Friday Favorites: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Friday, March 26, 2010Posted by Melissa (Avid Reader)
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.