Amanda's Reviews > Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
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's review
Aug 05, 07

bookshelves: all_time_favs, read_summer_07, common-reading-experience
Read in June, 2007

Today while tutoring, I've met with one student right at 1 and another at 4. In between those times, I read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Perhaps that was not the smartest thing to do...

Sometimes I find the book so funny that I laugh out loud. Which is fine if I had a quiet laugh, but I don't. And I tutor in a common meeting space which is a center room with offices surrounding it. Clearly, everyone in the office knew I was getting paid to laugh at what I was reading. I felt bad; if I was working, I wouldn't want to hear someone who was getting paid to read laughing. In my defense, at least everyone could see that writing matters to me and I appreciate quality literature, which further proves my already-established qualifications as a tutor.

But then I got to the climax of the book, and I was moved by how the climax was written because it felt so "real" to me, because it captured how I feel and think (if those things could be replicated in language other than poetry), and I loved the characters as I love my families, and I loved the twist in the plot and how it came together in a way I didn't think it would come together because I was being skeptical and I thought it would be more trite, so I'm reading in the middle of this common room but I wouldn't call it reading as much as I would call it immersing myself into the novel when I start crying. Once the tears got in the way of my reading, I looked away from the page to wipe them, and realized I wasn't at home. I was in the Student-Athletics Department. I was tutoring. I had to pull my shit together.

What I love is that a book could do that to me. That it could inspire me--to write, to live, to not be afraid, to not be embarrassed when I bawl at work. I love this book so much I'm going to buy a copy of it. I would marry it if I wasn't married to FD. I want to put Kiedrowski's frosting on it and eat it.

I love the multi-genre-ness of it. It's brave and out-there and absolutely gorgeous.

I still have one chapter left. Once I started crying, I thought maybe I should wait until I was home to finish it--just in case I need to sob for a couple of minutes or hours.

It's moments like these that make me happy to be a reader, and even more so a writer...


It's almost 9 p.m., and I finished the book. I didn't cry. I didn't sob. I just finished it while BBQ-ing tonight's dinner (Chicken, roasted potatoes, and broccoli), ate dinner while watching the newest Deadliest Catch, cleaned-up, and talked to Pops. What's funny is, though, all the while I was doing this business, I was thinking about this book. And I have a feeling I'm going to think about this book for a long while. Like when I see a great film that moves me, it sticks with me, such as Dancer in the Dark.

And when I read something so good, like Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, I believe in God more than any other time in my life. Because without God how could such a great book come into existence? Or such a great author who is able to write such a great book? And then such a great mind? And the food such a great mind eats? And the air such a great mind breathes? (You probably can see where this is going.)

I can't review this book like other books. Mostly because I'm too emotional right now. But I can say if you read this blog, you should this book, if you haven't already.

And before I give my HK rating, a fellow McGuire/Facebook buddy said about Foer's book, "it's seriously chronic. i already bought Everything is Illuminated." Chronic, people! Dr. Dre and Snoop would be up on this shit! C'mon!

For the first time ever and maybe only time ever...5 Hello Kittys.
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Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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Sherry I know what you mean. I will be thinking about this book for a long time. It's funny you say that this book tells you about God, when the dad in the book was an atheist. I'm still processing all of it, but thanks for your review.

Richie Urban So basically...if this book was a guy - You'd fuck on the first date?

Joanne Baines Ok, you've convinced me. It's going on my must read soon list!

message 4: by MJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

MJ Nicholls Thank you for this lovely review, Amanda. I had exactly the same reaction to this wonderfully charming book. :)

message 5: by James (new)

James Smith Great review and I am going to buy this book now thanks to your review!

Cjlang Yep - what she said. ;-D


Roger Love your account of your experience with this book but for the comment about God belief - for me, it vindicaes my knowledge that there isn't one and that if there were, she'd be a malevolent so and so.

Great book whichever way you see it .. can't but make you think.

Alli Lubin You reminded me of when I sat in the back of my boring 8th grade social studies class so many years ago while they watched a black and white film of some president, I read "Catch 22" and would break out in fits of laughter and everyone would turn and stare at me...

Roger .... who, reminded you?

message 11: by Alli (new) - rated it 4 stars

Alli Lubin Amanda reminded me...laughing out loud.

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