Friday Favorites: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Friday, March 26, 2010


Last week's Friday Favorite was The History of Love, so it seems only fitting to have this week's be Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I read the two books in the same year and was struck by the similar styles and plot points. Both follow a young child in New York City in search of something. Both deal with an old man and his troubling memories from WWII. I found out later that the two authors wrote their books and were later introduced by their shared publisher. They're now married, but had never met when they wrote the books. There's something beautiful in that.; two souls with such similar messages that bring them together in the end.

Anyway, back to the book. Foer's story follows Oskar, a young boy whose father died in the 9/11 attacked on the World Trade Centers. Oskar finds a key that belonged to his father and spends the rest of the book searching for the lock that it fits. It's more than a lock though that he's searching for, he needs closure, a way to say goodbye. While searching for the lock, Oskar's path crosses with many unique people. Each has a story of their own which helps Oskar in his struggle to come to terms with his tragedy.

Foer's writing could easily become gimmicky in the wrong hands, but somehow he manages to give the reader just enough to make it perfect. There are photos, numbers, notes, etc. in the book that enhance the story, not distract from it. I read his earlier book, Everything is Illuminated, and really liked it, but was even more moved by this second piece. The book left me reeling. I thought about the characters and their poignant losses long after I put it down.

8 comments:

Sarah said...

You have just BLOWN MY MIND. Nicole Krauss and Jonathan Safran Foer are married?! Wow. I like that, too.

I had the reverse reaction with respect to Foer's two novels. Everything Is Illuminated stayed with me for large spans of time (as did The History of Love, actually -- I almost commented on that post). While I loved this one as well, it didn't do quite the same. You do, however, make me want to reread it.

Thanks for these.

Avid Reader said...

I love doing the Friday Favorites, but the problem is it makes me want to reread the book immediately, which is dangerous for my TBR list.

Jeanne said...

I kept wondering if Oskar was autistic or something. He seemed to me to react to things very strangely.

Myckyee said...

Great review! I've seen this book before but I'd forgotten about it. Your review puts in on my wish list.

Jenners said...

I'm trying "Everything Is Illuminated" at some point this year ... I'll have to keep this in mind in case I like it.

Maggie May said...

i also loved this.

Michelle (my books. my life.) said...

I love their story - like it was meant to be.

Carl V. said...

Just read this a few week's back and LOVED it. One of those unexpected discoveries as I was walking past the display tables at Barnes and Noble. I'm so glad I followed my instincts and picked it up that day. I tore through it and highly recommend it.