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September 2017: American > Extremely Lioud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safan Foer - 5 stars

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message 1: by Barbara M (new)

Barbara M (barbara-m) | 2191 comments Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - audio ed.

Well done audio with 3 narrators, one for Oscar, one for his Grandfather, and one for his Grandmother.

Oscar is a precocious child with several phobias such as small places, high places, and many more. He also has some unique viewpoints and ideas. He has trouble sleeping so he uses the time to invent interesting things that never actually become real – at least not yet. He’s quite brilliant and he writes to Stephen Hawking constantly. From Oscar’s story (which is a bit unreliable given that he is just 9 years old) he has always been this unique, even before his father was killed in the towers in 9/11. When he is unhappy, he has “heavy boots” and sometimes gives himself a bruise. He often says thing are “Incredibly …” or “Extremely …” .Oscar has found a key in his father’s things. He has to find where it came from and has determined that it has something to do with a person named Black. He looks up all the people in New York whose name is Black and starts visiting them. The people he meets are so interesting. Oscar is a delight and a worry.

His grandparents’ story is slowly unveiled and it is a strange one. Strangest of all, his grandfather doesn’t speak and writes all his replies and questions – plus he’s always say “I’m sorry.” He has “yes” and “no” tattooed on his hands, one on the right and one of the left. His grandmother was his father’s mother and she adores, and worries about Oscar.

The story is Oscar’s search for the lock that fits the key. I put off reading this story because of 9/11. I was concerned that it would be just too depressing. There were parts that were sad but certainly so much of it was very entertaining. I’m not likely to forget this one.


message 2: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments I'm glad you liked it. It was memorable for me too.


message 3: by Ladyslott (new)

Ladyslott | 1880 comments I loved this book - I also listened to it.


message 4: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 5645 comments I read it and was not a fan. All the changes in typeface, the red editorial marks, etc just seemed to scream "look how clever I am" and really turned me off.

I bet I would have liked it more if I had listened to the audio.


message 5: by Jgrace (new)

Jgrace | 2762 comments Here's one of the places where you and I disagree, BC. And you know how much I'm a fan of audiobooks. I liked the added visual details of this book, although I can see how they might be annoying.
For me, they added to the complexity of the characters. It was a way of 'showing' the inner turmoil of injured people rather than 'telling'.


message 6: by Amy (new)

Amy | 8303 comments Off-topic for the thread, but I love your new bird picture. Simply beautiful.


message 7: by Diane (new)

Diane Zwang | 485 comments Loved this one too.


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