Nine-year-old Oskar Schell is a precocious Francophile who idolizes Stephen Hawking and plays the tambourine extremely well. He's also a boy struggling to come to terms with his father's death in the World Trade Center attacks. As he searches New York City for the lock that fits a mysterious key his father left behind, Oskar discovers much more than he could have imagined.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a masterfully imagined novel from an author Time hails as "a certified wunderkind".
©2005 Jonathan Safran Foer; (P)2005 Recorded Books, LLC
"Piercing and so funny." (The Bookseller)
"[Oskar's] first-person narration of his journey is arrestingly beautiful, and readers won't soon forget him." (Booklist)
"Jonathan Safran Foer's second novel is everything one hoped it would be: ambitious, pyrotechnic, riddling, and above all...extremely moving. An exceptional achievement." (Salman Rushdie)
"Brilliant....Unafraid to show his traumatized characters' constant groping for emotional catharsis, Foer demonstrates once again that he is one of the few contemporary writers willing to risk sentimentalism in order to address great questions of truth, love, and beauty." (Publishers Weekly)
I can understand why this book ended up on Audible's list of "rants and raves." There are parts of the narrative and some of the characters that are truly enchanting. At other times, I truly wondered why the author was off on a particular tangent as some of the detractors in reviews had described.
Still, the book is worth the credit and the balance comes down on the rave side. The boy is too delightful to pass up just because grandma and grandpa are sometimes tedious.
I love love loved listening to the gifted little boy's part; other reviews I read made it sound like it was the voices of the other readers that brought down people's reviews, but I thought their readings were well done -- it was the characters themselves who needed help. Oh, so much help. I was very pleased to stick it out to the end, but I cried too much on the way there.
A side note -- this is the only book I've come across that's made the Dresden bombings real enough for me to understand.
Say something about yourself!
the author and his wife are gifted.. having them both talking about stories at the same time would be almost as good as this book.. i stared at the 9-11 falling man for awhile after hearing this story.. amazing. i cant wait for more from the author and his wife.. this book puts the extremely loud and the incredibly close in love.
Tell us about yourself!
The young boy in this book is a charmer and the author gets his voice exactly right. The folks he meets on his adventures are equally interesting. However the adults in his life, and their stories, were confused and confusing. I felt there was a deep philosophy offered I just didn't get
I expected this to be kind of a funny book. I did not expect it to move me to tears and to touch me as deeply as it did. This is a book that you will remember for life. I highly recommend it. If you or your love one has Asperger's Syndrome it will give you compassion for their obsessive ways. We should all have a grandmother like the one in this story.
This is the story of Oscar, a child who has learned what loss is all about, who knows regret and guilt at an age when children should not feel these things. Greatly affected by 9/11 and the fire bombing of Dresden, Oscar's family are trying to hold on to some sense of normal. Oscar himself, is a charming and disarming child, your narrator, a bright boy that is looking for a lock that will fit a key that was his father's. This is a touching story of love, loss, pain and patience.
Beautifully read. I was not a fan of his first book but loved this one. It reminded me a lot of his wife's book "The History of Love" in style and pace. Highly recommended.
The writing is stylistically similar to "Everything is Illuminated", though is more grounded in reality rather than fantasy. Jonathan Safran Foer has an amazingly fertile imagination, and these readers make his words sing!
I am very glad I read/heard the book. However, I struggled initially with the narrator's voice but eventually got used to his style. And, I also wavered back and forth from enjoying the story to sometimes not liking it. Jumping back and forth from the grandparent's story to the boy's was at times jarring. I read it for a book club and we were all surprised how much this book inspired discussion afterwards. There were many intense, heartbreaking passages. I think I was able to appreciate the story by being able to hear the inflections of the narrator. Other book club members who read the book said there was a lot of wonderful images in the printed book that helped communicate some of what the characters were experiencing.
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