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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

Critic Reviews

  • 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 Ratings

Overall

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Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great story, but a little complicated to follow

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Emotional

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Very Good Book

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • Debbie
  • Toney, Alabama
  • 01-31-14

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.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

If you don't mind crude language, you might enjoy

Would you try another book from Jonathan Safran Foer and/or the narrators?

No, this book is obviously overrated. Try to get it from the library if you must read it.

Has Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close turned you off from other books in this genre?

Not necessarily, but it would be nice to know how graphic the language is before purchasing

Do you think Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No. Didn't like the first one.

Any additional comments?

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.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Dr.
  • Lake Oswego, OR, United States
  • 06-25-10

Oh So Precious Child

I just couldn't finish it. After only a couple of hours of listening, I just couldn't hear any more about this preternaturally sensitive, thoughtful, and intelligent child. He was not a credible character and I was tired of pretending that any child would think and act like this.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • nicole
  • lawrenceville, GA, United States
  • 03-14-14

I'm still not sure I liked this

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I kept waiting for something to happen

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Story didn't seem to move fast enough for me.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

Not sure if it was his easy style that made the book a little on the boring side.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Garen
  • NEW YORK, NY, United States
  • 01-23-12

You've got to be kidding.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

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!

What didn’t you like about the narrators’s performance?

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.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Mixture of too many historical events

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.

8 of 13 people found this review helpful