Play Book Tag discussion

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
This topic is about Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
27 views
Archive: Other Books > Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer - 3 stars

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Joy D | 3869 comments Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer - 3 stars

Narrated by precocious nine-year-old Oskar Schell, this book relates his journey to express grief for his father, who died in the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center. After finding a key in his father’s closet, Oskar embarks upon a quest to locate what it opens, symbolically paying tribute to his father's life while also helping him heal. An intertwined story tells of Oskar's grandparents' difficult lives after surviving the bombing of Dresden during World War II. Their stories involve letters written from Oskar’s grandfather to his father and from Oskar’s grandmother to Oskar. Themes include the silence of suffering, the impact of trauma, and how difficult it can be to overcome.

This is another book where I can appreciate its artistry but is not a particularly enjoyable reading experience. I thought Oskar’s story, though it stretches the limits of belief, was touching. I felt compassion for the child who has suddenly lost his father and describes what is obviously depression as “heavy boots.” It hits very close to home for me. However, I found the grandparents’ storylines disjointed and difficult to follow. The chapters narrated by Oskar are the strongest and most direct, though his voice is much more analytical and mature than a typical child. There were many interesting parallels between the experiences of Oskar and his grandfather. The tone is very sad and there are many loose ends.

I think the overall impression of this book is more effective than the individual parts. It would be a good book to read with another person or as part of a book club.

Link to My GR Review


message 2: by Nikki (new)

Nikki | 661 comments Great review, & closely matches my memory of it. I much preferred Everything is Illuminated which I found easier to connect with emotionally even though it had a lot of the same hey-look-at-me cleverness.


Joy D | 3869 comments Nikki wrote: "Great review, & closely matches my memory of it. I much preferred Everything is Illuminated which I found easier to connect with emotionally even though it had a lot of the same hey-l..."
Nikki, thanks, and that's good to know since I have Everything Is Illuminated on my TBR.


message 4: by Book Concierge (last edited Sep 24, 2019 05:14AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6002 comments I gave it only 2.5** .... I liked Oskar's storyline and point of view. But I was less enthralled by his grandparents. And I thought the "interesting" typefaces he used, plus the changing POVs / timelines were distracting. Almost as if the author were screaming, "Look how clever I am!"

My Review HERE


Joy D | 3869 comments Book Concierge wrote: "...And I thought the "interesting" typefaces he used, plus the changing POVs / timelines were distracting...."

I generally didn't mind the different typefaces. I just considered them "mixed media," as is employed in other art forms. The one I didn't care for was the one that was marked up with red ink, like it had been "corrected" by a teacher.


Jgrace | 2938 comments BC and I disagree on this one. I didn't see the author's experimental writing as a gimmick. I thought it was brilliant.

I do agree, it was not an easy read. The emotional content was more than difficult. The unusual formatting upended any normal story arc. But every time I asked myself WHY is Foer doing this, a light bulb would go on ( or possibly a punch in the stomach) giving some blinding insight. This was a book that got under my skin in many ways.

(view spoiler)


back to top