Ben's Reviews > Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
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's review
Jan 25, 12

bookshelves: audio, read-in-2010
Read from May 14 to 18, 2010

There must be something wrong with me. I’m not as smart as my goodreader friends. I lack empathy. My humor is deficient. I have no compassion. And I suck at life.

Of the 40 of you “friends” who read this, this is how you rated it:

5-stars: 18 people
4-stars: 13 people
3-stars: 7 people
2-stars: 2 people
1-star: 0 people

Something wrong with me indeed.

(Or something wrong with all of you.)

No. I didn’t finish it. I value opportunity and freedom too much for that. I listened to it. People tell me if I had read it instead of listening to it I would have liked it more. I now tell them that I don’t care.

I have returned this grouping of compact discs to my local library. They are now safely out of my hands. Its twelve separate discs no longer have to worry about me yelling obscenities at them extremely loudly. They need not be concerned that they get thrown again at the passenger side door, incredibly closely.

So go away Jonathan Safran Foer. Don’t cry for me Argentina. It’s your birthday, don’t cry if you want to. Stop your sobbing. I was crying just to get you, now I'm dying cause I let you -- do what you do down on me. Or not. Okay, please don’t. Seriously, I’ve had enough. You are cheesy and you annoy me. I’m done. So take your forced cuteness and your vegan cupcakes and go home.
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Comments (showing 1-50 of 180) (180 new)

JSou Oooooooh. This is the Foer I've been holding out on.

message 2: by Ben (last edited Feb 04, 2012 07:53PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Ben I've never read him before. I'm only listening to this, but it has kind of irritated me so far. Not sure if I'll stay annoyed or not, but if so it'll put me in the minority -- most of my friends gave this 4 or 5 stars.

Jenn "Awww Yeaaahhh" This was my first Foer too and I liked it. I'm interested to see what you think!

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

Kim I don't know if it would translate well on audio... Not for me... but, I can't listen to books. Even the cover of this book makes me cry.

message 5: by Ben (new) - rated it 1 star

Ben Kim, your review for this was AMAZING. It's what caused me to friend you many-moons ago. It was the start of our friendship. : )

Malbadeen I agree with Kim regarding this on Audio and I DO listen to audio but I think this one is not conducive to that format. If you're not loving it soon you should push stop and move quickly to print before you give up on it all together. It's worth the 2nd chance!

Colin McKay Miller Agreed on the audio version not translating well for this one. Come on, brah, the novel ends with a picture book. How's that gonna work for your eardrums?

message 8: by Ben (last edited Feb 04, 2012 07:54PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Ben Still listening to it, very close to giving up. Can't take much more -- I appreciate the suggestion, but whether I give up the audio version or not I won't be picking up the print version. Not a chance. But I will remember and keep it in mind that perhaps the experience is better through print.

message 9: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim That's such a shame, Ben.

Maybe you should read Everything is Illuminated?

Matthieu Maybe Ben has good taste?

message 11: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim And there it is... it wouldn't be a Foer thread without Matthew. The Yin to my Yang.

message 12: by Ben (new) - rated it 1 star

Ben It made me laugh and smile a bit during my lunch break, Kim. I'm not going to give up just yet...

message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

It is a shame. It's a great book, and I've heard that the audio is terrible. Oscar's voice is all wrong in the audio recording. ALL WRONG!

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

J You want to borrow my copy, Ben?

I'm not reading it.

message 15: by Ben (new) - rated it 1 star

Ben No. I'm done with him after listening to this. It's made me giggle some so it may get 2 stars, but aside from that it grates on me like no fiction has since The Kite Runner.

message 16: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim *sigh*

I'm going to start following The Book Huntress... maybe then I'll get some love.

message 17: by JSou (new) - rated it 5 stars

JSou This review is hilarious. Despite loving Everything is Illuminated, I'm scared to start this now.

message 18: by David (last edited May 18, 2010 12:03PM) (new)

David How weird. Just because most of your friends like this book you assume that your taste is deficient? Wow. That must be why you're considered nice, and I'm considered... what am I considered again?

Whenever I disagree with the majority of my friends, I conclude that they are all incredible dumbasses and wonder why I allow myself to be associated with such bottomfeeders.

I have not read this book. But I have read Foer's Everything Is Illuminated, and if you don't like that, you're pretty much a bottomfeeding dumbass. In addition to being a minion of Lucifer.

Jenn "Awww Yeaaahhh" I voted for this review, but I am NOT voting for you, Ben. Because you may be a bottomfeeding dumbass.

message 20: by Kim (last edited May 18, 2010 12:13PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim His taste is deficient. Go flog yourself.

I may forgive you in the morning.

Nope. Changed my mind.

message 21: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim I cannot believe you.

