Jonathan Safran Foer is an author who has risen out of the blue and is growing into the most phenomenal author of his generation. Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Everything Is Illuminated, released a novel I had never heard of until it recently became a motion picture. It goes by the name of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and is one of the absolute best books I have ever read.
Oskar Schell is a journey-bound, curious-minded individual. He is yet to be twelve years old, but his mind is far above that of children his age. He constantly takes scavengers and hunts for unknown treasures that have been set up for him by his father, until one day a tragic event puts an abrupt end to his glowing light. His father is killed in the terrorist attack on the twin-towers in New York City that we know as 9/11. Without his father, Oskar struggles to find happiness in his life. But one day, he finally needs to know why. He takes to his father’s office, and finds not what he was expecting; in a vase, there is a small envelope with a single key inside. He sets off to find the matching lock, traveling through the city day in and out.
A story which seems to be an ordinary child on a journey is far, far more. It is a new kind of heart break; the struggle of loss from a brilliant child who has had his childhood suddenly ripped from him. He meets the most unexpected of people, whose stories are dryly realistic in a way that completely halts a reader. Both in Oskar’s family, his grandfather and grandmother, and friends who he meets along the way, the reality is heavy and heart-wrenching.
Jonathan Safran Foer has crossed new boundaries with this book, and claimed territory that could make this book a long-lasting classic. There is an honesty to it that is absolutely impeccable.
If you read and like Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, I also recommend Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer, and The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.
Written by Geena Elghossain on August 19, 2013.