Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

by Jonathan Safran Foer | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 9780618711659 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 5/30/2020
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Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Saturday, May 30, 2020
I found this softcover in this Little Free Library near Weirs Beach in Laconia NH while dropping off some books of my own, and nabbed it for another release copy.

The story is told from the viewpoint of several different characters, some via letters or phone messages. The main character is a precocious 9-year-old who, after losing his father in the 9/11 attacks, finds a key among his father's belongings and sets out to discover what it opens. Mixed with the details of a family shattered by tragedy are flashbacks to Oskar's grandparents, who survived the fire-bombing of Dresden in WWII. There are comparisons of past and present disasters, of loved ones lost through death and through emotional abandonment, and some sweet (and occasionally bizarre) adventures around New York City as Oskar tracks down people that he hopes knew his father. The book uses illustrations - photos, drawings - and unusual typography (single words on a page, blanked-out pages, annotations) to enhance the story.

Interspersed with all of this are the last few phone messages that Oskar's father left while he was trapped in the tower. Even knowing from the beginning that he didn't make it out, the progression of the messages is very, very hard to hear.

Given the rather bleak premise, the book's often very funny, and while it does stretch a point here and there, I thought it addressed the journey through grief very well. Strange, emotional, interesting, recommended.

[I also listened to the unabridged audio version of the book, beautifully read by Jeff Woodman (as Oskar) and others. Very good! And there's a TV Tropes page on the novel with some interesting tidbits. I've seen the 2011 film, which was OK but which, for me, couldn't match the mood-swings and revelations of the print version.]

Released 1 yr ago (5/31/2020 UTC) at Little Free Library - 12 Ohio Rd. in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Guidelines for safely visiting and stocking Little Free Libraries during the COVID-19 pandemic, from the LFL site here.

I left this book at the lovely and roomy TARDIS-themed LFL on this beautiful day. (The LFL was open and empty, with a number of books spread out on a quilt outside; not sure if it was to disinfect a la COVID or a simple cleaning due to weather/insects/general-spring-chore. Didn't see the owner, so I left my contributions among the others.) Hope someone enjoys the book!

[See other recent releases in MA here.]

*** Released for the 2020 Movie challenge. ***

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