Vegan cupcakes?


message 22: by Kim (last edited May 18, 2010 12:12PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars



= Ben

(Thank you, Google Search)

message 23: by JSou (new) - rated it 5 stars

JSou <------- loves Kim right now.

message 24: by D. (new)

D. Pow You're a stud, Mr. Harrison.

Jenn "Awww Yeaaahhh" Kim is my hero.

message 26: by Brad (new) - rated it 2 stars

Brad Ben, I think you rock and you feed at the top.

Colin McKay Miller Nah, there're a lot of people who hate Foer (see the Wiki).

message 28: by David (new)

David There are a lot of people who bite the heads off human infants too, so what's your point?

Benji's comparison was with 'goodreads friends' (who comprise the 99th percentile*) not a lot of people. West Virginia is a lot of people, but I don't take literary advice from it.

* Except when they're bottomfeeding dumbasses.

message 29: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim I always thought of Ben as a lover, not a hater... now I'll think of him donned in a diaper sucking algae...

message 30: by David (new)


I don't care if Benji is Satan. He's my bro-maine lettuce. Let's all lay off the dude for a while.

(Until we can organize a coordinated attack.)

message 31: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Ben, I expected more analogies....

I'm uterally disappointed.

message 32: by JSou (new) - rated it 5 stars

JSou I don't think I'm ever going to get tired of the 'God Hates Ben' pic.

message 33: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim I'm going to just get really drunk tonight, David. We can organize the full guilt ridden attack in the morning.

message 34: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim I expect you Lloyd Doblering outside my house to this tonight, Ben... Then we can grill and talk summer internships...

message 35: by JSou (new) - rated it 5 stars

JSou Kim, you are awesome. I was just listening to the DM & TR Live in Vegas album this morning.

message 36: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Thanks, Jessica! I was thinking I was just being manic and stalkerish, but I like your take better!!!

message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

message 38: by Paquita Maria (last edited May 18, 2010 03:28PM) (new)

Paquita Maria Sanchez I haven't read any of his stuff, but I had the same feeling of boiling cynicism when I saw Everything Is Illuminated. I just wanted it to leave and take its pretentiousness with it. And EVERYONE said it was "life-changing" or some shit, blah blah blah... and I just f*$%ing hated it. No, detested it for masking itself as something that I would "thoroughly enjoy." Yadda yadda yadda, vagina cupcakes!

message 39: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim I hear that the movie is shit... compared to the book... but yeah... I'm a bit biased.

message 40: by Jessica (new)

Jessica love your review Ben.

I haven't read anything by JSF, have only heard him interviewed.

message 41: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Hi, Chairy! Why is it JSF and Coetzee always draws these types of threads? Huh?

message 42: by Jessica (last edited May 18, 2010 03:55PM) (new)

Jessica It's all about the animals* Kim!

no, I've no idea. they're very different.
except they're both vegetarians. wait, JSF isn't one, is he?

* except this book has none.

message 43: by Newengland (new)

Newengland I hated this book, too. Read it pre-GR, so it's not even listed among my books. I'll keep it that way.

message 44: by David (last edited May 18, 2010 04:57PM) (new)

David Kristi wrote: "I haven't read any of his stuff, but I had the same feeling of boiling cynicism when I saw Everything Is Illuminated. I just wanted it to leave and take its pretentiousness with it. And EVERYONE ..."

The film is terrible. But that has nothing to do with the book.

Completely different -- in tone, in style, and -- even to a great extent -- in content. The ending was altered to be more palatable (I suppose) to a popcorn-chomping audience. An entire parallel story (that occupies as much of the novel as the main narrative in the film, if not more) was completely omitted. And the whole thing was mis-directed with an eye toward droll quirkiness at the expense of real emotion. Plus, Elijah Wood... oy vey. He was just terrible.

So the movie: 1 star. The book: 5 stars. Different animals.

message 45: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan Ha! The print edition really is better: pictures!!! But, I know it sounds as though it wouldn't make a difference for you. (I'm one of the brilliant readers who gave this - print edition of the -book 5 stars.)

message 46: by Cody (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cody THis is a book you have to read I would think. I'm not sure that you'd get the same experience by listening to it.

message 47: by Ben (last edited May 19, 2010 05:22AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Ben I'm having trouble focusing this morning. I think it was the vagina cupcakes.

message 48: by [deleted user] (new)

Ben wrote: "I'm having trouble focusing this morning. I think it was the vagina cupcakes."

Yeah, I had a comment, but I was blinded by the brilliant vag.

(I haven't read any Foer, so I have no feelings about the matter. Carry on excellent thread.)

message 49: by David (new)

David So is it just a reflection of the brave new googleworld we live in that people can now track down wittily appropriate cupcake-y images to provide sly commentary on the debate - in a matter of seconds, apparently - or does every female goodreader have cupcake images already stored on her desktop, just in case?

*wants non-vegan cupcake*

message 50: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim I am still so very hurt by this review. I know I shouldn't take it personally, but....

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