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extremely loud and incredibly close by Jonathan Safran Foer

title: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
written by: Jonathan Safran Foer
series? Nope
genre: Adult, mystery
pages: 326
publication date: April 4th, 2005
publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Meet Oskar Schell, an inventor, Francophile, tambourine player, Shakespearean actor, jeweler, pacifist, correspondent with Stephen Hawking and Ringo Starr. He is nine years old. And he is on an urgent, secret search through the five boroughs of New York. His mission is to find the lock that fits a mysterious key belonging to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11.

An inspired innocent, Oskar is alternately endearing, exasperating, and hilarious as he careens from Central Park to Coney Island to Harlem on his search. Along the way he is always dreaming up inventions to keep those he loves safe from harm. What about a birdseed shirt to let you fly away? What if you could actually hear everyone's heartbeat? His goal is hopeful, but the past speaks a loud warning in stories of those who've lost loved ones before. As Oskar roams New York, he encounters a motley assortment of humanity who are all survivors in their own way. He befriends a 103-year-old war reporter, a tour guide who never leaves the Empire State Building, and lovers enraptured or scorned. Ultimately, Oskar ends his journey where it began, at his father's grave. But now he is accompanied by the silent stranger who has been renting the spare room of his grandmother's apartment. They are there to dig up his father's empty coffin.

Extremely loud and Incredibly close is one of those books that I will never forget I have read. Immediately after you open the book you are thrown right into the story about a depressed, crazy and genious child, Oskar. I immediately fell in love with him. He was just the cutest child I had ever read about, and I wished he were my younger brother. He shows interest in everything around him, which makes him different from most of the children his age.

The heart-touching story is written about something horrible that truly happened, about 9-11. This event has always interested me, but still, I have never thought a lot about how it affected the people that remained without one or more of their family members. How some of them are traumatized by the terrorists, and never will be able to go on high buildings. How they are scared of every men that looks like a terrorist. Oskar had those traumas. He was really and forever damaged by the terrorist attack on the twin towers, which makes a lot of sense to me!

Foer created a very realistic character. Sometimes I even thought it was too realistic. Oskar thought like a 40-something year old men, and behaved like one, too. Not that this is bad, just that it really impressed me, and made me think. Still, Oskar is one of the best developed and most complicated characters I have ever encountered while reading a book! 

The plot of this book is very well thought out, and I loved that about this book. Oskar's quest, looking for the keyhole that belongs to a key, is one I *and most others* would give up after a while. He continues, for almost a year, if not longer. He decides to visit everyone with the surname Black, because that was standing on a paper he found together with the key. While looking for the key he meets no 'normal' people at all. All of the Blacks have something strange and special about them. The difference between every Black kept on surprising me, but it also kind of annoyed me, because they were too different to be a little realistic. But, since it's fiction, I can't blame anyone for that. I would have found the story pretty boring if all the Black's were just 'normal' people. 

Foer's writing style is amazing. You read the story from multiple points of view, Oskar's, Thomas's and Oskar's grandma. Oskar's point of view was my favorite. The way he interprets the world astonished me. Then there were the other 2 points of view. They were written as letters. I love books that are written like letters or emails. Then there were amazing photographs that first of all didn't make any sense, but later did. When I understood them, they really added something to the book! 

A lovely, heart-touching novel for every teenager and adult, something that belongs on the list of books you should have read before you die!

I give this book 5 stars!

xo Mar


Ethan said...

Glad to hear you loved the book as much as I did. Opinions seem to be either love or hate for this one.

I currently have a couple giveaways taking place on my blog. One is about a 16th cent. woman's struggle to practice medicine and discover the secret to her missing father. The other is a fun mystery about a retired lawyer who finds himself in the middle of a huge conspiracy. Check them out if you get the chance.

Thanks for all of your great reviews!


Jay Lo said...

Great article! I was a bit upset to find there is a book. I just watched this movie and thought I would view others thoughts. It seems like the audience either loves this movie or hates it. I personally thought it was good and a real heart felt movie. I originally didn’t plan on watching it till my coworker at Dish insisted I watch it. I rented it using my Dish Online feature for access to thousands of movies, and TV shows. I can stream a movie to my iPad or laptop whether I’m home or on the road traveling. Now all I have to do is read the book and do a comparison of which is better.

Mar said...

I really can't wait to watch the movie! I have to wait till it comes out on DVD, I guess... It better be good!

xo Mar