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)
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.
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!!!
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.
Again, the narration was the only part of this work that was good.
I couldn't believe that Jonathan Safran got a book deal with this mess.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It is much better than the movie
You will fall in love with his character.
I didn't read the printed version
I liked the characters, and the story/secrets told from many sides.
Oscar, who carries the weight of the world with him completely oblivious to the fact that other people also carry their own burdens.
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.
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.
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