this it will be so worth it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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