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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close | [Jonathan Safran Foer]

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Jonathan Safran Foer's best-selling debut novel, Everything Is Illuminated, wowed critics on its way to winning several literary prizes, including Book of the Year honors from the Los Angeles Times. It has been published in 24 countries and will soon be a major motion picture. Foer's talent continues to shine in this sometimes hilarious and always heartfelt follow-up.
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Publisher's Summary

Jonathan Safran Foer's best-selling debut novel, Everything Is Illuminated, wowed critics on its way to winning several literary prizes, including Book of the Year honors from the Los Angeles Times. It has been published in 24 countries and will soon be a major motion picture. Foer's talent continues to shine in this sometimes hilarious and always heartfelt follow-up.

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

What the Critics Say

  • 2005 Audie Award Nominee, Multi-Voiced Performance

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (2670 )
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3.9 (1779 )
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4.2 (1765 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Sarah Vancouver, BC, Canada 05-09-05
    Sarah Vancouver, BC, Canada 05-09-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "listen"

    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.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Lou Cave Creek, AZ USA 12-24-13
    Linda Lou Cave Creek, AZ USA 12-24-13 Member Since 2014

    Obsessive reader, 6-10 books a week, chosen from Member reviews. Fact & fiction, subjects from the Tudors to Tookie, Harlem to Hiroshima, Huey Long to Huey Newton.  In-depth fair reviews - from front to BLACK!!! 

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "RIDICULOUS & DEPRESSING"
    Would you try another book from Jonathan Safran Foer and/or the narrators?

    Not by this author if he thinks that this is literature. There's nothing wrong with the narrators except the voice of the main character has "too much bass in his voice" to be a credible 9 year-old. He sounded closer to 16.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Jonathan Safran Foer again?

    Nope!


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Again, the narration was the only part of this work that was good.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I couldn't believe that Jonathan Safran got a book deal with this mess.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is at once depressing, ridiculous, unbelievable, and immature. I thought I was buying a book about a child's reaction in the aftermath of his father's death in the World Trade Centers. But somewhere, somehow, the story switched to the kid's quirky ways, his crazy grandparents and his odd mother. The child is described in the synopsis as "precocious" when he's actually an over-protected spoiled brat who needs a good butt-whipping. The grandparents are crazy as hell, never speaking to each other, just communicating with pre-written notes and hand gestures. They weren't deaf, just crazy! The mother is over-indulgent, allowing her little brat to say and do whatever he wants. The father, whom I initially had sympathy for because of his fate, was just as strange as everyone else in this book. When the story suddenly and inexplicably veered off off to Japanese person in bombed out Hiroshima, I had to let this book go. I barely understood the American aspect - to add in another set of people in the wake of a major man-made disaster was just too much. I fail to see what other readers saw in this book. The 9 year-old kid got on my nerves asking "Why?" questions like a he was 2 and constantly being disrespectful to adults. If this kid knows the definition of "google", then he should have already known the answers to the incessant questions he worried both family and strangers with. His behavior wasn't "cute". He didn't qualify for "time out". If he'd been MY son, he would have gotten "knocked out"! His family can't even be labeled as dysfunctional since all families are in some ways. These people were STRANGE! As a result, I felt no sympathy or empathy for any of them. They just took up much-needed space on earth. ALL of them, including the kid, should have been in the World Trade Centers on that fateful September 11, 2001.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gary 10-26-13
    gary 10-26-13 Member Since 2012
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    "waste of $3.95 on the Daily Deal"
    What would have made Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close better?

    A different book all together


    What was most disappointing about Jonathan Safran Foer’s story?

    The use off 911, which really had nothing to do with the book in large.


    What aspect of the narrators’s performance would you have changed?

    One narrator only


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patti Chittenango, NY, United States 07-04-13
    Patti Chittenango, NY, United States 07-04-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Different From The Movie"

    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.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Haynes Tallahassee, FL, United States 06-12-05
    Haynes Tallahassee, FL, United States 06-12-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Extremely Boring"

    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.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Santa Monica, CA, USA 05-13-05
    Joseph Santa Monica, CA, USA 05-13-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sophmore Slump"

    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.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ms Coffee SF Bay 01-02-14
    Ms Coffee SF Bay 01-02-14 Member Since 2015

    Coffee Maven

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    "Enjoyable read"
    If you could sum up Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close in three words, what would they be?

    It is much better than the movie


    Who was the most memorable character of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and why?

    Oskar!
    You will fall in love with his character.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peryn 09-29-13
    Peryn 09-29-13 Member Since 2008
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    "Story is good, narration was inconsistent"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close to be better than the print version?

    I didn't read the printed version


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the characters, and the story/secrets told from many sides.


    Would you be willing to try another one of the narrators’s performances?

    No


    Who was the most memorable character of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and why?

    Oscar, who carries the weight of the world with him completely oblivious to the fact that other people also carry their own burdens.


    Any additional comments?

    Sometimes I found it hard to tell what character was speaking, sometimes the voice sounded different even in the middle of a sentence. I guess that would be more of an editing problem than a narration one.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annie 08-29-13
    Annie 08-29-13 Member Since 2014

    Rather adorable.

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    "Extremely good and incredibly endearing"

    Let me start by saying I have never seen the movie, but hear it is quite good - so I don't know how the 2 compare. I have had this book for quite a while and mostly bought it based on the Audible reviews. I did drag my feet reading it because part of the story revolves around 9-11 and I just didn't want to read a depressing book. The story is about a family and its history for generations, not just the 9-11 event (so don't let that stop you from reading it).The story starts from the perspective of a small boy, Oscar. I loved his voice or inner dialog. It reminded me of The Power of One (an all time favorite book of mine). The book then jumps around with different chapters being told through the voice of different characters. It was a bit confusing at first but it eventually all starts to pull together. I ended up actually loving this book. the book didn't depress me but it definitely gave my heart strings a good yank.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike M. Javanmard 08-21-13

    javanomic

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting but got bored with it"

    This was a good story but for some reason I got bored with it. Why? Dont know.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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