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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: A Novel

by

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: A Novel Cover

ISBN13: 9780618329700
ISBN10: 0618329706
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Awards

The Rooster 2006 Morning News Tournament of Books Nominee

Staff Pick

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is one of those novels you'll be sorry to see end. Inventor, jewelry designer, Francophile, tambourine player, and pacifist, nine-year-old Oskar careens from Central Park to Coney Island searching for a lock to fit the mysterious key left by his now deceased father. Oskar is endearing and imaginative; his voice captivates from the first page to the last. He tends to attract a motley crew of characters all groping for catharsis amidst various degrees of loss. Again, Foer tackles the big questions of love, truth, and beauty with a flare rare amongst contemporary writers.
Recommended by Dave, Powells.com

I absolutely loved Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close a most precious and delightful novel by Jonathan Safran Foer. Oskar Schell made me laugh, smile, and just feel good. He is a charmer who's won my heart through the tears and the joy.
Recommended by Adrienne, Powells.com

Review-A-Day

"Everything Is Illuminated was a wonderful debut novel, funny and touching, it was also awkward and clunky the way first attempts often are....Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is, by contrast, the result of a more mature and even pen. Even Foer's flashier tricks, rather than overwhelming the story, serve to heighten the emotionality. It seems clear at this point that Foer has successfully graduated from being a one-off wunderkind to an accomplished and graceful writer. What he has given us is not just a remarkably clever work, but the 9/11 story we need, even if we didn't know it." Priya Jain, Salon.com (read the entire Salon.com review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Oskar Schell is an inventor, Francophile, tambourine player, Shakespearean actor, jeweler, pacifist. He is nine years old. And he is on an urgent, secret search through the five boroughs of New York to find the lock that fits a mysterious key belonging to his father, who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center.

An inspired creation, Oskar is endearing, exasperating and unforgettable. His search for the lock careens from Central Park to Coney Island to the Bronx and beyond. But it also travels into history, to Dresden and Hiroshima, where horrific bombings once shattered other lives. Along the way, Oskar encounters a motley assortment of humanity — a 103-year-old war reporter, a tour guide who never leaves the Empire State Building, lovers enraptured or scorned — all survivors in their own ways.

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.

Rarely does a writer as young as Jonathan Foer display such virtuosity and wisdom. "His prose is clever, challenging, willfully constructed to make you read it again and again," said Marie Arana, in the Washington Post Book World, of Everything Is Illuminated. Once again Foer turns his capacious talent and vision to devastating events and finds solice in that most human quality, imagination. Extemely Loud and Incredibly Close boldly approaches history and tragedy with humor, tenderness and awe.

Review:

"Oskar Schell, hero of this brilliant follow-up to Foer's bestselling Everything Is Illuminated, is a nine-year-old amateur inventor, jewelry designer, astrophysicist, tambourine player and pacifist. Like the second-language narrator of Illuminated, Oskar turns his navely precocious vocabulary to the understanding of historical tragedy, as he searches New York for the lock that matches a mysterious key left by his father when he was killed in the September 11 attacks, a quest that intertwines with the story of his grandparents, whose lives were blighted by the firebombing of Dresden. Foer embellishes the narrative with evocative graphics, including photographs, colored highlights and passages of illegibly overwritten text, and takes his unique flair for the poetry of miscommunication to occasionally gimmicky lengths, like a two-page soliloquy written entirely in numerical code. Although not quite the comic tour de force that Illuminated was, the novel is replete with hilarious and appalling passages, as when, during show-and-tell, Oskar plays a harrowing recording by a Hiroshima survivor and then launches into a Poindexterish disquisition on the bomb's 'charring effect.' It's more of a challenge to play in the same way with the very recent collapse of the towers, but Foer gambles on the power of his protagonist's voice to transform the cataclysm from raw current event to a tragedy at once visceral and mythical. Unafraid to show his traumatized characters' constant groping for emotional catharsis, Foer demonstrates once again that he is one of the few contemporary writers willing to risk sentimentalism in order to address great questions of truth, love and beauty. Agent, Nicole Aragi. 11-city author tour; foreign rights sold in 12 countries. (Apr. 4)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"[B]eautifully designed second from the gifted young author....[A] riveting narrative....[A] brilliant fiction works thrilling variations on, and consolations for, its plangent message: that 'in the end, everyone loses everyone.' Yes, but look what Foer has found." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"[Oskar's] first-person narration of his journey is arrestingly beautiful, and readers won't soon forget him....[W]hen the stories finally come together, the result is an emotionally devastating climax." Booklist

Review:

