Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Author:Jonathan Safran Foer Nine year-old Oskar Schell has embarked on an urgent, secret mission that will take him through the five boroughs of New York. His goal is to find the lock that matches a mysterious key that belonged to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11. This seemingly impossible task will bring Oskar into contact with... more » survivors of all sorts on an exhilirating, affecting, often hilarious and ultimately healing journey.« less
This book is written in a non-traditional style. This does not at all diminish the impact of the the themes and characters - in fact it enhances them. Hang in there, the agony of reading some of the sections (stream of consciousness, absent correct spacing and punctuation) - will create in you a deeper appreciation of the character's feelings.
Interesting writing style. The book was kind of hard for me to "get into" but I powered through and ended up really enjoying the story. Maybe not a "must-read" but definitely worth reading if you have a PBS credit.
Review first published on my blog: http://memoriesfrombooks.blogspot.com/2012/01/extremely-loud-and-incredibly-close.html
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is the story of nine year old Oskar Schell. His father died in the World Trade Center on September 11. Oskar is in the care of his mother and grandmother. He finds a key that belonged to his father and makes it his mission to find the lock that it fits. I suppose it helps him hold onto his father and brings him some measure of comfort. The book is his search for the lock and the vast array of characters he meets along the way.
I loved the main character. Oskar is a little boy who has suffered a devastating loss that no child should ever have to face. I wanted to make Oskar feel safe again. As such, I really really wanted to like the book. Unfortunately, I did not.
The entire book seem far-fetched. I understand that the adults in the situation were dealing with their own loss in their own way. However, it seemed that Oskar was dealing with his loss all alone. He spends time by himself and wanders the streets of New York searching for this lock.
In addition, throughout the book was also the feeling that I had to read between the lines and see the message within. I loved the story of Oskar and of this grandparents, but it felt too difficult to search for the pieces of the story through the construction and writing style of the book. The book left me unsatisfied and sad.
One of the best books I've ever read in my life. I was hesitant to read anything about the terrorist attacks in New York on September 11, 2001 as its still very upsetting to me (as a New Yorker). However, the delicate, sensitive way Foer handles this in both the character of Oscar and just the beautiful way he writes, made me very glad I read it. I very much liked the other threads of the story as well which were also of loss or trauma and various journeys toward healing. Highly recommend.