Jesse's Reviews > Everything Is Illuminated

Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
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's review
Jan 12, 2009

really liked it
Read in January, 2009

"These are my ghosts, the spaces amid love."

The quote is worth the weight of the book, that at times is an absurdist rendition of a Jewish stetl attempting to prove that even the Holocaust can be postmodern and jaunty, and at times a tear-jerker, confused about where it's going and where it's been, similar to your lead characters Alex, Jonathan and Alex Sr. Even Sammy Davis Junior Junior, a deranged "officious seeing eye bitch" seems to be unsure of her footing in this novel about so many things and so many nothings...

Where does the law of coincidence end and the law of plausibility being? Is it at all likely that this man would meet another? I suppose in the end we can only argue that Foer does a good job making something out of the darkness that is history, and that does make for illumination, even if it feels like that illumination is, as Alex so aptly describes his friend, "a world removed."

I can't give it five stars because I know that feeling of emotional distance too well - it makes this book unfamiliar and daunting. As if there is a 614th type of sadness: the sadness of knowing that human beings can never truly know one another.

The last thing I've ever wanted from a story about illumination is to know the real truth, and so despite its insight and wisdom, it can't be made numero uno.
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Quotes Jesse Liked

Jonathan Safran Foer
“(What are your ghosts like?)
(They are on the insides of the lids of my eyes.)
(This is also where my ghosts reside.)
(You have ghosts?)
(Of course I have ghosts.)
(But you are a child.)
(I am not a child.)
(But you have not known love.)
(These are my ghosts, the spaces amid love.)”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated
tags: love

Jonathan Safran Foer
“There are many premium writers, yes? Tolstoy, yes? He wrote War, and also Peace, which are both premium books.”
Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

Reading Progress

01/12/2009 page 74
18.59% "...and it is so much better than the film, which is one of my favorite films of all time, which in turn makes me giddy. Foer is suitably my "
01/13/2009 page 210
52.76% ""You keep your not-truths to yourself.""
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message 1: by Kristi (new)

Kristi Perhaps one of the best modern examples of a multi-genre novel. I can't imagine it without the extended interlude of prose at the end-- the stream of consciousness that gives a visually compelling element to the heartbreak in the text.

Great book! Great review!

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