Everything is Illuminated Everything is Illuminated discussion


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Lost Interest

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Steven I had been listening to this book on my IPOD and found it intersting and funny. Eventually lost interest in it and the characters.


Shay Goodine It was hard to keep up with, and I was reading it. Glad I'm not the only one who felt that way. But I truly love Jonathan Safran Foers style of writing, so I pushed through and loved the book.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Agree. Hard to follow then when you push through a little you get through it and it is worth it.


Michelle Nelson Very much worth sticking with this book if you can


Johnnie Way too pretentious and post-modern in style. A good story with funny characters but the writing style gets in the way of story. Rare case when the movie is better than the book. I was disappointed.


Abbey Disappointed, confused, sad, but I love "Alexi-you-spleen-me"


Richard you get the feeling he wrote it normaly and then did a Find and Replace to make the ukrainian guys vocab sound more interesting - a very underwhelming book, goes nowhere and does nothing


Sobirming The movie is so much more interesting - you may like it even though you dont care for the book - I was surprised at how much I liked the movie but not the book.


Sally I had a hard time getting into it, but once I was, I thought it was great. At times it did get a little advanced, though.


message 10: by Brad (new) - rated it 3 stars

Brad Cotton I hate to say it, but the movie was good. Foer is a talent for sure.


Sarah Totally worth finishing. It is such a good book


Colby Sandyboy wrote: "you get the feeling he wrote it normaly and then did a Find and Replace to make the ukrainian guys vocab sound more interesting - a very underwhelming book, goes nowhere and does nothing"
The point was to make the vocab sound ridiculous...Alexander mentioned toward the beginning having a thesaurus with him to help him find more interesting words. So, yeah, it was supposed to be bad.

Although I do understand that the book is sort of disappointing...It's just one of those books that I expected to make me feel something and it didn't.


Kevin I also found myself losing interest in this book after a while. That aside, If you enjoy the movie it is definitely worth finishing this book, as there are a number of events and details that were left out of the film.


Colby I'm interested to watch the movie. I have it coming on Netflix.


Torie It was so hard to get through initially for me, too. But eventually, you begin to find yourself entrenched in the story and the ending is so breathtakingly beautiful that it made the whole journey worthwhile.

Do a majority of you believe that the movie was better than the book?


message 16: by Amy (new) - rated it 1 star

Amy I couldn't even get 25% into it before I quit reading. I had too many other books sitting there waiting to be read to waste my time with a book I really couldn't get into at all or like at all.


message 17: by Joy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joy Stephenson I loved this book. It does seem really strange at the beginning but I think it's so clever how the character of Alex gradually comes into focus for us through his own writing. I think the book subtly makes us consider what is historical truth, through our gradual realisation that not everything we hear is objective fact. Writing about it has made me want to read it again!


message 18: by Lev (new) - rated it 1 star

Lev Raphael This book got such a tidal wave of good publicity and hysterically rapturous reviews, I think people were initially embarrassed to say they didn't like it. On one of my book tours the year it was published, I kept having people tell me that they thought if was awful, usually in private, as if they were going to be reported by someone for disagreeing with the prevailing opinion!


message 19: by Incitanemxx (last edited Jul 16, 2012 04:24AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Incitanemxx this book is definitely worth finishing, because the ending is the best part of it! the beginning was definitely confusing, and for a while it seemed like the plot wasn't going anywhere, but the way the characters grow at the end is really amazing. everything really ties together at the end and it actually leaves you longing for more, believe me! because it ends at such a moment where you're just like; this can't be it!
also, i love how at the beginning of the story it seems like alex is a fool and jonathan is smart, but at the end, it becomes clear that alex is the amiable and admirable character, not jonathan.


Marcia Fine I loved this book! The movie is one of my favorites. Yes, the ending is the whole point! Interesting fact: I just heard Joyce Carol Oates speak and she mentioned that Jonathan Safran Foer was one of her students at Princeton. She said he had enormous energy as a writer and she mentored him. That's a winning combination!


Andrew McEwan Excellent novel. Movie was disappointing. It is a sympton of mass consumption that nobody has any patience anymore and if something displeases them on page one chances are they won't read on. Far too many books are written by committees and edited by computers these days. Originality hasn't a chance as what the market demands is a Happy Meal. Quick contentment and slow death. I'd still rather read a 'bad' book written by someone with talent than a commercially driven piece of trash, however. JSF has talent. And if that is awful by any definition then the battle may well be lost.


message 22: by Kathy (new) - rated it 1 star

Kathy James Funny...I created a shelf in my books for "Books I gave up on"...this is one of them.


Emily Saunders It was difficult to get into at first because of the odd writing style. But once I got into the rhythm of it, once the characters were explained and the story got going, I could not put this book down. It's worth persevering and reading it completely. I started it wondering why people said this book was so brilliant, and finished it knowing why people said so.


message 24: by Jean (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jean Carlton I read this one AFTER Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and was disappointed. Of course, I list ELIC as one of my all-time favorite books....it was marvelous and this one paled in comparison.


Fliss Blanch I too lost interest in the book and put it down for a few months but one day something made me pick up the book again and I'm glad I did.


Lynsey Johnnie wrote: "Way too pretentious and post-modern in style. A good story with funny characters but the writing style gets in the way of story. Rare case when the movie is better than the book. I was disappointed."

Pretentious, that's the word I've been looking for to describe the tone of this book. I mean, I LIKED it well enough, but I feel like the author is very much aware of how clever he was being. I gave it a fair shake. I personally was interested in the stories being told, BUT I felt like intertwining them the way that he did did not enhance (illuminate?) either part of the story, but rather took away from each. If that makes sense?


message 27: by Kate (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kate Baggott You know, the whole child prodigy thing is just another deus ex machine. So many "real" kids experienced this that it almost cheapens their suffering after 9/11 to put the whole experience on an "exceptional" child.


Scott Love this book. People glow and objects float. It is mystical and fun. Not a factual story. I enjoyed the change from reality. There are no rules.


Zachary Kate wrote: "You know, the whole child prodigy thing is just another deus ex machine. So many "real" kids experienced this that it almost cheapens their suffering after 9/11 to put the whole experience on an "e..."

I think you are talking about his second book


message 30: by Liz (new) - rated it 1 star

Liz Nix Johnnie wrote: "Way too pretentious and post-modern in style. A good story with funny characters but the writing style gets in the way of story. Rare case when the movie is better than the book. I was disappointed."

I couldn't agree more. I watched the movie first. I read the book and I totally hated it. Confusing (but not in a good way) and the sex scenes were a bit too gritty and revolting for my taste. I don't shy away from a sex scene every now and then, but there was something about this book that just made it vulgar and unappealing. Reminded of Wicked. Another book I did not like despite having high hopes.


Blues I found parts of this novel both moving and funny...but I also found some of the techniques and style bombastic which resulted in rapid page turns.

Sometimes an author can be sidetracked with the overuse of clever devices (or trying to demonstrate just how clever he or she may be).


message 32: by Kat (new) - added it

Kat Gale Lynsey wrote: "Pretentious, that's the word I've been looking for to describe the tone of this book. I mean, I LIKED it well enough, but I feel like the author is very much aware of how clever he was being..."

I agree with you, Lynsey. This book is the McDonalds of literature: one large MacGuffin with extra fishy malapropisms and a side of cheesy tropes.


Hannah Colby wrote: "I'm interested to watch the movie. I have it coming on Netflix."You should really try and watch it. It's the only movie I ever watched that was definitely better than the book!


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