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)
My instincts told me to quit as soon as I heard the narrator doing a silly nine year old approxomation- but I gave it a chance anyway. Now that I'm thru- I see why you should always listen to your instincts.
If ever there was an assemblage of unbelievable characters, this is it. That doesn't mean it's not worth reading. I recall a few English Lit professors who would have thought this perfect for analysis. What do all the characters' foibles really mean?
To be fair, this isn't the kind of book I normally download. I thought the narration was excellent and the storytelling techniques, e.g., the letters, were interesting. I even found some of the characters entertaining, but not in the least believable. That said, their pain came through truthfully.
In the end, I am going out on a limb to say you probably never read/heard a book like this, so it's an experience you might enjoy on that merit if nothing else.
Don't miss this book. The story,narration-it was wonderful. Oscar will not be soon forgotten. His intensity, his pain,his ability to love-I am so glad I listened to this book.
This was a good book. I enjoyed it every much. It was well written and entertaining. I looked forward to returning to it every evening. The narrator was good as well. Do order this story.
Of all of the audio fiction I have listened to, this has been the best so far. Jonathan Safran Foer , the author of the book, is the first genius in creating the delightful character of Oscar Schell, an eccentric, gifted, and sarcastic child who is mature beyond his years, but held back by the boundries of childhood. The actor who reads his character creates a perfect Oscar.
Listening, you are torn by wanting the lighter observations of Oscar, as the plot gets darker and darker, revealing multi-generational tragedy.
Though it is terribly sad in many parts, this book is equally delightful in the eccentricities of Oscar and the Schell family.
You will miss this one when it's over.
I thought that this was a really good story and I really enjoyed the performances of all of the readers. I really loved the boy and thought he was a great character. I didn't really like the extra, side stories about the grandparents' lives before he was born, I didn't really see what that contributed to the rest of the book. I heard an interview with the author on NPR that I really enjoyed and in the interview they said that the book has all kinds of pictures and stuff so maybe reading it would be a more rewarding experience, I don't know.
I've been an Audible.com subcsriber since 2001, and this is the first time I considered listening to a book over again as soon as I finished it. It was that good. The readers are some of the best I've heard. The story really wow-ed me, from start to end.
I listen to books while I walk, and I probably made a spectacle of myself several times when something in the book made my eyes well up with tears.
Just as in his first, Everything's Illuminated, this book is suffused with a refreshingly original voice, touching regard for the characters, and above all an appreciation for the shadows cast by humanity's light. A wonderful listen for sure.
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.
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