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Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet
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Archive: Other Books > Magruder's Curiousity Cabinet by H.P. Wood - 4 stars

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Megalion | 484 comments To echo the note at the bottom of the synopsis (on GoodReads)... this is not a children's or YA book.

I've a great fondness for all kinds of vintage entertainments in books. Even if it's a tale of the horrors such as the way animals were treated back then. Or the true life story of two black children kidnapped and used as a sideshow freak attraction as monkey boys.

This book is the good kind of story. In my opinion.

As the synopsis sets the story out, it's 1904 and Coney Island is a popular tourist destination. A Cabinent of Curiousities fits in perfectly. Along with various other acts and shows on the boardwalk featuring folks that decidedly outcasts of society through no fault of their own.

The story delivered what I expected. A good tale of "freaks" bonding together to create a safe place for those shunned by so-called normal society. Naturally there must be a villian or two to create conflict.

I feel the author made good choices in the story. I liked that you aren't meant to like all the outlier characters.

All around a good read. Recommended.

Thanks to the publisher for the free copy of this book in exchange for this honest review.


message 2: by Nicole R (new)

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments This one is on my TBR. I have an odd love of books that take place at circus...I don't even like circuses in real life! I guess I just find them to be interesting settings.


Megalion | 484 comments Me too!! I liked circuses as a child but as I became aware of what was involved in having animals that performed, I only like shows where the animals are treated very well. In fact, I've seen shows where the animals only do what is natural for them anyways.

I'm generally fond of any kind of vintage entertainment show. Vaudeville and etc.

I set one of my 16x16 challenges to be books in this theme. Thought it would be hard to find 16. Nope, there's at least 3-4 books coming out this year that are themed this way. More actually. Tumbling Turner Sisters, Orphan of the Carnival, this book, and a couple other titles that are escaping me at the moment.


message 4: by Nicole R (new)

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments I read the Book of Speculation last year and loved it! It would fit your challenge and features a diving mermaid.


Megalion | 484 comments Oh really? Thanks for the heads up! I'll go mark it now.


message 6: by Kathy (new)

Kathy I will join the group of people who are drawn to books about circuses! Loved Water for Elephants. Also enjoyed The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman which was set in the same time period and was about the attractions of Coney Island. Now I have a new book to add to the TBR list!


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