Jonathan is a Jewish college student searching Europe for the one person he believes can explain his roots. Alex, a lover of all things American and unsurpassed butcher of the English language, is his lovable Ukrainian guide. On their quixotic quest, the two young men look for Augustine, a woman who might have saved Jonathan's grandfather from the Nazis. As past and present merge, hysterically funny moments collide with great tragedy, and an unforgettable story of one family's extraordinary history unfolds.
Don't miss Jonathan Safran Foer and Martin Amis at The New Yorker Festival.
©2002 Jonathan Safran Foer; (P)2002 Recorded Books, LLC
"An impressive, original debut." (Publishers Weekly)
"Nearly everything about this remarkable book is illuminated....Although there's plenty of lyrical acrobatics here, with exquisite magic realism intermingling with Alex's uproarious narration, it's the emotional depth of the characters that stands out." (Booklist)
"Read it, and you'll feel altered, chastened -- seared in the fire of something new." (The Washington Post)
I loved this book. It is witty and fun yet the subject is a very sad one. The characters really are outrageous but down earth at the same time. I would recommend it to anyone! It will really touch your heart.
I really loved this book. It is charming and funny, but I certainly wouldn't recommend it for young teens. For older teens and adults yes, younger teens no! I gave it a single star rating as a kids book but as an adult book it deserves 4 stars. Mentioning certain sexual practices and specific descriptions of the size of anatomical features were very funny for me as an older adult, but perhaps aren't something the average 13 year needs to be reading quite yet.
The story got off to a very good start. I really enjoyed Alexander's abuse of English idiom. But then the second narrator started speaking and I think the story really needs a voice with an Eastern European accent. It was just completely unsettling to be hearing all the Eastern European names and places in an accent that sounded to me like American mid-West. I really tried to be open and to relax with it and just to listen to the story but I got more and more irritated and ended up quitting, which is a shame because the film version is so good and I thought I'd really love the audio book. Also, I had just finished listening to the author's other book, "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close," which is my new favorite.
I was really disappointed in this book since it got excellent reviews. I found it very difficult to follow and when I could follow it it was boring. The accent was grating and hard to understand. I gave it about 3 hours and then said forget it.
I didn't like this from the first 5 minutes but I gave it 45 min before I deleted it from my ipod. I disliked the narrator and his voice (both literal and literary) and the switch into history confused me. Maybe its a book that's better to read but it was a terrible listen.
The part taking place in the modern day is great and hilarious. The part taking place in the past is boring and ridiculous.
I tried listening for a couple of hours, but I just could not empathize with the concierge. She was as pretentious as the upper class patrons of the apartment building that she disdains so much. The girl? So naive, yet she believes she is worldly. Since I could not get into the characters, I could not enjoy continuing to listen to the book. Periodically I would go back to the book to see if it gets better. So far it has not.
This very original book takes one on a great journey full of warmth, humor, tears, horror and hope. I trully enjoyed listening to every word.
I read this book because a few reviews of Nicole Krauss' book History of Love mentioned that this book, written by her spouse, was similar. I was sorely disappointed. The two books cover similar themes, but there is simply no comparison to be made other than that. Ms. Krauss' book is beautifully written, and I cared about the protagonist from the first page on. I can't say the same for Everything is Illuminated.
This book starts slow and grinds to deadly. What humor there is relies completely on malapropisms. After two hours with NO sign of plot appearing, I gave up.
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