Title: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Author: Jonathan Safran Foer
Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Source: Personal Collection
9-year-old Oskar Schell lost his dad on 9/11. One day, he finds a key in his father’s closet in an envelope marked “Black.” He decides to go on a mission and speak to every person named Black in New York City to solve the mystery in the hopes of learning something about his dad.
I am kicking myself for waiting this long to read Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. I am a big fan of Jonathan Safran Foer (Eating Animals literally changed my life) and this book only solidifies it.
Precocious and socially-awkward, Oskar is immediately lovable. He’s one of those characters you just want to hug. He is so sad without his dad and he can’t seem to find a way to move on with his life. Until he finds this key and suddenly he has A Plan. Along the way he meets all kinds of people, befriending many. In the end, he is different, though maybe not in the way he imagined.
The book jumps between Oskar’s story and the story of his grandparents, who fled Dresden during WWII and found each other again in New York. This is where Foer takes liberties and plays with different writing techniques. It is ambitious, but works. Yet even during these wonderfully-written passages, I was drawn back to Oskar and longed for his story.
The story happens because of September 11th but it is not a book about September 11th. It is a story of survival, loss, love, and life. I highly recommend it to those of you who, like me, have let it linger on your shelves.
Buy It Now: IndieBound