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 began to listen to the book but turned it off immediately because of the painful reading, choosing instead to download on my Kindle. I then only listened to the parts that were too small to read on my kindle. (there were pages and pages of tiny print in the book that could not be enlarged on the kindle). The performances were tortured and boring and, worst of all, read too slowly and deliberately . Ugh!
I think the problem of the performances was one of direction. Some one did not have faith in an easy and brisk performance, which were tortured and hammy . Please do not ask your actors to ENUNCIATE if what you hear in the studio is already audible. It will be audible as well on my device. Long pauses between sentences are not necessary. This is a common problem with audible books. One must make a choice: Either it will be a straight reading, or it will be a performance. Please PLEASE do not combine the two!.Thanks.
'Leaving New Orleans also frightened me considerably. Outside of the city limits the heart of darkness, the true wasteland begins.'
For us in 'flyover country', not so much. I really wanted to like this story, and be sympathetic towards a kid who lost his dad in the attack on our country on 9/11, and his search for meaning in his father's life and then death, but I just couldn't. I know a lot of people gave it good reviews, but I just didn't think the character was believable as a 9 year old. I'm sure some kids are precocious, but this one was over the top. I will give the narrators kudos, as they were very good.
I'm going from chapter to chapter in life. Some are definitely better than others!
As another reviewer remarked, this is a difficult book to review. There were portions of the book I enjoyed, other sections I found strange. Oscar's struggles and grief over his father's death were poignant, often bringing tears to my eyes. Yet there were also portions of the story that were just plain odd. As the audiobook went on I began to dread hearing Oscar's grandmother as she read her letter. The grandfather, at least for me, wasn't quite as annoying, although he too was an odd cookie.
The narration for Oscar was excellent. The narrator (Jeff Woodman) captured Oscar's different emotions beautifully. He gives a 5 star performance. I didn't care for the narration of the grandmother, and felt Barbara Caruso's reading was flat.
Would I recommend Extremely Loud and Incredibily Close? Yes, overall I enjoyed the book, in spite of Oscar's strange grandparents. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a funny, sweet, touching story with a bit of oddity added in.
Mom, birdwatcher, and online teacher
No, this book is obviously overrated. Try to get it from the library if you must read it.
Not necessarily, but it would be nice to know how graphic the language is before purchasing
No. Didn't like the first one.
I know that these days people enjoy potty humor and rude terms for pieces of female anatomy, but I find them offensive. If you are like me, don't bother purchasing this book.
Lots of interesting stuff in this book and I highly recommend the audio version which has several narrators because it is hard enough to follow the story on audio, let alone trying to read it in an actual paper book (or ebook), in my opinion. Great and creative characters and writing. The movie by the same name was easier to follow and helped simplify some of what I felt were the more complicated storylines in the book.
I love books and movies that can make you see things in a new way. JSF deftly twined a story around characters spanning a wide age range and very different backgrounds. I loved the grandmother's quiet strength and determination, the mother's attempt to cope and keep living, the grandfather's inability to cope and the little boys tender, wonderful memories of his father. That day impacted us all. This is a wonder glimpse into several lives out of many that shared in that tragedy. This book made me cry my eyes out, which is a little embarrassing while sitting in random places with earphones in.
Despite the negative reviews, I enjoyed the book. Kind of depressing, on several levels, but intriguing as well. I would recommend it. It is not a shiny, perky book. It takes a little deeper, darker view of life, but it feels very real.
I normally don't enjoy books written in the voice of a child but this is an exception. It's a charming tale about trying make reason out of a world that is confusing and frightening.
It took me a minute to get into it but I was glad I finished it.
This book combines 9/11 with events of WWII through the life of a smart and cleaver young boy whose dad was killed in one of the towers on 9/11. There are too many unique aspects that push the credibility of the story, such as the boy's grandfather not being able to talk and writing all communications in a book or the walls of an apartment. The quest of the boy to find a "yellow key" relating to his dad at the beginning appears to be exciting and interesting, but the events simply drag until I lost interest.
I really liked the core story of the book, and Jeff Woodman is one of most talented narrators in the business. We follow the story of Oskar Shell on his journey, and it is riveting. Not so much is the story of his grandparents. While I am sure that, taken by itself, it is entertaining to some, in this reviewer's opinion, it was more of a distraction than anything else. There is a connecting thread, but it is weak at its strongest point.
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