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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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Overly Dramatic Narrator

I loved the story and the performance reading of Coralie and Eddie, but found Judith Light’s narration a bit over dramatic and distracting. I’m a big fan of her Ms. Light’s acting work and was disappointed that I found her the least appealing of the performances. I am a fan of Alice Hoffman and loved that she used the tragic New York Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire as an educational story line. I had learned of this during my architectural history classes in college and was glad for readers to be educated about this disgraceful event that changed the laws about working conditions and building codes that evolved as a result. The Coney Island backdrop was delightfully described by Hoffman. Overall I wonderful book and perhaps others won’t find Ms. Light’s performance as distracting as I did.

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great read for history lovers

loved how there were 3 narrators. really enjoyed the history in the book. I felt Alice Hoffman brought me back to 1911.

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Really interesting ideas!

The premise for this book is fascinating -- great time period and setting. The characters are mysterious and interesting, but the story arc is ultimately little disappointing, and things end a little too quickly and a little too neatly for the richness of the first 3/4 of the book.

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Not as extraordinary as I had hoped

It was ok, but it was a bit tedious. Some good descriptions of the waterfront and the times when the story took place.

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Thank You

This is the kind of book that makes you go and find all the authors other books and read them immediately. Wow I completely lost myself in its pages it makes me want to move to New York so that I might live in the kind of magical place that could birth this kind of story. these days it seems great writing is almost as hard to find as it is to mine in the great mountains majesty of American literature. Thank you thank you Alice Hoffman for being a waist wide vein of gold cutting through that literary edifice! Thank you Judith light, Grace Gummer, and Zach Appleman for bringing to life such an amazing tale

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Wondrous and sad and amazing

Really glad I got this one. Now I'm off to dye up some madder red yarn and spinning fiber.

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horrible narrator

The narrator sounded like a high school valley girl . It may be an excellent read but her voice was too distracting. I returned it before the end of chapter one, at the part where an elephant was going to be deliberately electrocted. Audible hell!

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Great book!!

I found this book through the BOGO sale on Audible.com. I loved this book!! As the author wrote about New York and Coney Island, I found myself constantly looking things up on the Internet to read more and more about the history of those places and that time period. I listen to audible books at work while I do a data checking task that does not take a lot of thinking and it makes the time doing this arduous task go much quicker. So I would tell my co-workers that I was going to “Coney Island”, which meant I was putting my headphones on. I also loved the interview between Alice Hoffman and Judith Light at the end of the reading. Highly recommended!! I will be looking for more of Alice Hoffman’s books.

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Predictable, convoluted, and graphic

The story was predictable, convoluted (How many different "main" themes could there possibly be in a book!?!), and full of itself. It also includes some graphic assault scenes. I couldn't wait for it to be over. Waste of an audible credit.

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Wonderful Story

One reviewer talked about the enjoying the weird characters in this book. Yes there were many interesting people. But for me the history of the shirtwaist factory fire and the fire at dreamland blew me away. Anyone who loves NYC would totally love this book. As I did!