August 7, 2011

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

Title:  Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Author:  Jonathan Safran Foer
Format:  PB
Pages:  326
Genre:  Fiction
Publisher:  Mariner, 2006
ISBN-13:  978-0618711659
Series:  Stand Alone

Favorite Quote:  "I changed the course of human history!"  "That's right."  "I changed the universe!"  "You did."  "I'm God!"  "You're an atheist."  "I don't exist!"  I fell back onto the bed, into his arms, and we cracked up together.

Synopsis (Amazon):  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 survivors of all sorts on an exhilarating, affecting, often hilarious, and ultimately healing journey.

Review:  This is one of the strangest books I've ever read.  There are blank pages, odd pictures, and type that can't be read at all.  Told mostly from the point of view of nine-year-old Oskar, it switches viewpoints and swings between the past and the future so often that I wasn't always sure what was going on.  But, it was still an incredible work of fiction.

While this story is obviously about healing and the paths we take to find it, I came away mostly with a real appreciation for the little coincidences that make up our lives.  Take one random action away and a whole life is changed.  I didn't adore this book, but it certainly made me think.

Rating:  7 / 10

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