Friday, August 04, 2006


Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Jonathan Safran Foer, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005, 326 pp

I loved this book!

Oskar Schell is nine years old, lives in NYC and has lost his father in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. He and his father had a very special relationship and Oskar is inconsolable. But he is extremely bright and incredibly independent, despite several phobias. He is hunting for clues about his father, a skill which his father had taught him by making up mysteries for him to solve.

The story is very imaginative. I think it could only have been written by someone who is still young. The way that Foer deals with love and loss, with the curiosity of a child and a child's view of the world, especially in this information age, is beautiful, fanciful and yet very real.

This is one of the best books I have read this year and gives me great expectations for the future of fiction.


  1. I did this book on audio and adored it. Oskar was such a fascinating little character. I loved the way he affected all of the people he came in contact with.

  2. Oh good. People have such violent reactions to Oskar. They either love him or hate him. I discussed this in a reading group and it was astonishing. Actually it did seem like the older people did not get Oskar and thought he was unrealistic. Or maybe it was just people who like kids got him. Might be a good way to interview for a nanny or babysitter: Please read this book and let me know how you liked Oskar.

  3. I thought Oskar's voice was very authentic, particularly for a child who is picked on in school for knowing more that the average nine year-old and many adults as well.