Extremly Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

September 30, 2009
Foer's The Book Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close engaged me with its brilliant main character and unique style. The narrator is Oskar Schell a nine year old boy who lives in New York. Jonathon Safan Foer made his debut with the writing of Everything is Illuminated, He would later make a name for himself with his new novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close putting him in a category with elite author's of the past decade. The Brooklyn native didn't attract readers for the content of his writing, but rather for its bizarre style which had extremely positive responses. From the start of the novel it's easy to figure out why the novel had much success and was the New York Times best seller.

The novel is about Oskar and his Journey to find the lock that matches a mysterious key that belonged to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on the cloudy morning of September 11. The almost impossible task will bring Oskar across survivors of all sorts which will ultimately become a healing journey. Oskar and the other characters in this novel are ordinary people who live in New York where the book take place. Oskar finds comfort with his mom and grandparents who are the closes family to him. “There are worse things', she said, ‘worse than like us. Look, at least we're alive', I could see that she wanted those words back, but the current was too strong.” (Foer, 30)

Oskar has a very loud and annoying personality that either people love or hate. Oskar is also very smart and finds himself thinking weird things out loud throughout the novel which make his character hilarious. (Foer, 3) “So what about skyscrapers for dead people that was built down? They could be underneath the skyscrapers for living people that are built up. You could bury people one hundred floors down, and a whole dead world could be underneath the living one.”

“The meaning of my thoughts started to float away from me, like leaves that fall from a tree into a river, I was the world was the river.” (Foer, 16) The novel makes you think about what you should make of a loss. While Oskar's mom moves on with a new relationship, on the other hand Oskar has trouble moving on.

The novel is great healer for Americans who were impacted by the recent historical event of September 11. The very talented author of this novel has received numerous awards including American Place Theatre's Literature to Life and was included in Granta's Best of Young American Novelists 2.

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