2022 Reading Challenge discussion

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
This topic is about Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
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ARCHIVE 2014 > Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: Chapters 1 - 6 (Contains Spoilers)

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message 1: by Kara, TBR Twins (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kara (karaayako) | 3972 comments This thread is to discuss the first six chapters of the book.


message 2: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Orlando | 10 comments Awesome! I have this book on my bookshelf unread. Would love to join this month's read!


Felicia (feliciajoe) | 562 comments Has anyone finished the first six chapters? (:
So far I'm really liking this book! I do find it a bit confusing sometimes, but then you just gotta concentrate some more.


Jenn | 280 comments I'm currently in the 7th chapter. I like this book much better than the author's first book so far, but I can see the similarity in the style. I like Oskar and enjoy his narration, but I'm not as into the parts about his grandparents. I'm interested in finding out what the key opens!


Felicia (feliciajoe) | 562 comments My thoughts exactly! It's the first book I read from the author. I do however find it quite fascinating how different his grandparents stories are, even though they're telling the same story.


Jenn | 280 comments Felicia wrote: "My thoughts exactly! It's the first book I read from the author. I do however find it quite fascinating how different his grandparents stories are, even though they're telling the same story."

I agree that it is interesting how different their two accounts of the same story are.


message 7: by Kara, TBR Twins (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kara (karaayako) | 3972 comments I think my favorite parts of this book are the grandparents' stories. They're so beautifully written.


Jenn | 280 comments Kara wrote: "I think my favorite parts of this book are the grandparents' stories. They're so beautifully written."

I could see that. I think these sections definitely demonstrate that he is a talented writer, but I find them disturbingly intimate and a little too unrealistic. I don't know if maybe it's not supposed to be literal and I'm just missing the greater meaning...this is similar to my issue with Everything Is Illuminated, which also rotated between chapters similar to those narrated by the grandparents and chapters similar to those narrated by Oskar.


Felicia (feliciajoe) | 562 comments I think I just get really tired while reading them, because they are so much just one paragraph, and I think what I really like about the book is Oscar's innocence, so with his grandparents I miss him.

I find the writing style very intriuging, though.

Jenn - I think the reason it seems unrealistic is because it is. They tell two different versions of a story. It's like when your parents tell you how they met, you just know it's not the actual story, but it doesn't matter, because it's a nice one.


message 10: by Kara, TBR Twins (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kara (karaayako) | 3972 comments Felicia, that's a good point. I like your last thought particularly, "you just know it's not the actual story, but it doesn't matter, because it's a nice one." This rang SO true for me, and reminded me of The Things They Carried and "How to Tell a True War Story" (although I guess that's a little opposite. That says that something can be true without having happened.


message 11: by Felicia (last edited Nov 12, 2014 08:06AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Felicia (feliciajoe) | 562 comments I haven't read those books, but I think it's true that something can be true without having happened. My parents, for instance, have two different versions of how they decided to move in together - My mum says they had talked about it and agreed, and my dad says he found out when my mum's friend said "Congratulations on moving in together!" xD I don't know which one is true, but somehow I think both are; it's just from each person's perspective, and we recipiate things differently.
It's the same with Oskar's grandparents, I think - they have two different versions of what has actually happened.


Cassandra | 5832 comments I love this book so much. I love the writing style. It's beautiful, and my favorite parts so far are the stories of Oskar's grandparents. I'm not sure what they have to do with the main plot, but the thing is, it doesn't matter. Their stories are worth reading because they are beautiful and haunting, and that's enough. Those parts remind me of One Hundred Years of Solitude because they are part realistic and part not, but inside of themselves, they feel coherent and real.

I also love Oskar. The writing style of his narration is perfect, because it captures the mind of a curious, charming nine-year-old boy trying to understand and cope with something catastrophic.


Felicia (feliciajoe) | 562 comments I think this is one of those books where the story doesn't need to be so Aristotleian.


