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.
I really prefer to read books made into movies before seeing the movie but that didn't happen. And what also didn't happen is liking the book better. This book just really didn't excite me. It was enjoyable. But all of the story lines were distracting and diluted the good points of the others.
The story of the grandparents was enjoyable. However, I never saw a connection to the story of the boy grappling with his father's death. The story of the search for the lock was wonderful but how did it relate to the grandparents? Maybe I am dense or stupid but I didn't get it. Ad trying to figure it out took away the enjoyment of listening to the book. And the story of the mother was non-existant. For once I have to say the movie re-write was much better.
The narration was superb. Character differentiation was excellent. Accents were appropriate. I usually prefer one narrator to a "cast" and I think this story did not require three, but it did work. Transitions were seamless.
If you liked the movie, I would think twice about this book.
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.
Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
This audio book disappointed me, though I did listen until the end. The number of good reviews stumped me. I thought this was a book about a boy who lost his father when the twin towers fell in the 9/11 attack. It isn't. The boy is very bright, maybe a genius. But the entire book is a book of prose, that is not very well connected. The fact that Oscar, the little boy, has to talk so much about sex and human anatomy is totally unnecessary and lends nothing to the book, and the grandmother tales of sex with the grandfather are even more superficial (in my opinion). The most disappointing thing about the whole book is that no one ever grows up, takes responsibility for their actions, and begins to live in a healthy manner. The mother indulges the boy (Oscar), the grandmother and grandfather both relate separately with their grandson, as if the other doesn't exist, and Oscar basically fends for himself. While the attacks of 9/11 were absolutely horrendous, they have nothing on other historical events such as the holocaust, where real heroes emerged, victorious over their circumstances. I found myself angry at the grandfather's self-pity and self-indulgence, after he had suffered a loss in his life, and how he let it affect the lives of his family. A time of feeling sorry for oneself is to be expected, but for heaven's sake, you finally have to grow up. This book just goes round and round and ends up nowhere.
It is much better than the movie
You will fall in love with his character.