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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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.

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."

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.

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.

Mar 19, 2014
  • Cynthia_N rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Good story! It was a gentle love story with some crime, freak show characters, and historical events thrown in.

Mar 15, 2014
  • seaworld rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is a wonderful read. I enjoyed it. Great historical content. It showed the cruelty of time between those who have and those have not. Sounds like today in some ways.

Mar 08, 2014
  • lizhelboe rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I love Alice Hoffman's writing style and I liked this story which is set in New York in the early 1900s. The narrative alternates between the two main characters - Coralie "the human mermaid" who is the main attraction in her father's museum and Eddie a young man who is trying to find his own way leaving his Orthodox Jewish heritage behind. I found each of their stories compelling and enjoyed the historical nature of the story with the telling of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. I was disappointed with the development of the romance between Coralie and Eddie and found the ending a bit contrived. It's still a good read but I preferred The Dovekeepers.


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