Thursday, August 13, 2009

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

A few days ago I mentioned Jonathan Safron Foer and how much I enjoyed his books. Here's the review of the second one, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. As fantastic as Everything is Illuminated was, I still liked Extremely Loud better. Considering I toyed with ranking Everything is Illuminated (EII) as the best book I read this year, well, you get the idea.

The book is about a precocious nine-year old boy named Oskar Schell. Oskar's father had died in the World Trade Center attacks. Oskar is the narrator but like EII, some of the story is told through letters, in this case from Oskar's grandfather. When Oskar discovers a vase hidden in his father's closet that contains an envelope holding a key, he sets out to try and discover more about his lost father.

I'm at a loss as to how to write about this without revealing things. I felt like there were some similarities between this book and Shadow Baby. The protective single parent who keeps information hidden from the child. The precociousness of the child. Missing relatives. Sadness.

Foer makes use of photographs and fonts in this book, too, which seems to be a characteristic of what people consider postmodern. Like every aspect of the book, these visual effects are well done and add to the story.

I really cannot stress enough how much I enjoy Foer's books. Assuming he writes more, I'm sure he'll end up being one of my favorite authors.

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