Saturday, January 28, 2012

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

I just finished the book Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. I have not seen the movie yet.
What a fun yet deeply gripping book. There are several reasons why I recommend this book.

First reason you must read this book right now is the extremely unique characters. The story brings us into the mind of the narrator a 10 year old boy, Oscar, who "feels too much." His view point of life would be fun to watch no no matter what he did during the book. We also get to see the world through his grandmother and grandfather though their letters. Both grandparents survived the firebombing in Dresden and their lives have been marred in unusual ways. The Grandfather can not speak. We meet a whole host of folks with the last name Black also during the story who are all very interesting too.

The second reason to read this book right now is what we learn about learn about the impacts that war has on people. We watch Grandma and Grandpa's remarkable relationship unfold and we explore their sorrow and loneliness after they lost all their family in the Firebombing in WW2. Contrast that with the impacts on Oscar of 911 and losing his father. Oscar starts on a mission to find out what happened to his dad by interviewing everyone with the last name Black in the 5 Borrows in NYC to ask them about a key his dad had. We watch Oscar deal with many regular everyday things that remind him of the fragility of life. He suffers alone, even as he makes lots of connections with people during his missions.

The third reason to read this book right now is the language of the book. Oscar feels too much and it comes through in his words, which are streams of consciousness. Everything is extreme. The title explains exactly what Oscar feels about the world.

Even though the book deals with the most serious topics of life, I still laughed and enjoyed every minute. I really hope you go out and read it and leave me a comment on your thoughts.

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