Reviews

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer

booksnarks's review

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5.0

On my first read I never finished the book and basically threw it across the room. On my second read I feel completely and utterly in love. This book is so simple yet so complex, so lovely yet so ugly. At the end of the day what matter in this book are all the emotions that are portrayed so beautifully through the heartbreaking language.

lenadena's review

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5.0

This book is striking. It navigates the complex anxieties of a little boy in Manhattan. His dad died in 911 and he scours the city looking for answers. I found myself wanting to take care of him and tell him everything is okay the entire time. The end had me in tears. Such a brilliant story.

lauralynnwalsh's review against another edition

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4.0

This is a very well written book. The gradual unfolding of each story and their ties together are masterfully done. I haven't seen the movie and I am not sure I want to. There is a lot of pain in the story. I should probably give the book 5 stars, but I usually reserve 5 stars for books I undoubtedly want to read again. This is almost that status, but not quite.

pallas4's review

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challenging dark emotional reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

katiejanenaps's review

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4.0

I read this entire book in a day, because I simply couldn't put it down. I understand that, to some people, this was a difficult read. However, I pushed through the bit of confusion I had within the first few chapters, and was hooked.

The story jumps back and forth between two separate, first-person POVs, which understandably can be a bit confusing, particularly since there is an air of mystery around the characters making up Oskar Shell's world. However, Oskar's story was completely intriguing to me - the way he interprets things going around him, the maturity with which he speaks. It is easy to forget he is a 9 year old boy, and what he is relating is being seen through his 9-year-old filter. If you read the book, remember to sit back and ask yourself what is really happening, apart from his interpretation.

If you have or haven't seen the movie, I definitely recommend reading the book. If you haven't seen the movie, please read the book first. I still loved the movie, and it really helped tie together some pieces absent in the novel due to its' first-person narration.

If you're willing to deal with a narration that jumps from person to person, and push through some confusing details to be clarified later on, you will enjoy this book. It is one that definitely stays with the reader - there may not be large, climactic events which occur, but rather a subtle change of characters and their realities throughout.

boygirlparty's review

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5.0

i read this back in 2007, before e-readers were all the rage. i have this recommendation for those reading it today: don't read it on an e-reader. read it in print. it makes a big difference.

- - -

it's 2am and i just turned the last page. this has immediately become one of my all-time favorite reads. i suggest not spoiling your experience with reading any of the plot details beforehand, not even the back cover, so you can be surprised, delighted and heartbroken on every page the way i was.
i hate that i've finished this book. i have heavy boots over its finality, actually.

lalodragon's review against another edition

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5.0

The book arrived Monday. I finished the book Monday.
Shiitake,
That was a good book.

kirshark's review

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5.0

I don't care how uncool it is to love, the accusations of schmaltz are false.

knitter22's review

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4.0

The people at the post office, grocery store, and library probably think I'm crazy because as I approached the last hour of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, I simply couldn't stop listening, but I also couldn't stop crying. Not sobbing hysterically, just tears running down my face continually because of the bare truths made evident in this novel:
~Love
~Truth
~It's always necessary.

Oskar Schell is a nine-year old whose father has been lost in the World Trade Center on 9/11. Oskar is curious, inquisitive, and truthful, characteristics which make his life interesting, difficult, humorous, and painful. ELIC is the story of Oskar's quest to find the lock to match the key he believes his father has left for him. Both his grandfather and grandmother tell their stories in chapters entitled "Why I'm Not Where You Are" and "My Feelings" respectively. As soon as Oskar asked, "Why didn’t he say goodbye?" and "Why didn’t he say I love you?" I knew I had to finish the book. I have had those same questions, and felt like a nine-year old when trying to answer them. I don't know if answers are forthcoming, but the search for answers is worthwhile and necessary.

I approached this book with a bit of trepidation because I tried to read the print version several years ago and couldn't get past the formatting. This time I listened to it; I don't think I lost anything by not having access to the blank pages, pictures, and words on top of each other in the print version, and gained quite a bit of understanding by simply hearing the book read. This is not a book that I thought would translate well to audio, but for me it was a huge improvement.

intorilex's review

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5.0

Awesome book. Touching story with memorable characters. Although the boy narrating seems at times much wiser than his years, I was suspended in disbelief. I balled at some points in this book, because at it's essence it's about the different, but powerful ways that we all deal with grief. Some of us create ways to cope, and keep going because of the pain that will overwhelm us when we stop.