Book Review: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

I regret that it takes a life to learn how to live

I thought Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close was a super interesting but also confusing novel.

Book Review: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer


Title & Author: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
Genre: Contemporary, History
Release date: April 1 2005
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Houghton Miffilin


Nine-year-old Oskar Schell is an inventor, amateur entomologist, Francophile, letter writer, pacifist, natural historian, percussionist, romantic, Great Explorer, jeweller, detective, vegan, and collector of butterflies. When his father is killed in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Centre, Oskar sets out to solve the mystery of a key he discovers in his father’s closet. It is a search which leads him into the lives of strangers, through the five boroughs of New York, into history, to the bombings of Dresden and Hiroshima, and on an inward journey which brings him ever closer to some kind of peace.

I give Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer three out of five hearts because it was a super confusing and interesting story. The story is told from two different perspectives. Oskar, the nine-year-old and Thomas, his grandfather the renter in his grandmother’s apartment. But the two point-of-views are about such different things it is very hard to figure out how they weave together only until the end.

Oskar is very childish, which made me think that Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a childrens book. But Thomas’ pov is like a diary or told as if he is writing letters to his son or wife about what happened. They are very adult and made me think it was a book for adults. This is where confustion point one comes from. This is never solved to me. I didn’t like reading from Oskar’s perspective because of the childishness.

Oskar is a special kid, he is very scared because of the things that happened to his father. You could call it PTSD. He has found a key and wants to know what it unlocks. On his own he goes on months long search to find the answer. It helps him slowly get over his issues. I thought it was interesting.

Thomas is the renter in Oskar’s grandmother’s apartment. He isn’t shown for most of the book, but he does have his own story line. I don’t know whether I think this was necessary. Or at least, most of his storyline could just have been a story on it’s own and didn’t add much to Oskar’s story.

Overall Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is intersting, but it is also a very confusing book. I don’t know who I would advice it to read.

Let me know what you thought of this book!
If you have any requests for which book I should talk about next, please let me know in the comments down below.

For now, let books enrich your life!


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