Step Right Up

Alice Hoffman has a new book out next week and I am more than a little excited for it. Not only because it’s a book by Alice Hoffman – I loved The Dovekeepers – but the plot hits on some history subjects that really pique my interest, namely New York City at the turn of the last century and side show/circus weirdness (You really need to watch the 1932 movie Freaks. Trust me on this).


The Museum of Extraordinary Things is about Coralie Sardie, a girl who spends her days as the mermaid in her father’s curiosity museum on the Coney Island boardwalk. When she meets a photographer named Eddie Cohen, they both get tangled up in the fall-out of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. The book also promises to include “bootleggers, heiresses, thugs, and idealists,” which all seem pretty necessary to me.

In the meantime, go watch Freaks and check out some the circus/sideshow/curiosity items from our collection:





– Jess


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7 responses to “Step Right Up

  1. Thanks for the heads-up regarding Alice Hoffman’s new book.

    If you love that time period, you’ll love Time and Again — Jack Finney’s perfect time travel romance. (Part of the story takes place in 1880s NYC.) If you’ve never read it, do yourself a favor and check it out. (It’s “An Illustrated Novel” and includes some great pictures of New York City during that time . . . including an almost unrecognizable Central Park, with the Dakota apartment house in the background, and a disassembled Statue of Liberty in pieces in Madison Square Park waiting to be shipped over to its present location and erected). Really fun read.

  2. I’ve enjoyed Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold and The Magician’s Assistant by Ann Patchett, books similar in theme to this, about magicians.

  3. Oh, and Niagara Falls All Over Again by Elizabeth McCracken.

  4. Val Sanford

    Reblogged this on Sotto Voce and commented:
    I really enjoy Alice Hoffman’s work. This should be really fun. Great picture

  5. It’s a riveting read, loved it and could just imagine those times thanks to a well written narrative.

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