“Life is scarier than death” Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (p. 322)
Well, if that weren’t the most honest statement I’ve read this year….
Upon picking up this novel by Jonathan Safran Foer, I don’t know what I expected. A friend had told me that it was “Fabulous”, so I guess I expected it to be just that….FABULOUS. FROM THE ONSET. IMMEDIATELY. AND IT WASN’T.
Now, let me rewind by saying, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a beautiful novel. Foer is creative in his approach and writing style. The subject matter, however cumbersome, is emotionally charged (especially for me, having lived in New York thru what’s arguably the worst day in American history – September 11, 2001.) The story is emotional, evocative and sincere. While “about” 9-11 it is truly about grief and the road back to emotional stability.
His words are true. The characters are well developed…….And still – I didn’t love it until the last 20 pages. In a nutshell, I found it extremely hard and incredibly frustrating to read.
I’ve told you all before, I like a book that allows me to transport into the pages…..the kind that turns me from Rachael into which ever character is on the page before me.
Foer is almost TOO colloquial in style – taking on the personality of the characters as he wrote. While this may seem like a good thing – the kind that allows you to fully embrace the character – he also “spoke” as a different character in each chapter, so the book lacked continuity. It lacked a certain element of “story telling” that I typically enjoy. (If anyone’s read ROOM by Emma Donoghue, you’ll find that the writing is similar.)
With that in mind, I will tell you what happened next – I cried. I literally sat at the front desk of my office, where I’m mindlessly answering phones while the receptionist does the mail and eats her lunch, and cried.
I found that, towards the end, I could relate with Oskar. Like him, I constantly seek meaning. I have tried endlessly to make meaning of some pretty horrific life events: the death of close friends; the loss of my Gammy; my parents’ divorce; job loss; breakups – all of it. And, regardless of if I ever found the meaning, I learned that by questioning, inventing, exploring that I truly live.
Character Development: A
- Book Review:Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (lovelifelipsticks.wordpress.com)
- Book Review: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Jonathan Safran Foer) (thatfellow.com)
- Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer (ashleychristiano.wordpress.com)