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Past Discussions of Group Reads > Everything is Illuminated--For Those Who Have Finished

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message 1: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
Please use this thread to talk about the book as a whole after you have finished.

Some general starting questions:

Did you like or dislike the book? Did you like the ending? Favorite characters? Favorite quotes? Did you like the author's style? Were you confused by anything in the book? etc.

Feel free to post any discussion questions that are more specific to the book once you have finished. The moderators and discussion leader will try and facilitate the discussion but since everybody's reading schedule/life schedule are different, they may not be able to do so at the beginning of the month. So, any discussion questions are welcome! :)


message 2: by Heather (new)

Heather (andshewontsleep) | 278 comments I read this a few years ago, before reading EL&IC.. I really didn't enjoy it like I thought I would. Thinking back, I don't remember much about it now. I've been meaning to watch the movie since I read the book for a comparison. I'm curious to see what everyone else thinks.


message 3: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (ash88) I want to see the movie too! I didn't like this one as much as EL&IC either, but I did enjoy it, especially the middle & end.

I think there were SO many little stories inside the big one that it just got confusing at times and was almost too much. But I loved a lot of those little stories!

My boyfriend tried reading it and didn't like the way the Foer kept referring to himself, and thought it was egotistic. It seemed to me like Foer was making fun of himself more than he was praising himself.


message 4: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
Definitely watch the movie! I really loved it. I watched it years ago so I had been putting off reading it because I hate watching the movie first..but at this point I don't really remember that much about it.


message 5: by Lynn (new)

Lynn It's been almost a year since I've read this book... so I'm foggy on exact details...

But I liked it. Foer is an AMAZING writer. I loved Alex's chapters the most. His "voice" is wonderful. I read part of Chapter 1 to my creative writing class for an author report and everyone was cracking up.

But overall I liked EL&IC better than EII. And I saw the movie a couple times before reading the book. I like the movie better, but both were good.


message 6: by Melissa (new)

Melissa  | 33 comments I love, love, love JSF. He is an amazing writer. If you guys liked EII, I would also recommend EL&IC and History of Love, which was written by his wife...really beautiful writing! I would even suggest that Nicole Krauss (his wife) is a better writer than he is, though JSF is more imaginative.


message 7: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
This just didn't have the "wow" factor for me like EL&IC did. I can't even explain why.

My favorite character is Alex. I think honestly he could be one of my top 10 characters in literature.

I really wanted to like this book more. I gave it a 3/5. Some parts were really brilliant and emotional and he just is such a great writer. But other parts were extremely boring and I felt like I kept getting confused at certain points. I don't know. It was just good for me. Not great like I wanted it to be.

Maybe I need to reread it? Especially when it got such glowing reviews.


message 8: by Gillian (last edited May 31, 2010 05:42PM) (new)

Gillian (night-shades) | 9 comments Maybe it was because I read it before EL&IC, but I seem to be the only one who enjoyed it more. I've actually read the book previously twice, and thought I would pick it up a third time to refresh my memory. I had been drawn to the book when I first saw the movie, and ended up falling in love with JSF after reading it and had to pick up EL&IC right afterwards.
I like the book moreso than the movie for the same reason, Snickers. It just didn't have the backstories that made the story so full for me. I felt that it also didn't convey the emotions as well as the book did, so connections weren't as easily made with the characters. Don't get me wrong though, I still love the movie, but I guess I love them each for different reasons. The movie seems sort of like a completely different story almost, they miss so much that is included in the book.
I think I enjoyed EII more than EL&IC because of the sense of fullness I got also. The backstories I found didn't clutter the story, but made it more rich and complete. It reminded me of Eastern European folklore, which I have really been drawn to the past few years.
I have to say, JSF is one of the only authors who can basically bring me to tears. His writing is so beautiful, and so creative. The way he conveys his emotions in such a unique way - even as I was finishing the book tonight, the part where Alex's Grandfather confesses his story always amazes me. The way it's written is so realistic, I could almost hear him talking. Anyways... What I'm trying to get at, JSF is freaking talented.

And Jamie, I suggest you do reread it. Even if you wait a while before you do. Every time I reread it I seem to get more and more out of it, I never get bored.


message 9: by Melissa (new)

Melissa  | 33 comments I watched the movie before watching the book and (this is the first time I have EVER said this) I would recommend doing it this way. The movie is really good and familiarizes you with the characters so you know what JSF is talking about when you read the book, but there is SO much more in the book that it is definitely still worth reading--like another commenter said, it's almost a different story. And not just little things...there are big TWISTS that are left out of the movie.


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