On the shelf: ‘Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’, by Jonathan Safran Foer

extremely-loudOn the Shelf Book Review
By Rosie Rincones, Grand Rapids Public Library, Main 

There are novels that can be opened up to any part of the story and once you get a few pages in you may be able to put together pieces of the plot and, in general, know what’s going on.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close does not allow you this privilege. Each chapter can differ from the one before in mood, narrator, and time period. A harmonious mixture of words and images, this book carries you swiftly through the ups, downs, in’s, and out’s of young Oskar Schell’s life — told by himself.

Two years after his father is killed in the World Trade Center attacks, Oskar finds a key that had once belonged to his father and embarks on a relentless journey to find the lock it will open.

Reminiscent of Holden Caulfield and Harriet the Spy, Foer has created a character that breathes life into a tragic situation. Alongside Oskar’s tale of adventure and discoveries, we learn of the somber and complex past of his grandfather who survived the World War II bombing of Dresden. All at once warming and breaking your heart, the stories come together in a sobering sort of way to level the ground between the humor and tragedy in the characters’ lives.

Enthralling and moving, Foer has written a story to linger in the minds and hearts of all who choose to read it.