The Museum of Extraordinary Things: A Novel

by Alice Hoffman | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 1451693575 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingwaterfallingwing of Raleigh, North Carolina USA on 10/22/2016
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingwaterfallingwing from Raleigh, North Carolina USA on Saturday, October 22, 2016
trade-size paperback.

from the back cover:
Coralie Sardie is the daughter of the sinister impresario behind the Museum of Extraordinary Things, a Coney Island freak show that thrills the masses. An exceptional swimmer, Coralie appears as the Mermaid in her father's "museum," alongside performers like the Wolfman and Butterfly Girl. 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 community and his job as a tailor's apprentice. When Eddie photographs the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, he becomes embroiled in the mystery behind a young woman's disappearance. And he ignites the heart of Coralie.

Journal Entry 2 by wingwaterfallingwing at Rockledge, Florida USA on Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Released 3 yrs ago (11/9/2016 UTC) at Rockledge, Florida USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Sent on as requested from the GenLit VBB.

Journal Entry 3 by wingjlautnerwing at San Luis Obispo, California USA on Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Arrived today. Thank you!

Journal Entry 4 by wingjlautnerwing at San Luis Obispo, California USA on Thursday, December 01, 2016
Nice fable that blends historical information with compelling characters.

Coralie Sardie is the daughter of the owner of the Museum of Extraordinary Things on Coney Island, in the early 1900s. Her father, referred to as "the Professor", collected unusual things, both living and dead, and manipulated them in the way of freak shows everywhere so they appeared even stranger. Further, he started working with Coralie early, training her to swim underwater for long periods, rarely needing to breathe. Coralie herself was an odditie: she had web fingers. Her father insisted that she wear gloves whenever she went to school or outside so that others would not know of this deformity.

Eventually, when Coralie was approaching adulthood, she was set to swim in the cold Hudson River at night, wearing a strange costume and dyes on her skin, so that she appeared to be a kind of sea monster. She swam below the surface so could not be seen clearly. The Professor planned to create a sensation when he finally "caught" the monster and put it on display in his museum. Exactly how he would create the monster was to be determined.

Meanwhile, Eddie Cohen, a young man estranged from his father and angry at the world, takes up photography under the tutelage of an old master, now forgotten. He works hard at distancing himself from his subjects, staying hard and detached and cynical. Yet in his dreams - or is it dreams? - he sees a mermaid-like creature and is obsessed by her.

The story really is lovely overall. From distressing to horrifying experiences, the two young people emerge strong and that strength moves them toward a different freedom. There is a bit of magical realism here that I can accept and even enjoy.

Journal Entry 5 by wingjlautnerwing at San Luis Obispo, California USA on Thursday, December 15, 2016

Released 3 yrs ago (12/12/2016 UTC) at San Luis Obispo, California USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Brought to book exchange at the annual holiday party of the Novel Bunch Book Club here in San Luis Obispo. Taken by another member.

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