Jonathan Safran Foer emerged as one of the most original writers of his
generation with his best-selling debut novel, Everything Is Illuminated. Now,
with humor, tenderness, and awe, he confronts the traumas of our recent history.
What he discovers is solace in that most human quality, imagination.
Schell, an inventor, Francophile, tambourine player, Shakespearean actor,
jeweler, pacifist, correspondent with Stephen Hawking and Ringo Starr. He is
nine years old. And he is on an urgent, secret search through the five boroughs
of New York. His mission is to find the lock that fits a mysterious key
belonging to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11.
innocent, Oskar is alternately endearing, exasperating, and hilarious as he
careens from Central Park to Coney Island to Harlem on his search. Along the way
he is always dreaming up inventions to keep those he loves safe from harm. What
about a birdseed shirt to let you fly away? What if you could actually hear
everyone's heartbeat? His goal is hopeful, but the past speaks a loud warning in
stories of those who've lost loved ones before.
As Oskar roams New York, he
encounters a motley assortment of humanity who are all survivors in their own
way. He befriends a 103-year-old war reporter, a tour guide who never leaves the
Empire State Building, and lovers enraptured or scorned. Ultimately, Oskar ends
his journey where it began, at his father's grave. But now he is accompanied by
the silent stranger who has been renting the spare room of his grandmother's
apartment. They are there to dig up his father's empty coffin.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is both brilliant and compelling. I love it when a book can stop me in my tracks by offering a style of writing quite different to the norm. Take your time over this one, because it's shorter than it looks. (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
The New York Times - Michiko Kakutani
[Foer's] depiction of Oskar's reaction to phone messages left by his father as he awaited rescue in the burning World Trade Center, his description of Oskar's grandfather's love affair with Anna and his experiences during the bombing of Dresden - these passages underscore Mr. Foer's ability to evoke, with enormous compassion and psychological acuity, his characters' emotional experiences, and to show how these private moments intersect with the great public events of history.
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.
No spoilers here, but we will say that the book--which includes a number of photographs and some eccentric typography--ends with what is undoubtedly the most beautiful and heartbreaking flip book in all of literature.
The search for the lock that fits a mysterious key
dovetails with related and parallel quests in this (literally) beautifully
designed second novel from the gifted young author (Everything Is Illuminated,
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Cloggie Downunder moving, brilliant Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is the 2nd novel by Jonathan Safran Foer. The main story is narrated by nine-year-old Oskar Schell whose father, Thomas, died on 9/11. Some years after his Thomas’s death, Oskar finds a key in his father’s... Read More
Rated of 5
by Sara Best Book Ever This book was absolutely fantastic. Though it was complicated, it was amazing. The exploration of human grief and the experience of loss touched me on a deeper level than a single book has ever touched me.
Way to go Johnny!!!!
Jonathan Safran Foer is the author of the
bestseller Everything is Illuminated (2002), which was published when he was 25 years old and won multiple awards, and
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
(2005). He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
A movie of
Everything Is Illuminated was planned for release in 2005 but appears to be still 'in production' with an estimated release date of 2007.
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face. He recollects...
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