Ciara's Reviews > Everything Is Illuminated

Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
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's review
Dec 05, 08

bookshelves: especially-great-novels, read-in-2006
Recommended to Ciara by: steve (though i didn't listen at the time)
Recommended for: most people, genealogy nerds, my jewish friends, eastern europe history nerds
Read in August, 2006, read count: once

loved it! my only regret is that i waited so long to read it. i noticed it at a bookstore right when it came out, mostly because the cover design caught my attention, but i was at reading frenzy & i was like, you know, my attention is always being captured by nicely-designed books at reading frenzy & i am almost always disappointed. i think i'll just skip this one. i don't think i read it until after the movie came out, & i only went to see the movie because i was really into gogol bordello at the time (which is kind of shameful to admit now that they do commercials for, but i got into them when they were still playing to thirty people at the middle east--i was an early adapter!). the movie was all right. mostly just colorful. full disclosure: i hate elijah wood. he kind of wrecked the movie for me. but for some reason, after i saw it, i wanted to give the book a whirl. duh, of course the book is like ninety million times better than the movie. in fact, the book is spectacular & i really wish i would have bought myself a copy the first time i ever noticed it. oh well. surely everyone knows what this is about because everyone read it long before i did, right? if not: the protagnist, named after the author himself, goes to ukraine in an effort to find the small village from which is family emerged, where atrocities were committed by nazi forces during world war two. he strikes up an uneasy alliance with his american-obsessed translater & guide, who is devoted to bling & the trappings of capitalism despite/because of growing up behind the iron curtain. together, they learn about themselves & each other, blah blah blah. it's really good. just go read it.

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