Extremely Loud & Incredibly CloseBook - 2011
From Library Staff
Foer comes the closest to exploring the full of humanity in the way we associate with Shakespeare.
From the critics
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“In bed that night I invented a special drain that would be underneath every pillow in New York, and would connect to the reservoir. Whenever people cried themselves to sleep, the tears would all go to the same place, and in the morning the weatherman could report if the water level of the Reservoir of Tears had gone up or down, and you could know if New York is in heavy boots.”
"You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness." page 180
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Other than the book being a required read, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close was a totally unique book. First of all, the book was told in 3 different perspectives (Oskar, Grandpa and Grandma), but it doesn't tell you who is speaking so you have to figure out yourself. Secondly, the book wasn't told in chronological order, which makes the plot slightly confusing to understand. Lastly, some pages were empty, some filled with pictures, a few pages with only numbers, some pages with only one sentence "excuse me, do you know what time it is", missing punctuation, random scribbles, and don't forget there were 3 pages where there is writing piled on writing piled on writing... These elements I described made me have a hard time understanding the story line. Reason for 4 stars: A theme of this book was love. It was the motivation for 9 yr old Oskar Schell, to search through NYC, finding a lock that pairs up with a key that belonged to his father. I decided to rate this book 4 stars because I felt moved when Oskar, regardless of how impossible his mission may seem, still very determined and persists to find the missing lock. The strong reason behind was love. And because of the son-father love, the search was made possible and at last, he finally found the man behind the lock! I generally liked this book but I thought it'd be useful if it can be shortened by two-thirds. The other two-thirds were distracting and they bothered me from reading all of the good stuff.
Meet Oskar Schell, and inventor, Francophile, tambourine player, Shakespearean actor, jeweler, and pacifist. He is nine years old. And he is on an urgent, secret search through the five boroughs of New York. His mission is to find the lock that fits a mysterious key belonging to his father, who died in the World Trade Centre on 9/11.
An inspired innocent, Oskar is alternately endearing, exasperating, and hilarious as he careens from Central Park to Coney Island to Harlem on his search. Along the way he is always dreaming up inventions to keep those he loves safe from harm.What about a birdseed shirt to let you fly away? What if you could actually hear everyone's heart beat? His goal is hopeful, but the past speaks a loud warning in stories of those who've lost loved ones before.
As Oskar roams New York, he encounters a motley assortment fo humanity who are all survivors in their own way. He befriends a 103-year-old war reporter, a tour guide who never leaves the Empire State Building, and lovers enraptured or scorned.
Ultimately, Oskar ends his journey where it began, at his father's grave. But now he is accompanied by the silent stranger who has been renting the spare room of his grandmother's apartment. They are there to dig up his father's empty coffin.
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