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Download Among the Wonderful: A Novel Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Among the Wonderful: A Novel (Unabridged), by Stacy Carlson
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (245 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stacy Carlson Narrator: Wendy Ellison Mullen Publisher: Steerforth Press Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In 1842 Phineas T. Barnum is a young man, freshly arrived in New York and still unknown to the world. With uncanny confidence and impeccable timing, he transforms a dusty natural history museum into a great ark for public imagination. Barnum's museum, with its human wonders and extraordinary live-animal menagerie, rises to become not only the nation's most popular attraction, but also a catalyst that ushers America out of a culture of glassed-in exhibits and into the modern age of entertainment.

In this kaleidoscopic setting, the stories of two compelling characters are brought to life. Emile Guillaudeu is the museum's grumpy taxidermist, who is horrified by the chaotic change Barnum brings to his beloved institution. Ana Swift is a professional giantess plagued by chronic pain and jaded by a world of gawkers. The differences between these two are many: one is isolated and spends his working hours making dead things look alive, while the other has people pushing against her, and reacting to her, every day. But they both move toward change, one against his will, propelled by a paradigm shift happening whether he likes it or not, and the other because she is struggling to survive.

In many shapes and forms, metamorphosis is at the core of Among the Wonderful. Pursuing this theme, the book weaves a world where upper Manhattan is still untrammeled wilderness, the Five Points is at the height of its bloody glory, and within the walls of Barnum's museum, ancient tribal feuds play out in the midst of an unlikely community of marvels.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Nina | 2/7/2014

    " I *loved* this book--it's beautiful, careful writing, the characters of Ana and G., as well as the character of nineteenth-century New York City. Stacy did an amazing job structuring the book around two and sometimes three (the tribesman) distinct narrative voices. Both the main characters are wonderful observers, and they guide us through the world of nineteenth-century taxidermy as well as the living exhibits of Barnum's American museum (pre-circus). I'm so impressed with the tightness of the narrative, the way that things build toward the climax, almost without our awareness. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Sister | 1/28/2014

    " A member of my bookclub, Stacy Carlson, has been published, and her book is out now. In it, the giantess is a complicated woman trying not to look down; the taxidermist is a hoot, stitching together his own past. The tenants of PT Barnum's museum suffer a warped worldview, and figure out how to cure each other of alienation and disharmony, never knowing where the spectacle becomes the audience, or the audience becomes the spectacle. I could say more, but I wouldn't want to spoil it. Get to the end yourself! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Bets Caldwell | 1/23/2014

    " I loved this book. It was told from the two points of view: one, a giantess (Anastasia) that P. T. Barnum "recruits" to be a part of his American Museum in New York City in the 1840s, the second a taxidermist who worked in the Natural History Museum that was housed in the building prior to Barnum taking it over for the American Museum. The author really gets into Anastasia's head to express what it's like to be different in society and the voyeurism that keeps the American Museum packed with people. The taxidermist, Guillaudeu, worked for the building's previous owner for many years and struggles with the drastic changes that Barnum is making to the museum. Guillaudeu is methodical and into the classification of things according to Linneus's system. Barnum defies classification and Guillaudeu is in strong conflict with this. He begins to soften. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Anne Marie | 1/18/2014

    " A wonderful story, a little slow-paced but compelling. "

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