"Perhaps Foer's book is the opening trickle in a flood of World Trade Center novels to come. Most will undoubtedly be worse than this one because few writers of any age can wield a pen with Foer's intensity, yet few will be so extremely manipulative and incredibly cloying." Chicago Tribune

Review:

"Although [the Dresden] story is not quite as evocative as Oskar's, it does carry forward and connect firmly to the rest of the novel. The two stories finally intersect in a powerful conclusion that will make even the most jaded hearts fall." School Library Journal

Synopsis:

Jonathan Safran Foer emerged as one of the most original writers of his generation with his best-selling debut novel, Everything is Illuminated. Now, with humor, tenderness, and awe, he confronts the traumas of our recent history. What he discovers is solace in that most human quality, imagination.

Synopsis:

Jonathan Safran Foer follows his best-selling debut novel, Everything Is Illuminated, with an unexpectedly hilarious and affecting story about New York City in the period following September 11

 

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close recasts recent history through the eyes of Oskar Schell, an unusually intelligent nine-year-old on an urgent quest to find the lock that matches a mysterious key belonging to his father, who died in the World Trade Center. This unlikely adventure takes Oskar through every city borough and into contact with survivors of all sorts, and it's his irrepressible voice—one that few writers could conceive as imaginatively as Foer does—that transforms the tragedy of circumstance into an exhilarating tribute to love.

Synopsis:

Jonathan Safran Foer emerged as one of the most original writers of his generation with his best-selling debut novel, Everything Is Illuminated. Now, with humor, tenderness, and awe, he confronts the traumas of our recent history. What he discovers is solace in that most human quality, imagination.

Meet Oskar Schell, an inventor, Francophile, tambourine player, Shakespearean actor, jeweler, pacifist, correspondent with Stephen Hawking and Ringo Starr. 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 Center 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 heartbeat? 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 of 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.

About the Author

Jonathan Safran Foer is the author of the bestseller Everything is Illuminated, named Book of the Year by the Los Angeles Times and the winner of numerous awards, including the Guardian First Book Prize, the National Jewish Book Award, and the New York Public Library Young Lions Prize. Foer was one of Rolling Stone's "People of the Year" and Esquire's "Best and Brightest." Foreign rights to his new novel have already been sold in ten countries. The film of Everything is Illuminated, directed by Liev Schreiber and starring Elijah Wood, will be released in August 2005. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has been optioned for film by Scott Rudin Productions in conjunction with Warner Brothers and Paramount Pictures. Foer lives in Brooklyn, New York.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 8 comments:

KOkerberg59, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by KOkerberg59)
I found this book to be unexpectedly profound. There were definitely parts that I found emotionally difficult, however, I enjoyed it very much.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
mbtm2003, May 9, 2012 (view all comments by mbtm2003)
I first heard about this book on Andersen Cooper's talk show when he interviewed the author. I just had to go out and buy it. As hard as it is, this is most definitely a MUST READ book. Although I live in Texas, my memory of September 11, 2001 is crystal clear, and it holds sadness for me on a personal level because I went to the top of Tower 2 back in the mid-1990s. Those were beautiful buildings and they were destroyed by hatred and intolerance. That attack caused broken lives which is the central theme of this book. The brokeness actually begins in World War II. The story kind of jumps around but stay with it. The ending is heartwrenching as everything is explained and story elements are tied together.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Julie Peterson, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by Julie Peterson)
This book had been on my list of "to-read" for months. I picked it up from a friend while visiting New York City this summer and couldn't put it down! On the subway, in Central Park, at the beach, I found myself drawn into the story by the moving voice of the young protagonist. Safran-Foer captured the innocence of childhood and heart-wrenchingly depicted its loss.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 8 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780618329700
Author:
Foer, Jonathan Safran
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin
Location:
Boston
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
New york (n.y.)
Subject:
Bildungsromans
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
April 4, 2005
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 9
Language:
English
Illustrations:
59 halftones; 12 pages w/ color
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 0.94 in 1.29 lb
Age Level:
from 14

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Related Subjects

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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: A Novel Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.50 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Houghton Mifflin Company - English 9780618329700 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is one of those novels you'll be sorry to see end. Inventor, jewelry designer, Francophile, tambourine player, and pacifist, nine-year-old Oskar careens from Central Park to Coney Island searching for a lock to fit the mysterious key left by his now deceased father. Oskar is endearing and imaginative; his voice captivates from the first page to the last. He tends to attract a motley crew of characters all groping for catharsis amidst various degrees of loss. Again, Foer tackles the big questions of love, truth, and beauty with a flare rare amongst contemporary writers.

