Of all of the audio fiction I have listened to, this has been the best so far. Jonathan Safran Foer , the author of the book, is the first genius in creating the delightful character of Oscar Schell, an eccentric, gifted, and sarcastic child who is mature beyond his years, but held back by the boundries of childhood. The actor who reads his character creates a perfect Oscar.
Listening, you are torn by wanting the lighter observations of Oscar, as the plot gets darker and darker, revealing multi-generational tragedy.
Though it is terribly sad in many parts, this book is equally delightful in the eccentricities of Oscar and the Schell family.
You will miss this one when it's over.
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.
I've been an Audible.com subcsriber since 2001, and this is the first time I considered listening to a book over again as soon as I finished it. It was that good. The readers are some of the best I've heard. The story really wow-ed me, from start to end.
I listen to books while I walk, and I probably made a spectacle of myself several times when something in the book made my eyes well up with tears.
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.
Tried listening to this on a road trip but the bizarre start turned my children off and forced me to listen to three hours of rap music. When I came back to it, I was drawn in by the boy's quirky flaws and the basic premise. I was not prepared for the heart-wrenching chapter when the depth of the boys loss is revealed. Be forewarned, this book is not for those with recent family losses. I don't often cry over book characters, or movies either, but I caught myself more than once dwelling upon the "planes flying into buildings" mantra and having to turn the book off. Overall, I wish my children would read novels like this, if nothing else, to make them appreciate the wonderful, nearly uneventful lives they lead.
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.
Written with wit, insight and irony, but ultimately boring because it went on and on and on over trivial things, and never offered coherent explanations for his grandparents. Wonderfully read, however.
This is a wonderful rendering of a thoughtful and captivating set of stories. The characters are very well developed, and the narrators are consistently good interpreters. I was touched by the human frailties captured in sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic moments. I highly recommend this audiobook.
A different book all together
The use off 911, which really had nothing to do with the book in large.
One narrator only
So glad I did not use a credit for this one! Every school has got one of these kids, think back & you might remember the name of the one in your school, I did. Not a good read, or listen! My review has nothing to do with 911, but the book itself.