July 20, 2011

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close - Jonathan Safran Foer

I have to thank the lovely Claire for leading me to Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - it had been on my reading radar for a while but I wasn't truly tempted to pick it up until I had read her review. This is an amazing book to read but it is also a work of art - the narrative interspersed with photos, drawings and print techniques which add, rather than detract from the story.
The main character of the story is nine year old Oskar Schell - a bright, intelligent and curious boy living in post 9/11 New York with his mother with his grandmother across the street. Oskar's father was killed in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre and the story focuses on Oskar's attempt to somehow come to terms with the loss of his father and the huge impact his death has had on his family.
The character of Oskar is really the key to the success of this story - this is a boy who you can't help but empathise with - his pain is so acute and yet his humour and intelligence are still thriving - you want Oskar to somehow survive this trauma and make it out the other side.
I finished reading this book so long ago now that my memories of the intricacies of the plot have faded a little - but what hasn't dimmed is the emotional reaction I had while reading this book - sadness at the story being told but joy at the reading pleasure I was experience. You have to read this one for yourself.

9 comments:

Jillian said...

This book was a favorite of mine in 2010 when I read it. Oskar is such a memorable and lovable character and Foer is a fantastic writer.

JoAnn said...

I plan to read this in September for the 10th anniversary of 9/11... everybody seems to rave about it!

Letter4no1 said...

This has been one of my favorites for years. I even named my puppy after Oskar!

Alex (The Sleepless Reader) said...

I'm also a fan - so clever yet so beautiful!

I found Everything is Illuminated not as good, but still worth it.

Ellie said...

My book group read and enjoyed this a few months ago although the sole American member found the 9/11 part hard especially the photos at the end, something that was widely seen in Europe but not in the US.

Karen said...

Hi Jillian - Oskar is a beautiful character - and so well written.

Hi Joann - That will be a very special time to read this book...

Hi Letter4no1 - What a perfect name for your puppy!

Hi Alex - I have been wondering about his other book and whether I should read it or not...

Hi Ellie - I can imagine that section of the book would be very confronting for a lot of people.

bookinglass said...

Hear, Hear! A friend lent me this book in my last year of uni when books and work and stress coalesced into one. Books like this one helped me realise how important it is to keep reading especially in difficult times. A colleague at work has read it 5 times (or more!).

Karen said...

Hi bookingglass - that is so true about the importance of reading - it can really be a life saver at times can't it??

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