Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - Jonathan Safran Foer

It has been ages since I've posted on here! I miss my blog but it started to feel like a chore. It was like 'having' to review and blog each book I read was taking something away from the reading experience.. And that is not how it should be. 

Instead, I've been tracking my reading on goodreads and writing the occasional review on there. I thought I would share this one on here, since I loved this novel. You should all read it!

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

I am not sure how to review this novel and do it justice. I am not even sure how to formulate my thoughts since I just put it down, and am feeling slightly overwhelmed.

It is a wonderful and heartbreaking novel.....How life is a rotten, dark, miserable old thing yet it is precious and beautiful at he same time.

Life is full of possibility... But why do we focus so much on those possibilities instead of on the present moment? We look forward to the future instead of enjoying what is right in front of us. It's a novel about death and loss and learning to live in a world full of those things. It is a novel about love and not taking anything for granted.

Oskar was an endearing character, trying to make sense of a world that has no sense. He made me laugh and cry. 

It is a study of what makes us human. How each person has their own eccentricities, their own little quirks... And that is beautiful. Foer has a special talent for 'seeing' people... Really seeing them. This is what made this book for me. 

I found this novel hard to read at times due to the style. It was dry in parts. Other parts were pure poetry, and reading those parts was a pleasure.

I found the pictures from September 11 hard to look at, but I always have. Those were people jumping out of those buildings and this novel really drives that loss home. It is so sad and so devastating and so hard to read...Thinking about what those people went through, the fear of knowing... Foer does a tasteful and sensitive job of reminding us that they were human beings with loves, fears, passions, hobbies, children, wives, husbands, favourite foods, lovers of music, books, animals... They were Oskar's Dad... They were people and their lives were taken in a horrific and terrifying way. 

I think authors who write about September 11 are treading on thin ground... It can be easy to over sentimentalise, but I think Foer *just* avoids this. 

This novel also focuses on the Dresden bombing. Again: so hard to read about, but so important in our history as human beings. When will we ever learn?

I'd recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys contemporary literature. It's not a light read. It's emotional and exhausting... But it's worth it. Just don't read it at work.. I read it during breaks and found it hard to switch off once I had to go back to the read world. I lived in a mental fugue for a few days.


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