Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Review of 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close' by Jonathan Safran Foer

"Jonathan Safran Foer emerged as one of the most original writers of his generation with his best-selling debut novel, Everything Is Illuminated.  Now, with humor, tenderness, and awe, he confronts the traumas of our recent history.

Nine-year-old Oskar Schell has embarked on an urgent, secret mission that will take him through the five boroughs of New York.  His goal is to find the lock that matches a mysterious key that belonged to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11.  This seemingly imposible task will bring Oskar into conact with survivors of all sorts on an exhilarating, affecting, often hilarious, and ultimately healing journey."

This review is a little over-the-top already purely because I liked both versions of the cover of this book!  They're both so dramatic.  The top cover is the movie version and the bottom cover is the original one.  My copy of the book is the one on the bottom, but my French version is the cover on top... but in French.  I love them so!

'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close' was a very unexpected book.  I thought that it was going to be a book about this little boy, Oskar.  It was, but it wasn't just about him.  The neat thing about Jonathan Safran Foer's writing in this book is that he is all-encompassing.  There is one main tragedy (several others are involved too, but they aren't necessarily the pivotal point of the book) but there is a clear group of people who are suffering in a number of ways because this book is all about different kinds of loss.  Oskar's grandfather loses his ability to speak.  Oskar's grandmother loses a husband in some ways.  Oskar's mother loses a husband and at the same time, Oskar loses a father (but in a different way than he lost his grandfather).

At first, this book was really confusing because I was unable to find a plot.  I was given a bunch of pieces to piece together.  It was like putting a puzzle together without the picture on the box to guide you.  However, I will tell you that all parts come together and they do make sense by the end of the book, which is why I gave this book the rating that I did.

The formatting of the book was very unique.  Sometimes the pages were in color, sometimes there were pictures taken from a news report or that Oskar took with his grandfather's camera.  At times, the words were put together in one long paragraph and sometimes written over the top of other words.  It made the book interesting to read.

Overall, 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close' is a complex, yet intelligent way to show the emotional aftermath left by 9/11.  It will make you laugh, cry, and sit in wonderment.  I give 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close':
Thanks for Reading!


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