The Museum of Extraordinary Things

  • by Alice Hoffman
  • Narrated by Judith Light, Grace Gummer, Zach Appelman
  • 12 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Captivating historical fiction+Hoffman interview!

Alice Hoffman was my first author crush. The woman who turned me on to Hoffman's novels owned a funky eclectic bookstore where I'd have coffee and book chat whenever I could. With bated breath we'd wait for each new Alice Hoffman book, each one a gem.

Hoffman's world is a dreamy, swim through enchanting, eerie and magical adventures with female and male underdogs conquering all obstacles in life and love. The Museum of Extraordinary Things, once you dive in, holds you as a willing captive, swimming effortlessly through the story, in which you learn, in the most intimate way, about two, otherwise obscure, events in NYC history, through the eyes of the victims and their families. Hoffman is an excellent and thorough researcher, and blends the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory and Dreamland fires of 1911 seamlessly into her always mesmerizing plots and characters. Her ventures into historical fiction, totally impress me, and this is her very best effort in this genre.

Vividly brought to life are the workers' struggles of the 1900's, and mistreatment and arbitrary abuse to women, minorities and immigrants. Sadly, it all echoes many of the same problems with which we struggle today.

Well done Alice Hoffman! A loyal fan I remain. Thus, so delighted was I to surprisingly find a fascinating conversation between Alice Hoffman and narrator Judith Light come on following the completion of The Museum of Extraordinary Things. Such a wonderful cure for that odd, black hole in which one finds oneself after finishing a long, really good book. The two discussed the novel, their lives, their passions, their methods, and so much more. Very, very satisfying, particularly after such an excellent read!
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- L. Calder "Gardening Geek"

Trudged through

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

No. I kept waiting for something interesting to happen....for the main character's lives to intertwine. It was a long wait!

If you’ve listened to books by Alice Hoffman before, how does this one compare?

I love Alice Hoffman and own many of her titles. This one was a disappointment. It just wasn't an interesting story.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of the narrators?

This was the worst part. Judith Light did a terrible job. She can not change voices for different characters and different emotions. Her only change from her normal voice was to read the characters in clipped stilted speech which was unbelievable and irritating . I think this book might have a chance with another reader. Someone with better range. The other two narrators were okay.

Was The Museum of Extraordinary Things worth the listening time?

Not really.

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- Jace

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-18-2014
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio