We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
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.
Regular Price:$21.39
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

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 (2696 )
5 star
 (1092)
4 star
 (816)
3 star
 (476)
2 star
 (164)
1 star
 (148)
Overall
3.9 (1805 )
5 star
 (735)
4 star
 (543)
3 star
 (325)
2 star
 (105)
1 star
 (97)
Story
4.2 (1790 )
5 star
 (905)
4 star
 (549)
3 star
 (222)
2 star
 (57)
1 star
 (57)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Elizabeth 11-01-13
    Elizabeth 11-01-13 Member Since 2015

    Recently retired nurse. Listen to all my books - one to two a week. Always looking for a new find - even though my library is overflowing.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    693
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    72
    49
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    147
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absolutely Amazing Book"

    Read this book. Listen to this book. It is that good. I saw the movie when it came out and though I enjoyed the movie - they do not compare. The book is a whole new story. You get to hear the thoughts of young Oskar and his grandparents. There is no way a movie can convey those thoughts. This author is brilliant. Truly brilliant. He ties so many things together - the parallels between the beginning of World War II and the World Trade Center disaster. I don't want to start a new book because I don't want to forget this one.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JOHN Plantation, FL, United States 06-28-09
    JOHN Plantation, FL, United States 06-28-09 Member Since 2003

    Audible Member Since 2003

    HELPFUL VOTES
    564
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    436
    68
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    34
    3
    Overall
    "Unique"

    I will not attempt to add to what so many other reviewers have so eloquently stated. The story of a boy who lost his father in the 911 attacks would seem to be a dreary one indeed. This is NOT the case.

    I loved the voice of the writing as told from the perspective of a young, precocious, intrepid vulnerable boy. This book still gives me a warm feeling, months after having finished it.

    17 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Earlysville, VA, USA 07-14-09
    Linda Earlysville, VA, USA 07-14-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Touching, funny beautifully narrated"

    I listened to this while on a recent rod trip and couldn't wait to get back in the car to continue listening. The narration is as good as it gets, and the writing is superb. The book beautifully interweaves the stories of a young boy whose father died in the 9/11 attacks, and the stories of his grandfather, grandmother, father, the people the boy meets, and the boy himself. Foer loves and respects his characters. It is by turns funny and heartwrenching, and always deeply human. I heartily recommend this one.

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sher from Provo Utah 08-26-13
    Sher from Provo Utah 08-26-13 Member Since 2015

    tired teacher

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1355
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    373
    220
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    293
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Extremely Young and Incredibly Bright"

    Occasionally I want to start a book over as soon as I finish it, but only one other time have I actually done it. I just couldn't let go of this one right away. It is brilliantly written and always thought provoking, not to mention creative in its approach. It has been quite a while since I listened to a book that I just couldn't wait to get back to but that is how this one affected me, and that is a mark of a great story.

    My only criticism of this book is that nine-year-old Oscar is so smart that you would mistake him for a much older and wiser person. He is never at a loss for words and can handle the situations he constantly encounters as he looks for the lock. He just seems to know too much for his age, not just too much "book learning", but too much about life. He is so wise and sees things so clearly in many instances, things that for most people can only be learned by experience, which just takes time. But I can overlook that to get to the story. The characters are all well developed, interesting and often surprising, as are the plot and sub plots.

    This book is a great commentary on life, on how all of us have tragedies and victories, on how a small decision one day can change the course of our lives, and how some events irreversibly change all of our lives. I highly recommend it.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maria Lachine, Quebec, Canada 08-07-12
    Maria Lachine, Quebec, Canada 08-07-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    59
    23
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not what I expected..."

    ...although I'm not quite sure what I expected.

    I downloaded this book to listen to on vacation and was a little skeptical about a sad book down by the beach. It wasn't quite like that though. The book is surprisingly heartwarming, the characters loveable, the innocence of youth, refreshing.

    The book isn't ABOUT 9/11. It's about the life that happens around it. It's about the sadness, but it's also about how life continues buzzing even after dreadful events. Not just 9/11 but the war, too.

    Simply put, it's a balance: on one hand, its the pain, the sorrow, the hurt, the sadness, the loneliness, the scars. On the other, it's the beauty of innocence, the wonder of life itself, the power of imagination, the strength of love. It's all beautifully woven together.

    Worth the listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Sydney 06-15-12
    Chris Sydney 06-15-12 Member Since 2015

    Tell us about yourself! I love to escape into a good book.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    119
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    159
    52
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    7
    66
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Extremely Tender and Incredibly Moving"

    This book is about the effects of grief and how one family copes with the loss of a beloved father. The novel begins sometime after that fateful day 9/11. Thomas Schell, father, son, and husband, perished in the attacks, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is narrated by his son, Oskar. It's interspersed with letters from Oskar's grandfather to his son, Thomas, and letters from Oskar's grandmother to Oskar. Together it tells the history of this family, and the pain and suffering caused by the loss of their loved one.
    I found this incredibly moving.
    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close can be uplifting and soul searing at different times. With the horrors and wounds of the 9/11 attacks still fresh, this novel may hit too close to home for some people. By the end of this book, how that awful day happened for all members of Oskar's family is known, and beyond the pain lies hope, and Oskar is not as alone as he thinks he is. Oskar Schell's story is one to cherish, and perhaps that metaphor for the lost innocence of the world is one we all ought to acknowledge and embrace.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angie Kansas City, MO, United States 05-04-08
    Angie Kansas City, MO, United States 05-04-08 Member Since 2010

    Immigration lawyer in Kansas City. I like Character driven dramas, fantasy (monsters, magic and witches oh my!) and coming of age stories. Favs include: The Book Thief, The Game of Throne series, Harry Potter Series, Dresden Files, Nightside series, anything by Neil Gaimen, 100 Years of Solitude.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    379
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    611
    168
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    49
    3
    Overall
    "Amazing"

    I think that this is one of the best books I have ever read. This book and The Book Thief are amazing stories of love and loss and heartbreak and very important historical events seen through the eyes of children. I read this book first and now have listened to it. The only thing that is lost is that in the book you get to see pages from Oskar's journals "Stuff that Has Happened to Me" It is the story of a family set at the time of about a year after Septmber 11. Oskar is 9 and having a hard time dealing with the death of his father. His mother is having a hard time dealing with him and her own grief. This is also the story of his grandmother and grandfather. It is an excellent family drama and I loved it.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet Albuquerque, NM, USA 05-11-07
    Janet Albuquerque, NM, USA 05-11-07 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "beautiful and thought provoking"

    An affective translation of an unusually produced book to audio. The pacing of the narrative voice brings as much meaning to the words spoken as the silences between them.

    One can not help but have both viseral and emotional reactions to this most human of stories. I laughed out loud. Tears ran down my face. I thought deeply about my own losses and of the expectations I have of those most close to me.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine Fort Mill, SC, USA 05-17-05
    Catherine Fort Mill, SC, USA 05-17-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Solid Novel - Only a Few Imperfections"

    This was my first Audible audio book and I was pleasantly surprised. EL&IC follows the story of young Oskar Schell on a quest that he believes will help him feel closer to his father who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center. I've been told that this is a book that's best read, not heard, but the three narrators were great actors and conveyed much more than I would have thought they could.

    The story is told through narratives by the three main characters; Oskar, his paternal grandfather and his paternal grandmother. The narrative shifts from character to character, always without warning and sometimes at jarring times. I found some narratives more compelling than others, growing weary about midway through the book of listening to Oskar's grandfather's narrative, but as the book approached resolution I found his narrative fascinating again.

    Occasionally the story was slow. Occasionally it was repetitive to the point of minor annoyance. Occasionally I found myself thinking that Oskar's many idiosyncracies felt horribly contrived. But as the narrative closed, I found myself wanting to learn more about quirky young Oskar and his world. It was well worth the listen.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 01-31-14
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 01-31-14 Member Since 2013

    Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    895
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    343
    342
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    46
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not a Story about 9/11 . . . Just a Pity Party"

    This audio book disappointed me, though I did listen until the end. The number of good reviews stumped me. I thought this was a book about a boy who lost his father when the twin towers fell in the 9/11 attack. It isn't. The boy is very bright, maybe a genius. But the entire book is a book of prose, that is not very well connected. The fact that Oscar, the little boy, has to talk so much about sex and human anatomy is totally unnecessary and lends nothing to the book, and the grandmother tales of sex with the grandfather are even more superficial (in my opinion). The most disappointing thing about the whole book is that no one ever grows up, takes responsibility for their actions, and begins to live in a healthy manner. The mother indulges the boy (Oscar), the grandmother and grandfather both relate separately with their grandson, as if the other doesn't exist, and Oscar basically fends for himself. While the attacks of 9/11 were absolutely horrendous, they have nothing on other historical events such as the holocaust, where real heroes emerged, victorious over their circumstances. I found myself angry at the grandfather's self-pity and self-indulgence, after he had suffered a loss in his life, and how he let it affect the lives of his family. A time of feeling sorry for oneself is to be expected, but for heaven's sake, you finally have to grow up. This book just goes round and round and ends up nowhere.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.