Claire  (claire6452) | 691 comments I also like the grandparents' stories best. It's so interesting reading their different perspectives on the same events. I'm actually a good bit ahead of these chapters, and there have been times when those differences jumped out at me, in very emotional ways.

My only criticism is that I think Oskar is simply not a realistic nine year old. His vocabulary and ideas are beyond the ability of any child that age. If he were supposed to be a few years older, I would find it more believable.


Felicia (feliciajoe) | 562 comments I think the whole point is that he is acting older than he is. He isn't a normal little boy, that is very clear, but he is still a little boy.


Claire  (claire6452) | 691 comments I think the author makes it clear that his father encouraged him to think creatively, and spoke with him almost as you would speak with an adult. But Oskar makes decisions and reasons things out in ways that are almost never seen in children that age.

His actions are those of a boy trying to act like a man, that's for sure. And that's not hard to understand, given that he's lost his father. It's his thought processes that I find less than believable.


Alicia | 167 comments Like most of you, I think that the story of Oskar's grandparents is the highlight of the first chapters. They both have such distinct and beautiful writing. Their bond seems not to be based on love but by a shared, deep sadness. Oskar is clearly very special and it is terrible to think of him losing the person he clearly loved the most. I know most people are probably way further in the book by now, but what do you think about Oskar's relationship with his mother?


message 18: by Jenn (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jenn | 280 comments Alicia wrote: "Like most of you, I think that the story of Oskar's grandparents is the highlight of the first chapters. They both have such distinct and beautiful writing. Their bond seems not to be based on love..."

I don't think Oskar had a bad relationship with his mother before his father died, I think their current relationship is just strained by their grief. I thought the way the author dealt with this was realistic. I think Oskar would have had a difficult relationship with his father if his mother had died.


Felicia (feliciajoe) | 562 comments I think Oskar seems a lot like a child. The way his logic works is very child-like, in my eyes. He thinks he needs to act older than he is. If we think about it, the way his father made him solve mysteries when he was still alive, that is probably what has taught Oskar to think like he does(to reason things out logically). Yes, he is extremely clever, more than the average eight year old, but I don't think he's so clever that it's unbelievable.

I've read abut two thirds of the book now, and I'm getting really curious about his grandparents. I'm a little nervous I won't get the answers I crave.
Like, what is with his grandparents? Whose eyes are we reading from when we read their letters? And what is the last mystery Oskar's father wants him to solve? (What is with the things found in Central Park, the sixth borough and the key?)

Alicia:
I think you are right about his grandparents basing their bond on sadness, not love. That's very sad to think about, actually. But I also think his grandmother really loved his grandfather, in some strange way. I'm not sure it was returned, though. I think his grandfather always saw the sister in the grandmother, the girl he actually loved.

About his relationship with his mother, I half agree with Jenn. I don't think he had a bad relationship with his mother before 'the worst day', and I think what makes it difficult for them now is that they are both grieving with the loss of a husbad and father.
I do think, however, that it seems like Oskar always had a deeper relationship with his father, or at least another kind of relationship that to Oskar seemed deeper. (This is not unusual or bad; I have different kinds of relationships to my parents.) I think Oskar's father understood him better than his mother did, and that makes it extra difficult for his mother now, because she is watching her son whom I think she loves very much, being really sad, and she doesn't know what to do to make him feel better.
I think if it had been the other way around, Oskar's father would have known better what to do about their shared grief for Oskar's mother, so I'm not sure it would have been the same. But I think Oskar loved both his parents, and they both loved him.
Did any of that make sense?


message 20: by Reija (last edited Nov 22, 2014 02:45AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Reija | 307 comments I saw movie some time ago and I think book is little bit better. Still, I have to do pretty much work because of his writing style, it is quite.. maybe demanding? I don't know, and even if it is nice to read grandparents story (at first I even didn't realize that those were theirs, I thought just random peoples stories) changing it chapter by chapter, I don't too fond of it but I don't like that kind of idea usually so it is not just this book. But I really like those pictures and stuff. I'm reading this side by The Goldfinch and it is funny how different those boys see things and reacts sad things and able to continue life.


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