Saturday, January 14, 2012

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Title:  Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Author:  Jonathan Safran Foer
Publication Information:  First Mariner Books edition. 2006. 326 pages.

Book Source:  I read this book based on a friend's recommendation on Goodreads and based on the publicity for the movie.

Favorite Quote:  "It was one of the best days of my life, a day during which I lived my life and didn't think about my life at all."

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.

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