My book club’s inaugural read was Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. We had the chance to chat about it last week (right before my adorable nieces became triplets) and I’m excited to share my review with you today. I haven’t had a chance to see the ELAIC movie yet, but am curious as to how it will compare.
This book takes you back to 9/11, including all the imagery and sadness associated with that day. Its purpose is mainly to tell of a boy’s love for his father, who died in the attacks, but Foer does it in a completely new and unexpected way. The writing style is not exactly eloquent, but it’s not meant to be. It’s meant to be told in the voices of three people who are incurably broken due to tragic circumstances. One of them is a boy named Oskar, who I would say is the main protagonist. Read this book if you are interested in a beautifully written (but admittedly sad) story of love and loss, of failure and triumph – and of the reality that life keeps going forward no matter what horrors happens to us.
(That may be a very dark review, but it is a recommendation.)
Oskar Schell is a nine-year-old on a mission to search through all five boroughs of New York. Why? To find the lock that fits a key left behind by his father, who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11. His determination will take him through Central Park, Coney Island, Harlem and beyond. On the way, he will be introduced to countless others who have dealt with tragedy, love, sadness and happiness. And he will always be inventing. I can’t tell you the number of crazy inventions this young boy comes up with throughout the novel, the most prominent one being a birdseed shirt that would allow you to fly away – a convenient thing to have when trapped on the roof of a building.
The book ends where it began – at his father’s grave. I will say that the last few pages were incredibly creative and well done. It left my mind reeling in both a good and difficult way. There are so many questions and “what ifs?” from 9/11 – it was tough subject matter, but necessary at the same time.
There are books you can never put down while you’re reading them, and as soon as you’re finished you want to read them again. Then there are books you have to force yourself to get through or put down halfway through, never to read again. If I’m being honest, I’d say Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close falls right in the middle. I read it relatively quickly, it kept my interest and I would definitely recommend it – but it wasn’t necessarily a favorite overall.
Today’s #FebPhotoADay is “where you work.” Although this is technically our dining table, I often call this area my office for two reasons. One, because my desk is usually a bit…cluttered, to say the least. Two, because this table has a window view.
I feel very fortunate to work from home, but I know it’s not for everyone. More on that tomorrow.
Have you read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close? If so, what did you think?