"Staff Pick" by ,

I absolutely loved Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close a most precious and delightful novel by Jonathan Safran Foer. Oskar Schell made me laugh, smile, and just feel good. He is a charmer who's won my heart through the tears and the joy.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Oskar Schell, hero of this brilliant follow-up to Foer's bestselling Everything Is Illuminated, is a nine-year-old amateur inventor, jewelry designer, astrophysicist, tambourine player and pacifist. Like the second-language narrator of Illuminated, Oskar turns his navely precocious vocabulary to the understanding of historical tragedy, as he searches New York for the lock that matches a mysterious key left by his father when he was killed in the September 11 attacks, a quest that intertwines with the story of his grandparents, whose lives were blighted by the firebombing of Dresden. Foer embellishes the narrative with evocative graphics, including photographs, colored highlights and passages of illegibly overwritten text, and takes his unique flair for the poetry of miscommunication to occasionally gimmicky lengths, like a two-page soliloquy written entirely in numerical code. Although not quite the comic tour de force that Illuminated was, the novel is replete with hilarious and appalling passages, as when, during show-and-tell, Oskar plays a harrowing recording by a Hiroshima survivor and then launches into a Poindexterish disquisition on the bomb's 'charring effect.' It's more of a challenge to play in the same way with the very recent collapse of the towers, but Foer gambles on the power of his protagonist's voice to transform the cataclysm from raw current event to a tragedy at once visceral and mythical. Unafraid to show his traumatized characters' constant groping for emotional catharsis, Foer demonstrates once again that he is one of the few contemporary writers willing to risk sentimentalism in order to address great questions of truth, love and beauty. Agent, Nicole Aragi. 11-city author tour; foreign rights sold in 12 countries. (Apr. 4)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "Everything Is Illuminated was a wonderful debut novel, funny and touching, it was also awkward and clunky the way first attempts often are....Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is, by contrast, the result of a more mature and even pen. Even Foer's flashier tricks, rather than overwhelming the story, serve to heighten the emotionality. It seems clear at this point that Foer has successfully graduated from being a one-off wunderkind to an accomplished and graceful writer. What he has given us is not just a remarkably clever work, but the 9/11 story we need, even if we didn't know it." (read the entire Salon.com review)
"Review" by , "[B]eautifully designed second from the gifted young author....[A] riveting narrative....[A] brilliant fiction works thrilling variations on, and consolations for, its plangent message: that 'in the end, everyone loses everyone.' Yes, but look what Foer has found."
"Review" by , "[Oskar's] first-person narration of his journey is arrestingly beautiful, and readers won't soon forget him....[W]hen the stories finally come together, the result is an emotionally devastating climax."
"Review" by , "Perhaps Foer's book is the opening trickle in a flood of World Trade Center novels to come. Most will undoubtedly be worse than this one because few writers of any age can wield a pen with Foer's intensity, yet few will be so extremely manipulative and incredibly cloying."
"Review" by , "Although [the Dresden] story is not quite as evocative as Oskar's, it does carry forward and connect firmly to the rest of the novel. The two stories finally intersect in a powerful conclusion that will make even the most jaded hearts fall."
"Synopsis" by , Jonathan Safran Foer emerged as one of the most original writers of his generation with his best-selling debut novel, Everything is Illuminated. Now, with humor, tenderness, and awe, he confronts the traumas of our recent history. What he discovers is solace in that most human quality, imagination.
"Synopsis" by , Jonathan Safran Foer follows his best-selling debut novel, Everything Is Illuminated, with an unexpectedly hilarious and affecting story about New York City in the period following September 11

 

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close recasts recent history through the eyes of Oskar Schell, an unusually intelligent nine-year-old on an urgent quest to find the lock that matches a mysterious key belonging to his father, who died in the World Trade Center. This unlikely adventure takes Oskar through every city borough and into contact with survivors of all sorts, and it's his irrepressible voice—one that few writers could conceive as imaginatively as Foer does—that transforms the tragedy of circumstance into an exhilarating tribute to love.

"Synopsis" by ,
Jonathan Safran Foer emerged as one of the most original writers of his generation with his best-selling debut novel, Everything Is Illuminated. Now, with humor, tenderness, and awe, he confronts the traumas of our recent history. What he discovers is solace in that most human quality, imagination.

Meet Oskar Schell, an inventor, Francophile, tambourine player, Shakespearean actor, jeweler, pacifist, correspondent with Stephen Hawking and Ringo Starr. 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 Center 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 heartbeat? 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 of 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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