This book was amazing! I go through these love affairs with authors and get almost obsessive about reading everything they’ve written. I think Jonathan Safran Foer is my next author obsession. I tried reading Everything is Illuminated a few years ago and I just couldn’t get into it. After reading this one though, I may give it another shot.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is set closely after the attacks of September 11th. The main character is Oskar a young boy who lost his father in the twin towers and the the quest he takes on to keep his father with him a little longer. Interwoven is the story of his grandmother and grandfather, their relationship to one another, their son and grandson. The story starts off shattered and slightly incoherent. Foer does a great job of capturing the short attention span and nervous ticks of a child. This story is sad. I’m a fan of sad stories, they are best at exposing the ways we disappoint ourselves and each other. They also showcase that even in dire circumstances there can still be hope that even when everything is against you, you can still unexpectedly triumph. There are a lot of visual components to this book; pictures, red ink, typed pages etc. I think these visual cues help to spark your imagination as a reader, to draw you even deeper into Oskar’s world. Apparently this is an up in coming trend with the hip young New York writers. Therefore it can be either seen as pretentious or brilliant depending on your disposition. This book was beautiful, I’m sorry it had to end.
This book comes highly recommended to pretty much anyone. My friend Jared in particular.