Extraordinary Adventures: Book summary and reviews of Extraordinary Adventures by Daniel Wallace

Extraordinary Adventures

by Daniel Wallace

Extraordinary Adventures by Daniel Wallace X
Extraordinary Adventures by Daniel Wallace
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  • Published in USA  May 2017
    336 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

A large-hearted and optimistic novel, Extraordinary Adventures is the latest from the New York Times bestselling author of Big Fish, Daniel Wallace.

Edsel Bronfman works as a junior executive shipping clerk for an importer of Korean flatware. He lives in a seedy neighborhood and spends his free time with his spirited mother. Things happen to other people, and Bronfman knows it. Until, that is, he gets a call from operator 61217 telling him that he's won a free weekend at a beachfront condo in Destin, Florida. But there's a catch: the offer is intended for a couple, and Bronfman has only seventy-nine days to find someone to take with him.

The phone call jolts Bronfman into motion, initiating a series of truly extraordinary adventures as he sets out to find a companion for his weekend getaway. Open at last to the possibilities of life, Bronfman now believes that anything can happen. And it does.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Witty, winsome, and wise, Wallace's tale of pluck and luck is a sweet, satisfying diversion." - Booklist

"Wallace (Big Fish) is a master of domestic whimsy, but here his exploration of the joys of quotidian life seems disappointingly forced." - Publishers Weekly

"A sweet-tempered, funny, surprisingly poignant romantic tale." - Kirkus

"Daniel Wallace's Extraordinary Adventures is deliciously funny, moving, and generous, and Edsel is unforgettable." - Mark Childress, author of Crazy in Alabama and Georgia Bottom

"Extraordinary Adventures is soulful, funny, wise, and surprisingly sexy. Young Edsel Bronfman has the world before him, if only he can discover how to live in it. This is a novel about finding one's way without a map while searching for the lost places of the human heart." - Wiley Cash, author of This Dark Road to Mercy and A Land More Kind Than Home

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Reader Reviews

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Mark O. (Wenatchee, WA)

An Extraordinarily Good Reading Adventure
It's no surprise that Daniel Wallace, author of Extraordinary Adventures, is the director of a creative writing program. This is a book to practice reading like a writer. The characters are painted in layers. Subplots weave as graceful as a pod of dolphins. Particularly, there are collectible sentences.

There is also quiet suspense, a count-down, not to an extinction-level event but to a Yoda moment: "Do. Or do not. There is no try."

Extraordinary Adventures is a teaching story, a reminder that just about everyone, at every age and all the time, is quietly mustering up the courage to deal with the tough bits of their life. For me, reading this book was an empathy enhancement procedure (EEP).

Barbara C. (Riverside, CA)

Sixty years ago, I had a boyfriend sorta like Ed.
I found this whimsical story very engaging. I know a lot of socially inept people like Ed. He muddled through and learned a lot in those 95 or so days. There were many glitches in this tale. Ed had great resolution to his problem at the end which he earned. The promise of future happiness was certainly dangled on the last pages.

Jan T. (Leona Valley, CA)

Extraordinary Aventures
Edsel receives a call offering a weekend getaway the only catch is he has to be part of a couple. His extraordinary adventures begin as he pursues a girlfriend (he has 79 days.) It is a charming, witty, and sometimes sexy tale of reinventing oneself. It is ultimately a story of friendship told with humanity. You will find yourself rooting for Edsel and wondering how it will all end. I would highly recommend this quirky but heartfelt book.

Barbara K. (Brooklyn, NY)

Read This Book!
For quite a while I have been yearning for a REALLY good book to immerse myself in. This beautifully written tale,written by Daniel Wallace, featuring Edsel Bronfman, is it!

Extraordinary Adventures is a sad, yet hopeful story illustrating that is is never too late to see the world with new eyes, to change. One small act can catapult someone into a better, new place.

As we travel along with Edsel we observe that even small shifts in his behavior can set in motion a set of circumstances that seem almost miraculous! As a caterpillar emerges from a cocoon, turning into a beautiful winged creature, we see that Edsel had untapped abilities rooted inside him waiting to emerge.

This hopeful book illustrates that it is never too late. Life can change for the better.The world in flux is rife with new beginnings.

What a wonderful book! Read it!

Mary A. (Columbus, OH)

Extraordinary Adventures
I really enjoyed this book. I would characterize it as deceptively simple. Daniel Wallace has written an extraordinary, quirky, coming of age novel. The characters are eccentric and pique the reader's interest. The plot provides the motivation that Edsel Bronfman needs for his adventures. The real strength of the novel is the well developed characters and Wallace's descriptions.

Edsel Bronfman has wandered through his 34 years, knowing that something is missing from his life, but he can't quite figure it out. Bronfman's mother, Muriel is senile, but has moments of lucidity. Bronfman cannot always tell when she is lucid. Sheila McNabb flits first one way, then another, unable to find an anchor. Thomas Edison is Bronfman's neighbor and drug dealer. Serena Stanton is the local cop. Wallace brings them together. As I read the book, Bronfman and Sheila became my friends. When I finished reading, I wanted to know about their next extraordinary adventures.

Kenan R. (Liberty, MO)

LOVE!
I requested this book because Daniel Wallace wrote Big Fish - not that I had read it mind you - but the movie was so magical I had to try his new novel. It did not disappoint - I loved it!

Edsel Bronfman travels through the world on the outside looking in. He wants to be inside - he just needs to figure out how to do it. When a random telemarketer informs him he has won a trip to Destin, but has to bring a companion and has 79 days to cash in the offer - he is spurred into action. Bronfman opens up to life and discovers that every ordinary happening can be extraordinary. Populated with funny, off-beat characters Wallace's story moves quickly and hilariously along allowing us a front row seat for Bronfman's excellent ride. With a deft hand Wallace delivers a perfectly balanced tale of a man too timid to fully live and too terrified not to try. I rooted for Bronfman throughout and was reminded that an unexamined life is not really a life at all.

...23 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Daniel Wallace

Daniel Wallace is the J. Ross MacDonald Distinguished Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he directs the Creative Writing Program. He is the author of the novels Big Fish, Ray in Reverse, The Watermelon King, Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician, and The Kings and Queens of Roam.

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