The Museum Of Extraordinary Things Pdf Summary Reviews By Alice Hoffman

The Museum Of Extraordinary Things Pdf is a Jewish Historical Fiction and Magical Realism Romance novel Written By Alice Hoffman. This is the story of an electric and impassioned love between two vastly different souls in New York during the volatile first decades of the twentieth century.

The Museum Of Extraordinary Things Summary

Coralie Sardie is the daughter of the sinister impresario behind The Museum of Extraordinary Things, a Coney Island boardwalk freak show that thrills the masses. An exceptional swimmer, Coralie appears as the Mermaid in her father’s “museum,” alongside performers like the Wolfman, the Butterfly Girl, and a one-hundred-year-old turtle. One night Coralie stumbles upon a striking young man taking pictures of 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 a tailor’s apprentice. When Eddie photographs the devastation on the streets of New York following the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, he becomes embroiled in the suspicious mystery behind a young woman’s disappearance and ignites the heart of Coralie.

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About Alice Hoffman Author Of The Museum Of Extraordinary Things Pdf Book

Alice Hoffman
Alice Hoffman

Alice Hoffman Author Of The Museum Of Extraordinary Things Pdf  is the author of thirty works of fiction, including Practical Magic, The Dovekeepers, Magic Lessons, and, most recently, The Book of Magic. She lives in Boston. Visit her website: www.alicehoffman.com

The Museum Of Extraordinary Things pdf, Paperback, Hardcover Book Information

The Museum Of Extraordinary Things Pdf
The Museum Of Extraordinary Things Pdf
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Scribner; First ed; First Printing edition (February 18, 2014)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1451693567
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1451693560
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.29 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Best Sellers Rank: #179,021 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • #235 in Jewish Historical Fiction
  • #394 in Jewish Literature & Fiction
  • #1,966 in Contemporary Literature & Fiction
  • Customer Reviews: 4.3 out of 5 stars    2,526 ratings

The Museum Of Extraordinary Things Book Reviews

Melissa

5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Read
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on July 9, 2014

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It’s been years since I’ve read an Alice Hoffman book, and I’m reminded that I let far too much time pass (I fell in love with Here on Earth back in the 90s). I thoroughly enjoyed this book – from the extraordinary people and animals in the museum to the quirky habits and shared sadness of the main characters Coralie and Eddie.

This is the kind of book that can be read and enjoyed for its entertaining storyline alone – OR the kind of novel that, if you dig in a little and examine the words and content, you’ll discover incredible treasures: themes, symbolism, and ideas about humanity (and its failures) not necessarily apparent on the surface, yet simmering beneath the keystrokes of such a skilled author. Fish, wolves, water, night-blooming flowers and fire … they all take on significance in this tale.

While this is not an environmental story at its core, nature themes flowed through the narrative like a gentle current. Eddie was connected to the river; Coralie was attached to water and an imprisoned tortoise; and they both observed the quick disintegration of New York’s farm and river land as the population swelled. Hoffman’s sensitivity for this issue – occurring at en ever more staggering rate today worldwide – was felt throughout, which made me love the story even more. “Each tree was an individual, a soldier in the fight against pavement and bricks.” That, alone, to me was a story within a story.

And because of my enthusiasm for photography, I was immersed in Eddie’s photographic view of the world he saw. I was greatly affected when Eddie was admonished by another character: “You took his photograph” (of a fish) “… now you’re responsible for his soul. You should give him back to the river.” It made me think of the soulful eyes of the deer I’ve been photographing for the past few months. Perhaps we do catch a soul in each photograph, if we’re lucky – or at least we are able to preserve it. And this: “A camera has its own eye, my mentor had told me. He insisted his could see the truth even when he’d begun to grow blind.”

On the surface, this is a book about finding love and fitting in. It’s a story about what we see and don’t see: “…not only could a man’s eyes mislead him but his mind could deceive him as well.” It’s a story about evil, control, greed, exploitation, forgiveness and secrecy.

Any book that provides historical context without preaching is one I’m sure to love. In that area, this book did not disappoint. Readers learn about the horrors of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, as well as the Coney Island fire that occurred only two months later. We learn of the stark realities for women during the late 1800s and early 1900s, painted with a skilled brushstroke. I so enjoyed glimpsing a New York that is now foreign to us all, imagining it as it was before ‘progress’ paved the way – literally – over natural habitat and simpler life.

The imagery is lovely in this book filled with hints of myth and magic. “She would be nothing but glimmering bones scattered beneath the brambles, and the strands of her hair would be taken up by sparrows to use in their nests.” My only criticism was that I felt the ending was rushed. But perhaps that is much more an issue of my not wanting to let go of the well-drawn characters, wishing to keep them in MY world a little longer.

The Loopy Librarian

4.0 out of 5 stars Unique story, unusual characters, fascinating history
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 17, 2015

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What is the difference between a freak and a monster? The difference is what lies beneath the surface of the skin. Coralie Sardie often refers to herself as a monster due to a birth defect that produced webbing between her fingers. In the year of 1911, her webbed fingers are a curiosity that lead to a childhood of exploitation. Forced to spend 8-hours each day as a “mermaid” performing in a tank in her father’s museum, she ends up with a naive and distorted worldview. Eddie Cohen, a Russian Immigrant, Orthodox Jew, and photographer, also has a distorted view of the world. His stems from tragedy and his experiences as an mistreated laborer in the garment district. Neither Coralie nor Eddie see their fathers for who they really are, and these misconceptions shape them as they struggle to come of age. Drawn together by the river, shaped by water and fire, these two characters eventually save each other.

The backdrop of their story is New York City in the year 1911. A year fraught with labor disputes and tragedy. An era where police were not public servants, but held in the employ of businessmen to do their bidding. Justice was hard to come by, if it existed at all. Women, children, and immigrants were commonly exploited. “Freaks” like Coralie were misunderstood, feared, and studied by the general public. They were commonly misused and abused in carnival side-shows. Despite these sad realities, it was a fascinating time.

Hoffman deftly captures the history, the heartache, and the struggle of these citizens while enlightening the reader as to the political and social realities of the time. Coralie and Eddie have their faults but are drawn with depth and empathy. Hoffman’s tendency to repeat (sometimes verbatim) information previously given and to intersperse factual data whenever possible regardless of its relevance to the story sometimes makes for cumbersome reading. The narrative thread is occasionally lost amidst all the information (however interesting it may sometimes be).

Most of the prose is fluid and, at times, nearly poetic in its imagery and word choice. The story even incorporates a bit of magical realism which is characteristic of Hoffman’s writing (along with her tendency to be didactic). Coralie and Eddie are unique characters who, while not always likeable, have points of view worth experiencing. The story was not only educational, it was immersive. Hoffman’s attention to detail rewards the reader with the sense of being in New York City in 1911 and experiencing a time and place both foreign and familiar. Highly recommended for fans of historical fiction.

Louise

5.0 out of 5 stars A slow build up to a lyrically told tale
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on April 12, 2022

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I must admit that when I started this book I wasn’t sure if I liked it and I wasn’t sure where the story was going. Something, however, kept drawing me back to it. I couldn’t decide if I preferred Coralie’s world or Eddie’s story and then discovered that I was enthralled with both of their lives and journeys. I’m fascinated with the 19th and early 20th centuries. And Alice Hoffman beautifully, evocatively transports us to that time of early New York City and the hard life of immigrants and women and those who are different. Then she adds historical aspects such as Dreamland and the Triangle Shirtwaist Co. fire. And adds those magical touches to her story, which is exactly what I look for in her books. The magic. And of course the love. With a truly magical end to the tale.

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