The Museum of Extraordinary Things

A Novel

Hoffman, Alice

Book - 2014
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Museum of Extraordinary Things
"An extraordinarily imaginative and immersive novel, this one set in New York from 1911-1925"--

Publisher: New York :, Scribner,, 2014.
Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition.
ISBN: 1451693567
Characteristics: 368 pages ;,24 cm


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Mar 06, 2015
  • brianreynolds rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

Dare I say Gothic without having a lot of experience with the genre? Perhaps Gothic Comedy, because the romance, in either sense of the word, is pretty thin. Comedy because it moves toward union, even though the protagonists seem pretty well obsessed with other fish to fry for 90% of the book. Still, the structure of alternating POV seems to be sufficient motive and mechanism to effect the desired ending. I think it would be a more enjoyable read if the reader were a 19th century sort of person with strong convictions about Fate and Love at first sight, and a deep appreciation of the Macabre. My first Hoffman, I think. Perhaps I started in the wrong place.

Feb 27, 2015
  • readsalot80 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This is another great read by Alice Hoffman. This is Coralie Sardie's coming of age story as she grows up protected by her father who runs the The Museum of Extraordinary Things. Her father makes her learn to swim in the river through out the year. She eventually becomes one of the displays in the museum. She wants more out of life while her father is making her do awful things. She finds the truth about her life in the end and escapes the museum while finding love.

Feb 12, 2015
  • kathylou rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

It's hard to explain this book. Even though I didn't like some things, too many plots and too many extraordinary events, I found it hard to put the book down.

Oct 18, 2014
  • becker rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

This was difficult to rate fairly as it was very different from what I was expecting. I thought the plot was fair but unremarkable. However the setting of early 20th century New York was well done and I enjoyed that aspect of the book very much.

Aug 19, 2014
  • pholland03 rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

very very slow. stopped reading after 50 pages

Aug 12, 2014
  • ontherideau rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

At a time not so far in the past people born with deformities survived by hiring out to "freak shows"; slavery of a different kind.
This is a story well told.

Jul 17, 2014

A patron review from the Adult Summer Game: "Although Alice Hoffman has written many novels, this is the first one of hers that I have read. Now after barreling through 350 pages of beautiful words, it definitely will not be my last!
Set in 1911 with a backdrop of New York in its infancy, two main characters carry us through a time in history woven at the turn of the century. Eddie Cohen is a photographer trying to capture light and shadow and Coralie is a Coney Island daughter who performs as a mermaid in her father's museum.
This novel is more than a love story; it combines layers of mystery, intrigue and magic, but ultimately it is the rich and powerful words on each page that truly capture the reader's heart.
I will be returning The Museum of Extraordinary Things to the library tomorrow; I highly recommend you place this title on hold for a literary feast this summertime."

Jul 14, 2014

I have to disagree with all other commenters. I "slogged" through this book waiting for something to happen. Eddie would have been a far more interesting character if he would've returned the watch and opened Blocks eyes to the abuse of workers...why the late development of Juliet Block being sent away? I found the love story between Maureen and Mr. Morris more interesting.

Jun 20, 2014
  • aliciamarie rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I was expecting it to be as good as Erin Morgenstern's "The Night Circus" and I wasn't disappointed! I have read a couple other books by Alice Hoffman and they were just so-so but this one- this one is in my top 10 favorite books! I'm not a love story kind of reader, but this one kept me enthralled from the get-go.

Jun 07, 2014

This book keep my interest from the moment I started reading it. The history and what the folks went thru back in the 1900's sure makes today look so much better. It is a great read. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a bit of the unusual as well as history.

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