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Hardcover A Cabinet of Wonders Book

ISBN: 1592641644

ISBN13: 9781592641642

A Cabinet of Wonders

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

When the curtains are drawn back on the cabinet of wonders, every individual you meet is an original, the indelible mark of their uniqueness shaped in their flesh. Molly and Faye are spirited... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A Cabinet of Wonders

I read this book on the heels of Water for Elephants. Both were fascinating and difficult to put down. Renee Dodd is a brilliantly expressive writer whose unusual characters become absolutely real as each page is turned.

A Great Book -- Original and Moving

A Cabinet of Wonders is imaginative, often very funny, and full of feeling. It gives a striking look at the horror of losses -- of dignity, self-image, livelihood, purpose, love -- and the joy/grace of self-expression, forgiveness, self-acceptance, and, again at the center of it all, love. I was in awe of the imagination that could bring such complex, unusual characters to life in such a sympathetic way. Intriguing story, unforgettable images, and a moving, sometimes shocking, but quite uplifting experience to read.


Ms Dodd's debut novel was a pleasant surprise. "A Cabinet" conveys the colorful inner world of carnival life with remarkable warmth, humour and empathy. Dodd shows great constraint by avoiding the obvious "cliches", and instead delivers a beautifully written story of unrequited love, alienation, lust, friendship, and acceptance. I would recommend this to anyone who has ever felt like an outsider, or wondered how it felt to be the outsider. I guess that pretty much includes everyone...

Morbid onlookers look eleswhere

With "A Cabinet of Wonders," Renee Dodd delivers what is, at heart, a classic tale about the struggle to hold a family together, despite insurmountable forces. If you're like the rubes of the 1920's and 30's who gawked at the performers in traveling freak shows in order to satisfy some dark and morbid curiosity, then this may not be the book for you. Dodd's narrative doesn't play to shock and revulsion; instead, the author chooses to draw the reader in with honest and open characters, and she does so in a way that evokes empathy and even a degree of understanding about how such considerable physical deformities are sometimes considered a blessing for those who bear them. In essence, Dodd's characters reveal the truth--albeit uncomfortable for some--about so-called "freaks;" Other than their obvious physical traits, they're just like the rest of us.

An interesting look into the lives of those who inhabit carnivals!

It's 1927 and the good times are rolling. That is unless your livelihood depends on the take at the gate. Americans are abandoning the carnivals and freak shows for the latest and greatest thing: the talkie. The freak show at the Starlight Carnival Royale's has been renamed Dugan's Cabinet of Wonders to appeal to a public more interested in the flickering of the moving picture show than what's standing before them. Rubes are still paying their nickels and dimes to see the Siamese twins, the tattooed man, the Wolf Girl, the Marvelous Morphodite, and Dugan himself, the dwarf, but money is getting tighter and tighter and the venues smaller and smaller as the carnival is about to roll into the history books. Renee Dodd's poignant and colorful debut novel, A Cabinet of Wonders, takes readers behind the canvas to reveal the wonders of the freak Show, the Starlight's most lucrative dimension. The main protagonist is the dwarf, Dugan, whose role is more than a businessman, scholar, and main attraction. He is also the man who keeps the show together, acting as father, lover, and confident to his merry little band of outcasts who make up the Freak Show, and indeed, his family. Dodd's focus, which is solely on the characters in the freak show, illustrates that no matter how different our physical shells are, everyone, freak and non-freak, is pretty much the same on the inside. Her exclusive lens on this one aspect of carnival life is revealing in the way the characters make and break alliances, love, and grow in spirit, mind, and flesh. For example, the 16th birthday party for the Siamese twins, Molly and Faye, reveals the girls, joined at the hip, fascination with boys and beads, and illustrates the fine line between where the girl ends and the woman begins. A Cabinet of Wonders is perfect example of historical fiction. The details, including a mention of The Great Gatsby, place readers into that world and uses language and description that catapults reader into this time period of American history. Armchair Interviews says: Interesting look into the lives of those who inhabit carnivals. From Our Armchair to Yours ...
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