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
Peeved in Phoenix
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.
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!
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.
The historical background to this novel is so interesting. The characters are well-drawn and their motivations and actions are truly believable. I totally enjoyed this novel!
This was a wonderful historical fiction book. I love reading about the past and being transported into by gone days. This book was truly an escape into the past into a different world. It serves as a reminder that so much has changed and so much has stayed the same.
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.
Tell us about yourself!
Go back to 1910 - 1911 and lose yourself in New York City. You will not be disappointed with this book.
Judith Light's narration is horrible! I loved the story, but her narration really ruined the experience. Who let her narrate this wonderful book? I'll be sure to avoid anything else narrated by her. Her melodramatic rendering is ludicrous.
The narration was amazing, the characters came alive and the storyline was interesting enough to keep me riveted and wanting more.
Loved when she realized what her father was and how he wasn't who he claimed to be.
In the woods when she finds the poor soul that had drowned after the fire, knowing someone was watching her.
Absolute must Listen!!!
I loved that the author was able to delve into the personal and intimate stories of charcters living through two actual historical events. Ms. Hoffman's writing urged the reader to continue following the path of the story as she unveiled it bit by bit.
It reminded me a bit of Water for Elephants
No. Judith Light, while a wonderful actress, was a horrible narrator! I was excited to see that it was her narrating when I purchased the book, but my excitement quickly faded. Many of the passages were read so quickly that I had to rewind and listen again to understand the words she was saying. Additionally, when she read quotations from characters,mher voice became incredibly robotic in a very strange way.
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