If ever there was an assemblage of unbelievable characters, this is it. That doesn't mean it's not worth reading. I recall a few English Lit professors who would have thought this perfect for analysis. What do all the characters' foibles really mean?
To be fair, this isn't the kind of book I normally download. I thought the narration was excellent and the storytelling techniques, e.g., the letters, were interesting. I even found some of the characters entertaining, but not in the least believable. That said, their pain came through truthfully.
In the end, I am going out on a limb to say you probably never read/heard a book like this, so it's an experience you might enjoy on that merit if nothing else.
Don't miss this book. The story,narration-it was wonderful. Oscar will not be soon forgotten. His intensity, his pain,his ability to love-I am so glad I listened to this book.
This was a good book. I enjoyed it every much. It was well written and entertaining. I looked forward to returning to it every evening. The narrator was good as well. Do order this story.
I thought that this was a really good story and I really enjoyed the performances of all of the readers. I really loved the boy and thought he was a great character. I didn't really like the extra, side stories about the grandparents' lives before he was born, I didn't really see what that contributed to the rest of the book. I heard an interview with the author on NPR that I really enjoyed and in the interview they said that the book has all kinds of pictures and stuff so maybe reading it would be a more rewarding experience, I don't know.
Just as in his first, Everything's Illuminated, this book is suffused with a refreshingly original voice, touching regard for the characters, and above all an appreciation for the shadows cast by humanity's light. A wonderful listen for sure.
I would have rated this book higher if the author had been less talented. Mr. Foer clearly enjoys incredible command of language and is extremely proud of himself for his virtuosity. Just as the protagonist of his first novel bore the author's own name, I had the feeling that his irritating little Oskar was some younger version of the author. Would that he had grown up to be a novelist who could create believable characters, instead of wearying the reader with a barrage of novelistic tricks, all of which seemed to distract one from his unconvincing creations.
There is a far better book featuring a boy named Oskar, Guenther Grass' "Tin Drum." Read that instead.
I'm resuscitating my capacity to enjoy recorded books with a reread of Austen's "Emma." Imagine--an author who doesn't call attention to herself and whose least developed character is more convincingly portrayed than anyone in ELIC.
I just couldn't finish it. After only a couple of hours of listening, I just couldn't hear any more about this preternaturally sensitive, thoughtful, and intelligent child. He was not a credible character and I was tired of pretending that any child would think and act like this.
The author keeps switching back and forth making the story very difficult to follow. I was so bored with it that I only finished about half of the first part.
Not a lot to say about this. The young boy is a good character, but otherwise it doesn't have the energy or heart of his first book.