Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Review

Jonathan Safran Foer is known for writing such meaningful and brilliant novels, his work is highly praised across the globe. I was so excited to finally read something of his and I had such high expectations for this book, unfortunately I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped. 

When picking up this book, all I had heard was how absolutely wonderful it was! It held so much meaning and it was whimsical! While the book did hold those qualities, they didn’t strike me as hard as I had hoped for. 

We follow a nine year old boy by the name of Oskar. Oskars father died in the attacks on 9/11. This heartbroken boy stumbles upon a key in his late fathers closet and is determined to find what it opens. He wonders maybe his father left it for him to find. He spends well over eight months scowering the city of New York to find its lock and meets wonderful people along the way. But I’d ultimately let down when the key is unrelated to his father. 

I was bewildered by the fact that we had a book that took place around such a large American Tragedy. The attacks on the World Trade Center are not something we see in literature, especially young adult literature and it astounded me that the author thought to base a story around one young boy who was so effected by this event. I loved the fact that we followed such a young character, who is experiencing a plethora of emotions and is searching for answers he may never get. That will hit anyone in the feels, regardless of where you are from! 

I feel for Oskar, he is depressed and this key gives him something to put his mind to for awhile and helps him cope with his lose. I was really hopting to see more symbolism in this story, as I am sure there is. I just missed it. I don’t think I read this book at an appropriate time in my life to see all of it. It took me nearly a month to complete. But the symbolism I did see, I loved enough to want to reread this later in my life. I loved that Oskar was scared to show his mother the recordings he hid of his dads calls. I loved that his mother knew that he was walking around New York City searching for this key and never told her son she would call all these people he would meet ahead of time to keep him safe. I love the deep and profound love his grandmother has for him. I think I enjoyed reading the tidbits we get from Oskars grandma the most. We get an onsite into why his grandfather left and what an odd relationship they had, we get to see a man trying to redeem himself to be in his grandsons life. There are so many touching moments in this story and it saddens me that I didn’t get the impact I was expecting. 

Overall, at this point in time, I gave the book a 2.75/5 stars. I will round that up, 3/5 stars. The writing was beautiful, but slow at times. I love the symbolism I did see and hope to see more when I reread this at a later date. I feel like we lost sight of the plot at times, some of the events in the book just didn’t fit. This book was way over hyped though and I believe that is part of the reason I am still holding out hope. But I will continue to hold that hope. Thank you for reading my rambles and until next time,

Tiffany

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