Gayle's Reviews > Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
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's review
Aug 20, 2008

it was amazing
Read in October, 2008

I just want to start off by saying, I am well aware of Foer criticism - saying he's trying too hard, or that his stories flow as a way of structural emulation, and not origination....Or whatever the hell people say, who are trying to prove their own arrogance.... i know, and I don't care.

I love JSF! I loved Everything is Illuminated! I put off reading this book, there was not a doubt in my mind that it would be incomparably bland compared to EII. Well it was incomparable alright; but for entirely different reasons.

Reading Foer is like eating expensive chocolate. You want to save some for tomorrow, or for your lover; but pretty soon all you have is foil.

Its like running through an abandoned field full of flowers in the perfect weather. You want to sit down, take it all in, savor it.....but you revert to a child and run through the tall grass as fast as you can. You may not remember all the details, but you absorb them- and you will remember the feelings from it.

His characterization is impeccable. Background information is provided stragically. I feel like I know them, I understand them, I may not predict their actions, but I can value their motives based on their experiences. Sometimes, I get so accustomed to their uniqueness, I don't even question their actions- until they are questioned by another character.

Foer, has a way of connection, of making every loose end count, and even if I personally can't always figure out how they are all supposed to be tied, I can figure out enough of it to make sense and be a sturdy resounding story for me. And knowing that there is even more ways to explain it and make sense of it has an overwhelming level of comfort for me. I know I'll be thinking about it for days to come.

I guess you either love him, or you love to hate him. This book made me laugh, it made me cry. That gives it five stars..for sure.

What is really exciting? this is only his second novel....I anticipate the next one.

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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Rachel you could be a professional!!! cannot wait to read it

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

I completely agree and the way you described his writing was perfect, haha. Foer should practically be paying you to review him. If I hadn't have already read Extremely Loud, I would be going out right now to buy it.

Mary gayle, I think I love you! I was going off about arrogance myself!

Texasmochi I am crummy at writing reviews, but if I wasn't - my review would look a lot like yours. I loved this book on many levels, and I'm glad I ignored the negative reviews and gave it a go.

Katie Your review captured my thoughts on the book perfectly! I know his narration is a bit gimmicky and whatnot, but I don't care. It's a style choice that people love or love to hate, and the dramatic irony it creates (knowing who the renter is! and so on) cultivates anticipation. I loved reading this book and wasn't ready for it to end, which is why I gave it five stars but won't argue over its quality or brilliance or what have you. The desire to read on and feel as though your mind is stirring, not stagnating, is what tells me a book is worth my while.

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