Sally's Reviews > Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
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's review
Mar 28, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: randomly-own, not-for-everybody
Read in March, 2009

Beautiful, sad, haunting. Safran Foer wraps his story about a boy reeling from the recent death of his father inside a tender portrait of . . . what? Mania? OCD? Borderline autism? I can't guess what malady impairs little Oskar Schell, other than his obvious difference from his peers is magnified when he witnesses, albeit through a technological distance, the death of his father. I've never felt so protective of a child protagonist before, and I doubt I'll feel this passionate about any of Safran Foer's other work. I couldn't make it through Everything Is Illuminated, but this book felt more autobiographical, less distanced, less like a work of fiction than the author revealing his own passions, pains, hopes and fears through the image of an eight-year-old boy, making his way through Manhattan. Whenever Oskar's boots got heavy, so did my heart.
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Reading Progress

02/26/2009 page 200
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Comments (showing 1-20 of 20) (20 new)

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message 1: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Murphy Sally,

I will be interested to see what you think of this book. My wife was unable to get into it, but perhaps that is because we have too many other things going on right now.

D. J.

message 2: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars


I LOVED loved... LOVED this book.

I mean, it was...okay.

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

I loved it one hundred dollars.

message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

hahaha kim! i don't know you but i think i love you.

i loved it one thousand dollars.

Sally I'm loving it intensely. Perhaps that is because it is not theory or school related.
I love it for all the random illustrations, images, side notes, thoughts, memories. Everything is filtered through his kaleidoscopic perception, and described through his idiolect ... so unlike the world he's forced to participate in, the little dude soldiers on.
It reminds me of The Fortress of Solitude in its unique modern childhood perception of Manhattan, sans comic-hero allusions.

I love it.

Sally p.s. Why did it take me so long to read this? Why did nobody pin me down and force me to love it earlier?

I couldn't get into Everything Is Illuminated A Novel, as much as I wanted to. Perhaps I was afraid that would happen again.

message 7: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars


I'm a pusher, it's what I do.

And.. I'm always right.

message 8: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Murphy Thanks for all your comments. I'll tell my wife that she will have to give it another chance when things calm down a bit.

message 9: by Amanda (new)

Amanda DJ, I think you should read it and quit making your wife do all the dirty work! So there! :)

Sally, you used big words in comment 5! Idiolect? I don't know what that is, but do you think I have one?

message 10: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Mandy? Have YOU read this yet? Huh? HUH? What have I told you? Huh? YOU SHOULD ALWAYS LISTEN TO ME.

Esp when I use caps. It's like the law.

And don't think that I haven't been paying attention, J, Michelle, Jasmine... (Val, I give up)

message 11: by Amanda (new)

Amanda 3 Zusak's now! THREE! And Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life. I have officially read more of your recommendations than I have anyone else on the planet.
Don't make me read a 9/11 novel. Please, please don't make me!

I'll make you a pie.

message 12: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Even though I know you're right.
I still can't bear to read it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sally Ooooooh Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life might just be my favorite book. It's a comfort book, take to the bathtub at the end of a shit day kind of book.

message 14: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim You're not alone, Misha... I've heard others that didn't like the 'schtick'. Usually I don't fall for it, when it feels really schticky. But, something grabbed me on this one.

message 15: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Amanda wrote: "3 Zusak's now! THREE! And Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life. I have officially read more of your recommendations than I have anyone else on the planet.
Don't make me read a 9/11 novel. Please, p..."

Okay, Mands.. you're off the hook for now. You have been very kind to me. :) Normally, people blow off my recommendations. Not you, though. :)

message 16: by Sarah (last edited Mar 01, 2009 06:43PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sarah Sallers, Kimness... There is a discussion of this right now going on in my group!

Sally Sarah! I didn't know you had a group!!! I joined, and commented. :D

Sarah It's an informal group. It's not a book club. It's just where people can post about any book they want to talk about, because there isn't always a book club currently discussing it.

RandomAnthony Yeah, I liked this book, too, way more than I liked his first one...

Sally The first one was like Tylenol PM for me.

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