KT's Reviews > Everything Is Illuminated

Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Jan 15, 2008

really liked it

Electric and stimulating novel. As a hard-core Yidd-o-phile, I was especially captivated by the literary legacy of this novel. Foer brings so many Jewish-American elements into play and parody within a pretty bizarre framework of correspondence between two young men. By the end I had no clue where one character began or ended, and the novel challenged my assumptions about the central events of the plot. I found it to be strongly reminiscent of Magical Realism, but with more of a wink and a nod. A caveat: this was one of those novels that I had to put down occasionally in favor of lighter fare, so have a paperback ready. While this book is not what you would conventionally call a "Holocaust novel," the legacy of the Shoah is in the marrow of the characters. Foer deals with that legacy in a fascinating way.
I have some reservations about the lack of "real," non-mythically idealized women in Everything is Illuminated (reservations that hardly unique to this novel and are certainly milder in comparison a great number of books I've read), but structure and approach of the book is such that it is defensible.
In short, come for the hilarious maiming of the English language by Ukrainian tour guide Alex and stay for the devastating humanity.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Everything Is Illuminated.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.